Agriculture Influence Of Population
AGRICULTURE INFLUENCE OF POPULATION Besides those variations in the agricultural practice of this country which arise from diversities of soil and climate, there are others which are due to the distribution of the population. The proximity of cities and towns, or of populous villages, inhabited by a manufacturing or mining population, implies a demand for dairy produce and vegetables, as well as for provender and litter, and at the same time affords an ample supply of manure to aid in their reproduction. Such commodities, from their bulk or perishable nature, do not admit of long carriage. The supplies of these must therefore be drawn from comparatively limited areas, and the character of the husbandry pursued there is determined apart from those general influences previously referred to. From these and other causes there is a diversity in the practice of British agriculture which increases the difficulty of describing it accurately. Indeed, it is so well known that there are peculiarities of character attaching to almost every individual field and farm, and still more to every different district or county, which demand corresponding modifications of treatment in order to their successful cultivation, that a prudent man, if required to take the management of a farm in some district greatly inferior in its general system of farming to that which he may have left, will yet be very cautious in innovating upon specific practices of the natives.
To such peculiarities it is obviously impracticable to refer in such a treatise as the present. They are referred to now because they suggest an explanation of some of those discrepancies in the practice and opinions of farmers, equally successful in their respective localities, which we constantly meet with ; and because, in proceeding to delineate the practice of Berwickshire, where our personal experience has been gained by upwards of forty years of actual farming, we would deprecate the idea of claiming for its modes a superiority over those of other districts. Its geographical position, and the mixed husbandry pursued in it, would justify, in some measure, its being referred to as a fair sample of the national agriculture. But it is on the specific ground that it is best to speak from actual experience as far as that will serve, that we vindicate this selection.