Urban Process: Food & Agriculture | Biocity Studio


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South Australia’s agricultural industry has had booms and downturns in the past. Agriculture and food production affects transport, pollution, water usage, waste, erosion and soil/topsoils. The food to energy output is 1 calorie of food energy produced is equal to 10 calories of fossil fuel energy consumed.

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Urban Process: Food & Agriculture | Biocity Studio

  1. 1. Urban Process: Food & Agriculture Carina Green Biocity | Adelaide |July 2008
  2. 3. 1836-1860 - South Australia had 31% of the total area of cultivated land in Australia by 1860 . 145,000 hectares had been brought into cultivation. - The area was in a compact zone around Adelaide: occupying the Adelaide Plains and Southern Vales, the upper valleys of the Torrens and Onkaparinga rivers, the Barossa Valley and valleys northwards to Kapunda and Clare. HISTORY <ul><li>1860-1870 - T he cultivated area doubled, expanding to the north. Fertile volcanic soils around Mount Gambier in the South-East. Half the Australian wheat area (double that of Victoria), allowing booming grain exports to the eastern colonies, South Africa and sometimes to the United Kingdom. </li></ul>(Peter Morton, ‘ After Light’ , Wakefield Press, SA, 1996)
  3. 4. (WilliamHarcus, South Australian Agriculrue,1876)
  4. 5. 1870-1880 - Release of land by The Waste Lands Amendment Act of 1869 (Strangways Act) - The cultivated area trebled , the greatest increases in the Mid North and on Yorke Peninsula. - After 1872, settlement was allowed to extend beyond Goyder's Line on to the salt-bush plains east of the central hill country and on to the Willochra Plain. - By 1880, South Australia’s cultivated land was 46% of all cultivated land in Australia. 1880-1890 - Drought brought diminished grain yield, crops abandoned - Experiments in clearing the mallee scrub on Yorke Peninsula and the Murray Plains east of the Mount Lofty Ranges. (Peter Morton, ‘ After Light’ , Wakefield Press, SA, 1996)
  5. 6. 1900-1910 - Land clearance accelerates in a broad central belt from the Victorian border to Ceduna to the west - Above-average rainfall and the widespread use of phosphates restored fertility to the older farmlands and allowed wheat farmers to settle on the sandy soils of the Murray Mallee and Eyre Peninsula. Subdivision of pastoral estates in the Mid North created increases in cultivation on new family-sized farms. 1920-1930 - Post-war influx of returned soldiers created an increase of cultivation achieved almost entirely by horse-teams in all in the dry Murray Mallee and northern Eyre Peninsula - Appeal to help relieve the foreign exchange crisis saw a record wheat harvest for 1930 (Peter Morton, ‘ After Light’ , Wakefield Press, SA, 1996)
  6. 7. 1930-1940 - The depression brought about low prices, dust storms, soil erosion and contracting areas in cultivation. 1940-50 - Optimism for grain farmers with high prices for wool during World War II - Horses were quickly replaced by tractors and new machinery made the clearance of the land more efficient - Introduction of synthetic pesticides and herbicides (Peter Morton, ‘ After Light’ , Wakefield Press, SA, 1996)
  7. 8. (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, www.abs.gov.au) The pattern of expansion after 1960 was similar to that of the 1950s, the greatest increases being in the upper South-East.
  8. 9. (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, www.abs.gov.au)
  9. 10. These general increases in productivity occurred despite large areas experiencing droughts (1982, 1994), However, productivity would have been assisted by new technologies and advances made in farm machinery, chemical pesticides and genetic modification, The trend has seen less and less people engaged in farming and for farming to be organised on a corporate level “almost by remote control” . (James Kunstler, ‘The Long Emergency’, 2005) Major policies affecting agriculture were initiated: the Rural Research and Development Corporations in the 1980s; the Decade of Landcare initiated in 1989; the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development launched in 1992; and Agriculture Advancing Australia in 1997.
  10. 11. Some of the elements that agriculture and food production effect: Transport Pollution Water - usage - waste Arable cropland - erosion - soil/ topsoils
  11. 12. Catalysts for the growth of the food industry include: The Semite theory: living beyond ones means Growth of the economy meant increase in population This in turn creates a higher demand for food The need for cheaper more efficient farming
  12. 13. Percentage of land used for agriculture in Australia (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, www.abs.gov.au)
  13. 14. Where does our food come from? a long way to get to our fridges. Australia imports food from France, USA, China and South Africa. CONTEXT
  14. 15. Where does our food go? CONTEXT
  15. 17. Input (needs) Shelter Dust Water Grit Air Food Other Chickens Output (products and behaviours) Eggs Meat Feathers Manure Methane CO 2 Emissions Scratching Foraging Flying Fighting (Image: Mark Koltz, Flickr, 2008)
  16. 18. Transport of food
  17. 19. Trucks are the main method of food transportation. This is seen to be 10 times more “energy- intensive than moving food by train or barge”. (Richard Heinberg, ‘Threats of Peak Oil to the Global Food Supply, July 2005)
  18. 20. Increased demand in food supplies = strain on infrastructure
  19. 21. Energy
  20. 22. food = energy Food is energy . It takes energy to get food.
  21. 23. In the natural world, if the energy taken to get the food is greater than the energy given by food, then the effort is futile…. And can lead to starvation. For an urbanised city, the same principle applies…the effect is just harder to see. food = energy “ Woe to the fox who expends more energy chasing rabbits than he can get from eating the rabbits he catches.” (Richard Heinberg, ‘Threats of Peak Oil to the Global Food Supply, July 2005)
  22. 24. For every 1 calorie of food energy produced, 10 calories of fossil fuel energy is required
  23. 25. The amount of calories needed per day is around 2000 calories of energy. Therefore it takes 20,000 calories of energy to source this food.
  24. 26. In one year, the energy taken grow, process and deliver food to family of four is equivalent to 34,000 kilowatt-hours of energy, or around 930 gallons of petrol. =
  25. 28. Chemicals The fact that fossil fuels are non-renewable, it will become more and more difficult to supply chemical fertilizers at the rate and volume they are supplied now
  26. 29. Pollution
  27. 30. Greenhouse Gas emissions for South Australia
  28. 31. Effect of Climate Change - The climatic conditions faced by the agricultural industry so far this decade have been severe. - The Bureau of Meteorology records two main indicators of the severity of drought: geographic spread and degree of dryness. Geographic spread is gauged by the proportion of land with rainfall in the lowest 10 per cent of historical experience, while degree of dryness is measured by average rainfall in a given period compared with historical experience. - The 2002 and 2006 droughts were among the most severe and widespread drought periods on record and within a very short period of time.
  29. 32. Water
  30. 35. South Australian policy: Improved focus on sensibility to natural systems….. ?
  31. 36. The future is now… Rising fuel costs, lack of arable land… Food shortages…Economic breakdown… Starvation?
  32. 38. It takes energy to get food
  33. 41. Old world
  34. 42. New world