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Land Rotation in Appalachia

John Fraser Hart
Geographical Review
Vol. 67, No. 2 (Apr., 1977), pp. 148-166
DOI: 10.2307/214017
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/214017
Page Count: 19
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Land Rotation in Appalachia
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Abstract

Much farmland in Appalachia has been cultivated until the soil was exhausted, then "abandoned" to pasture and second-growth woodland, and eventually cleared for cultivation once again after a period of rest under trees. This practice of land rotation may be a continuation of the Scottish tradition of intermittent cultivation of an "outfield." Although land rotation seems to be an effective technique for maintaining production from marginal agricultural land, it has received limited attention because land in rotation does not claim the professional interest either of agriculturalists or of foresters, because outsiders have wished to see the South in an unfavorable light, and because the national economic ethos has taught practitioners of land rotation to feel ashamed of a system of limited economic productivity.

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