How do growers’ decisions affect the sustainability of agricultural systems?
Understand and appreciate food producers through this case study and determine what decisions must be made on a yearly, monthly or daily basis to maintain an environmental system that will continue to produce food and products to meet consumer demands while maintaining soil and water quality.
Agriculture as a System
Students organize inputs, outputs, and storages of a farming operation.
Investigate various aspects that impact water quality, compare two areas with different impacts through the use of GoogleEarth and discover the two types of phosphate that can cause harmful algae blooms (HABs). After investigating, design an experiment to test one of the impacts on water or soil.
Although we have been farming for a large part of human history, modern farming is a complicated process. Fewer than 1% of the United States workers are farmers. Farming has its own jargon and culture and it is big business for many farmers in today’s economy. Watch this video to see why a farmer continues to farm. Decisions must be made based on economics and the environment. If costs of tilling and planting outweigh the yield from a field of corn, wheat or soybeans, the farmer cannot continue to do the same things the following year. There are many unknowns and factors that are out of the control of the farmer, as well: weather factors in particular. All the while, growers must maintain the fertility of the soil and protect the quality of the water, as those are the resources they depend upon most.
Next gen standards
Science and engineering practices
Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Cause and effect
Systems and system models
Structure and function
Disciplinary core ideas/content
ESS2A Earth materials and systems
ESS3A Natural resources
ESS3C Human impacts on Earth systems
LS1B Growth and development of organisms
LS2A Interdependent relationships in ecosystems
LS2B Cycles of matter and energy transfer in ecosystems
Why do farmers spend time and money to apply chemicals to their fields? In this threaded PBL*, (an effort to integrate agricultural understandings into the normal sequence of an Environmental Science classroom) students will conduct several “close reads” (reading for understanding, analysis and appl…
How will we feed 9 billion people? Grow soybeans using Round-Up Ready seeds to illustrate how biotechnology can be used as a tool to increase production. Introduce students to different options for growing soybeans, investigate no-till farming …
How do we impact natural resources by our activities? This unit helps meet some of the AFNR curriculum standards for natural resources. Students will learn how to test texture and other physical characteristics of soil, conduct water quality tests, …