From mechanization to informatization, how did U.S. agriculture conquer cities and land in a century
source: time: 2021-03-23
The United States is located in central North America, bordered by Canada to the north, Mexico to the south, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The land area is 9.37 million square kilometers, of which the plains below 500 meters above sea level account for 55% of the land area; the cultivated land area is more than 2.8 billion mu, accounting for more than 20% of the total land area and 13% of the world's total cultivated land area. Moreover, more than 70% of the arable land is concentrated in the large plains and inland lowlands in a large area of contiguous distribution, and the soil is mostly grassland black soil (including chernozem), chestnut soil and dark brown calcite soil. Mainly, the organic matter content is high, which is especially suitable for the growth of crops; the natural grassland area is 3.63 billion mu, accounting for 26.5% of the total land area, accounting for 7.9% of the world’s natural grassland area, ranking third in the world; the forest area is about 270 million hectares, forest coverage The rate is about 33%, that is, 1/3 of the country's land area is forest. The mainland has a northern temperate and subtropical climate; the southern tip of Florida has a tropical climate; Alaska has a subarctic continental climate; Hawaii has a tropical oceanic climate; most parts of the country have abundant and evenly distributed rainfall, with an average annual rainfall of 760 mm.
This unique geographical environment, diversified suitable climate, and rich land resources provide the necessary material foundation for the United States to become the world's most developed country in agriculture.
For decades, the United States has always occupied a leading position in the world's agricultural production and export fields. Among them:
(1) Crop production. Taking 2007 as an example, the United States had a total of 2.076 million farms, and its grain output accounted for about one-fifth of the world's total output. It is the world's largest exporter of agricultural products, such as wheat 56 (million tons), and third in the world. , Accounting for 9.3% of the world's total output; exports 35.5 (million tons), accounting for 32.1% of the world's total exports. Corn 332 (million tons), the world's first, accounted for 42.6% of the world's total output; the export volume was 63 (million tons), which accounted for 64.5% of the world's total export volume. Soybean is 70 (million tons), the world's first, accounting for 32.0% of the world's total output; exports are 29.7 (million tons), accounting for 39.4% of the world's total exports. Rice (processed) 6.3 (million tons), the 12th in the world, accounting for 1.5% of the world's total output; exports of 3.0 (million tons), accounting for 9.7% of the world's total exports. Cotton 21.6 (million bales), the third in the world, accounting for 17.7% of the world's total output; exports 13.0 (million bales), accounting for 34.9% of the world's total exports.
In addition, some other crop products in the United States also have greater competitive advantages in the international market. For example, in 2008, the output of rhizomes in the United States was 19.96 million tons, ranking eighth in the world; peanuts 2.335 million tons, ranking fourth in the world 660,000 tons of rapeseed, ranking 13th in the world; 27.603 million tons of sugarcane, ranking 10th in the world; 26.837 million tons of sugar beets, ranking third in the world; 28.203 million tons of fruits (excluding melons), ranking the world’s first Four; wait.
(2) Animal husbandry production. The United States has always been a superpower in the production and export of livestock products. Taking 2008 as an example, main products such as beef 12.236 million tons, accounting for 19% of world output, ranked first in the world; pork 10.462 million tons, accounting for 10% of world output , Ranking second in the world; 2014.1 million tons of poultry meat, accounting for 22% of world production, ranking first in the world; eggs 5.339 million tons, accounting for 9% of world production, ranking second in the world; milk 86.179 million tons, accounting for 15% of world output, ranking first in the world; cheese 4.82 million tons, accounting for more than 30% of world output, ranking first in the world.
(3) Fishery production. Taking 2007 as an example, fish production was 4.109 million tons, ranking sixth in the world, of which marine fish was 3.791,000 tons and freshwater fish was 318,000 tons.
(4) Forest product production. Taking 2008 as an example, the main products such as hazelnuts were 33,000 tons, ranking third in the world; walnuts were 290,000 tons, ranking second in the world.
The population of the United States is only about 300 million, of which the agricultural population is less than 2% of the total population of the country, but only 6 million people. However, under the strict implementation of the fallow production restriction system, the world’s most numerous varieties are produced. Abundant, high-quality grains, livestock products and other agricultural products. The reason is that in addition to the unique natural conditions, the success of American agriculture should also be attributed to the following main factors:
1. The largest agricultural planting belt in the United States
The formation and distribution of its agricultural planting zone is the result of the comprehensive influence of many factors such as climate (temperature, precipitation, light, humidity, etc.), topography, soil, water source, population (market, labor, economy) and so on. This large-area planting model based on geographic environment can maximize the advantages of natural conditions to form a scale effect; it is conducive to the optimal allocation of resources, the generation of brands, and the improvement of the quality of agricultural products; it is conducive to large-scale mechanized production, standardized production and Specialized production and agricultural industrialization management; it is conducive to the construction of large-scale water conservancy and other agricultural infrastructure and the promotion and application of agricultural technology. It directly helps American farmers greatly improve agricultural production efficiency, and ultimately achieves cost minimization and profit The purpose of maximization.
The agricultural planting belts in the United States are mainly distributed in five regions, of which:
(1) The pasture cow belt in the Northeast and "New England". Refers to the 12 states east of West Virginia. The natural conditions are wet and cold climate, barren soil, short frost-free period, not suitable for cultivation, but suitable for the growth of pasture and silage corn, so it is suitable for the development of animal husbandry. In addition, the area is also a major production area for potatoes, apples and grapes.
