Stafford coat of arms
Stafford Family History - Title

History of Agricultural


In 1750 English population stood at about 5.7 million. After 1850, it had reached the unprecedented figure of 16.6 million, and agricultural output expanded with it.

One reason output grew was through new farming systems involving the rotation of turnips and clover, Because grazing land was replaced by arable land, this had to be made good by new fodder crops. Not only did these crops result in an increase in fodder yields, but they were also instrumental in the reclamation of many lowland heaths from rough pasture to productive arable farms, this meant that more food was being produced from the same area of land Intensity was also increased by land reclamation. A total of 12 million pounds of public money was borrowed to pay for 2 – 3 million acres of land drainage between 1850 – 1875.

At the same time the proportion of the workforce in agriculture fell. This was mainly due to a wide variety of machinery being developed which substantially raised the output per worker. In addition better farm management and the more efficient use of the workforce meant that less workers were needed than before.

Agriculture in Derbyshire had its own specific problems. In 1829 a report stated that because of the coldness of its climate it was not ideal for arable farming in some of the highland areas, therefore a large area of its farming land was Dairy or sheep farming the crops would mostly have been fodder crops of turnips or clover and several hundred acres in different parts of the county are laid down for pasture, which were some years ago in tillage. Because of this Derbyshire cheeses were exported or sent to London in considerable quantities; and cheese fairs were held in various parts of the county.




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