. . Von Thünen Model AP Human Geography Mr. Blanchard
The Von Thünen model of agricultural land use was created by farmer and amateur economist J. H. Von Thünen of Germany. He believed farmers were ‘economic men. ” His model was created before industrialization and is based on the following 6 limiting assumptions:
Background The Von Thünen model of agricultural land, created before industrialization, made the following simplifying assumptions: v. The city is located centrally within an "Isolated State. " v. The Isolated State is surrounded by wilderness. v. The land is completely flat and has no rivers or mountains.
Background v. Soil quality and climate are consistent. v. Farmers in the Isolated State transport their own goods to market via oxcart, across land, directly to the central city. There are no roads. v. Farmers behave rationally to maximize profits.
Von Thünen's model is concerned with land use patterns. Transport costs vary with the bulkiness and perishability of the product. Product A is costly to transport but has a high market price and is therefore farmed near the city. Product B sells for less but has lower transport costs. At a certain distance, B becomes more profitable than A because of its lower transport costs. Eventually, product C, with still lower transport costs, becomes the most profitable product. The changing pattern of the most profitable produce is therefore seen as a series of land use rings around the city. This phenomenon may be illustrated by a graph showing the varying locational rent of three products, the most profitable product at each point, and the land use pattern which results.
Use a blank sheet of paper Place each “product” where you think it would go and explain why. In no particular order, you products and locations are : Intensive agriculture Livestock Ranching City Forest Resources Grain Farming Dairy Your group will locate each of the following in the ring that you think will maximize its efficiency. Explain your reasoning for each of your choices.
In an Isolated State with the foregoing statements being true, Von Thünen hypothesized that the following pattern would develop: There are four rings of agricultural activity surrounding the city. Central City Intensive farming/dairy Managed forest Extensive field crops (grains) Ranching/grazing –Dairying and intensive farming occur in the ring closest to the city. Since vegetables, fruit, milk and other dairy products must get to market quickly, they would be produced close to the city (remember, we don't have refrigerated oxcarts!)
Forest resources (Timber and firewood) would be produced for fuel and building materials in the second zone. Before industrialization (and coal power), wood (forest) was a very important fuel for heating and cooking. Wood is very heavy and difficult to transport so it is located as close to the city as possible. Central City Intensive farming/dairy Managed forest Extensive field crops (grains) Ranching/grazing
The third zone consists of extensive fields crops such as grains for bread. Since grains last longer than dairy products and are much lighter than fuel, reducing transport costs, they can be located further from the city. Central City Intensive farming/dairy Managed forest Extensive field crops (grains) Ranching/grazing
Ranching (livestock farming) is located in the final ring surrounding the central city. –Animals can be raised far from the city because they are self-transporting. Animals can walk to the central city for sale or for butchering. Central City Intensive farming/dairy Managed forest /Grazing Dairy Extensive field crops (grains) Ranching/grazing
Beyond the fourth ring lies the unoccupied wilderness, which is too great a distance from the central city for any type of agricultural product. Central City Intensive farming/dairy Managed forest Extensive field crops (grains) Ranching/grazing
It doesn’t always look the same:
The Von Thünen model is an excellent illustration of the balance between land costs and transportation costs. This is also the basis for the “bid rent” theory.
As one gets closer to a city, the price of land increases. The farmers of the Isolated State balance the costs of transportation, land, and profit and produce the most cost-effective product for market.
So………. 1. Dairying and gardening of fruits and vegetables would be closer to the urban market while… 2. Timber and firewood for fuel and building materials would be in the second zone. 3. Mixed farming, commercial grain and orchards and 4. Extensive cattle ranching would be located farther away. Transportation is cheap: the animals can walk to the city for butchering.
Why? Some products spoiled more quickly, needed more sensitive transportation, or generate higher prices at market These products mean the farmer can afford higher land rent.
The Von Thünen Model
…applying von Thunen’s basic assumptions …von Thunen’s model with Variations in climate factored in--the north is colder than the South.
It’s all about cost & proximity R=Y(p-c)-YFm RINGS: R=Y(p-c)-YFm 1. Market-oriented gardens & dairy R = expensive land rent; • Most land, products (delivery cost), and very (noper shelf unit life) of land; Y perishable = yield 2. Wood lots p = market priceandper • Timber for construction fuel unit of • Must be close because of weight of freight commodity 3. Crops and Pasture c = production per unit of • Commodities are rotatedexpenses annually 4. Animal grazing commodity; • Requires the most space 5. Beyond fourth ring lies (per the wilderness F = thefreight rate agricultural unit, • Distance from the city is too great a distance from the per mile); central city for any type of agricultural product. m = distance to market.
PRO’S AND CONS PROS Organized typical land organization (what was being practiced) Perfect world only CONS Assumes all land is uniform (quality) Doesn’t account for topographical features (hills, rivers, etc. ) • Cost changes with land or water transportation Developed for small regional focus w/single market center but is Doesn’t consider social customs or easily applicable at the national or government policies and influences global scale