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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • The effects of agricultural land use change on farmland birds in Sweden

    The effects of changing agricultural practices on farmland birds are explored in a recently published study from Sweden. Overall abundance of 16 common species declined by 23% between 1994 and 2004, which may be partly caused by changes in land use, such as an increase in the amount of wheat cropland. However, effects vary between species, and some species increased or stayed stable in number. ...

  • 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

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • Expert to Field Questions on Crop Budgets, Farmland Prices and Rental Rates at the 2014 Farm Science Review

    While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat, and in some cases declined depending on the land class, in 2014, an economist from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences said. Barry Ward, production business management leader for Ohio State University Extension, will discuss his latest research related to ...


    By Ohio State University

  • Monitoring farmland biodiversity across Europe: it could cost less than you think

    How can we monitor Europe-wide farmland biodiversity so that it makes sense to farmers, is ecologically credible and still is affordable? Two new studies published in the Journal of Applied Ecology and the Journal of Environmental Management think it is possible. These studies were conducted by international groups of scientists including Alterra. Combining stakeholder priorities for biodiversity ...

  • Farmland Value Expected to Take Direction from Crop Margins and Interest Rates in 2015

    While cropland values in Ohio increased in each of the past three years,  several factors, including continued low interest rates, low debt-to-asset ratios and lower profit margins, are likely going to make for a relatively flat land market in 2015, an economist from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences said. Ohio cropland value rose 8.9 ...


    By Ohio State University

  • New framework aids identification and assessment of High Nature Value farmland from local to EU-scales

    With over half of Europe’s species dependent on agricultural habitats, protecting ‘high nature value’ farmland is vital to biodiversity conservation. However, the identification and assessment of such farmland requires careful co-ordination, concludes a recent study. The researchers present a framework to help with this process and make a set of key recommendations. Almost 40% ...

  • Spreading antibiotics in the soil affects microbial ecosystems

    Antibiotics used extensively in intensive livestock production may be having an adverse effect on agricultural soil ecosystems. In a presentation to the Society for General Microbiology meeting at Harrogate International Centre March 30, Dr Heike Schmitt from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands described how antibiotics passed from the animals in manure that was then spread on farmland. ...


    By ScienceDaily

  • Getting the most out of Europe`s bioenergy potential

    Developing new bioenergy crops needs to take account of the environmental risks associated with large-scale bioenergy production, says the report. Energy crops are expected to use more of Europe's farmlands over the years to come and environmental limits will be needed to avoid damaging impacts on the environment overall. Soaring energy prices and strong political support are driving the increase ...

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