This essay has a total of 890 words and 5 pages.
Beginning about 12,000 years ago, the human population began a trend that completely changed the way we, as a race, evolved. For the first time in history, humans pushed beyond the restraints of traditional hunting and gathering, into domestication and farming. It was a change that would not only take thousands of years to prove worthy, but also may have set us back on the evolutionary path at the time. Along the path to this point, we have been constantly changing and finding new ways to produce and maximize the yield of the crops we sow. Have these changes been successful or detrimental to us? The following will search into answering this question.
Since the beginning, increased crop production has been the ultimate goal of the farmer. The very basic advances toward this included fertilization and rotation of crops. These simple steps alone took thousands of years to come about. Domestication perhaps, was the first process to actually take place. Evidence of this is prevalent throughout many parts of the world, as far back as 11,000 years. Detection of this was done by comparing wild varieties of the product to the preferred and produced varieties. Changes in size are the most common differences, especially among types of grain. However, this domestication came about mostly through the selection process. Since the people naturally selected the larger more hearty vegetable or grain, those larger specimens of the species would go on to produce the next generation. Though this may seem primitive, it has led to the varieties we see and eat today.
The past two centuries have, no doubt, been the most influential and beneficial to the agricultural industry. Fertilization has been around for a long time, but not until recently did we really understand how to maximize the potential. Native Americans have known that burring a fish while planting seeds provides a larger yield. And mixing animal manure into the soil to increase production, has been going on for thousands of years in many cultures. Not until recently, did science discover what was behind these two methods though. Today, instead of the nitrogen rich manure we more commonly use a chemical powder, and instead of the phosphorus rich fish bones, we use a pellet compound that consists of phosphorus.
Along with our discovered technologies, we have come up with chemicals to kill off what has plagued our crops from the beginning. Herbicides and pesticides are commonly used practices all over the world. What better way to bear more fruit, than to kill off the natural predator that feeds upon it? And most recent, has been the engineer
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