three-field system

three-field system

      method of agricultural organization introduced in Europe in the Middle Ages and representing a decisive advance in production techniques. In the old two-field system half the land was sown to crop and half left fallow each season; in the three-field system, however, only a third of the land lay fallow. In the autumn one third was planted to wheat, barley, or rye, and in the spring another third of the land was planted to oats, barley, and legumes to be harvested in late summer. The legumes (peas and beans) strengthened the soil by their nitrogen-fixing ability and at the same time improved the human diet.

      Because spring planting required summer rains, it was principally effective north of the Loire and the Alps. By providing two harvests a year it reduced the risk of crop failure and famine. It also made plowing more effective by two means. First, by doing slightly more plowing than under the two-field system, a community of peasants could roughly double their crop yield, though in practice the fallow was usually plowed twice to turn under the green manure. Secondly, the cultivation of a surplus of oats in the spring planting provided feed that made possible the substitution of the swifter gaited horse for ox power, after the introduction of the padded horse collar.

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Universalium. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

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  • three-field system — noun or three course system : a system of land cultivation under which the common land is divided into three parts of which one or two in rotation lie fallow in each year and the rest are cultivated …   Useful english dictionary

  • Three-Field System —    See Agriculture …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • three-course system — noun see three field system …   Useful english dictionary

  • Three-field crop rotation — From the end of the Middle Ages until the 20th century, the three year rotation or three field rotation was practiced by farmers in Europe with a rotation of rye or winter wheat, followed by spring oats or barley, then letting the soil rest… …   Wikipedia

  • open-field system — ▪ agriculture       basic community organization of cultivation in European agriculture for 2,000 years or more. Its best known medieval form consisted of three elements: individual peasant holdings in the form of strips scattered among the… …   Universalium

  • two-field system — ▪ agriculture       basis of agricultural organization in Europe and the Middle East in early times. Arable land was divided into two fields or groups of fields; one group was planted to wheat, barley, or rye, while the other was allowed to lie… …   Universalium

  • Open field system — Generic map of a medieval manor, showing strip farming, from William R. Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1923 The open field system was the prevalent agricultural system in much of Europe from the Middle Ages to as recently as the 20th century in some …   Wikipedia

  • Equal-field system — The Equal field system (zh cp|c=均田制度|p=jūntián zhìdù) (Also, Land equalization system) land system was a historical system of land ownership and distribution in China used from the Six Dynasties to Mid Tang dynasty. By the time of the Han dynasty …   Wikipedia

  • open field system —   a farming system developed in Anglo Saxon culture. The typical example would feature a central village surrounded by three fields. Each year one filed would be left fallow and the other two cropped. The fields being worked were divided into… …   Geography glossary


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