“Agribusiness” identifies several 20th-century changes in the way food is grown and food animals are raised, especially in the United States, Canada, Australia, and, to some extent, Northern Europe, consisting in an expansion (by several orders of magnitude) in the size of the average working farm, a new emphasis on profitable operation (or “the bottom line”), the systematic application of laboratory and experimental findings to the growing of crops, consolidation of ownership and control in companies not always directly involved in the actual cultivation of the soil, and a vastly increased reliance on technology and external inputs to agricultural operations.

If by “business” we mean a privately initiated enterprise instituted for the purpose of yielding a living for its principals, then farming has always been a ...

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