Geography / Year 9 / Geographical Knowledge and Understanding / Unit 1: Biomes and food security

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Curriculum content descriptions

Environmental, economic and technological factors that influence crop yields in Australia and across the world (ACHGK062)

Elaborations
  • describing how environmental factors (for example, climate, soil, landform and water), can support higher crop yields and investigating the environmental constraints on agricultural production in Australia (for example, soil moisture, water resources and soils)
  • investigating how high crop yields (for example, from wheat, rice and maize) around the world are related to factors such as irrigation, accessibility, labour supply, landforms and agricultural technologies (for example, high-yielding varieties)
  • evaluating the ways that agricultural innovations have changed some of the environmental limitations on and impacts of food production in Australia
General capabilities
  • Numeracy Numeracy
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
Cross-curriculum priorities
ScOT terms

Crop yields

Video

Wheat: from the UK with love

Not since colonial times has Australia imported wheat from the United Kingdom. Watch this clip to find out why Australia turned to Britain and the USA in 2002 for supplies of grain that are traditionally grown in abundance on home soil.

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Feeding soils to grow hungry crops

How do today's farmers improve their crop yields? One school of thought is to go high-tech and use agricultural technologies designed to improve efficiencies and yields. See the role that soil condition plays in gaining those high yields.

Video

Algae farming: a pilot project in the Pilbara

Ever heard of algae farming? It's a new renewable industry beginning to take shape in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. With the ability to produce food, fuel and pharmaceuticals, algae farms could potentially generate billions of dollars. Watch this clip to find out about US company Aurora Algae and the products ...

Video

Organic farming success

How and why did dairy farmer Pat McDonald start using organic fertilisers? What reasons are given in this video for why they’ve been a success?

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Peak phosphorus

Did you know all living things need phosphorus to survive? This is why phosphorus is mined and sold as fertilisers to help grow crops. What will happen to crop yields when we run out of phosphorus? What are some of the solutions Dr Dana Cordell has to combat the issue of diminishing phosphorus supplies?

Video

A new Silk Road: farming silk in Australia

When you think of silk farming, do you think of Asia? Meet two people from Margaret River in WA who are attempting to make a go of silk farming in Australia. What changes do they need to make to the traditional silk farming process to make their dream a reality? Watch the clip to find out.

Video

Food shortage: Please, Sir, can I have some more?

Are we headed for food shortages in the future? Many scientists say that food production is becoming a critical issue and that Australia has a part to play in securing food for the world's future. As you watch this clip from 2013, find out how past strategies dealt with the food security issue, and learn about our plans ...

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What's your evidence?

Dr Maarten Stapper believes in the benefits of biological farming. Whilst he has his supporters, Dr Stapper's ideas have struggled to gain acceptance within the scientific community. Find out why in this clip from 2009.

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What's up, honey bee?

Around the world, honey bee populations are in decline. Discover here that, whilst scientists continue to investigate the causes of this phenomenon, beekeepers are facing a battle to keep their bees alive. Find out how declining bee numbers might threaten the global food supply.

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Different views on organic farming

Organic farming techniques have their share of advocates and detractors. Watch this video to find out why some farmers have been converted to organic farming methods. Why do you think some farmers might not want to embrace such methods?

Online

The future of food

Producing enough food to sustain the Earth's population is becoming more of a challenge. As environmental constraints keep tightening, technological innovation may be the answer to future food security. Compare the status of food production and food security in Australia with that of developing nations. Consider some claims ...

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Food for thought

Food security, or sufficient access to safe and nutritious food, is of rising global concern. Watch this animated clip to discover the main problems facing food security, and to see some suggestions for solutions that might incorporate strategies like waste management practices and emerging technologies.

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Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area: vineyards

The McWilliam's Wines Group has been growing wine in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) for almost 100 years. In this clip from late 2012, listen to members of the McWilliam family describe how the industry was established, the reasons for choosing that region and the need to incorporate sustainable practices.

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Sowing crops after floods

Natural disasters such as flooding can create havoc for farmers who rely on favourable growing conditions for high yields. This clip shows some Australian farmers responding to floods that have affected their crop production. See how they deal with these and other weather-related impacts.

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Winning the race to feed a growing population

The race is on to produce higher crop-yielding plants that will feed an ever-growing world population. See how scientists at the Plant Accelerator facility are investigating ways of increasing crop production. Some are focusing on conventional plant-breeding techniques while others are using GM (genetic modification) technology.

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Murrumbidgee irrigation: water sustainability

The Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) is a highly productive region of NSW that produces food and fibre. Farming enterprises of the region depend on water allocations. This clip from late in 2012 presents the possibility of threats to those allocations as a result of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Hear industry experts ...

Video

Poorest Indonesians help feed a nation

Indonesian farmers, some of whom are the poorest in the nation, are changing the way they do things to increase production. Watch this clip to find out how Indonesia's farming practices and trade rules have changed and how these things have affected its local farmers and trade partners.

Video

Devastation by cyclone

Cyclone Namu caused widespread devastation when it struck Solomon Islands in 1986. View this 1986 news report to witness the cyclone's impact on life, crops and housing, particularly on Guadalcanal, the largest island in Solomon Islands. See the challenges confronting the relief teams.

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Impacts of a cyclone: days or decades?

Cyclone Namu struck the nation of Solomon Islands in 1986. In this news report from the scene, see the immediate devastation it caused and hear about the then expected long-term impacts on the already troubled Solomons economy. As you watch, you might wonder how much has changed since then. Are Solomon Islanders just as ...

Online

Recent evapotranspiration

This resource is a Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) web page with a map of Australia showing daily reference evapotranspiration and also tables of daily transpiration for each Australian state and the Northern Territory. Monthly data is available via the location links in the tables for each state.