Teeltplan, produktie en produktiekosten. De landbouw in enkele gemeenten van de provincies Antwerpen en Oost-Vlaanderen (begin 19e eeuw).

Cultivation-Plan, Production And Production-Costs Agriculture In A Few Municipalities Of The Provinces Of Antwerp And East-Flanders (Early 19th Century): Since the middle of the 19th century censuses of the cultivated area, the crop-quantities and the yield-factors obtained have no more been exceptional. This information, which is undoubtedly important, should, however, be approached with some distrust, as the data were gathered by inexpert people in a rather shady period (years of occupation) and from a refractory population. The unsystematically gathered information, i.e. the yield-figures which appear from time to time in the writings of contemporaries, is likewise unreliable, as it happened but too often that only exceptional yields were worth noting. The difficulty is always that calculating a margin of error proves impossible. All those figures eventually offer but few indications about the agrarian structure or the agrarian business economics. A step in that direction can be taken with the assessments of the primitive land-registry, drawn up at the beginning of the 19th-century in order to determine the average net income of real estate. The administration of the land-registry had no intention to carry out a thorough investigation into agriculture itself, but the result - the assessment per municipality - is a very useful agriculture-inquiry. The value of the dossiers is not so much to be found in the vast amount of figures, but in the f act that the most important aspects of the agrarian trade can be studied in their mutual connection. The arable land was divided into different quality-classes. Together with a detailed cultivation-plan the quantity of seed is mentioned per plant and subsequently the yield-factors are stated per plant and per class of land. Thus, the yield per hectare is known. Remarkable and exceptional is the fact that a detailed reference is also made to the production-costs per plant. By way of random test the dossiers were examined of fourteen municipalities situated in different agrarian areas. Though attention was primarily focused on a critical processing of the material, it has nevertheless become apparent that, in the domain of agriculture, Flanders was well ahead of the province of Antwerp, notably in the Campine. This finds expression in the crop-yields, but \t appears especially from the monotonous and qualitatively inferior cultivation-plan and the relatively high production-costs in the Campine. The potato-growing which spread but slowly in the province of Antwerp, may serve as an example for this statement. As compared to the data of the 1846 agricultural census, the crop-yields and the business-results in general were considerably lower in the beginning of the 19th century. Though it is difficult to determine the value of the 1846 census, yet everything points to a strong increase of the productivity in the former half of the 19th century. An explanation for this phenomenon is probably to be found in the generalization of the after-crops and of better fodder-plants.