Revision notes on agriculture for GCSE Geography.

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  • Created on: 21-11-07 08:32
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Arable: The growing of crops eg. wheat
Pastoral: The growing of animals eg. sheep
Intensive: A farming system usually practised on small areas of land with
high inputs and outputs per hectare.
Extensive: A farm system which uses large areas of land with low inputs
and outputs per hectare.
Commercial: The sale of farm products for profit.
Subsistence: Farming in which the production is for the farmer and his
family. No products are sold and no profits made. Total self sufficiency is
very rare today.
Nomadic: An extensive form of farming where animals are moved around
to find the best quality grazing land. Typically found in LEDCs.
Sedentary: When they are permanently settled in one place.
Factors effect distribution:
Soil type
Case Studies
Cereals (East Anglia):
Densly populated
Flat relief ­ crops and transport
Warm summers ­ crops grow well
Slight summer rainfalls ­ water when crops need it
Fertile boulder clay soils ­ sutable for cereals
Hill sheep (Lake District):
Flat valley floor cattle
Steep rocky sides often rise over 500m ­ sheep as have good grip

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Very wet 2,500mm/year
Ideal for extensive pastoral farming
Cool cloudy summers
Horticulture (Netherlands):
Horticulture accounts for 35%of the value of Dutch agricultural
Included bulbs, flowers and salad crops
These are highly perishable products that need to be transported
quickly in refridgerated vans
Dutch market gardens are highly efficient flowers can be in London
by the next day
Most farms are under 3 hectares in size.…read more

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EU self sufficient
Subsidies ­ farmers receive a minimum price for their goods in
crop prices fall below an agreeable threshold. Also land subsidies
eg. So much per hectare. Money per animal in beef farming.
Planned to deintensify farming and protect upland areas from
Quotas ­ farmers were only allowed to sell a maximum volume of
milk or number of sheep. If you sold over that limit then the
farmer themselves had to pay to have the food removed.…read more

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School tours
Environmental issues
Hedgerow removal:
Removes walkways for animals to travel along. Money is paid to framer
for planting hedgerows.
Chemical fertilizers and pesticides pollute water supplies. Go into
streams ­ loss of oxygen killing of wildlife ­ damage whole ecosystem.
Soil erosion
Heavy machinery causes erosion by compacting soil. Soil can silt up
Leguminous plants give nutrients back to the soil. Bunds and pits trap
soil. Terracing used on steep sided slopes. Fertilizers produce nutrients.…read more


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