Table of Contents
Extensive farming is a method of farming that employs large agricultural machinery, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and agricultural research and involves huge capital. It is practised where huge cultivable land is available for agriculture, and there is low population density. Hence, this type of farming is widely found in Argentina, Australia, parts of the U.S.A., Canada, Ukraine, and Russia, where the population is low and cultivable land is plenty. When compared to the quantity of land being farmed, extensive farming is an agricultural production approach that uses low labour, fertiliser, and capital inputs.
In agricultural economics, extensive agriculture is a method of crop production that consumes little labour and resources compared to the area being farmed.
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Extensive Farming Nature & Method of Cultivation
Extensive Farming is highly mechanized. Machines are involved, from ploughing to harvesting. This includes the work of ploughing, ground preparing, seeding, manuring, spraying insecticides, and even harvesting.
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Extensive Farming Examples of Crops Grown
In extensive farming, many crops are grown. However, the most popular crops grown on large-sized farmlands are wheat, maize, millets, corn, cotton, and fodders for animal rearing.
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Extensive Farming Areas of Practice
Extensive farming is practised in regions of large farmlands where the population is too low to cultivate all the lands. To solve the issues of limited labour, highly sophisticated agricultural machines and equipment are used to cultivate the land. This farming is found in the Prairies of the U.S.A. and Canada in North America, the Pampas of South America in Argentina, the Veld of South Africa, the Downs of Australia, and the Steppes of Eurasia., Thus, we see that it is widely practised in the temperate grassland regions of the world.
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Extensive Farming Characteristics
Extensive farming is, characterized by the following features:
- Farmlands are extensive, covering over a few hundred hectares of land.
- Due to the scarce populations, the labour supply is generally inadequate. Hence, cultivation mainly depends on the machine.
- Extensive farming is, in fact, capital-intensive farming. It requires skilled labour, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and agricultural machines.
- Labour wages are high because of the short supply of agricultural labour.
- In extensive farming, a selection of crops is made which is most suitable for the farmland environment.
- Per hectare yield is low, but per capita production is high.
- This farming is highly market-oriented. Hence, the selection of crops depends on the demand of the market. Sometimes, international markets become the determinant factor.
- Wheat is a major food grain; it is followed by maize and corn.
- It has great importance for raising food and fodder crops. Often cotton is cultivated and raised in this farming as a cash crop.
- Single cropping or monoculture is the most striking feature of the cropping pattern in extensive farming.
- Sometimes, raising cattle and livestock becomes an important feature of this farming.
- The cost of production is minimum; because machines do the work in the agricultural field.
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Extensive Farming Advantages
- Total production in this farming is quite large; hence farmers get handsome profits.
- Production cost is low; therefore, marginal profits are high.
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Extensive Farming Disadvantages
- Extensive farming is capital-intensive; therefore, initial capital investment is high.
- (Dearth of skilled agricultural labour often poses a problem in these lands of low population density.
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Extensive Farming and Intensive Farming
Extensive farming and intensive farming are two different types of agricultural practices. The main differences between the two are in the level of inputs and the amount of land used.
Differences Between Extensive and Intensive Farming
Some key differences between extensive and intensive farming include:
- Land Use: Extensive farming uses a large area of land to produce relatively low yields, while intensive farming uses a smaller area of land to produce high yields.
- Input Use: Extensive farming involves minimal use of inputs, such as fertilizers and pesticides, while intensive farming involves high use of inputs to maximize yields.
- Labour: Extensive farming requires relatively little labour, while intensive farming requires more labour to manage the high inputs and production levels.
- Environmental Impact: Intensive farming practices can have a higher environmental impact due to the use of high inputs and the potential for pollution, while extensive farming practices often rely on natural resources and have a lower impact.
In summary, extensive and intensive farming are two different agricultural practices that vary in the amount of land and inputs used to produce crops or livestock. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of farming method depends on local conditions, resources, and goals.
Extensive Farming UPSC
The quantity of labour and capital inputs required to grow farms determines the difference between extensive farming and intensive farming. Compared to the quantity of land it uses, intensive farming requires a lot of labour and resources. Extensive farming, on the other hand, entails growing big farms with comparatively fewer labour and capital inputs.
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