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Agricultural Industry
Agricultural Industry
  1. Who Farms in the United States?
  2. Farm efficiency in the United States
  3. Agricultural Subsidies
  4. Minorities as Farm Operators
  5. Food for Peace Program
  6. Biotechnology and Farming in the United States
  7. Growth of Large Corporate Farming
  8. Farm Aid
  9. Factory Farming
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A sow and her piglets rest in a concrete enclosure
This sow's five pigs developed from frozen and surgically transferred embryos.
Photo Courtesy of the United States Department of Agriculture. Photo by Keith Weller.
Biotechnology and Farming in the United States
Biotechnology is used today to improve crop quality and increase crop yield. Scientists are modifying the genetic makeup of plants to make them more resistant to pests and unfavorable weather conditions. They can also transfer genes from different plants to make larger, tastier, and more nutritious varieties. Biotechnology is used to create bacteria needed in the creation of biopesticides, which are better for the environment than chemical pesticides. However, some worry that science may be going too far. They say that it may be dangerous to mix genes from different kingdoms, not just species. In one experiment, scientists mixed a catfish gene (a member of the animal kingdom) with wheat plant genes (a member of the plant kingdom) to make the wheat more resistant to cold weather. Because some aspects of biotechnology are controversial, many European countries and Japan now restrict imports of genetically altered crops.
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