Is Commercial Gardening Intensive Or Extensive

The environmental changes in the physical landscape and climate have shaped the areas where humans settle around the world. The changes have significantly impacted the various agricultural practices and other land-use activities that humans engage in daily. It’s natural for people to adjust to environmental changing conditions, which causes them to adopt different farming practices that are either intensive or extensive. But is commercial gardening intensive or extensive? This article will help you understand the difference between intensive and extensive farming practices and where commercial gardening falls.

Is Commercial Gardening Intensive Or Extensive

It is important to understand whether commercial farming is intensive or extensive. Most commercial farming is intensive in one way or another. These practices heavily rely on modern agricultural technology and are often called industrial agriculture because they are often equipped with modern technologies that enable them to produce high yields.

Differences Between Intensive And Extensive Farming 

  • Intensive farming requires a small piece of land and high technology, while extensive farming requires larger pieces of land and less sophisticated technology.
  • Intensive farming requires a lot of labor, but intensive farming requires very little.
  • Sufficient capital and the use of modern agricultural technology are necessary to produce good crops in intensive farming, while extensive farming practices rely more on large plots of land than on advanced technology.

What are Intensive Farming Practices?

In intensive farming practices, large amounts of money are invested in increasing the yield per unit of land and thus reducing the amount of land that farmers need to farm. In this kind of agricultural practice, you can see great use of fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides for crops, and advanced machinery for crop harvesting. It increases the yield per land unit by growing more crops and putting more labor and capital into farming. Intensive farming is often done in areas near markets to save on the cost of transporting goods to markets.

Characteristics Of Intensive Farming Practices

  • Agriculture that is based on an intensive farming method produces high yields and is highly productive
  • Use of modern agricultural techniques and technology
  • Requires a smaller farm size
  • High productivity
  • Intensive farming is very dependent on climate 
  • A farmer may farm more than one crop in a field at the same time to produce more food
  • Low per capita output.
Intensive farming for apples
Intensive farming for apples

Advantages Of Intensive Farming

Here are the key advantages of intensive farming:

High yield

If farmers cultivate the crops intensively, they are likely to produce good crops. Agricultural products like meat, milk, eggs and other grains are very much in demand in modern markets like cafés and general stores. Market demand is increasing rapidly because of intensive farming. Intensive farming has helped us to achieve this.

It is possible to produce food that meets the market demands very easily if you do intensive farming. These farmers can produce huge yields of food in small areas of land.

More food variety

Because intensive farming focuses on producing mass quantities of a specific food crop or an animal product, it produces more varieties of food for humans. Intensive farming requires a lot of labor, money, and resources, making concentrating on a single production area practical.

Very Efficient

Farmers produce more cash by maximizing production on small farms. People can earn more money by farming efficiently than if they produce more food. The demands for equipment, space, and other inputs are much lower than the value of food. In other words, it is more cost-effective and reasonable. Cheap food and medical supplies have helped a lot to ease the world’s hunger issue. People can now eat a nutritious and balanced diet.

Very Productive 

A farmer can harvest several crops using intensive techniques such as factory farming, an innovative agro-industrial farming method that utilizes intensive farming techniques. 

What Are Extensive Farming Practices

Farmers who practice extensive farming or extensive agriculture require a larger area to farm crops. This is due to lower labor inputs in intensive farming practices, so the land requires a larger area to farm crops. The labor is less intense, and less technology is used in extensive agriculture, resulting in larger land sizes in order to remain profitable.

Characteristics Of Extensive Farming Practices

  • Farms may be bigger than 250 hectares – Most farms in North America are over 200 hectares.
  • Very low labor intensity – Most people are careful to produce maximum per capita production as opposed to producing more per unit of land
  • Emphasizes mono-cropping – Unlike intensive farming, which requires that land be cultivated all year long, extensive farming is limited to a specific season, and agricultural producers focus on a particular crop, such as wheat farming. Due to the scarcity of human labor, wages have become high, which prevents farmers from employing a larger labor force.
  • Commercialized – Very little of the products grown by the cultivators themselves are consumed by them. Farmers make their money from selling their crops to other countries for export. 
  • Very low production per unit area of land – Due to extensive cropping systems, production per unit area of land is very low.
  • The dominance of one type of cereal – One type of crop dominates all other crops.
  • There is a huge surplus – Much of the produce that farmers produce is for export. The farmers themselves consume only a minimal amount of the crop produced by extensive farming.
canola fields 1911392 960 720
Extensive farming for canola

Advantages of Extensive Farming

  • Machines that produce crops and scientific farming methods produce a large number of crops
  • Overuse of chemicals does not cause damage to the local environment and soil
  • Animals that are bred in large areas of the land grow faster
  • Lower requirements for inputs such as fertilizers
  • It costs less to farm large areas of land because no costly alterations are needed (like terracing).

Conclusion

Intensive and extensive farming are two major types of farming that are widely used across the globe. Most commercial agriculture uses intensive farming practices. In one way or another, it focuses on innovations that increase yields.

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