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Water and drainage

These inputs are naturally occurring, so farmers must work with the physical factors of their farm’s location. They can intervene in these inputs – for example by growing crops in a polytunnel (plastic tunnel greenhouse) to protect them from frosts and improve plant growth. However, such human interventions require extra inputs in the form of money or work.


Human factors

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A market garden

Like physical factors, these vary according to the type of farm and the country where the farm is located. Factors include:


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Government policy – eg EU subsidies and loans and US tax reductions.

Labour – some farms require more labour than others, eg a market garden will employ more
labourers than a hill sheep farm.

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Finance – money is needed for wages, seed, buildings, animal feed, fertilisers, pesticides and machinery.


Distribution of farming in the UK


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Map showing distribution of farming in UK

Physical factors will determine which type of farming takes place in a particular area. Climate and relief are the dominant factors in determining which crops will grow and which animals are suited to the landscape.


Arable farming


Arable farming is common in the south-east where the summers are warm and the land is low, flat and fertile. The south-east also has good transport links and farms are close to markets in towns and cities such as London.





Market gardening


Human factors such as finance and proximity to markets are important to market gardening. It is common in East Anglia where fruit, vegetables and flowers are grown.


Hill sheep farming


Hill sheep farming takes place in the north and west of Britain in highland areas such as Snowdonia and the Lake District. There are cool summers and high rainfall. The climate and steep land make these areas unsuitable for growing crops.


Dairy farming


Dairy farming is common in the south-west and the west of England where the climate is warm and wet. There are also good transport links and good access routes to markets in these areas. The land may be flat or hilly, but not too steep.


Mixed farming


Mixed farming is found in areas where the climate and relief suit both crops and animals. It needs to be warm, but not too wet, and the soils need to be fertile and flat. Mixed farms need good transport links and accessibility to markets.


Farming is an industrial process which requires inputs (such as labour, machinery, climate and soil)
in order to produce outputs (crops and animal products).


The factors affecting farms can vary because different types of farm need different inputs and produce different outputs. Here we analyse three methods of farming.


Extensive commercial farming in the UK

Arable farming in East Anglia

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EcoleBooks | ZIMSEC Form 4 Agriculture Complete Summary Notes 3 - 4


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