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Our Research Catalogue contains grants and outputs data up to the end of April 2014. Records will no longer be updated after this date.

An Integrated Analysis of Scale Effects in Alternative Agricultural Systems

Changing land cultivation from conventional to organic practices can have significant impacts on environmental factors such as wildlife, soil and water quality, as well as change the ways in which food is supplied, the economics of farm business and indeed the attitudes of farmers themselves. A factor that is little understood is how these depend on the scale and concentration of alternative farming systems across the landscape, from local up to the national scale.

This project addresses two key questions:

  • What causes organic farms to be arranged in clusters at local, regional and national scales, rather than be spread more evenly throughout the landscape?
  • Assess how the ecological, hydrological, socio-economic and cultural impacts of organic farming may vary due to neighbourhood effects at a variety of scales.

The project will undertake an intensive study of existing clustered and isolated organic farms, and their surrounding neighbourhoods, to address these questions. It will culminate in mapping out some alternative scenarios for future growth of the organic sector in the UK, and evaluate the potential positive and negative effects that different patterns of organic cultivation might have, at a variety of scales, in the future.

  • Outputs (8)