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New Agriculture in Oregon US Reading Answers for IELTS

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

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You may find this new agriculture in Oregon, US reading answers helpful for IELTS preparation purposes. The article will help you get insights into the various types of questions in the examination and also how you can answer them in the best possible manner. 


Onion growers in eastern Oregon are adopting a system that saves water and keeps topsoil in place while producing the highest quality “super-colossal” onions. Pear growers in southern Oregon have reduced their use of some of the most toxic pesticides by up to two-thirds and are still producing top-quality pear. Range managers throughout the state have controlled the poisonous weed tansy ragwort with insect predators and saved the Oregon livestock industry up to $4.8 million a year.


These are some of the results Oregon growers have achieved in collaboration with Oregon State University (OSU) researchers as they test new farming methods including integrated pest management (IPM). Nationwide, however, IPM has not delivered results comparable to those in Oregon. A recent U.S General Accounting Office (GAO) report indicates that while integrated pest management can result in dramatically reduced pesticide use, the federal government has been lacking in effectively promoting that goal and implementing IPM. Farmers also blame the government for not making the new options of pest management attractive. “Wholesale changes in the way that farmers control the pests on their farms is an expensive business.” Tony Brown, of the National Farmers Association, says. “If the farmers are given tax breaks to offset the expenditure, then they would willingly accept the new practices.” The report goes on to note that even though the use of the riskiest pesticides has declined nationwide, they still make up more than 40 percent of all pesticides used today; and national pesticide use has risen by 40 million kilograms since 1992. “Our food supply remains the safest and highest quality on Earth but we continue to overdose our farmland with powerful and toxic pesticides and to under-use the safe and effective alternatives,” charged Patrick Leahy, who commissioned the report. Green action groups disagree about the safety issue. “There is no way that habitual consumption of foodstuffs grown using toxic chemical of the nature found on today’s farms can be healthy for consumers,” noted Bill Bowler, spokesman for Green Action, one of many lobbyists interested in this issue.


The GAO report singles out Oregon’s apple and pear producers who have used the new IPM techniques with growing success. Although Oregon is clearly ahead of the nation, scientists at OSU are taking the Government Accounting Office criticisms seriously. “We must continue to develop effective alternative practices that will reduce environmental hazards and produce high-quality products,” said Paul Jepson, a professor of entomology at OSU and new director of


OSU’s Integrated Plant Protection Centre (IPPC). The IPPC brings together scientists from OSU’s Agricultural Experiment Station, OSU Extension service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Oregon farmers to help develop agricultural systems that will save water and soil, and reduce pesticides. In response to the GAO report, the Centre is putting even more emphasis on integrating research and farming practices to improve Oregon agriculture environmentally and economically.

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“The GAO report criticizes agencies for not clearly communicating the goals of IPM,” said Jepson. “Our challenge is to greatly improve the communication to and from growers, to learn what works and what doesn’t. the work coming from OSU researchers must be adopted in the field and not simply languish in scientific journals.”


In Oregon, growers and scientists are working together to instigate new practices. For example, a few years ago scientists at OSU’s Malheur Experiment Station began testing a new drip irrigation system to replace old ditches that wasted water and washed soil and fertilizer into streams. The new system cut water and fertilizer use by half kept topsoil in place and protected water quality.


In addition, the new system produced crops of very large onions, rated “super-colossal” and highly valued by the restaurant industry and food processors. Art Pimms, one of the researchers at Malheur comments: “Growers are finding that when they adopt more environmentally benign practices, they can have excellent results. The new practices benefit the environment and give the growers their success.”


OSU researcher in Malheur next tested straw mulch and found that it successfully held soil in place and kept the ground moist with less irrigation. In addition, and unexpectedly, the scientists found that the mulched soil created a home for beneficial beetles and spiders that prey on onion thrips – a notorious pest in commercial onion fields – a discovery that could reduce the need for pesticides. “I would never have believed that we could replace the artificial pest controls that we had before and still keep our good results,” commented Steve Black, a commercial onion farmer in Oregon, “but instead we have actually surpassed expectations.”


