Advantages of Industrial Agriculture
1) Cheaper Food: Most staple foods are cheap and prices tend to be predictable over time as a result of a larger food supply to meet the demands of the consumer. Industrialization has also increase the mobility of goods, making it inexpensive to ship food from miles away. Advancements in biotechnology have also developed new breeds of crops that are resistant to specific plant diseases. Pesticides and insecticides improve yields and quality of produce.
Due to a combination of the above factors, farming has become more lucrative, while at the same time lowering prices for consumers. More updated information can be found from United States Department of Agriculture website.
2) Greater Variety and Availability: Because food has become cheaper to produce, farmers can invest in growing or raising more types and varieties of plants and livestock than before. Advancements in biotechnology has also resulted in hybrid varieties or disease resistant plants that can be grown in more places. Finally, advancements in shipping and storing technology means we can still enjoy oranges grown in Florida during cold winters in the Northern states.
3) Longer Shelf-Life and Availability: Food shelf-life has been extended to increase its economic value. New techniques of food preservation, processing and packaging are being uncovered constantly. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration website is a good place to browse if you want to learn more about food preservation.
4) Fewer Geographic Limitations: Farmers have greater access to water due to irrigation. They also have access to fertilizers and other technology such as greenhouses that reduce the impact of seasonal and weather changes. The growing season has become lengthened and places that were previously unable to grow crops can now be cultivated into farm land.
5) Less Dependence on Human Labor: Modern technology has freed farmers from labor constraints. Now they have their pick of willing laborers for tasks that require it, while being able to use machines to do more than human hands ever could. This means farmers are able to afford to hire better-quality workers to complete specialized tasks.
6) Decreased Time to Market: There have been great advancements in methods of food production, processing, packaging, preservation and delivery. This means goods are delievered to markets and grocery stores more quickly than ever. Access to food has never been a problem in highly industrialized or first world countries.