Society has created the conception of an ideal farm: conscious in environmental impact, local, small in size, and family owned. In contrast, the large-scale farmer has been portrayed to be exploitive of natural resources and inconsiderate of the environment. But is this supported by empirical data? This study is an environmental assessment and comparison of practices utilized in the small and large scale production of almonds and tomatoes in California.
Results revealed that there are no apparent differences in the production of almonds and tomatoes at the small and large scale, due to specific necessities required for the crop to succeed, such as water and energy inputs. Size of operation did create differences between the two scales compared. The larger scale farmers were able to implement efficient technologies more quickly, which could potentially reduce their environmental impacts, while the smaller scale farmers had a longer timeline of efficient technology incorporation. The findings suggest that smaller farm size does not necessarily indicate more sustainable farming practices.
|Commitee:||Jocoy, Christine L., Pepper, David A.|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 55/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Almonds, Crop production, Tomatoes|
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