Carrying capacity of traditional farming in South East England: A case study

Lovatt Smith, Paul and Nobes, Gavin (2020) Carrying capacity of traditional farming in South East England: A case study. Organic Farming, 6 (1). pp. 14-22. ISSN 2297-6485

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Abstract

Traditional farming in South East (SE) England is presented as a highly-evolved form of sustainable farming. The carrying capacity of traditional farming on a 2.75 ha family smallholding in SE England is assessed from production data recorded over a period of 8 years. The key elements of the farming system were mixed farming (livestock, dairy, arable and horticultural), self-sufficiency in terms of inputs and organic principles. Ten types of food were produced with the aim to comprise all the elements of a balanced diet. The holding and farming system are described and an analysis of the food produced is presented, in terms of weight and energy content, for the years 2010 to 2017. An average carrying capacity of 0.64 people ha-1 was demonstrated on the basis of food energy content alone. Carrying capacity increased to 1.09 people ha-1 when production was re-proportioned to align with the UK Government’s currently recommended balanced diet. The latter figure is similar to carrying capacity estimates, derived from national statistics, for the UK’s total farmland in the middle part of the 20th Century but significantly lower than theoretical predictions of national carrying capacity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: balanced diet,carrying capacity,organic,sustainable farming,traditional farming
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2020 01:37
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2020 00:04
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/76183
DOI: 10.12924/of2020.06010014

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