1. What conditions are necessary to grow food crops? When those conditions aren’t ideal, what do farmers do to ameliorate those conditions? What are the impacts of those practices? (10 pts.)
  2. How is China’s commitment to be grain self-sufficient backfiring in terms of soil fertility, water availability, and the country’s ability to keep production rates at pace with its food needs? What are the predicted impacts on the U.S. grain supply and our own food prices? (10 pts.)
  3. Describe how Midwestern farming practices impact the health of the Gulf of Mexico. (10 pts.)
  4. After reading the “Boss Hog” article from Rolling Stones, describe some of the impacts of Confined Animal Feeding Operations and other industrial scale agricultural practices on animals, farm workers, and water and air quality. What can be done to reduce these kinds of impacts?
  5. Modern agricultural practices are heavily dependent on oil (gas, diesel) for planting, harvesting, fertilizing, processing and transporting food. What will be the alternatives for these practices or these fuels as we move into an era where oil is increasingly scarce?

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