Seasonal Difficulties in agriculture
Farmers struggle with too much rain in spring, because too much rain leads to them not being able to get on the field with their equipment because of the muck. They also can not get the seeds in the ground when it is too wet on the field. Summer droughts are a big issue for the growth of their crops. It impacts growing, and in the end their yield. In fall a problem is an early frost, this is a issue because the frost kills off the plant (shuts down its system) before it can reach its full maturity. A mild winter can also affect trees like apple trees, because a mild winter leads to the trees starting to grow(setting buds) sooner than they should be, that is a problem because if winter weather returns, buds will not grow back again and reduced or no yields can occur.
Farming takes space, mostly in all cases habitable space. Agriculture has taken about 50% of the land that can be used as a habitat for animals and is still getting bigger. This can cause extinction of species as well as diversity of species. Agriculture also can effect water. Phosphate fertilizer( puts minerals in the form of nutrients back in the soil) hurts the water because when farmers put it on the field, it eventually runs through the soil into streams, rivers and lakes. That is a bad thing because this fertilizer kills algae, seaweed, and most plants that grow at the bottom of streams, lakes and rivers. When these plants die the small fish that feed off these plant and basically live off them have no food and when they die then the bigger fish that live off of the smaller fish now have no food and so on. Another environmental problem in agriculture is pesticides, it affects the bee populations, which are very important to pollinate many crops - both natural and cultivated and to make honey. Bees are so important because most crops need bee's to pollinate them, to continue their life cycle. If the crops do not get pollinated they may not produce a yield. When farmers plow their fields it can cause the soil to erode. This can be a problem because with erosion you are loosing nutrients and that could be a big problem because the soil is where the crops get its nutrients and its stability.
Methods of producing, developing and harvesting
There is organic and traditional ways of producing agricultural products. The difference is mainly due to how many man made inputs are added during production. Organic uses more natural methods, like using animal manure instead of chemical fertilizers. Cattle Farmers use genetic mapping to develop their herds to get the most and best product for market. Farmers try to time their harvest for the best yield and the best quality. at times if a crop is left in a field too long, it can fall over and cant be harvested.
Livestock & poultry
Farms have all animals, from pigs and sheep to horses and cows. There are different types of cows one used for meat and the other for milk. There are pigs, which are raised and used for food(in most cases). Horses are used for transportation and sport. Sheep are used for their wool and food. Goats can be used for milk and meat. Chickens are also raised and used for meat and also eggs. Ducks, geese, and turkeys are also considered poultry. They are mainly raised for meat.
Trading in agriculture
Canada is an active in both importing and exporting of agricultural products. This has it's risks and rewards - one risk that is more common now than ever before, is the risk of importing disease or pests that don't currently exist in Canada. For example, about 25 years ago Canada has it's first outbreak of BSE, from an imported cow. This is a disease which that can be passed to humans, and so if it happens in your country, can restrict exports. Which can result in severe impacts to the income and sustainability of farmers.
how does climate change affect agriculture?
Climate change has created more extreme weather. Hotter and dryer summers affect both plants and animals. Plants may yield less and animals may become sick from sun and heat. In the winter weather like ice storms can hurt orchards and vineyards. High winds also are hard on both plants and animals. They hurt plants by blowing them out of the ground or blowing them over. High winds can affect animals when barns/housing is affected. Climate change also brings new pests and diseases to Canada that couldn't survive before climate change.
Changes that need to be made for improvement
There are several changes that can be made to make agriculture better. One is to reward farmers for conservation and low pesticide and fertilizer usage. Use methods that build up the soil and prevent erosion. Another change that can be made is to reward farmers for humane treatment of animals. Another good improvement is to educate all people about agriculture and what they can do to support their local farmers. For example the 100 mile diet, this is where you buy all your food from within 100 miles of where you live. Try going to The Royal Winter fair or your local fair, to learn more about livestock and crops. Always be respectful to tractors on the road, for safety sake.