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Winter Organic Cereals

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4 December 2017
Managing potato blight for small growers

Innovative Farmers Field lab at Duchy Home Farm



15 November 2017
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10 November 2017
Hydroponics and organic farming

UK fears US decision on organic hydroponics post-Brexit



13 November 2017
Agroforestry is the new game-changer for UK agriculture

George Eustice expresses keen commitment to include agroforestry in future domestic Agricultural Policy post Brexit.

Scientific evidence supports the use of crop diversity

Category: News
24 March 2011

Scientific evidence supports the use of crop diversity to deliver key objectives in agro-ecosystems

A review paper published this month (Mar 2011) in the American Journal of Botany has revealed that scientific evidence published over the past two decades provides “overwhelming support … that … species richness increases the efficiency by which plants … assimilate … resources and convert these into standing biomass”. The ecological benefits of species diversity are particularly pertinent for agro-ecosystems where growing diverse polycultures can increase productivity and enable farmers to reduce their reliance on inorganic agro-chemicals. A diverse polyculture can capture nutrients more efficiently and produce higher biomass yields than monocultures, and by providing a habitat that encourages natural enemies of pests can suffer less from insect pest attacks.

The Organic Research Centre’s Legume LINK project is examining the role that plant species diversity can play in pasture leys, and work in the Wheat Breeding LINK and SOLIBAM projects is researching the effect of crop genetic diversity on agro-ecosystems.

Links to more information -
http://www.amjbot.org/cgi/content/abstract/ajb.1000364v1

Keywords: biodiversity, arable, crops, ecosystem services

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