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A barn and silo under a blue sky.
  1. Farm efficiency in the United States
  2. Who Farms in the United States?
  3. Growth of Large Corporate Farming
  4. Minorities as Farm Operators
  5. Agricultural Subsidies
  6. Food for Peace Program
  7. Major Crops in the United States
  8. Major U.S. Crops: Corn
  9. Major U.S. Crops: Soybeans
  10. Major U.S. Crops: Wheat
  11. Major U.S. Crops: Cotton
  12. Planting and Harvesting Cotton
  13. Major U.S. Crops: Rice
  14. How Rice Is Grown in the United States
  15. Dairy Farming in the United States
  16. Cheese Production in the United States
  17. Poultry and Meat Production in the United States
  18. Raising Cattle for Beef
  19. Factory Farming
  20. Farm Mechanization in the United States
  21. Biotechnology and Farming in the United States
  22. Organic Farming in the United States
  23. Farm Aid
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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.
Special Terms: crop yield  |  Biotechnology  |  biopesticides

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