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Commercial Arable Farming Essay

Seeds

Breeders keep bringing out new varieties that are more productive than their predecessors. This is achieved in several areas, better resistance to disease, better standing power (we do not want crops flat on the ground at harvest time) greater tonnage with better quality characteristics. The future is genetic modification (GM) assuming this is put in place with the appropriate level of environmental sensitivity and consequential research. The simple fact is that if it can be made to work we will be able to design plants that will no longer need spraying. These plants will be specifically designed to withstand the diseases and predators in the environment in which they are grown.

The only sprays required will be roundup (which biodegrades naturally within ten days) to control all weeds growing in the crop and an herbicide that kills the volunteer crop after harvest. We are talking of an organic utopia. No wonder the Organic lobbies having invested in there so called conversion are so opposed to cheap organic food for all. We are talking vested interests, no moral high ground here. The other major plus of GM is the potential to design crops for the specific purpose of industrial end use such as medicines plastics and oil. The benefit other than renew ability of these organic products would be to take significant arable acres away from growing food. The result might be to see slightly more expensive food, good for this vested interest!

Factors
Commercial agriculture contains six key factors:

1. Location

Commercial farms must move their products to market. Farms need to be located near transportation systems. Trucks, ships, planes, and trains are several ways that products can be moved from where they are grown or made to where customers can buy them.

2. Climate

A farm’s soil, as well as the climate of the region in which it is located, determine what crops will grow there or whether the land can support livestock. The temperature and rainfall can also determine the type of crop grown. For example, oranges must be grown in a hot climate. They will not grow if the temperature is too cold.

3. Raw Materials

A commercial farm depends on raw material. For example, a farmer will plant grain to get wheat. A farmer will have dairy cows to produce milk. Seeds and animals are two examples of raw materials used in commercial agriculture.

4. Market Forces

Supply and demand are important for selling agricultural products. If there is a high deman for a product and low supply, the price will be increased.

5. Labour

People who work on farms provide different types of labour. Labour is needed to plant crops, as well as to harvest them. This is important because some produce, such as grapes, need to be hand harvested.

6. Transportation

Movement of agricultural products to market depends on transportation systems. For example, produce is shipped by rail in special refrigerated cars, then shipped across the ocean. Some crops such as fruit, must get to the market quickly, or else they will rot; crops like these are often shipped shorter distances or are sold in the regions where they are grown.

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.

Development

Commercial farming is a progression from diversified (sometimes called mixed) farming, when the farmer’s intention is to produce goods for sale primarily for widespread consumption by others. The farmer may acquire a sufficiently large amount of arable land and/or sufficiently advanced technology. In advanced countries, there is also investment in expensive capital equipment like tractors, harvesters and so forth. At this point, it may become more profitable for the farmer to specialize and focus on one or a few particular crops due to economies of scale.

This may be further augmented by higher levels of technology that might significantly reduce the risk of poor harvests. Thus, the key difference between commercial farming and less-developed forms of agriculture is the new emphasis on capital formation, scientific progress and technological development, as opposed to a reliance mainly on natural resource utilization that is common to subsistence and diversified agriculture.

Types

There are types of commercial agriculture:

* Intensive Commercial Farming: A system of agriculture in which relatively large amounts of capitol or labour and applied to relatively smaller areas of land. It is practiced in countries where the population pressure is reducing the size of landholdings. The State of West Bengal in India provides one of the best examples of intensive commercial farming. * Extensive Commercial Farming: It is a system of agriculture in which relatively small amounts of capital or labour investment are applied to relatively large areas of land.

At times, the land is left fallow to regain its fertility. It is mostly mechanized as labour is very expensive or may not be available at all. It usually occurs at the margin of the agricultural system, at a great distance from market or on poor land of limited potential. It is practiced usually in the tarai regions of southern Nepal. Crops grown are sugarcane, rice and wheat. * Plantation Agriculture: Plantation is a large farm or estate usually in a tropical or sub-tropical country where crops are grown for sale in distant markets rather than local consumption.

Factors

Commercial agriculture contains six key factors:

1. Location

Commercial farms must move their products to market. Farms need to be located near transportation systems. Trucks, ships, planes, and trains are several ways that products can be moved from where they are grown or made to where customers can buy them.

2. Climate

A farm’s soil, as well as the climate of the region in which it is located, determine what crops will grow there or whether the land can support livestock. The temperature and rainfall can also determine the type of crop grown. For example, oranges must be grown in a hot climate. They will not grow if the temperature is too cold.

3. Raw Materials

A commercial farm depends on raw material. For example, a farmer will plant grain to get wheat. A farmer will have dairy cows to produce milk. Seeds and animals are two examples of raw materials used in commercial agriculture.

4. Market Forces

Supply and demand are important for selling agricultural products. If there is a high demand for a product and low supply, the price will be increased.

5. Labour

People who work on farms provide different types of labor. Labors are needed to plant crops, as well as to harvest them. This is important because some produce, such as grapes, need to be hand harvested.

6. Transportation

Movement of agricultural products to market depends on transportation systems. For example, produce is shipped by rail in special refrigerated cars, and then shipped across the ocean. Some crop such as fruits, must get to the market quickly, or else they will rot; crops like these are often shipped shorter distances or are sold in the regions where they are grown.


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