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Agriculture should be subject to planning control and all agricultural subsidies should be linked to the provision of public goods:
The next generation of agricultural consultants will need to know as much about public goods as about agriculture.
Public goods: The landscape planning principles which will be considered in relation to agriculture may be summarised as follows:
Different sets of public goods will be produced from poor land (category A), medium land (category B) and rich land (category C)
Strategic reserve: The history of agriculture is characterised by alternating periods of shortage and surplus.
Water conservation: The countryside can play a major role in conserving fresh water.
Habitat creation and conservation: The agricultural landscape should provide a diverse range of habitats for wild plants and animals.
Historic conservation: Farmland is the result of untold centuries of work.
Scenic conservation and enhancement: The farming landscape should be conserved AND improved.
Conservation farming: Historic farmland can produce high-value 'hand-made' food.
Recreation: There is a great demand for rural recreation, for which the public is willing to pay.In times of glut, it should be done for non-agricultural reasons.
Wild Food: Increasing the production of unfarmed food should become an objectives in countryside planning.
Healthy food: Producing low-quality food produces a low-quality landscape.
The geography of public goods: There is a geographical variation in the range of public goods which can and should be obtained from the countryside.
Mapping: Rural land needs to be mapped in many ways.
Implementation: The supply of public goods from agricultural land can be encouraged by zoning regulations, tax incentives, land re-organisation, acquisition of easements and land purchase.
Conclusion: If public money is spent on agriculture, it should be to obtain specified public goods.Refs
Neher, D. 1992. Ecological sustainability in agricultural
systems: definition and measurement. In Olson R.K. (ed) Integrating
sustainable agriculture, ecology and environmental policy. Binghampton,
New York:The Haworth Press. pp51-61
Turner, T., Landscape planning and environmental impact design UCL 1998 Chapter 7
Fields and mountains
Farming and fishing