PLANNING FOR FARMERS TO MANAGE THE COUNTRYSIDE
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PLANNING FOR FARMERS TO MANAGE THE COUNTRYSIDE book
Until the 1950s and the advent of agri-chemical/hi-tech farming it would have been axiomatic that agriculture was a land-managing activity, embodied in the centuries-old concept of land stewardship, or the aphorism
Live each day as if it were your last Farm your land as if you were going to live forever
Since the 1950s, however, short-term considerations driven by the imperatives of outside capital, government policies, and a general cost-price squeeze on farming balance sheets have been instrumental in farmers ‘mining’ the land for production, rather than husbanding its resources. This meant that the fortuitous coincidence by which agriculture had coexisted with environmental quality, and had probably increased it by producing high-diversity plagioclimaxes, as shown in Figure 3.1, rapidly became a thing of the past as agresssive farming practices caused a rapid drop in biodiversity.