(2) The corn belt in the north-central part. Refers to the 8 states near the Great Lakes. The natural conditions are low and flat terrain, deep soil, high temperature in spring and summer, and high humidity, which is extremely conducive to the growth and development of corn. Therefore, this region has become the world's largest corn production area; at the same time; This is also the largest soybean producing area in the United States, with soybean farms accounting for 54% of the country's total; in addition, the production of wheat here also occupies an important position in the United States.
(3) Great Plains Wheat Belt. Located in the central and northern regions of the United States, spanning 9 states. This is a high plain below 500 meters above sea level. The terrain is flat, the soil is fertile, rain and heat are at the same time, the water source is sufficient, and the winter is long and severely cold, suitable for wheat growth. The wheat sown area in this region usually accounts for 70% of the country.
(4) The cotton belt in the south. Mainly refers to the five states of the Mississippi Delta on the transatlantic coast. The natural conditions of this area are low and flat, fertile soil, low latitude, sufficient heat, abundant precipitation in spring and summer and dry autumn, suitable for cotton maturity. About one-third of the country’s cotton farms are concentrated here, with a sown area of more than 1.6 million hectares, and the output accounts for 36% of the country. Among them, Arkansas is also the largest rice producing area in the United States, with a total output of 43% of the country. In addition, the southwestern United States, including the California and Arizona river valley regions known as the "sunbelt", also account for 22% of the country's output.
(5) Comprehensive agricultural areas along the Pacific coast, mainly including Washington, Oregon, and California. The agricultural belt is affected by the Pacific Warm Current, and the climate is mild and humid, which is suitable for the growth of a variety of crops. Most of the vegetables, fruits and dried fruits in the United States come from this place; in addition, it is also rich in rice and wheat.
2. U.S. agricultural technology is the most developed
Throughout history, agricultural science and technology has always led and run through the entire development process of American agriculture. Its large-scale system of scientific research, education, and promotion combined with huge funding has been extremely successful, and it has contributed to the promotion of the United States as the world's largest agricultural industry. Powerful countries have played a key leading role.
At present, there are four major research centers in the United States (affiliated by the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture), more than 130 agricultural colleges, 56 state agricultural experiment stations, 57 federal-state cooperative regional extension stations, and more than 3,300 agricultural cooperative extension agencies. There are 63 forestry colleges, 27 veterinary colleges, 9,600 agricultural scientists, and about 17,000 agricultural technology extension personnel. In addition, there are 1,200 scientific research institutions in the United States that mainly serve different natures in the agricultural field. Their service projects mainly include undertaking commissioned development and transferring scientific and technological achievements. In addition, the advantages of American agricultural high-tech are also embodied in three aspects, namely, agricultural mechanization, agricultural biotechnology, and agricultural informatization.
(1) Highly mechanized agricultural production
U.S. farms have a wide variety of mechanized equipment and complete supporting facilities, such as various types of tractors (about 5 million units, mostly above 73.5KW, up to 276KW); various combine harvesters (1.5 million units); various deep Loosening machinery (chisel deep loosening, wing shovel deep loosening, vibrating deep loosening and gooseneck deep loosening, etc.); various soil preparation machinery (disc harrows, toothed harrows, roller rakes, rollers, light soil rippers, etc.) ; Various seeding machines (grain drills, corn drills, cotton seeders, pasture spreaders, etc.); various planting protection machines (sprayers, dusters, soil treatment machines, seed treatment machines, particle spreaders, etc.) and All kinds of combined operation machinery and all kinds of furrow irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, drip irrigation equipment, etc., basically realize almost everything from arable land, sowing, irrigation, fertilization, spraying to harvesting, threshing, processing, transportation, selection, drying, storage, etc. Mechanization of crop production. In terms of livestock and poultry breeding, especially chicken and cattle, the production of livestock products has already been mechanized and automated due to the extensive use of complete sets of machinery and equipment such as feed grinders, milking machines, and milk preservation and processing. There are many other agricultural products processing, the same only need to press the button to automatically complete.
Such large-scale mechanized production has greatly improved the production efficiency of American agriculture. Now, on average, each agricultural laborer on American farms can cultivate 450 acres of land, can take care of 60,000 to 70,000 chickens, 5,000 cattle, and produce more than 100,000 kilograms of grains. It produces about 10,000 kilograms of meat and feeds 98 Americans and 34 foreigners.
(2) Leading the world's agricultural biotechnology
Another important feature of American agricultural high technology is that it always attaches great importance to the wide application of biotechnology in the field of agricultural production. The reason is that the animal and plant varieties improved by biotechnology can greatly improve the quality, yield and disease resistance of animals and plants. , Which can greatly increase the labor productivity of American agriculture. For example, a major breakthrough in traditional agricultural biotechnology such as hybrid breeding has brought huge economic benefits to the United States. Among them, a high-yielding hybrid corn variety has an average yield of 8697 kg/ha in 1994, an increase of 92% from 1970. %; A certain preferred hybrid pig can increase daily weight gain by 1.5% and reduce feed consumption by 5-10%; and high-quality hybrid cattle can often produce 10-15% more beef. In addition, the widespread use of frozen semen artificial insemination technology in American dairy cows, beef cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry has also significantly increased the reproduction rate of these animals.
