Agriculture and Rural Land

Rural land for primary production is an important part of all of our lives.

Without it we couldn’t grow the food we eat or the fibre for our backs.

In some places just the look of open fields dotted with cows or sheep, agricultural buildings and the odd tractor plowing is a valued part of our cultural landscape it evokes memories of times gone by or prompt a primal urge to pack up the city life and head for ‘greener pastures’.

One thing we all know for sure is that a growing population needs to be fed and you cannot do that on concrete.

The Shoalhaven is home to some excellent productive land with unique soil types. Couple that with generally excellent rainfall and you can see why David Berry thought it a terrific place to settle.

In a  modern context the Shoalhaven is carving out a niche in delectable food and wine grown locally and with the proximity to markets it makes it the ideal place for intensifying agricultural production.

Agriculture however can be in direct conflict with housing estates and urban living, as we often forget that the country /rural life isn’t the quite peaceful thing we imagine. chainsaw, tractors, chemical and fertiliser use all have their own impacts and that’s before you add in the smells of say a pig or chook farm!

So planning to preserve our farm land is important, keeping small rural holdings nearby rather than high density living is a far more logical approach.

Shoalhaven Council are attempting to erode useful primary production land by extending many uses onto the land. When you see the list you might think ‘well whats wrong with that?”but what we all have to remember is that its the cumulative impact of eroding away the edges of famland until we reach the point of uselessness.

Do you have a story you would like to tell about the loss of agricultural land within the Shoalhaven?

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