Airplanes, helicopters, trucks, and tractors are used in Western agriculture for seeding, spraying operations for insect and disease control, aerial topdressing, and transporting perishable products.
Increasing consumer awareness of agricultural issues has led to the rise of community-supported agriculture, local food movement, "slow food," and commercial organic farming.
At the other end of the spectrum is commercial intensive agriculture, including industrial agriculture.
Agriculture is by far the most common occupation, employing 42 percent of the world's laborers.
Agriculture has been an important aspect of economics throughout the centuries prior to and after the Industrial Revolution.
Mechanization has enormously increased farm efficiency and productivity in Western agriculture.
There has also been concern because of the disastrous effects that intensive agriculture has on the environment.
Certain aspects of intensive industrial agriculture have been the subject of growing disagreement.
The term agriculture may also refer to the study of the practice of agriculture, more formally known as agricultural science.
The history of agriculture is closely linked to human history, and agricultural developments have been crucial factors in social change, including the specialization of human activity.
Agriculture is cited as a significant adverse impact to biodiversity, due to reduction of forests and other habitats when new lands are converted to farming.
Some critics have also included agriculture as a cause of global climate change or "global warming."
Other developments in agriculture include hydroponics, plant breeding, hybridization, better management of soil nutrients, and improved weed control.
Modern agriculture extends well beyond the traditional production of food for humans and animal feed.
Agriculture may cause environmental problems due to changes in natural environments and production of harmful by-products.
Developed independently by geographically distant populations, evidence suggests that agriculture first appeared in Southwest Asia, in the Fertile Crescent.
that the eight so-called Neolithic founder crops of agriculture appeared: first emmer wheat and einkorn wheat, then hulled barley, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas, and flax.
About this time, agriculture was developed independently in the Far East, with rice, rather than wheat, the primary crop.
Responding to concerns that technological advances in agriculture have caused serious, but unavoidable, environmental problems, an alternative view has emerged.
The following tables detail the major crops for the world in millions of metric tons, based on Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) figures for 2004.
In 2002, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) established standards for the labeling of organic commercial produce.
Intensive agriculture also depletes the fertility of the land over time, potentially leading to desertification.
Roman agriculture was built on techniques pioneered by the Sumerians, with a specific emphasis on the cultivation of crops for trade and export.
Iowa is also second in total agricultural exports, with farmers exporting more than $10 billion worth of ag products in 2013. Leading agricultural commodities in the Hawkeye State, which are produced on more than 30 million acres of farmland, include corn, soybeans, hogs and eggs.