The cultivation of trees on agricultural land helps to enrich soils, maintain soil moisture and stop erosion, provide vital habitat for wildlife, as well as store carbon. This practice, where tree and shrub cultivation is incorporated among crops or pasture, is called agroforestry and is the center of attention in a recent study looking at how to reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture.
Good news! California's Governor Jerry Brown is staying the course and is again calling for $20 million for the new Healthy Soils Initiative. The State Legislature is taking up the Governor’s proposal. Now is the time to call your state representatives to support sustainable agricultural solutions to climate change. Phone calls are much more impactful than email and it takes only 45 seconds to leave a message.
Birds reduced insect pests in conventional alfalfa by over 33%, according to a new study published in Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. Habitat is key: the reduction of pests occurs where crops are near habitat. The study found that the fields with bordering trees had a lower number of pest weevils near those field borders, indicating that birds are very important pest control operators. When farms provide habitat near food sources (in this case pest insects), they benefit more than those farms without habitat on the edges.
Food makes us who we are, from our first taste of a raspberry, to the food served at an important celebration. So many people are questioning where their food comes from, focusing on local and pesticide-free, and while important, they are not enough.