How Does the Influence of Different Physical Factors on Agricultural V

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The location of agriculture at all scales is the result of the interaction between physical, cultural and economic and behavioural factors. Farming in Great Britain has been characterized by technological changes in recent decades which has led to massive increases in yields and improved stock rearing. Much of this change is due to the application of scientific research in plant and stock breeding and improved mechanization. But even today agriculture relies heavily on the physical environment. All crops require a specific range of temperature, moisture, soil ands drainage conditions and these factors can be modified by the farmer but only to a limited degree. If we accept that a farmers choice of land usage is controlled by the physical environment, we must identify the optimum conditions and limits to production of any one crop . This will help to identify the spatial pattern of environmental controls. This was central to the ideas explored by McCarty and Lindberg in the Mid West of the USA and gave rise to the Optima Limits Model in 1966. Away from the optimum physical conditions become hostile and production/ yields decline. The optimum is the area where yields are highest and variability best, where soils are fertile, temperature and rainfall ideal and ground surface level for cultivation. Farmers will take account of physical conditions at a local scale when considering which crops to grow. For example, the Moray coast in NE Scotland between Elgin and Lossiemouth is a rich agricultural area where winters are relatively mild and summers averaging 17oC, rainfall occurs throughout the year and is typically 600mm. There are a variety of soils but mainly glacial sandy loams on the higher ground and alluvial soils where there were once areas of open marshy conditions. A variety of crops are grown, both cereal and root crops. However, there are limitations to agriculture in this area. The main problem is that of wind erosion, the sandy loams are...
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