[Tagging] Is crop=yes tag completely and utterly useless?

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 18 12:10:29 UTC 2019

On Sun, 18 Aug 2019 at 07:40, Joseph Eisenberg <joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com>

> But I see that there is some desire for a tag for generic cropland, or
> farmland used to grow unspecified crops. For this I would suggest the
> key "farmland=cropland" or "crop=field_cropland", rather than crop=yes
> (less specific) or produce=crop (unclear).

Before we get to the details of how we're going to tag it, we need to be
clear on what
"it" is.

Modern agricultural techniques (mainly the use of fertilizers, whether
natural or
artificial) permit monoculture, where a single type of crop is grown in the
field, year after year.  This we can map with crop=* (or crop=yes or
replaces it when we know a monoculture crop is grown but we don't know
what it is, although that seems unlikely).

However, it is still fairly common to use crop rotation where different
crops are grown
in different years, or even two different crops in the same year.
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crop_rotation  One crop in the rotation
may be
grass, harvested for silage to later be fed to animals.  In some cases a
in a crop rotation may be used as pasture for a year to directly feed
Land in crop rotation may be left fallow for a year, with no crop.  OTOH,
where the land is very uneven then it might be used for nothing but pasture
(sheep or goats are the usual "crop" on land like that).

Maybe we need crop=rotation rather than crop=yes.  I suspect we need both.
necessarily as the tag crop=yes if everyone thinks there's a better tag,
but we need to
cover "this is used to grow crops in some sort of rotation" and "this is
used to grow
crops but I can't figure out what type from this distance and I don't know
if it's
monoculture or rotation."

Or maybe we should restrict ourself to mapping it as farmland because, in
we don't know what a farmer is going to do with a given field from year to
year.  There
are specific cases where we're fairly sure a field is used for monoculture
and we
have specific tags for those: orchard, vineyard, etc.  But, in general,
just because I
see oilseed rape in a field this year that doesn't mean it's going to be
rape next year (it usually isn't, around here).

I should also point out that many farms around here devote some or all of
their land
to tourism.  Is that crop=tourist?  Where the tourists pitch their tents or
park their
caravans is a camp site, but some of the farmland may be left for tourists
use recreationally (aka the farmer having given up on farming completely
because it's no longer economic).

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