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UK Farming — an introduction


rainfall [‘re?nf??l] осадки, количество осадков — to measure rainfall — измерять количество осадков annual / yearly rainfall — годовое количество осадков average rainfall — среднее количество осадков

plough [plau] плуг; вспахивать, пахать

soil [s??l] почва, грунт, земля — the upper layer of earth in which plants grow, a black or dark brown material typically consisting of a mixture of organic remains, clay, and rock particles

conventional [k?n’ven?n?l] обычный, обыкновенный, традиционный; общепринятый

integrated [‘?nt?gre?t?d] объединенный; комплексный; единый

sustainability [s??ste?n?’b?l?t?] устойчивость; устойчивое развитие

input [‘?nput] (обычно inputs) вложения, затраты, инвестиции

pesticide [‘pest?sa?d] пестицид, средство для борьбы с вредителями [pest — вредитель, паразит]

casual employment временная [непостоянная] занятость (форма занятности, для которой характерна нерегулярная работа, как правило периодами до нескольких недель) Syn:

ditch [d??] канава, ров — deep ditch — глубокая канава 2) канал

meadow [‘med?u] луг, луговина; низина, пойменная земля

copse [k?ps] молодой лесок, поросль — A copse is a small group of trees growing very close to each other.

habitat [‘h?b?t?t] место обитания, местообитание, ареал (животного, растения) natural habitat — естественная среда обитания


Types of farming:

The climate and topography of the UK lends itself to two distinct types of farming.

Pastoral farming (the use of grass pasture for livestock rearing) is found in areas of higher rainfall and among the hills, predominantly to the north and west of the UK.

Arable farming (land that can be ploughed to grow crops) is concentrated in the south and east of the UK where the climate is drier and soils are deeper.

Farming systems:

In the UK there are three main approaches adopted by farmers in their farming system. These are defined as organic, conventional and integrated. Organic farming represents around 4% of the farmed area and is based upon the concept of sustainability utilising the farm’s own resources. Conventional farming adopts modern technology and utilises other inputs such as pesticides and artificial fertilisers while integrated farming makes the conventional approach sustainable. Most conventional farmers practice integrated farming.

Media characterisation of the UK’s farming systems has widely depicted organic farming as good with conventional as bad. This simplification misses the point as in practice a cross over of approaches exist on most farms.

Farms, farmers and the workforce:

In the UK there are approximately 300,000 active farms with an average size of around 57 hectares, much larger than the European average size of approximately 20 hectares.

In 2006 the UK farming employed workforce (full-time, part-time and casual employees) amounted to 184,000 persons.

Farming and the environment:

Farmers are responsible for managing around 75% of the UK’s surface area and for maintaining many features that are inherrently perceived as «countryside». Whether they be, hedges, ditches, meadows or copses, all have resulted from centuries of farming activity and today they are closely integrated into farming practice. Regretably this has not always been the case. In the 1970’s and 80’s farmers responded to government incentives to become more efficient often destroying habitats and countryside features in the process.