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APHG UNIT 0 – MODELS Von Thunen’s Model for Agriculture

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Presentation on theme: "APHG UNIT 0 – MODELS Von Thunen’s Model for Agriculture"— Presentation transcript:

1 APHG UNIT 0 – MODELS Von Thunen’s Model for Agriculture

2 •Von Thunen model useful in discussions of land use
•The model is Important because it opens up discussions of contemporary agricultural patterns.

3 Von Thunen The Von Thunen model of agricultural land use was created by farmer and amateur economist J.H. Von Thunen ( ) in 1826 (but it wasn't translated into English until 1966). Von Thunen's model was created before industrialization and is based on the following limiting assumptions: The city is located centrally within an "Isolated State" which is self sufficient and has no external influences. The Isolated State is surrounded by an unoccupied wilderness. The land of the State is completely flat and has no rivers or mountains to interrupt the terrain. The soil quality and climate are consistent throughout the State. Farmers in the Isolated State transport their own goods to market via oxcart, across land, directly to the central city. Therefore, there are no roads. Farmers act to maximize profits.

4 Agriculture and Economics: Commercial Agriculture
􀂙 Market Orientation: The Von Thünen Model • In 1826 Johann Heinrich von Thünen noticed something – identical physical characteristics (climate, soil) didn't necessarily mean identical crops. • The crops farmers chose to plant were determined by o Crop value o Cost of transportation

5 Von Thunen Model Von Thunen Model
What farmers produce varies by distance from the town, with livestock raising farthest from town. Cost of transportation governs use of land. First effort to analyze the spatial character of economic activity.

6 Von Thünen Model Fig : Von Thünen’s model shows how distance from a city or market affects the choice of agricultural activity in (a) a uniform landscape and (b) one with a river.


8 Dairying and intensive farming occur in the ring closest to the city
Dairying and intensive farming occur in the ring closest to the city. Since vegetables, fruit, milk and other dairy products must get to market quickly, they would be produced close to the city. Timber and firewood would be produced for fuel and building materials in the second zone. Before industrialization (and coal power), wood was a very important fuel for heating and cooking. The third zone consists of extensive fields crops such as grains for bread. Since grains last longer than dairy products and are much lighter than fuel, reducing transport costs, they can be located further from the city. Ranching is located in the final ring surrounding the central city. Animals can be raised far from the city because they are self-transporting. Beyond the fourth ring lies the unoccupied wilderness, which is too great a distance from the central city for any type of agricultural product.

9 Application of Von Thunen Model
Geographer Lee Liu studied the spatial pattern of agriculture production in China. Found: - farmers living in a village farm both lands close to the village and far away intensively - methods varied spatially – resulting in land improvement (by adding organic material) close to village and land degradation (lots of pesticides and fewer conservation tactics) farther from village.


11 Village Forms

12 Functional Differentiation within Villages
Cultural landscape of a village reflects: Social stratification (How is material well being reflected in the spaces of a village?) Differentiation of buildings (What are they used for? How large are they?)

13 Agriculture Commercial Agriculture
Term used to describe large scale farming and ranching operations that employ vast land bases, large mechanized equipment, factory-type labor forces, and the latest technology. - roots are in colonial agriculture - today, global production made possible by advances in transportation and food storage

14 Advances in Transportation and Food Storage
- Containerization of seaborne freight traffic - Refrigeration of containers, as they wait transport in Dunedin, New Zealand

15 Loss of Productive Farmland
Farmland in danger of being suburbanized as cities expand into neighboring farmlands.

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