AP Human Geography : Agriculture, Food Production, & Rural Land Use

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Human Geography

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Subsistence

Swidden agriculture is a form of subsistence agriculture that is defined by which of the following activities?

Possible Answers:

Cutting down trees and lighting the remaining plants on fire

Growing one crop exclusively in all fields

Rotating crops between different fields depending on the season

Planting multiple crops in one plot of land

Flooding a piece of land to stimulate growth

Correct answer:

Cutting down trees and lighting the remaining plants on fire

Explanation:

"Swidden" or "slash-and-burn" agriculture is a form of subsistence farming practiced all over the world, although it is most widely found in tropical regions such as Amazonia. One of the oldest forms of agriculture, swidden involves clearing the forestation and growth in a desired field with axes, then burning the stumps to eliminate obstructions and enhance the soil. This practice has harmful effects of rainforests in which it is practiced and does not produce high yield for its farmers, causing ecological and economic problems.

Example Question #1 : Agriculture, Food Production, & Rural Land Use

Which of the following is a subsistence crop?

Possible Answers:

Rubber

Papyrus

Corn

Cotton

Tobacco

Correct answer:

Corn

Explanation:

Corn is the only subsistence crop of the presented options. Tobacco, cotton, and rice are all high intensive plantation crops. Tobacco, cotton, rubber, and papyrus are also not edible, therefore disqualifying them from being considered subsistence crops.

Example Question #1 : Rural Land Use & Settlement Patterns

Which of these most accurately describes subsistence agriculture?

Possible Answers:

A farmer has only one cow; he trades some of the cow's milk for vegetables at the market.

A small family tends an herb garden, and all of the herbs are used to flavor their home-cooked meals.

An extensive farm with many outside workers produces crops for the entire town.

A small farm is run solely by the family and most (or all) crops produced are consumed by the family.

A local farmer only grows corn; his family consumes some of the corn, but he sells more than half of his crop of corn in a farmer's market.

Correct answer:

A small farm is run solely by the family and most (or all) crops produced are consumed by the family.

Explanation:

Subsistence agriculture involves food production mainly for the family. A farmer will grow most everything that the family would consume, and anything leftover will go to the local community rather than to a big market.

Example Question #1 : Agriculture, Food Production, & Rural Land Use

Which of the following crops is a subsistence crop?

Possible Answers:

Cotton 

Ginger

Acai berries

Rice

Cocoa

Correct answer:

Rice

Explanation:

By definition, a subsistence crop is a crop that is grown primarily for the purpose of feeding/sustaining farmers and their families, with any surplus going towards trade. Of the following answer choices, rice is the only one that can be characterized as a subsistence crop, as rice is a staple food in many agricultural regions. 

Example Question #1 : Rural Land Use & Settlement Patterns

Which of the following is not a feature of an agricultural cash crop?

Possible Answers:

Grown for maximum efficiency

Not suitable for subsistence farming

Produced according to market trends

Frequently grown as a monoculture

Only kept by the producer and never distributed

Correct answer:

Only kept by the producer and never distributed

Explanation:

A "cash crop" is an agricultural crop that is purposely made strictly to be sold in a market environment for as much money as possible. Most cash crops, which include cotton, opium, grains, and many other products, are grown in a monoculture environment, where they are the only product grown on a piece of land. By their nature, cash crops are not a form of subsistence farming, as they are always produced to be used beyond a grower's own home and family.

Example Question #1 : Agriculture, Food Production, & Rural Land Use

Which of the following terms best describes the practices of a group of farmers who rely on one or two economically lucrative crops?

Possible Answers:

Pastoralism

Aquaculture

Ranching

Cash Cropping

Correct answer:

Cash Cropping

Explanation:

When farmers grow a few lucrative crops, they cash cropping. Cash cropping involves growing one or a few crops that can be sold for a relatively high price. 

Example Question #7 : Settlement Patterns Of Major Agriculture

Most cash crops are grown __________.

Possible Answers:

through hydroponics

through aquaculture

on plantations

on small cooperatives

in the developed world

Correct answer:

on plantations

Explanation:

A cash crop is a crop like coffee or tobacco; something that is grown for profit and to meet some luxury rather than to sustain the population. Cash crops are primarily grown on plantations in the developing world. Cash crops, while generally grown in the developing world, are most often exported to the developed world.

Example Question #1 : Settlement Patterns Of Major Agriculture

Plantation agriculture occurs primarily in __________.

Possible Answers:

tundra

the Northern Hemisphere

arid climates

tropical climates

temperate climates

Correct answer:

tropical climates

Explanation:

Plantation agriculture is defined by the production of one or more usually cash crops on a large swathe of land. It is most common in tropical climates where cash crops generally grow more naturally.

Example Question #1 : Agriculture, Food Production, & Rural Land Use

Which of the following types of farming is not historically prevalent in the United States of America?

Possible Answers:

Dairy farming

Mixed-crop farming

None of the other answers

Livestock ranching

Grain farming

Correct answer:

None of the other answers

Explanation:

Mixed-crop farming, livestock ranching, dairy farming, and grain farming are all historically prevalent in the United States of America.

Example Question #1 : Agriculture, Food Production, & Rural Land Use

What name is given to the method of growing crops in nutrient solutions rather than in soil?

Possible Answers:

Salinization

Irrigation

Collectivization

Genetic modification

Hydroponics

Correct answer:

Hydroponics

Explanation:

“Hydroponics” is the name given to the method of growing crops in nutrient solutions instead of in soil. This allows food to be grown in arid climates and increases the geographic range in which many crops can be grown. It is common, for example, in desert climates where the soil is harsh and unforgiving.

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