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Land Use
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 05 11:49 pm    Post subject: in general  Reply with quote    

I can't remember where I originally found these stats, but they do seem to me to be immensely relevant to the global situation:

10 acres, (5 football pitches), will support


by growing SOYA - 60 people

by growing WHEAT - 24 people

by growing MAIZE - 10 people

by growing CATTLE - TWO people.

Your thoughts?

jema
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

A good point has been made on this that it really is rather dodgy as a lot of land is ok for grazing, but not for crops.

I think everyone here will agree that a bigger emphasis on veg rather than meat would be a good thing though.

Ebyss



Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Also, it doesn't necessarily apply to organically grown soya or wheat, which needs fertilizer of some sort. Many organic farmers use manure, which they get from cattle/livestock farming. They could always go the Fukuoka route (which I will be doing) which would be ideal, but difficult with soya (no straw from the soya plant).

Treacodactyl
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I wonder what 10 acres of mixed woodland with a few pigs and chickens would support? You also got firewood and the chance of other animals for the pot, fruit, nuts, sap, all sorts of veg and shrooms.

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ebyss wrote:
They could always go the Fukuoka route (which I will be doing) which would be ideal


What's this? Could you tell us more please, Ebyss?

I wonder if many studies have been done on the difference it would make if every garden owner in the UK were to grow fruit or vegetables? I know there are figures somewhere for wildlife on how much space is in private ownership, and it is quite a figure.

Is it possible to grow soya on any kind of efficient scale in the UK or Europe?

Daydreaming



Joined: 12 Apr 2005
Posts: 291

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've been thinking about this too. Theres a report out today form the National Farmers Union saying small farmers and going to be squeezed out by Tesco etc and the end of EU subsides.
I am wondering what kind of effect this might have on farming on the whole.
Is it going to become a two tier system of intensive farming and 'hobby' farms?

Back to the original point, I think we all eat too much meat anyway. We've far too meat protein in our diet. I don't see why we can't eat less meat, we just jave to eat alternatively. Isn't that we are all on here for? Anyway, pigs don't take up too much space!

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bugs wrote:

Is it possible to grow soya on any kind of efficient scale in the UK or Europe?


Dunno, but there is a variety that is meant to be siuted to our climate, it's called ustie:

http://seeds.thompson-morgan.com/uk/en/list/all-vegetables/4

I do wonder, when looking at the almost sheer slopes covered in sheep up in the Lakes or the Peaks, just how relevant the kind of stats we've seen are. I wonder about it even more when shovelling mixed pig and horse muck about on the allotment.

Milo



Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Oop North-ish.
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 6:15 pm    Post subject: Land use in general. Reply with quote    

Hello, folks. This post was started by me before I'd got used to the mechanics of your forum.

You might bear in mind a global view in terms of the crops selected to make the point.

I'm fascinated (almost) by the current debate on farms and the CAP and land management. Why the hell someone hasn't told the farmers to plant trees across their unused (as in useless?) fields, I just don't know..............., Unless it's because farmers make notoriously poor foresters!

Most importantly to me is the fact that it surely makes no sense to grow food to feed animals to feed people.

Btw, I should be dead by now, (to some people's reckoning), because I'm a fifth generation veggie, (now almost vegan).

Biased Moi?

Last edited by Milo on Tue May 17, 05 6:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

Treacodactyl
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 6:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Land use in general. Reply with quote    

Milo wrote:
I'm fascinated (almost) by the current debate on farms and the CAP and land management. Why the hell someone hasn't told the farmers to plant trees across their unused (as in useless?) fields I just don't know, unless it's because farmers make notoriously poor foresters!


That's because woods do not count for payments under the new rules! Hedges yes, but not woods.

Well managed field margins are also an extremely important habitat. Many animals use the hedges for food and nesting, the wild margins for food & nesting etc. For example the grey partridge would die out if this sort of habitat disappeared.

Milo



Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Oop North-ish.
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Quote:
That's because woods do not count for payments under the new rules! Hedges yes, but not woods.

Well managed field margins are also an extremely important habitat. Many animals use the hedges for food and nesting, the wild margins for food & nesting etc. For example the grey partridge would die out if this sort of habitat disappeared.


Well, yes, I appreciate the payment is specific and the value of hedgerows and the micro-environments around them. I can't help but wonder where the partridges were before the fields came along.

The production of timber for building, furniture making and as biomass and carbon sequestration must surely be very worthy of consideration though.

It would also lead to increased employment and increased leisure amenities?

Treacodactyl
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

As someone who's looking for a small wood and would love to live with as many trees as possible I love woods. The problem is the vast fields and the badly managed ones. It's not just the farmers, on the train today I noticed they had preyed weed killer over several meters of the track verge. This will kill vast amounts of wild life.

I do think my point about a more diverse land usage could be made to work. A sort of permaculture idea with food & materials from all sorts of places without the reliance for one thing in particular.

With reference to the two cows, why have cows at all when you can shoot the rabbits, pigeons and deer that attack the crops? Why is more homebred game not eaten?

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 7:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Land use in general. Reply with quote    

Milo, how do you maintain good soil quality and fertility, in a system that of necessity integrates land that cannot easily be used for growing plants as well as the good arable land, without animal inputs? Or, to put it another way, how do you get good yields year after year in an organic system with no animal inputs?

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:

With reference to the two cows, why have cows at all when you can shoot the rabbits, pigeons and deer that attack the crops? Why is more homebred game not eaten?


Because milking rabbits is a task so grim that it isn't worth thinking about? Because, bang for buck, the amount of protein you get per unit 'effort' is far greater for farmed protein than hunted?

That said, we eat a lot of rabbit and a lot of pigeon. And I do wish that doing so would catch on.

thos



Joined: 08 Mar 2005
Posts: 1139
Location: Jauche, Duchy of Brabant (Bourgogne-ci) and Charolles, Duchy of Burgundy (Bourgogne-ça)
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 8:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Land use in general. Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
Milo, how do you maintain good soil quality and fertility, in a system that of necessity integrates land that cannot easily be used for growing plants as well as the good arable land, without animal inputs? Or, to put it another way, how do you get good yields year after year in an organic system with no animal inputs?


I think the answer to that would be green manure + non-food animals. Perhaps we could leave the land fallow and let the buffalo (and rabbits) roam. Of course the animal population would expand to use all the food and then starve, which would not be pretty so we would have heated arguments on whether or not to cull ...

Arable is so boring, dairy is pretty. It appears that the EU will be running a large grain surplus this year, so we do not need to be continually searching for higher and higher yield.

I love animals in oh so many ways - roasted, boiled, grilled ..

Treacodactyl
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 05 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cab wrote:
Treacodactyl wrote:

With reference to the two cows, why have cows at all when you can shoot the rabbits, pigeons and deer that attack the crops? Why is more homebred game not eaten?


Because milking rabbits is a task so grim that it isn't worth thinking about? Because, bang for buck, the amount of protein you get per unit 'effort' is far greater for farmed protein than hunted?.


You can get soya milk.

We should use the 'pest' protein first, then think about other animals. What about snails etc?

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