At present, genetically modified plants are a key field in the research and application of modern agricultural biotechnology. In this regard, the United States is far ahead of other countries. Transgenic plants refer to the use of recombinant DNA technology to transfer various new traits of different plants and even animals to the required plants to cultivate a batch of high-yield, insect-resistant, disease-resistant, drought- and flood-resistant characteristics. New varieties of fine crops. For example, use genetic engineering technology to introduce some high-protein genes into cereal crops to obtain high-protein wheat and high-protein corn; transfer bacterial insecticidal genes into cotton to make cotton resistant to cotton bollworm; Low-temperature genes were cloned into tomatoes to obtain freeze-resistant tomatoes; cactus genes were transplanted into wheat and soybean plants, and new high-yield cereal varieties that could grow on dry and barren land were obtained.
As of 2004, through genetic recombination, a biotechnology breeding method, the United States has successfully cultivated many genetically modified crops such as insect-resistant cotton, insect-resistant corn, herbicide-resistant corn, insect-resistant potatoes, herbicide-resistant soybeans, canola, and cotton. Among them, 59 varieties (including 17 biotech corn varieties, 9 rapeseed varieties, 8 cotton varieties, 6 tomato varieties, 4 potato varieties, 3 soybean varieties, 3 sugar beet varieties, 2 pumpkin varieties, rice, Wheat, flax, papaya, Roman melon, chicory, and grape cut bentgrass (1 each) have been approved for commercialization and wide application, greatly improving the quality and yield of American crops. For example, the US biotech soybean area in 2004 was 2573. The area of biotech corn was 14.74 million hectares, while the area of biotech cotton was 4.21 million hectares, the largest in the world. In the same year, the United States increased crop production by 6.6 billion pounds and increased revenue by 2.3 billion US dollars, but insect-resistant products A reduction of 34% and a reduction of 15.6 million pounds have saved a lot of costs for American farmers and greatly reduced environmental pollution.
In other areas of agricultural biotechnology, the United States also has a greater competitive advantage. For example: In terms of biological pesticides, the United States has been able to extract useful substances from natural enemies of pests, or synthesize toxic substances in natural enemies of pests to make biological pesticides to prevent and control plant diseases and insect pests; the United States also uses the ideas of biological pesticides and genetic modification technology to produce If there are microbial strains with a wide range of insecticides and strong toxicity, they can be "cured with bacteria" as long as they are sprayed on the pests that invade crops, achieving the purpose of killing insects and protecting the environment.
In terms of genetically modified animals, American scientists have successfully transferred certain animal genes to the fertilized eggs of cattle, pigs, sheep and other domestic animals and poultry, thus obtaining excellent breeds of livestock and poultry; in addition, the United States has used genetic engineering methods to transfer certain The animal growth hormone gene is transferred to the bacteria, and then the bacteria multiply to produce a large number of useful hormones. These hormones can promote protein synthesis and fat consumption in the livestock and poultry metabolism process, thereby accelerating growth and development, that is, increasing the output of livestock and poultry and improving the quality of products without increasing feed consumption.
In terms of research on the prevention and control of livestock and poultry diseases, the United States has been able to isolate and clone immune genes, which has taken a big step towards the control and elimination of livestock and poultry diseases; using biotechnology, the United States has also successfully developed some genetic engineering vaccines and medicines for animals. (Including growth hormone for livestock) and accurate and rapid detection and diagnosis methods.
In addition, the United States leads the world especially in basic research on agricultural biotechnology, such as plant molecular biology, animal and plant gene mapping, exogenous gene introduction technology, and chromosome recognition. Other biotechnologies such as animal cell engineering and cloning technology in the United States are leading the world. The world also has certain advantages.
Currently, there are 10 of the world’s top 20 agricultural biotechnology companies in the United States; there are 3 of the top 5 companies in the United States. This shows the advanced nature of agricultural biotechnology in the United States.
Now the United States has entered an era of transition from traditional agriculture to bio-engineered agriculture. With the widespread application of biotechnology in the field of agricultural production, the United States has initially realized its desire to improve animals and plants according to human will, which means the future The United States has unlimited potential in improving the variety, quality, and yield of agricultural products, and in solving human famine. Obviously, agricultural biotechnology is of great significance for the United States to ensure its status as the world's largest agricultural power.
(3) Information technology has created "precision agriculture" in the United States
The United States is the first country in the world to enter the information society. The popularization and application of its computer and Internet technology and the extensive information highway have created the necessary conditions for the informatization of agriculture in the United States. At present, information technology has penetrated into all aspects of American agricultural production, directly contributing to the rise of "precision agriculture" in the United States, greatly reducing the production cost of American agriculture, and greatly improving the production efficiency of American agriculture and the international competitiveness of agricultural products. .
