Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Intensive farming is fine for birds and bees

09.05.2008
Eco-friendly plant and animal life have been thriving in intensively managed cereal farms alongside increasing crop yields, according to the first study of its kind.

The analysis of 230 farms by researchers from The Universities of Manchester and Cambridge shows that Government and EU policies which subsidise farmers to protect the environment are - at least to some degree - working.

The findings challenge critics of modern farming who argue that intensive methods such as mechanical ploughing, crop spraying and mechanisation are not compatible with biodiversity conservation.

Economist Dr Noel Russell from The University of Manchester says that farms with higher yields tend to have higher levels beneficial insects, birds, mammals and fungi - though levels are still low.

Eco-friendly species are able to pollinate crops, improve the soil, control pests and other factors to increase crop yields.

Wheat is the most dominant UK cereal crop occupying over 18 per cent of the total land on agricultural holdings in England followed next by Barley.

Dr Russell, who is based at the School of Social Sciences, said: “Our analysis shows that higher yielding more intensive farms are not necessarily those that are doing most damage to ecological habitats in the countryside.

“Many farmers have been willing to reinvest - or forgo - some of their profits to conserve and improve biodiversity and that has born fruit according to our findings.

“This means the natural benefits of some of our plant and animal life to wheat, barley and other types of cereal farming need not be compromised by modern agriculture.

“The improvement is roughly in line with when the Government launched its environmental stewardship schemes and the EU re-launched its common agricultural policy.

“This indicates that Government and EU policies - as well as the activities of farmers - are working.”

He added: “The results show that many farmers have been successfully using high-yielding sustainable technologies.

“These include conservation headlands, buffer strips along intensively managed fields or beside streams or ponds, beetle banks, skylark plots and precautions against soil erosion.”

Jon Keighren | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

nachricht New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>