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.Read more
Join Wild Farm Alliance for Upcoming Webinar with eOrganic on Biodiversity Conservation in Organic Agriculture
Upcoming Webinar: How to Implement and Verify Biodiversity Conservation Activities in Organic Agricultural SystemsRead more
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.Read more
Happy New Year! Wild Farm Alliance is excited for 2016, and we are so grateful to begin this new year with you.
Your support is the backbone of our work. Because of you, we are starting off 2016 stronger than ever. Last year, you helped strengthen the capacity of farmers to adapt to the impacts of climate change through regenerative agriculture. You also helped to educate consumers about the impact on biodiversity that their food choices have. And finally, your support in 2015 helped finalize the new food safety rule that encourages wildlife habitat on the farm.
With our encouragement, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) written by Congress sought to make sure that conservation mandates would be addressed in these regulations, and that no conflicts or duplication would occur with the National Organic Program. While we don't like everything in this Produce Rule (there was no attempt to rein in misguided buyer requirements), we feel FDA heard our concerns about conservation.Read more
Fifteen years ago I helped found the Wild Farm Alliance with other sustainable agriculture and wildlands advocates alarmed that agriculture was recklessly disrupting natural ecosystems and destroying native species of plants and animals.
We knew that the sacrifice of complex, sustainable natural systems for sterile fields of high producing crops was not the best way to produce food for humans. We devised a positive mission for the new Wild Farm Alliance: to promote a healthy, viable agriculture that helps to protect and restore wild nature.Read more
No farmer wants to lose land to flooding, or have excessive codling moth in their walnut orchard, but those were the issues facing Paul Hain of Hain Ranch Organics.
A past flooding event took several acres of the walnut orchard, and the ever present codling moth threatened yields. Paul wanted to try a natural solution.Read more
On August 2015, the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, released the findings from a study that revealed that the elimination of natural vegetation surrounding farm fields failed to reduce the presence of foodborne illness-causing pathogens in fresh produce grown in those fields. The study, titled "Comanaging fresh produce for nature conservation and food safety," found not only that the absence of natural vegetation did not contribute to pathogen reduction, but also that cleared land resulted in increased pathogen prevalence over time.
In 2006, an outbreak of E. coli O157 from spinach was traced back to a farm on California's Central coast, the home of our nation's fresh-cut salad industry. While it was never determined how the spinach became contaminated, non-native feral pigs were considered possible culprits. This resulted in ALL wildlife being viewed as a source of food-borne pathogen contamination, even though research so far indicates that NATIVE wildlife generally pose a low risk of carrying human pathogens (although certain localized populations have increased risk).Read more