The main components of the U.S. agricultural information system:
a. AGNET, the agricultural computer network system, is by far the largest agricultural information system in the world. The system covers 46 states in the United States, 6 provinces in Canada and 7 countries outside the United States and Canada, and connects the United States Department of Agriculture, the Department of Agriculture in 15 states, 36 universities and a large number of agricultural enterprises.
b. Agricultural databases, including agricultural production databases and agricultural economic databases. Agricultural databases are an important basic project of agricultural informatization. Therefore, the US government, universities, scientific research institutes, national libraries, and well-known food and agricultural enterprises attach great importance to the construction and utilization of databases, such as the National Crop Variety Resources established by the United States Department of Agriculture. The information management system provides services of 600,000 samples of plant resources for agricultural breeding across the United States. At present, there are 428 electronic agricultural databases cataloged by the US Department of Agriculture. The most famous and most widely used is the A-GRICOLA database jointly developed by the National Library of Agriculture and the Department of Agriculture. It contains more than 100,000 copies. Agricultural science and technology reference materials.
c. Professional agricultural information websites, such as a soybean information network system recently developed in the United States, involve the technology and operation of each link of international and domestic soybean production, supply and marketing; at one end of the network system are dozens of experts engaged in soybean research. At the other end are farmers engaged in soybean production, which can provide more than 50 pieces of production, supply and marketing information per month on average.
d. E-mail system, an agricultural information system established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and exchanged through the Department of Agriculture Information Center, connected to the Internet. Among them, only the Agricultural Market Service Bureau, whose computer system processes about 50 million characters of market information every day.
e. 3S technology is agricultural remote sensing technology (RS), geographic information system (GIS) and global satellite positioning system (GPS). This is the world's first system established by the United States for global crop yield estimation and agricultural precision production. .
f. Radio Frequency Identification System (RFID). It is a non-contact type that uses alternating magnetic or electromagnetic field spatial coupling and radio frequency signal modulation and demodulation technology to realize automatic identification and tracking of target objects.
The above is only part of the U.S. agricultural information system.
There are more than 2 million farmers in the United States. How do they use these information systems to achieve precise agricultural production?
First, through the network information system, American farmers can obtain market information in a timely, complete, and continuous manner, and use this to accurately adjust their agricultural production and agricultural product sales strategies to make them targeted and effectively reduce the risk of blind operation . For example, after knowing the latest data on agricultural product spot and futures prices, international and domestic market demand, international and domestic production volume, import and export volume, etc., farmers can decide what to produce, how much to produce, and how to sell to avoid future agricultural products. Or after learning about the improvement of crop varieties, weather conditions and other information, the farmer can also know what kind of seeds to purchase, what kind of planting methods to adopt, and when to plant what kind of crop will yield the highest yield in order to obtain the maximum benefit ；
At the same time, he can also conduct agricultural technical consultations or purchase appropriate agricultural equipment and appropriate pesticides on the Internet based on the latest agricultural technology, new agricultural machinery, animal and plant pest control and other information. For example, Ken Polmugreen, a farmer from Kansas in the United States, has become accustomed to keeping an eye on information about the world’s climate, grain conditions, and grain purchase prices on the Internet. After learning that the Egyptian government wanted to buy large amounts of "hard white" wheat, he knew This kind of wheat will be a hot item in the market this year, so he changed the wheat varieties planted this season and finally made a lot of profits.
The second is to use 3S technology, namely agricultural remote sensing technology (RS), geographic information system (GIS) and global satellite positioning system (GPS) to achieve precise planting of crops.
Remote sensing technology (RS) refers to the visible light, infrared, microwave and other waveband (multi-spectral) sensors equipped on aerospace vehicles to use the different reflection and radiation characteristics of crops and soil on electromagnetic waves to obtain crops and soils in different locations. Relevant data is used to dynamically monitor and evaluate the nitrogen nutrition status, growth, yield, pests and diseases of crops, as well as soil salinity, desertification, weathering and erosion, and the increase and decrease of water and nutrients.
Geographic Information System (GIS), after receiving and processing remote sensing data, GPS data, and manually collected and submitted data, the system can automatically generate a digital map of the farm, which is marked with crop information and soil information of each community.
The global positioning system (GPS) is mainly used for spatial positioning and navigation.
Using 3S technology, farmers can accurately adjust various soil and crop management measures according to changes in field factors. For example, when fertilizing crops, when a large tractor (equipped with a GPS receiver with a display and a data processor) ) When spraying fertilizers in the field, the display screen can display two overlapping images at the same time, one is a digital map (it is marked with the soil type of each plot, the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content, the yield per plant in the previous season, and the yield index of the current year. Etc.), the other is a grid coordinate map (which can display the location of the plot where the tractor is located at any time based on GPS signals). At the same time, the data processor can automatically calculate each plot based on the digital map of each plot prepared in advance. The fertilizer distribution ratio and spray amount of the plot, and give instructions to the automatic spraying machine.
The same method is also suitable for spraying insecticides; in addition, the system can automatically determine the time of watering and fertilizing according to soil moisture and crop growth. According to statistics, the use of this precision agriculture technology can save 10% of fertilizer, 23% of pesticides, and 25 kg of seeds per hectare; at the same time, it can increase the yield of wheat and corn by more than 15%.
The third is to achieve precise management of livestock breeding through the radio frequency identification system (RFID).
The radio frequency identification system RFID is mainly composed of electronic tags and readers. Each electronic tag only has a unique electronic code, and the reader has two types: fixed and hand-held.
In the agricultural field of the United States, RFID systems are usually used to identify and track domestic animals, especially cattle. The principle is to implant electronic tags on the cow’s ears, which are marked with detailed electronic data of the cow, such as the cow’s electronics. Code, place of origin, age, breed information, quarantine and immune information, disease information, genealogy and reproduction information, etc. When the cow enters the recognition range of the reader, the electronic tag on the cow’s ear will receive the radio frequency signal from the reader Induction current is generated to obtain energy, and then the electronic data such as the electronic code carried by itself is sent to the reader for reading and then sent to the animal information management system, so that people can know the identity of the cow, etc., thus realizing the right to this cow. The identification and accurate tracking of cattle have strengthened the farmer's ability to accurately manage the herd.
