USDA Farm Products
What exactly are farm products classified as? Essentially, farm products are all plants and animals raised on farms. In particular, a crop is a living organism, such as a fruit, plant, or animal that is raised for direct use, food, or other uses, sometimes in association with other products. While livestock refers to non Livestock animals that are typically raised for meat, milk, or eggs, it can also include birds, fish, and rodents.
The need for farming and the industry that supports it is one of the reasons why agriculture has been around for thousands of years. Farming is a vital part of human history and, therefore, the birth certificate of humankind. Throughout human history, advancements in agricultural production and methods have allowed people to live better and more efficiently while helping the environment. One of the most important advances in agriculture over the centuries has been the use of crops as an alternative source of food and fuel.
Farming and crop production was first introduced to the ancient Egyptians around 1200 B.C. With the assistance of grain obtained from domesticated herds and their byproducts, farmers were able to create larger farms and produce more milk, providing an abundance of dairy products to feed the population in the early civilizations. As years passed, grains and other farm products began to be grown in urban centers. As more people became involved in the production of crops, farms grew along with the population. Today, there are nearly two billion acres of farmland in the United States, as well as in many other countries around the world.
The development of the American economy was made possible by the advancements in agricultural production. In fact, during the industrial revolution, the demands for farm products took off and helped to make the entire country an agricultural producer as opposed to a rural one. Today, many farmers are involved in the production of ethanol, cotton, alfalfa, strawberries, and pineapple. The demand for ethanol increases because it is clean burning, making it a great choice for decreasing our dependency on oil. Alfalfa is particularly useful because it can replace oil in diesel engines, which is starting to become more common as the use of biodiesel increases.
Other farm products that have experienced huge increases in agricultural production over the years are peanuts, alfalfa, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, and rice. Many farmers are finding new markets for these and other products every year. As our population ages, the demand for meat will continue to grow as more people turn to vegetarian diets. With more people are becoming health conscious, the demand for vegetarian products such as eggs and dairy will grow as well. Vegetarianism is quickly becoming the new wave of dieting.
In conclusion, the US dairy industry has had a tough time lately with global markets declining, but things could certainly change in the near future. Currently, organic food sales are growing at a very strong 2% annually. This growth has created a market for specialty products such as coconut milk, soya milk, etc. The future for organic food sales in the US looks very bright! The future for farmers in the US and throughout the world is bright!