MIXED FARMING

MIXED FARMING A very important form of agricul­ture, mixed farming is found in the higWy developed parts of the world: north-western Europe, east~rn North America, Russia, Ukraine, and the temperate latitudes of parts of the southern continents. Farming is very intensive and some­times highly specialised with some farms being devoted entirely to arable farming or entirely to livestock. Gener­ally, however, farmers practise a truly mixed form, raising animals and growing crops on the same farm. Many of these farms also have land for growing fruit trees (apples, pears, cherries) or small fruits (such as gooseberries, strawberries) and vegetable crops. Even bees are kept to provide honey.

This type of mixed farming is found mostly in Europe, especially in Britain, Belgium and the Nether­lands. In the USA,. mixed farming may be devoted more to one single crop. The system is characterised by high capital expenditure on machinery and farm buildings, large scale use of chemical fertilisers as well as green manure, and also by the expertise of the farmers.

Farmers specialise in commercial dairy farming in many parts of western Europe, e.g., Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, southern Scandinavia, Switzerland, in the North Atlantic states of North America (the Hay and Dairy Belt), Australia and New Zealand. This is a highly intensive type of livestock farming.
Market gardening is well-developed in the densely populated industrial districts of north-western Europe: in Britain, Denmark, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. North-eastern USA is also an important centre.

A modern development in the industrial regions of western Europe and North America is factory farming, in which livestock is raised under cover. This is a high capital­intensive venture.

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