The principle is the same for the identification and tracking of livestock other than cattle.
In addition, the entire process of agricultural products from production, transportation, storage to processing and sales can use the radio frequency identification system RFID, which enables people to track and identify agricultural products from the table to the field, greatly improving the food safety of the United States. The guarantee capacity and the efficiency of agricultural production in the United States.
3. The U.S. has the highest degree of agricultural industrialization
What we usually said in the past mainly refers to traditional agricultural planting and breeding. However, agriculture in the modern sense includes not only planting and breeding, but also agricultural machinery, seeds, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, feed, Upstream agricultural industries such as fuel, technology, and information services, as well as downstream industries such as transportation, storage, processing, packaging, sales, and textiles, have both primary industry, secondary industry and tertiary industry. In other words, around agricultural production, modern agriculture has formed a complete agricultural industry chain from upstream to downstream, which is a very large industrial cluster. Obviously, if any one of these chains is disconnected, it will seriously affect the effective operation of the entire agricultural industry chain, leading to a substantial decline in overall agricultural production efficiency.
Therefore, the development of modern agriculture should form an organic and unified whole of all industries in this chain, pay attention to the balanced and coordinated development of each link, and effectively form a one-stop model of agriculture, industry and commerce, and production, supply and marketing; and to operate modern industry The way to manage agricultural production is to be market-oriented and optimize the allocation of various resources and the input of various production factors to ensure the best synergy, the highest yield and the greatest economic benefit. This is integrated agriculture, which the West calls agricultural industrialization.
The United States is the birthplace of agricultural industrialization in the world, and has formed a very mature and developed agricultural industrialization system.
(1) The main organizational forms of agricultural industrialization in the United States:
A. Vertical integration means that one enterprise completes the entire process of production, processing and sales of agricultural products. For example, Del Monte, controlled by the California Consortium, is the world’s largest vegetable canning company. It operates 800,000 acres of land at home and abroad, with 38 farms, 54 processing plants, 13 canning factories, and 6 truck transfer stations. , 1 marine loading and unloading station, 1 air freight distribution center and 10 distribution centers, as well as 24 restaurants, etc.
B. Horizontal integration, that is, different enterprises or farms carry out the production, processing, and sales of agricultural products according to the contract. For example, the Penfield Company of Pennsylvania, in the form of a contract, united 98 chicken farms to specialize in the breeding of broilers and laying hens. The company provides breeders, feed, fuel, pharmaceuticals and other equipment to the chicken farms, and is responsible for the purchase of chickens. The finished broilers and eggs from the farm are then processed and sold.
C. The third category is that different farms and companies produce, process, and sell according to market price signals. Similar to my country's "professional market + farmer households" business model, this is a dominant business model in the United States, which is conducive to full competition in various links such as agricultural production, processing, and sales, thereby resolving various business risks.
(2) The salient feature of the industrialization of agriculture in the United States is that the planting and breeding industries in the United States have achieved regional specialization, large-scale layout, and the mechanization, intensification, enterpriseization, and socialization of agricultural production.
Regional specialization and large-scale layout are an obvious feature of American agricultural production. For example, the central and northeastern region mainly produces corn, soybeans and wheat, the southern part of the Pacific coast is mainly rich in fruits and vegetables, and the southern part of the Atlantic region is famous for its tobacco-producing areas. Wait; there are even 5 states in the United States that grow only one crop, and 4 states only grow 2 kinds of crops. Texas has 14% of the country’s beef cattle, and Iowa’s hog population is the country’s total. Arkansas is the largest rice-producing region in the United States (43% of the country’s output), and the California wine industry cluster has 680 commercial winemakers and thousands of grape growers, etc.; currently, the United States The specialization ratio of cotton farms is 79.6%, vegetable farms 87.3%, field crop farms 81.1%, horticultural crop farms 98.5%, fruit tree farms 96.3%, beef cattle farms 87.9%, dairy farms 84.2%, and poultry farms 96.3%; The nine major agricultural industrial belts in the United States are even more typical specialized agricultural production areas, each of which has gradually formed large-scale agricultural industrial clusters.
The mechanization of agricultural production means that the United States has achieved mechanized operations in almost all areas of agricultural production.
The intensification of agricultural production, due to the widespread use of high-tech in the field of agricultural production in the United States, has greatly improved the degree of intensification of agricultural production in the United States. The rise of "precision agriculture" is the best proof.
The industrialization of agricultural production refers to the production of agricultural products of standardized specifications and standardized quality through process specialization and assembly line operation in accordance with the principles of factory production. The social nature of labor is close to that of industry. For example, subtropical vegetables and fruits are harvested directly from the field. Transported to the factory, after registration and weighing, it enters the processing line for cleaning, grading, packaging, refrigeration, etc.; there is also American animal husbandry production, from brooding, breeding, egg and milk production, etc., by specialized companies in accordance with standards The process, specifications and quality of the production, and so on.
With the socialization of agricultural production services, American farms are mostly family farms. Even a large farm with a scale of 530-1333 hectares has only 3 or 5 people. Such a large workload depends on the farm alone. , Obviously incompetent. However, the socialized service system of agricultural production in the United States is very developed. There are a large number of specialized agricultural service companies in the society. The supply of production materials before production, the arable land, sowing, fertilizing, and harvesting during production, and even after production. Transport, storage, sales, etc., as long as you make a phone call, someone will come to your door in time.
