Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Case Study of Commercial Farming - Cereal Farming in East Anglia

COMMERCIAL FARMING IN EAST ANGLIA - Lynford Hall Farm (Ely, Cambridgeshire)

Why is the area around Lynford Hall Farm ideal for arable farming?

CLIMATE - average annaul rainfall is approx 650mm , summers are warm around 26oC, ideal for ripening, cold winters break up the soil and kill off bacteria.
LAND - the land is very flat in this area, ideal for machinery
SOILS - well drained and fertile boulder clay - this area of the UK is often known as the 'bread basket of the UK' with its rich soils which are glacial in origin
MARKET - the area is close to a densely populated region (just North of London), with a large market for selling crops, supplying many major supermarkets of the East and South East.
COMMUNICATIONS - there are major road links, including the A1 and M11 which enable the rapid transport of crops to market.

What are the characteristics of the farm?

- crops grown include wheat, potatoes and peas
- it is a large farm with 570 hectares in area (it is an example of extensive farming - with relatively few inputs compared to size of farm)
- high output per hectare
- highly mechanised - uses large and specialist machinery and specialist buildings (e.g. grain store, with drying faciltiy and environmental cold stores for potatoes), there are a small number of full time workers

- uses good quality, hybrid seeds which are used to maximise the yields produced
- there is a heavy use of fertilisers and pesticides
- the output is cash crops which are produced and sold for profit
- profits are invested back into the farm - the farm is run by the family partnership, Sears Bros Ltd.

Changes to the System (for more info follow this link):

- a reduced labour force
- forced to streamline operations to save money
- have become increasingly computerised


- There are a number of bungalows on the land some of which have been sold, others are rented
- The farm has looked at the option of wind energy and the possibility of situation wind turbines on the land - however this has been met with objections and has not been undertaken

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