Agriculture

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Agriculture is the practice of producing financial income from cultivation of the land or the commercial raising of animals, as opposed to the study of these disciplines Agricultural Science. The aim is usually to produce food for consumption by humans or as animal feed

Increasingly, agriculture produces further goods such as fertilizer, animal hides, leather, industrial chemicals (starch, ethanol, and plastics), and fibers (cotton, wool, hemp, and flax). We now can generate electricity from methane gas of animal waste.

In the Western world, greater use of advanced techniques, complex, expensive machinery, and good breeding has greatly increased yields, releasing most of the populace from intense agricultural labor. The developing world lags behind because of geographic distance, unsuitable climate, and lack of capital.

Kinds of agriculture include farming, which is raising crops for harvest, and animal husbandry.

Animal husbandry means raising animals for slaughter or to harvest animal products on a continual basis. Common farm animals or animal products include cattle, dairy products, chicken, eggs, turkeys, emus, horses, rabbits, sheep, goats, pigs, honey, and silkworms (sericulture).

In recent years, industrial agriculture has been the subject of increasing discussion. Patenting of seeds, nitrogen in the ground water, pesticide use, erosion, habitat destruction, genetically manipulated crops, and concerns about animal welfare have raised public awareness of alternative farming methods such as organic farming.

Agricultural science is an incredibly broad, multi-disciplinary field that encompasses botany, geology (soil science), economics, sociology, and other fields.

See also aquaculture and mariculture.