farmland News

  • Protecting farmland biodiversity

    A new study describes the rate of loss in plant diversity in intensively farmed fields. The authors recommend that measures to protect biodiversity should focus on low-intensity farmland, due to difficulties associated with rebuilding lost biodiversity in intensively farmed land. Intensive agriculture is one of the main drivers of the decline in worldwide biodiversity. The rate of species ...

  • Abandoned farmlands are key to sustainable bioenergy

    Biofuels can be a sustainable part of the world's energy future, especially if bioenergy agriculture is developed on currently abandoned or degraded agricultural lands, report scientists from the Carnegie Institution and Stanford University. Using these lands for energy crops, instead of converting existing croplands or clearing new land, avoids competition with food production and preserves ...

  • Predicting contamination of farmland after flooding

    Floods and the resulting damage to agricultural and urban environments are likely to increase as a result of climate change. Major floods in Europe, such as those affecting the Elbe River in Germany in August 2002, can result in contamination by heavy metals of flooded farmland. Taking zinc as an example, a new modelling approach showed that there was more than a one in three chance that ...

  • Tenth of China`s farmland contaminated

    A tenth of China's farmland is contaminated with fertiliser, polluted water and heavy metals, threatening the country's food supply, official Chinese sources have said. As much as 12.3m hectares of farmland are affected by pollution from liquid and solid waste, some of which makes its way into the food supply, China's official news agency Xinhua reported. The statistics, sourced from the ...

  • Farmland biodiversity monitoring costs estimated

    Monitoring biodiversity on farms is vital for conservation policies but how much does it cost? In a new pan-European study, researchers develop a standardised monitoring programme and estimate it will cost an average of €8 200 per farm to conduct. This cost could be dramatically cut if volunteer ‘citizen scientists’ or farmers help gather data for the programmes. Monitoring ...

  • Abandoned farmland widespread in central and eastern Europe

    A new study suggests that abandoned farmland is widespread in Europe and that not all land that has been abandoned is unsuitable for farming. Understanding how abandoned farmland is distributed may be important for making land management decisions – for instance, recultivation versus reversion to forest. To meet the future demands of a growing population, it may be necessary to increase the ...

  • Plastic mulching reduces farmland bird numbers and diversity

    Using plastic sheeting to encourage early growth of crops reduces the number and diversity of farmland birds, new research from Poland suggests. The study shows that this effect continues even after plastic has been removed. Plastic ‘mulching’ is the use of sheets of plastic to cover vegetables after sowing; this controls weeds and increases the soil temperature, allowing faster ...

  • Defra ministers endorse campaign to protect farmland biodiversity

    149/10 Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, Jim Paice, today announced that the Campaign for the Farmed Environment, an industry-led initiative which encourages farmers to voluntarily nurture wildlife on their land, is making progress and will continue, but farmers can still do more to ensure it continues to be successful. Those taking part in the campaign are helping to improve ...

  • 12 week curfew for depositing tyres on farmland

    For two years Adrian Last illegally stored waste tyres on disused farm land in Louth while trading as The Branch/Crusade on Waste. Yesterday (Monday 27 January), Boston Magistrates Court sentenced him to a 12 week electronically monitored curfew. Last will be required to stay indoors between the hours of 8pm and 3am. The Court also told him he would pay £500 towards the ...

  • Plastic mulching reduces farmland bird numbers and diversity

    Using plastic sheeting to encourage early growth of crops reduces the number and diversity of farmland birds, new research from Poland suggests. The study shows that this effect continues even after plastic has been removed. Plastic ‘mulching’ is the use of sheets of plastic to cover vegetables after sowing; this controls weeds and increases the soil temperature, allowing faster ...

  • Comparing farmland changes in China, the Netherlands and Germany

    Converting agricultural land for non-agricultural use has implications for food security and environmental degradation, and concerns many countries across the world. How different nations address these issues has been examined in a recent study which compares the governance structures for farmland conversion in the Netherlands, Germany and China. Working within the RECREATE project1, partly ...

  • Scientists search for solutions to Iraq`s salty farmland

    The high level of salt threatening two-thirds of Iraq's irrigated farmland — as well as many other countries — is being targeted by a group of Iraqi and international researchers and policymakers. The Iraq Salinity Project aims to develop long-term strategies to manage salinity in central and southern Iraq. It is coordinated by the International Center for Agricultural Research ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Southwest Kansas Farmland, Mineral Rights to Sell in Oct. 20 Auction

    GARDEN CITY, KS -- (Marketwire) -- 09/09/10 -- Approximately 3,552 acres of Southwest Kansas farmland, including irrigated land, dryland and pasture, will sell at auction Wednesday, Oct. 20, as the Nelle Beach Trust seeks to liquidate its holdings near Garden City. Schrader-Westchester auctions will manage the sale. ...


  • USDA provides US$77m to repair farmland damaged by flood and drought

    US Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer has said that farmers and ranchers will receive $77 million in Emergency Conservation Program funds to repair farmland damaged by natural disasters in 2008. Producers will be able to use the money to remove farmland debris, restore fences and repair conservation structures which were damaged by floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, wildfires, and ...

  • Birds could provide a simple means of identifying high nature value farmland

    New research from central Italy shows that high nature value farmland in the region can be accurately identified by the presence of just four bird species. Once such groups of species have been identified for different regions, they can provide a quick and inexpensive tool for assessing the ecological value of farmland, the researchers say. Agriculture is a major land use across Europe and ...

  • Artificial wetlands on farmland help to prevent soil loss and recapture agricultural by-products

    Small field wetlands are a simple and effective way to reduce soil erosion and nutrient pollution, recent research suggests. The authors adapted Norwegian designs for the UK environment and created a series of small rectangular lakes on the edges of agricultural fields. After three years, the wetlands had prevented tonnes of soil from leaving the land, and helped alleviate some of the nutrient ...

  • New Jersey forest and farmland to be preserved under EPA settlement with home builder

    New Jersey forest and farmland to be preserved under EPA settlement with home builder The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached an agreement with the homebuilder D.R. Horton, LLC for violations of federal regulations that protect against pollution from stormwater runoff. Under the agreement, D.R. Horton will pay a $99,000 penalty. The company will also pay $104,420 to The Land ...

  • Balanced approach to restoring farmland biodiversity shares and separates land

    It is possible to balance agricultural production with improved biodiversity on farmland, according to researchers. A new study suggests using a combination of land sharing techniques, which enhance biodiversity on existing farmland, with land separation techniques, which designate separate areas for conservation and farmland production. The expansion of agriculture and intensification of ...

  • Ministries Need to Collaborate to Ensure Continued Productivity of Farmland and Forests in ECA

    As economies in the ECA region grow, farm and forest productivity will need to keep pace with rising consumer and industrial demand for food and wood.  But doing so by pushing natural resources beyond their limits can be disastrous. Governments in the region have taken steps to address this issue, but they – ministries of environment in partnership with others such as agriculture, forestry ...


    By The World Bank

  • Poor soil quality may reduce farmland bird population

    Researchers have investigated the relationship between soil quality and the decline of yellow wagtail birds on arable farmland in the UK. The results suggest that reduced soil penetrability in particular affects the numbers and distribution of the species. Modern, intensive-farming methods can lead to changes in habitats with a loss in biodiversity, including farmland bird species. Degradation ...

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