Agriculture is the science or practice of raising crops or rearing animals to produce products such as food, fiber, cooking oil, and other items. Technology, including biotechnology, is an important part of agriculture. Agricultural biotechnology companies work to supply farmers with tools to increase the yield of plant and animal products, while lowering the costs of production.
Horticulture is a subdomain of agricultural biotechnology. Biotechnology in horticulture includes producing plants through tissue culture such as orchids for ornamental purposes and plants that can be used for fuel production (biofuels).
To accomplish these goals, biotechnologists develop products to protect animals and crops from disease and help farmers identify the best animals and seeds to use in selective breeding programs. For example, a dairy farmer might use genetic testing to identify cows that will be high milk producers, a commercial fish farm might raise fish like salmon, tilapia, or catfish. In the case of the fish far, if the fish were infected by certain viruses, the fish would die and the farm would lose money. To prevent infections, fish farmers use vaccines, developed through biotechnology.
Growing insects is another form of agriculture. Companies are using many kinds of technology such as vertical farming, sensors that monitor heat, humidity, and oxygen, and computerized systems that monitor insect growth.