Archive for the 'GCSE Agriculture' Category

Y10 Green Revolution

This week we will be focusing on the Green Revolution

Here are a few video’s to get you started on your way.  It is up to you to come up with the sucesses and failures of the Green Revolution. 

The pro view of the Green Revolution

The anit Green Revolution view

Click here for more information on the Punjab and its Green and White revolution.

BBC Article Thais hold secrect to rice shortages (2008)

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Y10 Arable Farm in East Anglia

click here to go to Lynford Farm – this is a link to all the information on Lynford farm from the web site FACE.

 google.jpg  This is the placemark for the farm and should also open an overlay of the farm showing field sizes and the boundary of the farm.

When we are focusing on East Anglia remember it is a region and includes the counties of Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and the northern part of Essex.  It is one of the most important arable farming regions in the UK mostly because of its physical advantages

Arable farming is INTENSIVE(farms can be over 200 hectares and are highly mechanised using combine harvesters and specialised machinery – see the outputs of Lynford farm  for how much this machinery costs) and COMMERCIAL (mostly the crops are cash crops sold for profits to the local mills who use it for food production for humans and animal feed.  Sugar beet is produced in the UK and is sent to UK refineries such as silver spoon, not to be confused with sugar cane which supplies Tate and Lyle.  Vegetables are sent to canning and freezing factories.

Physical Factors

There are a number of physical factors that makes arable farming in this area

Relief– the land is very flat and is mostly 100m above sea level this makes it easy to use machinery and roads and railways have easily been constructed. 

Soils – mostly fertile boulder clays that were laid down during the last ice age are good for growing cereals, sugar beet and potatoes.  Loam soils are good for growing vegetables, fruit and cereals and retain the plant foods and moisture.  Waterlogged soils are good for grazing cattle for dairying and the infertile soils in this region such as Breckland can be planted with trees such as pine which can be harvested.

Climate –  The area tends to be in the rain shadow and rainfall is mostly in the region of 500-700mm per year.  There are long warm summers with average temperatures of 17 degrees and long hours of sunshine in the summer which allow sufficient crop growth and the ability to ripen cereal crops.

Human  Factors

Location –  it is situated in the east of England to the North of London which means that it is close to a good market for the produce.  There is a good motorway network to the most densely populated regions of the UK and also a good east coast railway line which means rappid transport of produce (this is important with perishable food stuff)

Politics – Since joining the EU many of the farmers in East Anglia have benefited from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as they have recieved subsidies for growing certain types of cereal crops such as wheat, oilseed rape and linseed.

Changes to Arable Farms

Y10 Hill Sheep Farming in the Lake District

Lake district farming types

This week we will be looking at hill sheep farming in the Lake District.  Above is a screen shot of an example of a farm in the Lake district.  Click on either the image or the google earth icon  to download the map tacks shown on this screenshot for information about the three different landuse zones on a hill farm. 

google.jpg Google Earth File for hill farming land use in the Lake District

You will need to make sure you know the three zones of land on the Lake district farm click on the tacks to open up an explanation of the Inbye, Intake and the High Fell.

Hill farms are Pastoral Farms which are Commercial and are Extensive Farms this is because they use little machinery and labour and the farms cover a large area of land.

Physical Factors

Remember upland areas in the UK offer a variety of physical and human factors that makes grazing sheep the main farming activity.  The lake district sheep (e.g. the Swaledale sheep are hardy breeds and sure footed on the rugged terrain) can survive extemes of weather and low quality pasture . 

Cool summers, cold harsh winters and high rainfall (2000mm of rain on the fells) means that grass for grazing grows easily in these areas but makes it a poor climate for growing arable crops.  There is a 1degree fall in temperature for every 160m.  The soils are poor and thin with high erosion rates making it only suitable for sheep farming.   The relief of the land also means it is difficult for machinery to be used on this land and for cattle to cope with this terrain. This is marginal land.

Human Factors

The market is small in area and their is little available labour in these sparsely populated upland areas, most of the farms are family run and can rarely affort more than one paid worker.  There is also often little profit to reinevest back into the farm.  There are subsidies and grants to help farmers to have a minimum standard of living.  Farming is very hard and many of the farmers did not chose this job but were born into it.

Recent Problems

BBC article ‘Tippling point’ for British Farming – an article explaining some of the recent problems for hill sheep farmers (oct 2007)

Read this article for homework and use your class notes to fill in the word document below to make sure you have all the main problems of sheep farming

word-icon-1.jpg recent-problems-in-hill-sheep-farming.doc

Hill Farm Diversification (SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT FOR NEXT LESSON)

What does this image and video have to do with farm diversification?

 

The big sheep click to find out more

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