ecosystem processes


Can We Farm Without Subsidy? Regenerative Agriculture Could Help But We Need To Act NOW. If you could double your acreage at no extra cost would you do it? As a farmer you have probably got used to the sad fact that making a living from your livestock enterprise without the support of government subsidy is about as likely as a blue faced Leicester ewe thriving outside in winter! Hopefully the new wave of support packages will allow...

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Dutch rewilding experiment missing a vital component… By Georgia Wingfield-Hayes. I visited the Oostvaardersplassen as part of a ‘rewilding’ study trip, in October last year. This vast reserve is mainly marsh, the area open to public being tiny in relation to its entirety. We walk out from the visitors centre to a beautiful big hide from where one can view a vast grassland plain. We were excited to learn that in 2006 the sea eagle,...

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Trees and pasture productivity are rarely discussed in the same conversation, but farmers who think of trees as either shading out grass growth or taking away valuable grazing land are missing out on vital pasture productivity potential. The last couple of decades in farming has been led by the ‘green revolution’ and solutions that are sold in big white bags or plastic drums. As a Farm advisor working with leading soil scientists and...

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It seems to be generally accepted that an area of land is of a fairly set productive value. The thinking is that yields can only be increased by the addition of fertilisers or reseeding with more ‘productive’ grasses, otherwise the only way to increase livestock numbers – and therefore profits – is to buy or rent more land. Conservationists are focused on reducing stocking rates to increase biodiversity....

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There is a common misconception in the farming world that’s harming your profits and potentially your future. We’re led to believe – in increasingly clever and technical ways – that we need fertilisers in order to increase the productivity of pasture or meadow. But just as humans aren’t ‘statin deficient’ when they have a heart attack; grasslands aren’t ‘fertiliser deficient’ if their performance is poor. How to...

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I don’t know many livestock farmers who wouldn’t want to increase the amount of grass they can grow and reduce their input costs. But so often the recommended mainstream methods of increasing pasture productivity are leading us down a money dwindling one-way street. I was recently reading about some research conducted by Simon Fraser University in Brittish Columbia of farms in Alberta growing oilseed rape. They compared...

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