Wednesday, 3 March 2021
Saturday, 13 February 2021
This link opens a report from an Irish workshop to solicit biodiversity scientists' opinions as part of an EU series of workshops requested to address the topic 'The Common Agricultural Policy post-2020: A new Green Architecture, Novel Eco-schemes and biodiversity indicators. How can scientists and science help to make it work?'
Thursday, 4 February 2021
We conducted a study of Ecological Focus Areas (a Greening measure) on a sample of more intensively managed arable, dairy and beef farmland. We measured habitat areas on these farms, categorised them into EFA habitats, and compared them with scenarios of 5% and 7% threshold levels of EFA area. the vast majority of farms exceeded both the 5 and 7% thresholds. The study was published in Land Use Policy in 2019.
Update: a preprint version of the published paper can be viewed here, for those unable to access the journal article.
Wednesday, 3 February 2021
Sunday, 31 January 2021
Multi-species mixtures are expected to benefit grassland production because of the yield advantage from nitrogen fixed by clover, the variety of rooting structures allows them to access a wider range of soil water and nutrients, and their canopy structure that allows them to intercept more sunlight. In addition, they are associated with lower parasite loads in livestock, reduced greenhouse emissions, and increased carbon sequestration. Here, we give a brief overview of some of our current (2020) research on mixtures at Teagasc, Johnstown Castle.
Thursday, 7 January 2021
Wednesday, 25 November 2020
In a 2017 post, we outlined the main results from a publication (Ó hUallacháin et al., 2016) that compared the vegetation in three different options for grassland conservation under the Irish agri-environment scheme (Agri-Environment Option Scheme, AEOS). Here, we outline the main results of that study, and develop it further with a more detailed interpretation of that work from the perspective of results-based approaches. Across the three grassland options in that study, the options had the effect of preferentially enrolling and financially rewarding lower-quality vegetation. We show how a results-based approach could better target, incentivise and reward the provision of higher-quality vegetation, and make a greater contribution to biodiversity conservation.