Books  Sustainable Development  Agriculture & Food 

Agriculture: A Very Short Introduction

Popular ScienceNew
Introduces readers to the vast range of global agriculture, covering both industrial and developing countries
Considers both livestock and crop farming, and the multiple issues facing the different forms of farming
Explains the principles of local and international agricultural markets, and how they determine what farmers produce
Identifies the universally applicable principles of farming

Series: Very Short Introduction Series

By: Paul Brassley (Author), Richard Soffe (Author)

152 pages, 9 b/w photos

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Apr 2016 | #228589 | ISBN-13: 9780198725961
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £7.99 $10/€9 approx

About this book

Agriculture, one of the oldest human occupations, is practised all over the world, using techniques ranging from the profoundly traditional to the most scientifically advanced. Without it we would starve. Yet how many of us understand what is happening in the fields that we see as we drive through the countryside? How often do we think about the origins of the food in our trolley?

In this Very Short Introduction Paul Brassley and Richard Soffe explain what farmers do and why they do it. Beginning with the most basic resource, the soil, they show why it is important, and how farmers can increase its productivity, before turning to the plants and animals that grow on it, and tracing the connections between their biology and the various ways in which farmers work with them. The authors conclude by looking at some of the controversial issues facing contemporary agriculture: its sustainability; its impact on wildlife and landscape; issues of animal welfare; and the affect of climate change and the development of genetically modified organisms on farmers.


Soils and crops
Farm animals
Feeding the food industry
Inputs into agriculture
Modern and traditional farming
Farming futures
Further reading

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this product. Be the first to review this product!


Dr. Paul Brassley studied agriculture and agricultural economics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and agricultural history at Oxford University. He worked on a variety of farms from Scotland to Devon before teaching agricultural economics and policy at the former Seale-Hayne College in Devon for over thirty years. He has researched various aspects of agricultural history from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, most recently at the University of Exeter. He is co-editor of War, Agriculture and Food: Rural Europe from the 1930s to the 1950s (Routledge, 2012), along with Y. Segers and L. Van Molle.

Richard Soffe, studied Agriculture and subsequently lectured Farm Management at Seale-Hayne College, University of Plymouth. He was awarded a Masters Degree in Management and Marketing from Cranfield University. He was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Agricultural Societies and is currently the Director of the Rural Business School at Duchy (Cornwall) College. He is the editor of The Agricultural Notebook, 20th edition (2003) and The Countryside Notebook (2005)

Bestsellers in this subject

Food for Free (40th Anniversary Edition)

NHBS Price: £24.99 $31/€28 approx

Microclimate: The Biological Environment

NHBS Price: £225.00 $275/€253 approx

Peppers: Vegetable and Spice Capsicums

NHBS Price: £44.99 $55/€51 approx

Pollination Services to Agriculture

NHBS Price: £34.99 $43/€39 approx

Construction Information for Dartington Hives

NHBS Price: £11.99 $15/€13 approx