Specialization, scale, mechanization, intensification, and service socialization are a mode of operation of modern industry. After they have been applied to agriculture, they have successfully triggered an epoch-making revolution in American agricultural production methods and greatly improved American agriculture. The degree of industrialization and production efficiency.
(3) It is the large-scale agricultural product processing and marketing enterprises in the United States that dominate the process of agricultural industrialization in the United States.
The world’s four largest grain merchants (control 80% of the world’s grain trading volume and have obvious pricing power), there are three in the United States, namely ADM, Bunge and Cargill, which are the top three grain processors in the world A super-large multinational company in the world’s top ten food and oil trading companies; among the world’s top ten food processing companies, six are in the United States, and Kraft and Tyson are among the best; and five of the world’s top ten food retailers are in the United States , Wal-Mart has always been the leader; among them:
ADM has a total of 270 processing plants around the world engaged in the processing and production of agricultural products such as grain and edible oil. It is currently the largest soybean crusher in the United States, the largest wet corn processor, the second largest flour producer, and the second largest grain storage and transportation. It is the world’s largest grain and oilseed joint processor, the world’s largest ethanol producer, and the world’s fifth largest grain exporter. In 2010, ADM's operating income was 69.2 billion yuan, ranking 88th among the world's top 500 companies.
Bunge has more than 450 grain and oil processing plants in 32 countries around the world, with an operating income of 41.9 billion yuan in 2010, ranking 172nd among the world's top 500 companies. At present, Bunge is the largest dried corn processor in the United States, the second largest exporter of soybean products (soybean meal and soybean oil) and the third largest soybean processor, the fourth largest grain storage in the US, the fourth largest grain exporter in the world, and the largest oilseeds. Crop processor.
Cargill currently operates 1,104 factories in 59 countries and is the largest corn feed manufacturer in the United States. It has 188 feed mills and is known as the world's "feed king". At the same time, Cargill is also the third largest flour processing company in the United States; the United States The third largest slaughter, meat packaging and processing plant; the world's largest grain trading company, with the largest number of granaries in the United States.
Kraft Foods is the world's second largest processed food manufacturer after Nestlé Foods of Switzerland. It has operations in more than 70 countries and its products are distributed in more than 150 countries around the world. In 2010, its operating income was 40.4 billion yuan, ranking among the top 500 in the world. Ranked 179th among strong companies. The main products are coffee, candy, hot dogs, biscuits and cheese, and other dairy products.
Tyson Foods Co., Ltd., with an operating income of 27.2 billion yuan in 2010, is ranked 297th among the world's top 500 companies. It is the world’s largest poultry processed food manufacturer. It currently has nine out of the world’s top 100 chain restaurants. In addition, Tyson's beef, pork, and seafood products also occupy a large share of the global market, and are sold in more than 54 countries.
Wal-Mart is the world's largest retail chain, with more than 6,600 stores worldwide. Food retail is one of its most important businesses. In 2010, Wal-Mart ranked first in the world's top 500 with operating income of 408.2 billion yuan.
These large agricultural product processing and marketing companies rely on the advantages of information, technology research and development, capital and marketing to carry out a series of deep processing of agricultural products to increase the added value of agricultural products, and actively explore domestic and international markets to expand production scale and integrate various resources to promote agricultural products in the United States. The integration of supply and marketing, agriculture, industry and commerce has played a very important leading role in improving the comprehensive competitiveness and production efficiency of American agriculture, and has directly promoted the development of American family farms and the industrialization of American agriculture.
(4) U.S. developed upstream agricultural industries such as agricultural machinery, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides have provided a solid material foundation for the industrialization of U.S. agriculture.
Among them, John Deere and Case New Holland are giants in the world's agricultural machinery manufacturing industry, while Monsanto, DuPont, and Maison have leading positions in the global seed, fertilizer and pesticide industries:
John Deere is the world's largest manufacturer of agricultural machinery. It is world-renowned for producing a complete set of high-horsepower tractors and combine harvesters, as well as other comprehensive and serialized agricultural machinery products. In 2010, it ranked among the top 500 in the world with an operating income of 23.1 billion yuan. The company ranks 372 and currently has factories in 17 countries, and its products are sold in more than 160 countries and regions around the world.
Case New Holland Company (headquarters, registration place, and main production base are in the United States), the main products are "Case" and "New Holland" two brands of agricultural tractors, combine harvesters and balers, cotton pickers , Sugarcane harvesters and other series of agricultural machinery. It has 39 production bases, 26 R&D centers and 22 joint ventures in 15 countries. Its products are sold to more than 160 countries and regions through 11,500 distributors all over the world. Annual sales are over 16 billion U.S. dollars.
Monsanto is mainly a multinational agricultural biotechnology company, which mainly uses biotechnology to develop crop markets and herbicide products. Its 4 core crop seeds (corn, soybean, cotton and wheat) and "Nongda" (glyphosate) series Herbicides have brought huge profits to Monsanto. In 2006, Monsanto seed revenue was approximately US$4.5 billion, accounting for 20% of global sales. At present, Monsanto is the world's largest seed company, controlling 23% to 41% of the global grain and vegetable seeds. Especially in the genetically modified seed market, Monsanto has become a monopoly giant with more than 90% of the world’s crops. Genetically modified seeds are all using its patented technology.
