Rural Geography

What will I learn:


Try this activity to start your understanding of farming and rural landscapes:


Changes in MEDC Farming

These can be best understood by dividing your revision up into three stages like this:

Type of Change Reason for Change Impact of Change
Mechanization made farming faster and more efficient compaction of soil, fuel spills poisoned earth, congestion on narrow country roads.
Agro-chemicals (fertilizer and pesticides) Increased yields by allowing mono-culture (relying on one crop only) to be done. bee population poisoned, bird eggs thinned by chemicals, too expensive for many farmers.
Removal of hedgerows Increases size of fields and allows machines to plough right to the field's edge. loss of natural habitat, species endangerment, wild flowers lost.
Set aside land Farmers put land to one side and let it grow wild to avoid over production. They are paid a subsidy by the government for this. Increasing areas of countryside returning to semi-natural state.
Diversification Farmers employ different methods of making money from the land such as paint ball or camping in order to avoid over production and to provide income all year round. Income increased for farmers. Land use is increasingly varied.
Quotas Farmers have to obey limits to production put in place by the government. cattle/sheep herds are decreased. Unwanted fish are thrown back into sea.
Genetic Modification Increased reliability of yields allows farmers to maximise production cross fertilization of plants is an unknown danger. GM products often require lots of chemicals.

Field pattern of a farm in 1960

Field pattern of a farm in 1990

Describe and explain the changes that have taken place on this farm. (6)

Changes in LEDC Farming

Type of Change Reason for Change Impact of Change
Mechanization e.g. Rotavators in Padi fields farmers aim to increase speed and efficiency of production much technology is too expensive so farmers form cooperatives. Unemployment leads to increase in rural to urban migration.
Genetic Modification IR8 rice increases yields and can be harvested twice as often. It feeds the farmer and leaves enough for sale to increase profits new rice can be bland tasting, it requires increased irrigation and use of chemicals.
Cooperatives Farmers join forces to afford new technologies and chemicals Fewer larger farms survive. Poorer farmers forced out.
Fertilizers and pesticides Increase yields and profits. General standard of living improves Overuse poisons wild life, birds eggs are thinned, ground water poisnoned.