What is the Difference between intensive and extensive farming?

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2011-01-23 11:32:39

Extensive farming (as opposed to intensive farming) is an

agricultural production system that uses little inputs on vast

areas of land, such as the Great Plains. Extensive farming most

commonly refers to sheep and cattle farming in areas with low

agricultural productivity, but can also refer to large-scale

growing of wheat, barley and other grain crops in areas like the

Murray-Darling Basin. Here, owing to the extreme age and poverty of

the soils, yields per hectare are very low, but the flat terrain

and very large farm sizes mean yields per unit of labour are high.

Nomadic herding is an extreme example of extensive farming, where

herders move their animals to use feed from occasional


Intensive farming (or Capital Intensive farming) has a large

investment and usually works with alot of food production at one

time, Bernard Mathews is an example of a capital intensive farming

system, with lots of animals in a small space.

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