DuPont is a diversified large-scale multinational chemical company, ranked 296th in the world's top 500 in 2010, and its business scope covers more than 20 industries such as chemical industry and agriculture. Among them, DuPont’s crop seeds include corn, soybeans, sorghum, sunflower, cotton, rice and wheat. In 2006, DuPont’s seed revenue was approximately US$2.8 billion, making it the second largest seed company in the world. In addition, DuPont’s weeding, sterilization and The three high-quality pesticide products of insecticide are also well-known in the world. Among them, DuPont insecticides include more than eight products such as Kangkuan, more than ten types of fungicides such as Xinwansheng, and more than seven types of herbicides such as Daojiang. In 2007 DuPont's pesticide sales amounted to more than US$2.7 billion, ranking fifth in the world.
The company's fertilizer products are sold in 33 countries on five continents. It is currently the world's largest phosphate fertilizer producer and seller with an annual production capacity of 12.08 million tons, accounting for about 17% of the global phosphate fertilizer production capacity and 58% of the US phosphate fertilizer production capacity; At the same time, Legg Mason is also the world's third largest potash fertilizer producer and one of the world's major nitrogen fertilizer suppliers, with an annual production capacity of 9.277 million tons of comprehensive potash fertilizer and 1.19 million tons of nitrogen fertilizer sales.
(5) In addition, American agricultural cooperatives have also played an important role in promoting the industrialization of American agriculture:
American agricultural cooperatives are loose associations organized spontaneously by individual farmers out of consideration of their own production and marketing interests under the conditions of a market economy, and their purpose is to help each other and benefit members. In rural America, agricultural cooperatives are very popular, and there are three main types: supply and marketing cooperatives, service cooperatives, and credit cooperatives. In 2002, there were more than 3,000 agricultural cooperatives in the United States with 2.79 million members, including 2,760 supply and marketing cooperatives and 380 service cooperatives.
As a non-profit social intermediary organization between family farms and the market, agricultural cooperatives gather dispersed farmers to connect with the market, and as a whole, they unified foreign negotiations, unified material procurement, unified agricultural product sales, and unified services. Jointly respond to market risks. This not only preserves the rights of family farms to produce independently, but also helps farmers solve many problems such as loan financing, agricultural production material supply, agricultural backlogs, internal mutual price reduction, and agricultural technology promotion, etc., thereby reducing Production costs have improved efficiency and promoted agricultural production.
In the process of agricultural industrialization in the United States, in addition to agricultural production, agricultural cooperatives actually played the role of the main body of agricultural industrialization in the United States. On the one hand, agricultural cooperatives can provide farmers with the necessary materials to engage in agriculture. , Such as agricultural machinery and spare parts, seeds, pesticides, feed, fertilizer, fuel oil and other materials; or can be engaged in the processing and sales of agricultural products, such as processing and selling cotton, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, grains and oil crops, livestock and Poultry, dried fruits, rice, sugar and other agricultural products; and provide services related to production, marketing and procurement activities, such as providing cotton gins, automobile transportation, manual seeding, storage, drying, and information and technology services; another On the other hand, as an intermediary organization, agricultural cooperatives have established stable cooperative relations between farmers and various industrial and commercial enterprises through supply, marketing, processing, and services, and laid the foundation for the integrated operation of various industries in the United States. Obviously, agricultural This intermediary role of cooperatives has greatly promoted the process of agricultural industrialization in the United States.
4. The U.S. supports agriculture the most
In just over 200 years, the United States has surpassed many countries known for its agricultural civilization to become the world's largest agricultural power. One of the most important reasons is that successive US governments have regarded agriculture as the lifeblood of the national economy and have adopted vigorous support. The policy of escorting agriculture in terms of agricultural legislation, agricultural infrastructure construction, financial support, financial subsidies, tax relief, etc., has greatly promoted the leap-forward development of agriculture in the United States:
(1) Agricultural legislation
The purpose is to protect agriculture by law and govern agriculture by law. At present, the United States has established a relatively complete agricultural legal system based on and centered on agricultural law and supported by more than 100 important specialized laws.
A. The Agricultural Law, that is, the "Agricultural Adjustment Act" passed by the US Congress in December 1933, its basic goal is to solve the overproduction crisis, increase the prices of agricultural products, and increase the income of farmers. Since then, the law has undergone 17 major amendments in different historical periods, laying the foundation for regulating the overall economic activities of American agriculture.
B. Laws related to the development and utilization of agricultural land. Among them, more than 8 laws such as the Homestead Law and the Land-Grant College Law have greater influence. These laws have achieved privatization of land in the United States, maintaining the best comprehensive utilization of land, and legally It has played an important role in the management and coordination of private land.
C. Laws related to agricultural input and agricultural credit. In addition to the agricultural law, there are more than 10 laws such as the "Agricultural Loan Act" that specifically provide detailed regulations on agricultural input and agricultural credit in the United States, in order to establish and regulate the country’s huge agricultural industry. The credit system has made outstanding contributions.
D. Laws related to strengthening agricultural product price support and protection. In addition to the agricultural law, more than five laws including the Agricultural Product Sales Agreement Act have played a decisive role in the circulation of agricultural products in the United States and agricultural product price support.
E. Laws related to the international trade of agricultural products, such as the "Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act of 1996", have removed barriers for American farmers to enter the world market independently, and greatly expanded the export of American agricultural products.
