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Farm Production in England 1700-1914$
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M. E. Turner, J. V. Beckett, and B. Afton

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208044

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208044.001.0001

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Farming Practice and Techniques

Farming Practice and Techniques

(p.66) Chapter 3 Farming Practice and Techniques
Farm Production in England 1700-1914

M. E. Turner (Contributor Webpage)

J. V. Beckett (Contributor Webpage)

B. Afton

Oxford University Press

This chapter tests the traditional appreciation of farming in the past, based on crop rotations of two or three crops followed by a fallow year, against the evidence-based practice of 18th- and 19th-century farmers. Not only was farming more complex than this, but it also changed and therefore evolved according to farmers' assessments of the market and the diffusion of new crops and techniques. Through measurements derived from farmers' records, the magnitude of this evolution is measured and in particular the temporal diffusion of the Norfolk four course systems of new crops based on the nitrogen cycle is assessed. At the same time, there was a revolution taking place in soil improvements through soil conditioning and fertilizing, and these are also measured and assessed.

Keywords:   crops, fertilizers, conditioners, soil, crop rotations, farming practice, farming records, Norfolk four-course rotation

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