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Quantifying land fragmentation in Northern Ireland Cattle Enterprises

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dc.contributor.author Milne, Margaret Georgina
dc.contributor.author Byrne, Andrew William
dc.contributor.author Campbell, Emma
dc.contributor.author Graham, Jordan
dc.contributor.author McGrath, John
dc.contributor.author Kirke, Raymond
dc.contributor.author McMaster, Wilma
dc.contributor.author Zimmermann, Jesko
dc.contributor.author Adenuga, Adewale
dc.date.accessioned 2022-06-06T15:27:26Z
dc.date.available 2022-06-06T15:27:26Z
dc.date.issued 2022-03-06
dc.identifier http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12518/451
dc.identifier.citation Milne, G., Byrne, A.W., Campbell, E., Graham, J., McGrath, J., Kirke, R., McMaster, W., Zimmermann, J. and Adenuga, A.H. (2022) ‘Quantifying Land Fragmentation in Northern Irish Cattle Enterprises’, Land. MDPI AG. doi:10.3390/land11030402. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 2073-445X
dc.identifier.uri https://doi.org/10.3390/land11030402
dc.description Publication history: Accepted - 2 March 2022; Published online - 9 March 2022 en_US
dc.description.abstract Farmland fragmentation is considered to be a defining feature of Northern Ireland’s (NI) agricultural landscape, influencing agricultural efficiency, productivity, and the spread of livestock diseases. Despite this, the full extent of farmland fragmentation in cattle farms in NI is not well understood, and little is known of how farmland fragmentation either influences, or is influenced by, different animal production types. Here, we describe and quantify farmland fragmentation in cattle farms for all of NI, using GIS processing of land parcel data to associate individual parcels with data on the cattle business associated with the land. We found that 35% of farms consisted of five or more fragments, with dairy farms associated with greater levels of farmland fragmentation, fragment dispersal and contact with contiguous neighbours compared to other production types. The elevated levels of farmland fragmentation in dairy production compared to non-dairy, may be associated with the recent expansion of dairy farms by land acquisition, following the abolition of the milk quota system in 2015. The comparatively high levels of farmland fragmentation observed in NI cattle farms may also have important implications for agricultural productivity and epidemiology alike. Whilst highly connected pastures could facilitate the dissemination of disease, highly fragmented land could also hamper productivity via diseconomies of scale, such as preventing the increase of herd sizes or additionally, adding to farm costs by increasing the complexity of herd management. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This work was supported by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), and was fully funded under grant 18/3/02 (48258)-FaRTHEr: Fragmentation As a Risk factor for TB in cattle Herds: impacts on Eradication. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher MDPI en_US
dc.rights Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/). en_US
dc.subject farmland fragmentation en_US
dc.subject farm fragmentation en_US
dc.subject dairy en_US
dc.subject cattle farming en_US
dc.subject agricultural productivity en_US
dc.subject Northern Ireland en_US
dc.title Quantifying land fragmentation in Northern Ireland Cattle Enterprises en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dcterms.dateAccepted 2022-03-02
dcterms.dateSubmitted 2022-01-07


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