Friday, 11 April 2008

Farming definitions

Growing of crops
Large scale, capital intensive farms that specialise in only a few crops and use scientific advisers and techniques together with business principles to produce the maximum yields and quality. Often tied to supermarkets or processors to buy the crops
The number and variety of plant and animal species found in an ecosystem
Capital intensive
Large capital investment in machinery, chemicals etc to maximise outputs
Common Agricultural Policy
The E.U policy on farming. By guaranteeing prices on many foodstuffs, CAP ensures that farmers earn enough money to be able to make a decent living and invest in their farms.
Crop rotation
The system, of growing a sequence of crops in strict rotation in the same field in order to maintain soil fertility
Farmers are encouraged to find new ways of using their land
Economies of scale
Cost savings made by production on a large scale
Chemicals (particularly nitrogen and phosphorus) from fertilisers seep into streams etc. Here it causes rapid growth of algae which blocks sunlight. Oxygen is used up and stream life begins to die.
Land left unseeded after being ploughed and harrowed to regain fertility
Chemicals which add nutrients to the soil to replace those that the crops take out
Food mountains and lakes
Mountains – grain, butter, beef
Money which is given to a farmer to cover cost of farm improvement
Chemicals which kill weeds which might compete with the crops for nutrients and sunlight
Chemicals which kill insects which might eat crops or damage them
Intensive farming
There are large inputs to each hectare in order to produce large outputs of crops
Labour intensive
A system of farming which requires a heavy amount of hand labour
An area of land temporarily under grass
Farming involving both animals and crops
Production of a single crop
Farming which rears only animals
Chemicals which kill pests such as fungus which can damage crops during growth.
A set amount of food which a farmer is allowed to produce
Set aside
A policy whereby farmers leave some land unused and receive a payment in compensation
Money given to farmers when the market price for their produce is low. This ensures that farmers do not make a loss.
Overproduction of certain crops which need to be stored
Lakes – overproduction of liquid farming products: olive oil, wine, milk

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