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Beef production in Canada
During the last fifty years, beef production in Canada has undergone several forms of intensification. In particular, one should mention that the volume of output has increased by more than 100 percent (The Global Economy). This output grew from 0.65 million tons to 1.3 million tons between 1961 and 2007 (The Global Economy).
As a result, businesses representing this sector of the economy can better meet the national demand for beef. This issue is particularly important at the time when the population of Canada grows. Additionally, Canada exports beef to various countries.
In this case, it is also important to speak about the consolidation of ownership; in other words, the total number of farms decreased considerably during the last fifty years (Canadian Beef 1). Therefore, one should not suppose that the growth of production can be explained by the increase in the number of people who wanted to work in this industry. Additionally, a relatively small number of farms own a considerable portion of cows used for beef production (Canadian Beef 1).
For instance, one can mention that about 13 percent of farms possess about 48 percent of cows (Canadian Beef 1). So, one can say that some of these businesses became more competitive. Furthermore, they considerably eroded the market share of other Canadian farms. These are some of the aspects that should be distinguished. These details are important for showing that the intensification of an industry leads to the reduction in the number of businesses operating in a certain market. This is one of the main tendencies should be recognised.
One should keep in mind that the increase in production can be explained by several factors. At first, it is critical to mention the confinement of animals in restrictive facilities or feedlots. This practice is driven by the need to use land more efficiently. This approach is adopted by farms that own more than one hundred of cows. Furthermore, this approach is critical for decreasing the number of employees who should be hired by the company.
Much attention should also be paid to the automation of various processes involved in beef production. Farmers tend to apply automated systems of watering and feeding since they are necessary for handling a large number of cows. Moreover, these practices are useful for reducing operational costs, especially labor expenses.
Furthermore, one should not overlook the use of hormones which intensify the growth of cattle. Therefore, beef cows grow much faster. These practices significantly increase the revenues of many farms; yet, this approach to production has often been criticised because the use of hormones is considered to be unsustainable or even dangerous.
These examples demonstrate that beef production industry has undergone several changes. Some of these transformations can be explained by the attempts to improve the effectiveness of operations. Furthermore, many farms have not been able to withstand the completion. These are the main trends that can be identified. These details are important for showing that the process of intensification can profoundly influence the work of various businesses representing this economic sector.
Egg production in the United States
In turn, it is important to examine the trends which have emerged in the egg production industry of the United States. Much attention should be paid to the growth in the volume of output (American Egg Board 5). For instance, this industry produced 58 billion eggs in 1960, while in 2010 American farms offered 78 billion eggs to the market (American Egg Board 5).
To some degree, this growth has been caused by the increasing demand for such products. Additionally, this tendency can be explained by the adoption of new technologies which enhanced the performance of different farms engaged in the production of eggs.
Furthermore, this industry has become more consolidated. In particular, before 1960, the majority of eggs were sold by small family farms located in different parts of the country. Nevertheless, these small enterprises eventually gave way to larger businesses. At present, this market is dominated by large ranches. Moreover, approximately fifty percent of the market is controlled by 10 or 12 large companies (Ecklinger 182). This tendency has been observed in different segments of the U. S. agricultural industry (Ecklinger 182).
This consolidation of egg production industry began to emerge in the eighties, and it still persists. One should keep in mind that businesses that dominate this market have more resources for winning price competition or investing in new technologies. Furthermore, their supply chain is usually more efficient (Ecklinger 182). Therefore, it is quite possible to say that the consolidation of this industry will continue in the future. These are some of the issues that should not be overlooked.
Additionally, it is important to consider such a trend as the confinement of chickens. Many agricultural businesses make use of battery cages (Ecklinger 183). This trend began to emerge when the market became consolidated and large companies began to focus on the efficiency of land use.
Admittedly, these restrictive practices have often been criticised because chicken stored in such cages are not able to move. Nevertheless, these methods are continued to be adopted by many businesses. Overall, reliance on these restrictive facilities substitutes conventional approaches to the handling of birds. This is one of the details that can be singled out.
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The process of intensification can take form of automation. At first, one should consider the use of artificial lighting that can increase the number of eggs that a chicken can lay during a year. Furthermore, farmers rely on new technologies that can significantly improve ventilation within farms.
Admittedly, the adoption of these technologies requires considerable investment, but these expenditures are quite justified in the long term. These are the main trends that have emerged. Thus, one can argue that egg production industry was intensified in different ways. In particular, businesses responded to technological innovations and adopted new methods of handling birds.
Reasons for the difference
It is possible to say that the intensification of these industries follows similar patterns. One should consider the adoption of more effective technologies and the use of restrictive facilities. These approaches are critical for cost-cutting.
However, there are some important differences that one should not disregard. In particular, American egg production industry is much more consolidated. To some degree, this result can be explained by the fact that American business environment is less regulated. Therefore, some businesses have more opportunities for controlling a significant part of the market.
However, despite these differences, these industries are affected by the same trends. In this case, one should speak about common mechanisms governing the work of agricultural businesses in different countries. These are the main arguments that be put forward.
American Egg Board. ‘Landmark 50-year Study Documents U.S. Egg Industry Reduced Environmental Footprint.’ AEB. 2012. Web.
Canadian Beef. Canada’s Beef History: Fast Facts, Toronto: Canadian Beef, 2012. Print.
Ecklinger, Julie. The Ethics of Intensification: Agricultural Development and Cultural Change, New York: Springer Science & Business Media, 2008. Print.
The Global Economy. “Canada Meat (beef) production.” GE. 2015. Web.