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Lesson Note

Subject: Agricultural science

Topic: Farm Design And Farm-Stead

Learning Objectives: By the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to:

  1. Explain the terms farm design and farm-stead,
  2. Identify the factors that influence farm design,
  3. State the factors that influence farm-stead,
  4. State the factors to be considered when siting a farm-stead.

Lesson Discussions

A farm-stead is both a home and a production centre. The planning of a Farm-Stead should be based on the farming system to be adopted and the use capability. A good farm-stead should make for the comfort of a family living. The construction of a farm-stead is usually preceded by a farm design or plan.

A farm design involves the construction of farm buildings, roads, location of farming zones and definition of the cultural methods to be employed. It is influenced by the following factors:

  • The use of the farm buildings and structures.
  • The prevailing natural conditions which in turn influence the location, choice of building materials and the orientation of the farm buildings.
  • Economic limitations such as the available capital, return upon investments and management programmes adopted.
  • Land use capability/suitability of land for agricultural purposes.

A good farm plan shows the relative size and location of the various farm buildings and structures, vegetable, field or arable and tree crop plots and the roads. It also indicates the farming and cropping systems as well as the cultural practices to be adopted. It uses the knowledge of land, soil, perimeter and contour surveys of the farm to justify the siting of any feature or the establishment of any crop on the farm.

Siting Of A Farm-Stead

In selecting a site for a farm-stead, a contour map is invaluable as a guide. A contour map supplies information on the number of hectares of land to be covered by the farm-stead, agricultural system to be adopted, land use capability and soil conservation measured to be employed. The land use capability accesses land capability from the relationship between crop growth and management and the physical factors of the soil, sites and climate. It evaluates the physical characters of the land that is vital to farming. The selection of a site for a farm-stead is influenced by factors such as:

  1. Steady water supply: This is required by the crops, livestock and the farmers.
  2. Topography: The farm buildings should be erected on slightly elevated sites to guarantee adequate drainage and a good view to and fro the field. The farm buildings have to be sited near streams and must be sheltered from the wind.
  3. An Accessible Location: This makes for easy supervision of the farm. It also enhances transportation of farm inputs and marketing of farm produce.
  4. Nature And Type of Soil: The buildings and structures should be sited on less productive soils. The vegetable crops are to be grown close to the animal pens so that they may benefit from the pen manure. However, the entire farming zone should be reasonably fertile.
  5. Orientation Of The Buildings: The farm buildings should be constructed along the East-West direction to stop the sun rays from falling directly into them. Such buildings include residential houses, stores, offices, workshops, farmshops, and processing houses. Under intensive system of management, livestock pens should have North-South orientation because it has been proved that light rays have positive effects on reproductive physiology of layers and sheep.
  6. Size Of Land: The farmland need not be fragmented but must be in one compact piece. Where the land is fragmented, much time is wasted by the owner is travelling from one farm to another. Land fragmentation also limits farm mechanization.
  7. Labour Supply: A readily obtained supply of cheap labour is required at the peak periods of farming. The labour may not be employed on a permanent basis but on a temporary one. The aim of this is to reduce overhead cost.

Done studying? See all previous lessons in Agriculture.

Take a quick test for this lesson

  1. Explain the terms farm design and farm-stead.
  2. What are the factors that influence farm design?
  3. State the factors that influence farm-stead.
  4. State the factors to be considered when siting a farm-stead.

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