According to the last general census of agriculture (October 1970) the agricultural area used in Italy amounts to about 17.5 million hectares of which 25.5% is located in the mountain area, 45.7% in the hilly area and 29.1% in the plain. In the breakdown of agricultural area by crop group, 50.6% is destined for arable land, 30.9% for permanent meadows and pastures, and 16.8% for wood crops. It is evident, comparing these data with those of the previous censuses, how both the arable land, especially in the lowland area, and the woody agricultural crops have increased in percentage. On the other hand, the area destined for forest is almost stationary (6,208,241) while the unproductive one amounts to 3,055,072 ha, with an increase of about one million hectares in just over ten years. In 1970 the irrigated area also increased compared to previous years. The most recent irrigation works are due to the completion of the reclamation areas and the construction of reservoirs and artificial basins by the Cassa per il Mezzogiorno.
As regards the trend of production in the last decade, the increase in crops of wheat, maize, tomatoes and grapes should be noted above all (table 7). These increases are mainly due to the increase in unit yield rather than to the expansion of the cultivated areas.
Due to the variable climatic conditions, maize production has undergone considerable fluctuations from one year to the next and averages around 50 million q (53.4 million q in 1976) supplied for 70% by Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto and Friuli, these regions that allocate vast areas of the plain and valley floors to this cultivation. The cultivation is decreasing in extension and yield from the North to the South and reaches the minimum values in the islands. The vine is present in all Italian regions but gives rise to very different landscapes as a result of the fact that it can appear in mixed or specialized cultivation. Its cultivation goes up to 1000 m in the Alpine region, on the sunny slopes of the Valtellina, and even reaches 1300 m on Etna. THERE. it is now in first place in the world for the production of grapes with yields of over 100 million q (105.5 in 1976), as well as for that of wine (65.8 million hectoliters). Most of the grapes are destined for vinification, but a large part (8 million q) is for the table. The regions where the cultivation is most extensive are Puglia, Sicily, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna, followed by Piedmont, Tuscany and Lazio, but each region has its own typical wines that fuel a prosperous export trade. The production of vegetables is also of great importance for exports to foreign countries. Linked to favorable climate conditions, soft, well irrigated and fertilized soils and presence. of a vast market of absorption, horticulture has developed in the areas surrounding the urban agglomerations (Milan, Bologna, Naples, Bari, Palermo, etc.). But more recently with the improvement of the means of conservation and transport, different species of vegetables alternate throughout the year in the open field. Campania for a favorable combination of physical and human factors is in first place in Italy for the variety, quality and value of horticultural production. The areas of greatest concentration are the Circumvesuvian plain and that of the Sele which give the region the first place for the production of cauliflower and aubergines. the quality and value of horticultural production. The areas of greatest concentration are the Circumvesuvian plain and that of the Sele which give the region the first place for the production of cauliflower and aubergines. the quality and value of horticultural production. The areas of greatest concentration are the Circumvesuvian plain and that of the Sele which give the region the first place for the production of cauliflower and aubergines.
In the last twenty years, the production of tomatoes has also developed greatly, going from 19 million q in 1957 to 29.8 million in 1976 (but over 36 million q in 1974). Campania is in first place for this production with harvests that are around 10 million q.
According to topschoolsintheusa, the cultivation of fruit trees includes numerous species with different climatic needs and is practiced throughout the national territory; for pears and apples, the primacy belongs to Emilia-Romagna with over 15 million q, equal to approximately 40% of national production (36.6 million q in 1976).
Livestock texture. – Data on livestock consistency in 1976 indicate a general decrease in livestock, despite the increased consumption of meat, milk and cheese. Compared to the size of the Italian livestock in 1968, cattle (8,736,900), sheep (8,445,200) and goats (948,200) have now decreased. Equines (540,600) among horses, donkeys, mules and bardots have halved. The only sector in expansion is that of pig breeding, which today has exceeded 9 million heads, compared to 3.9 million in 1958.
The scarce consistency of the bovine herd, much lower than the demand of the national market, forces us to considerable imports from abroad. The availability of good pastures, suitable for cattle breeding, is limited in our country to the Alpine belt, the Po Valley and small areas of the peninsula. The limited extension of grazing areas is one of the reasons for the scarcity of this type of farming. Most of the meadows belong to four regions: Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia. These regions are now home to nearly three-fifths of Italian cattle and supply most of the meat, milk and dairy products.
Fishing. – Fishing represents a secondary activity in Italy both due to the scarcity of the specialized fleet and the low number of people who dedicate themselves to this activity. However, the sector appears to be expanding due to the recent increase in shipping (3871 motor boats and 15,820 motor boats in 1976; respectively 3045 and 8145 in 1960) and for the total tonnage (257,460 t in 1976,108,000 in 1960). The average tonnage of the Italian fishing fleet also increased due to the expansion of the fishing vessel equipped for the high seas. In Italy about two million q of fish are caught annually (2.6 million in 1976) and nearly one million q of molluscs and crustaceans (926,000 and 198,000 q respectively in 1976). Most of the fish is caught in the Adriatic (40%), which has more favorable natural conditions,