Field (agriculture)

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A field of sunflowers in Cardejon, Spain (2012) Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de La Blanca, Cardejon, Espana, 2012-09-01, DD 02.JPG
A field of sunflowers in Cardejón, Spain (2012)

In agriculture, a field is an area of land, enclosed or otherwise, used for agricultural purposes such as cultivating crops or as a paddock or other enclosure for livestock. A field may also be an area left to lie fallow or as arable land.

Agriculture Cultivation of plants and animals to provide useful products

Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities. The history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs, sheep and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture into the twenty-first.

Crop Plant or animal product which can be grown and harvested

A crop is a plant or animal product that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. Crop may refer either to the harvested parts or to the harvest in a more refined state. Most crops are cultivated in agriculture or aquaculture. A crop is usually expanded to include macroscopic fungus, or alga (algaculture).

Paddock type of small enclosure for horses

A paddock is a small enclosure for horses. In the United Kingdom, this term also applies to a field for a general automobile racing competition, particularly Formula 1.


Many farms have a field border, usually composed of a strip of shrubs and vegetation, used to provide food and cover necessary for the survival of wildlife. It has been found that these borders may lead to an increased variety of animals and plants in the area, but also in some cases a decreased yield of crops. [1]


Rotational grazing with pasture divided into paddocks, each grazed in turn for a short period NRCSMO02014 - Missouri (4753)(NRCS Photo Gallery).tif
Rotational grazing with pasture divided into paddocks, each grazed in turn for a short period
A Black sheep on a New Zealand paddock with Lake Rotorua in the background Black sheep on paddock with Lake Rotorua in the background.jpg
A Black sheep on a New Zealand paddock with Lake Rotorua in the background

In Australian and New Zealand English, any agricultural field may be called a paddock, especially if for keeping sheep or cattle. If stock are grazed there, the space may be called a run, e.g. sheep run; cattle run. [2] The term paddock is used more specifically in animal husbandry for a system in which grazing land is divided into small areas, paddocks, and the stock graze each paddock in turn for a short period. Paddock grazing systems may be designed with, for example, 6 or 11 paddocks used in rotation. [3]

Australian English is the set of varieties of the English language native to Australia. Although English has no official status in the Constitution, Australian English is the country's national and de facto official language as it is the first language of the majority of the population.

New Zealand English (NZE) is the variant of the English language spoken and written by most English-speaking New Zealanders. Its language code in ISO and Internet standards is en-NZ. English is the first language of the majority of the population.

Animal husbandry Management, selective breeding, and care of farm animals by humans

Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, fibre, milk, eggs, or other products. It includes day-to-day care, selective breeding and the raising of livestock.

A paddock is normally fenced, usually by wire, and often defined by its natural boundaries, or is otherwise considered distinct. A back paddock is a smaller field that is situated away from the farm house; possibly land of lesser quality. [4] The equivalent concept in North America and the UK is a pasture.

Pasture land used for grazing

Pasture is land used for grazing. Pasture lands in the narrow sense are enclosed tracts of farmland, grazed by domesticated livestock, such as horses, cattle, sheep, or swine. The vegetation of tended pasture, forage, consists mainly of grasses, with an interspersion of legumes and other forbs. Pasture is typically grazed throughout the summer, in contrast to meadow which is ungrazed or used for grazing only after being mown to make hay for animal fodder. Pasture in a wider sense additionally includes rangelands, other unenclosed pastoral systems, and land types used by wild animals for grazing or browsing.

In Australia the word seems to have had its current meaning since at least 1807 [5] and in New Zealand since at least 1842. [6] However, the English meaning of "field" was used earlier in Australia [7] and is still occasionally used. [8] Similarly, meadow was in early use [9] and has appeared later, for example, in 2004. [10] Field remains in regular use in Australasia in expressions such as football field, Field Day and field trip.

Meadow field vegetated primarily by grass and other non-woody plants (grassland)

A meadow is an open habitat, or field, vegetated by grass and other non-woody plants. They attract a multitude of wildlife and support flora and fauna that could not thrive in other habitats. They provide areas for courtship displays, nesting, food gathering, pollinating insects, and sometimes sheltering, if the vegetation is high enough, making them ecologically important. There are multiple types of meadows, such as agricultural, transitional, and perpetual, each important to the ecosystem. Meadows may be naturally occurring or artificially created from cleared shrub or woodland.

Australian rules football playing field location where Australian rules football games take place

An Australian rules football playing field is a venue where Australian rules football is played.

National Agricultural Fieldays New Zealand agricultural event

The National Agricultural Fieldays is an annual national agricultural show and field day event held in mid-June at the Mystery Creek Events Centre near Hamilton, New Zealand. It styles itself as "the biggest agricultural trade show in the southern hemisphere".

In a new style of intensive farming developed in North America, a paddock is a small (perhaps 1 acre) temporary subdivision of a pasture made with electric fencing, which is intensely grazed for a day and then left to rest for perhaps 80 days or more. [11]

Intensive farming Type of agriculture using high inputs to try to get high outputs

Intensive agriculture, also known as intensive farming, is a type of agriculture, both of crop plants and of animals, with higher levels of input and output per cubic unit of agricultural land area. It is characterized by a low fallow ratio, higher use of inputs such as capital and labour, and higher crop yields per cubic unit land area.

See also

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  1. Carpenter, Brent; Dailey, Thomas V.; Jones-Farrand, D. Todd; Pierce, Robert A.; White, Bill. "Field Borders for Agronomic, Economic and Wildlife Benefits". Curators of the University of Missouri. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  2. The Macquarie Dictionary run n. Def. 113
  3. Bertelsen, B. S.; Faulkner, D. B.; Buskirk, D. D.; Castree, J. W. (1993-06-01). "Beef cattle performance and forage characteristics of continuous, 6-paddock, and 11-paddock grazing systems". Journal of Animal Science. 71 (6): 1381–1389. doi:10.2527/1993.7161381x.
  4. definition of 'B-1', part of Australia Decoded at
  5. "Classified Advertising - The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842) - 12 Apr 1807". Trove. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  6. "MR. SUTTON'S JOURNAL. (Continued from Number 4.) (New Zealand Colonist and Port Nicholson Advertiser, 1842-08-19)". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  7. "HOT WINDS. - The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842) - 16 Oct 1803". Trove. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  8. "A SUMMER SANS - Woroni (Canberra, ACT : 1950 - 2007) - 1 Feb 2007". Trove. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  9. "NAMBOURG. - The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842) - 26 Mar 1803". Trove. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  10. "TASMANIAN TRIBULATIONS - Woroni (Canberra, ACT : 1950 - 2007) - 16 Feb 2004". Trove. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  11. Byck, Peter (27 November 2013). "SOIL CARBON COWBOYS" via Vimeo.