F. Laws related to the protection of natural resources and the environment, including the Natural Resources Protection and Restoration Act and more than four laws that protect natural resources in the United States by protecting soil, restricting water use, preventing water pollution, and controlling the use of chemical substances such as pesticides. It has played a major role in maintaining ecological balance.
G. Other laws that regulate the economic relations of agriculture in the United States, such as the Cooperative Promotion Act, the Afforestation Act, the Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, the Federal Crop Insurance Act, and the Disaster Relief Act, etc.
(2) Agricultural infrastructure construction
In the past hundred years, in order to promote agricultural development and ensure that agriculture is the strategic foundation of the national economy, the United States has continuously strengthened agricultural infrastructure construction with farmland water conservancy, rural transportation, electricity, telecommunications and the Internet as the main content. The infrastructure of Heahe agriculture has been very complete, and has made outstanding contributions to guaranteeing the modernization of American agriculture. Its specific approach:
The first is Daxing farmland water conservancy construction. The United States has successively built a large number of irrigation and flood prevention reservoirs, dams, irrigation and drainage channels, and laid a large number of drip irrigation pipe networks throughout the country. For example, in order to solve the drought problem in the western region, the United States has successively established the western region. 350 large and medium-sized reservoirs have been built to provide sufficient irrigation water for 12 large farms spread over 54 million acres of land. Among them, California is the largest agricultural state in the United States, and the state has built one of the largest multi-purposes in the world. Water conservancy construction project, the project has a total of 29 storage reservoirs, 18 pumping stations, 4 pumping power plants, 5 hydroelectric power plants and more than 1,000 kilometers of canals and pipelines. At present, the irrigated area in the United States has reached 25 million hectares, accounting for 13% of the arable land area, of which the sprinkler irrigation area is 8 million hectares, ranking first in the world.
The third is to vigorously promote the popularization of rural power. The large-scale construction of rural power in the United States began with the promulgation of the Rural Electrification Act and the Power Cooperatives Act in 1936, which enabled rural power cooperatives to obtain a large amount of low-interest long-term loans to build power plants (Including hydropower, thermal power, etc.), power distribution stations and transmission lines, etc. Moreover, rural power cooperatives can also have the first right to purchase power from all power plants of the federal government with preferential electricity prices to ensure that all farmers in their areas can Get sufficient power supply. At present, the United States is the world’s largest power producer. Its annual power generation accounts for nearly 30% of the world’s total power generation, reaching 4 trillion kilowatt-hours. Moreover, the United States also has 320,000 kilometers of ultra-large-scale high-voltage transmission lines, including regional power stations. And the grid includes 60 power distribution cooperatives and 875 distribution cooperatives of Rural Power in the United States.
Fourth, a large number of rural telecommunications (fixed telephones, mobile phones, cable television, and the Internet, etc.) facilities have been built. As the most developed country in the telecommunications industry, the United States is the first in the world to popularize fixed telephones and mobile phones in rural areas and other areas of the country. , Cable TV and the Internet. At present, the focus of the construction of rural telecommunications in the United States is the upgrading of communication systems in rural areas and broadband Internet access projects. According to the arrangement of the "U.S. Recovery and Reinvestment Program" in 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration received a total of 7.2 billion U.S. dollars in broadband engineering funding. In 2010 alone, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provided financial assistance to 38 U.S. states and states. The tribal area allocated 1.2 billion US dollars in grants and loans to build 126 broadband installation projects, including: high-speed digital subscriber line (DSL), wireless fixed-line and other broadband projects in seven states including Georgia, Texas, and Missouri; Kentucky Optical fiber network projects in some areas of the western state and Tennessee; 10 broadband wireless access network (WiMax) projects in 7 states including Alabama, Ohio and Illinois, etc. The completion of these broadband projects will directly promote U.S. agricultural informatization to a new level and create better conditions for further improving U.S. agricultural production efficiency.
In terms of insurance support, the U.S. agricultural insurance is mainly under the responsibility of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. In 2007 alone, the U.S. agricultural insurance industry covered 272 million acres of planting area, with a liability amount of US$67.35 billion, premiums of US$6.56 billion, and compensation of US$3.54 billion. Government subsidies for agricultural insurance are 3.82 billion US dollars.
For a long time, the U.S. government has maintained a large investment in agricultural credit and agricultural insurance, which has greatly stimulated the development of U.S. agriculture. Moreover, in the current financial crisis, the agricultural credit system and agricultural insurance system of the United States were basically unaffected, and its sufficient funding sources provided strong support to ensure the United States' status as the number one agricultural power.
(4) Financial subsidies
The US agricultural financial subsidy policy began in the "Agricultural Adjustment Act" in 1933. After more than 70 years of development, a relatively complete and systematic agricultural subsidy system has been formed. The whole process can be roughly divided into three stages.
The first stage is the price subsidy policy stage from 1933 to 1995, that is, agricultural subsidies are directly linked to market prices.
The second stage is the income subsidy policy stage from 1996 to 2001, that is, the subsidy is decoupled from the market price of the year and directly included in the income of farmers.
The third stage is the income price subsidy policy stage after 2002. There are both income subsidies and price subsidies. Its main characteristics are:
A. The number of subsidies reached the highest level in history. During the period 2002-2007, the average annual agricultural subsidy expenditure was approximately US$19 billion to US$21 billion, a net increase of US$5.7 billion to US$7.7 billion compared to previous years. The total in 6 years has reached US$118.5 billion. Up to 190 billion US dollars.