Agricultural Geography

Chris Laingen and Lisa M. Butler Harrington

in Geography

ISBN: 9780199874002
Published online February 2013 | | DOI:
Agricultural Geography

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Agricultural geography as a strong focal area has declined since the mid-1990s. From the 1980s, it became more a subset of rural geography rather than an emphasis on spatial patterns and differentiation (focused particularly on “First World/Third World” differences in the 1960s to 1970s). Rural geography includes a breadth of topics relevant to rural areas and small towns, from social issues to natural resources management and land use. Traditional agricultural geography focused on spatial patterns and varying agricultural systems, particularly from a basis in economic geography and/or land use. As time has gone on, some connections have become mostly via human–environment perspectives on natural resources, sustainability, health, and food systems. In addition to shifting broad social concerns affecting work related to agricultural geography, modern industrial agriculture has spread to other world regions, with perhaps greater variability within particular regions (e.g., sub-Saharan Africa) than between regions. Broader considerations of social and economic conditions related to farming also have become more apparent since the 1970s. Agricultural geography today focuses specifically on farms (including ranches) and farming; production of food, fiber, and fuel; economic, policy, and resource issues related to agriculture; and farm household and livelihood concerns. There are connections between agricultural geography and related disciplines, particularly rural sociology and agricultural economics. It must be noted that, with the exception of the descriptive work by geographers in the Global North addressing conditions in the South, most of the work in agricultural geography has been produced in North America and Europe, with much less analytical work on agricultural conditions in other world regions. The works mentioned here are drawn from the English-language literature and are admittedly biased toward researchers based in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

Article.  15441 words. 

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography ; Human Geography

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