OSU researchers throughout the state have been working to reduce dependence on broad-spectrum chemical spays that are toxic to many kinds of organisms, including humans. “Consumers are rightly putting more and more pressure on the industry to change its reliance on chemical pesticides, but they still want a picture-perfect product,” said Rick Hilton, an entomologist at OSU’s Southern Oregon Research and Extension Centre, where researches help pear growers reduce the need for highly toxic pesticides. Picture perfect pears are an important product in Oregon and traditionally they have required lots of chemicals. In recent years, the industry has faced stiff competition from overseas producers, so any new methods that growers adopt must make sense economically as well as environmentally. Hilton is testing a growth regulator that interferes with the molting of codling moth larvae. Another study used pheromone dispensers to disrupt codling moth mating. These and other methods of integrated pest management have allowed pear growers to reduce their use of organophosphates by two-thirds and reduce all other synthetic pesticides by even more and still produce top-quality pears. These and other studies around the state are part of the effort of the IPPC to find alternative farming practices that benefit both the economy and the environment.

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Questions 1-8

Use the information in the passage to match the people (listed A-G) with opinions or deeds below.

Write the appropriate letters A-G in boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet.

NB  You may use any letter more than once

A Tony BrownE Art Pimms
B Patrick LeahyF Steve Black
C Bill BowlerG Rick Hilton
D Paul Jepson 

1. _____ There is a double advantage to the new techniques.
Answer: A (You will find this in paragraph B) 

2. _____ The work on developing these alternative techniques is not finished.
Answer: D (You will find this in paragraph C, where Jepson talks about how there should be continued work done)

3. _____Eating food that has had chemicals used in its production is dangerous to our health.
Answer: C (You will find it in paragraph B where Bowler clearly states this fact)

4. _____Changing current farming methods into a new one is not a cheap process.
Answer: A (You will find it in paragraph B, where Brown talks about how it is an expensive business)

5. _____Results have exceeded the anticipated goal.
Answer: F (Black says this in paragraph H) 

6. _____The research done should be translated into practical projects.
Answer: D (Jepson says this in paragraph E) 

7. _____The U.S. produces the best food in the world nowadays.
Answer: B (Leahy says this in paragraph B when he talks of the food supply being the highest quality and safest on Earth)

8. _____Expectations of end-users of agricultural products affect the products.
Answer: G (You will find more on this in paragraph I, especially when Rick Hilton states how they desire picture-perfect food products)

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Questions 9-13

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?
In boxes 9-13 on your answer sheet, write

YESif the statement is true
NOif the statement is false
NOT GIVENif the information is not given in passage

 9. _____Integrated Pest Management has generally been regarded as a success in across the US.
Answer: NO (It has not been implemented successfully by the authorities as per the passage)

10. _____Oregon farmers of apples and pears have been promoted as successful examples of Integrated Pest Management.
Answer: YES (This is present in paragraph D) 

11. _____The IPPC uses scientists from different organizations globally
Answer: NO  (It only brings together scientists from the OSU Extension Service, Agricultural Experiment Station of the OSU, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Oregon farmers as well)

12. _____Straw mulch experiments produced unplanned benefits.
Answer: YES 

(You will find this in paragraph H, especially where it is mentioned how it keeps straw mulch successfully in place)

13. _____The apple industry is now facing a lot of competition from abroad.

Answer: NOT GIVEN (The passage only talks about how the apple industry has achieved success by using new techniques)

Answer Table: 

1. A8. G
2. D9. NO
3. C10. YES
4. A11. NO
5. F12. YES
7. B 

Important IELTS Exam Resources

IELTS Exam Overview

IELTS is required to be taken by international students and workers who wish to study or work in a country where English is the primary language of communication. Know the complete details.

IELTS Online Test

IELTS Exam Syllabus

With the right knowledge of the IELTS exam syllabus and pattern, cracking the popular English test won’t be difficult.

IELTS Syllabus

IELTS Exam Pattern

The IELTS exam pattern encompasses four major sections, i.e. listening, speaking, writing, and reading.

IELTS Exam Pattern

Mrinal Mandal

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