The utilization of bogs for grassland farming : a comparative study of resource development in Newfoundland and Iceland

Sigursveinsson, Sigurdur (1983) The utilization of bogs for grassland farming : a comparative study of resource development in Newfoundland and Iceland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The two North Atlantic islands, Newfoundland and Iceland, have many parallels one of which is the abundance of boglands. In Iceland they play an important role in a flourishing grassland industry while in Newfoundland bogs have generally been considered wasteland. An examination of these contrasts forms the focus of this thesis. More specifically its objectives are: -- i. to examine efforts that have been made to establish bogland farming in Newfoundland, -- ii. to determine the most suitable target(s) for a renewed bogland programme, and -- iii. to examine the potential use of technology and experience from Iceland in such a programme. -- The methods used in the study include structured, face-to-face interviews with government officials and farmers, both in Iceland and Newfoundland; a mailed questionnaire to agricultural representatives in all agricultural regions in Iceland; and correspondence with bogland scientists in selected countries. -- In this study bogland farming is treated as an agricultural innovation, the adoption of which was not successful in Newfoundland in the past. A modified innovative decision process model is used as the framework within which the data collected is analysed. -- The study reveals that machinery problems were the main reason for the failure of the bogland programme of the 1960's in Newfoundland. Because of the overriding emphasis on keeping reclamation costs low, drainage intensity was minimized which in turn led to severe flotation problems with ordinary farm machinery. Furthermore, follow-up of the projects by the agricultural authorities was inadequate, and some of the farmers concerned never put any effort in making use of the reclaimed bogs. -- In Iceland the bogs have different physical characteristics due to recent volcanism, and traditionally they have been important as a fodder resource. However, for climatic reasons intensive drainage is required for successful grassland bog farming. For that purpose a special “tunnel drainage" concept has been developed, which combines efficiency, durability, and low costs. Similar technology has been used in Ireland, and it is suggested that tunnel drains be employed in a renewed bogland programme in Newfoundland, which, for a number of reasons, should be focused on provision of fodder for the dairy industry particularly in the St. John's region.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5528
Item ID: 5528
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [215]-[231].
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: 1983
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador; Iceland
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Meadows--Newfoundland and Labrador; Meadows--Iceland; Reclamation of land--Newfoundland and Labrador; Reclamation of land--Iceland; Bogs--Newfoundland and Labrador; Bogs--Iceland

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