grassland farming News

  • Grasslands: The future of sustainable agriculture

    Grassland: Quietness and Strength for a New American Agriculture was written to increase our awareness of the vital role grass and grassland plants have in ensuring a sustainable future for American agriculture. Published by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, the book's content is geared toward agriculturists, students, the ...

  • Intensive grassland farming could have deep effects: sequestering significantly less soil carbon

    Huge amounts of soil carbon have been discovered up to 1 metre below grassland in a recent UK study. Yet most carbon inventories do not assess soil deeper than 30 cm. Furthermore, this research suggests that intensive management of grassland, involving high rates of fertiliser use and livestock grazing, may deplete carbon at these depths. Globally, soil contains more carbon than all the ...

  • Will large amounts of soil carbon be released to the atmosphere if grasslands are converted to energy crops?

    Grasslands in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in the United States may be increasingly converted to growing bioenergy grain crops. Questions abound regarding the fate of carbon sequestered in the soil during the CRP program by perennial grasses if the land is converted to grain crop production and the potential effectiveness of no-till production systems to conserve the sequestered soil ...

  • Populations of grassland butterflies decline almost 50 % over two decades

    Grassland butterflies have declined dramatically between 1990 and 2011. This has been caused by intensifying agriculture and a failure to properly manage grassland ecosystems, according to a report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). The fall in grassland butterfly numbers is particularly worrying, according to the report, because these butterflies are considered to be ...

  • Sustainable silage maize farming requires earlier varieties

    Dutch silage maize farmers can increase their yield in the long term by using earlier varieties. This was the conclusion reached by maize scientists at Wageningen UR based on many years of practical cultivation tests. The use of earlier varieties increases the chance that the maize will ripen properly and ensures better (soil) conditions for harvesting. Moreover, it would provide more space for ...

  • Senate passes farm bill strong on bioenergy and conservation

    The US Senate Friday approved a $286 billion farm bill shepherded through by Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, who chairs the Agriculture Committee. The measure improves farm income protection and makes investments for the future in energy, conservation, nutrition and rural development initiatives. Harkin hailed passage of the Food and Energy Security Act of 2007, saying it received more votes than ...

  • Grass-based farming systems: Soil conservation and environmental quality

    Crop selection and sequence can have a profound effect on the environment and on farm profitability. According to Chapter 7, “Grass-based Farming Systems: Soil Conservation and Environmental Quality” by Jeremy W. Singer, Alan J. Franzluebbers, and Douglas L. Karlen in the book, Grassland Quietness and Strength for a New American Agriculture, the basis for a productive agricultural system should ...

  • Study by ARS microbiologist in Texas shows farming practices’ benefits to soil quality

    The first evaluation of alternative farming practices—based on changes in soil microbes—in the Texas High Plains has been done by an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist. Soil microbiologist Veronica Acosta-Martinez has also done a similar analysis for land in USDA's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a first nationally. Changes in microbes can give a relatively early indication as to ...

  • EU farm policy 2014-2020: MEPs give final blessing to greener and fairer CAP

    A deal with the Council on five legislative acts reforming EU farm policy was endorsed by Parliament on Wednesday. The post-2013 Common agricultural policy (CAP) will put more emphasis on environmental protection, ensure fairer distribution of EU funds and help farmers to cope better with market challenges. “The first ever reform of the EU farm policy decided jointly by ministers and ...


    By European Parliament

  • EU farm policy after 2014: MEPs, Council and Commission strike a political deal

    More emphasis on environmental protection, mandatory top-ups for young farmers in all member states, stronger farmers' organisations and less red tape when spending EU funds. These are the main lines of the agreement on farm policy struck on Wednesday by Parliament, Council and the Commission. Decisions still need to be taken on capping direct payments to bigger farms and distributing funds ...


    By European Commission

  • Phosphorus-rich soils support larger invertebrates

    In a recent study, researchers have defined the relationship between soil conditions and nutrients with the health of soil ecosystems. The results suggest that organic grassland, rich in phosphorus, is supportive of large populations of bigger invertebrates. All living things are made up of chemical elements in certain proportions and the availability of these elements in the environment can ...

  • Biofuel crops increase carbon emissions

    The conversion of forests and grasslands into fields for the plants offsets the benefit of using the fuel, researchers find. Greenhouse-gas output overall would rise instead of fall. The rush to grow biofuel crops -- widely embraced as part of the solution to global warming -- is actually increasing greenhouse gas emissions rather than reducing them, according to two studies published Thursday in ...

  • 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 ...

  • Communicating biodiversity to farmers: developing the right tools

    Two metrics for informing farmers about the biodiversity on their land are presented in a recent Swiss study: average species richness and farm uniqueness’. These are both easy to understand and comparable between farms, the researchers say. Dialogue between farmers and scientists has been shown to be a promising way of improving farmland biodiversity. This study, partly conducted under the ...

  • US to spend $328 million on conservation easements

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $328 million in funding Monday to protect and restore farmlands, grasslands and wetlands across the country. The initiative, using money provided in the new five-year farm bill, will buy conservation easements from farmers to protect the environment, help wildlife populations and promote outdoor recreation, the USDA said in its announcement. The agency ...


    By Associated Press

  • USDA Conservation Reserve Program Initiative Praised by Conservation Group

    One million acre initiative will help restore grasslands, wetlands, wildlife habitat   WASHINGTON, March 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) praised ...


    By Environmental Defense Fund

  • 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 ...

  • First 4th Generation T Series Reach Customers

    Coinciding with the launch of the new T-series in November 2014, the factory in Suolahti, Finland, began mass production of the newly developed and extensively tested tractor range. Across Europe, including in Germany, the first machines are already working on farmland and with contractors. We were present at one of the handovers, and talked to the new owners. A white T174e Direct with front ...

  • 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 ...

  • Soaring prices and climate change expose fertilisers as environmentally unsustainable

    As oil and gas prices rise so does the price of artificial chemical fertilisers - the lynch-pin of industrial agriculture’s claims to be ‘efficient’. In the UK, the price of nitrogen fertiliser has doubled over the past year to around £330 per tonne. With oil currently at over $130 a barrel and with OPEC warning it could reach $200 by the end of the year, it has been suggested that fertilisers ...


    By Soil Association

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