biodiversity Tag

Related ATTRA publication: Beneficial and Pest Birds: Vertebrate IPM Tip Sheet Research from the University of California, Davis, found that wild birds may not pose the food safety risk once suspected. Researchers found that starlings and other birds that flock on the ground near cattle are more likely to spread pathogenic bacteria to crops like lettuce, spinach, and broccoli, while insect-eating species are less likely to carry pathogens. Researchers compiled more than 11,000 bacteria tests of wild bird feces and found that Campylobacter in 8% of samples. Meanwhhile, pathogenic E. Coli and Salmonella were only found in less than 0.5% of the...

Kenzo Esquivel and Patrick Baur wrote in a National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition blog about their recent study of farmers who prioritize biodiversity on-farm. They found that larger farms that sell to wholesale markets often experience barriers to diversifying, while small, limited-resource farms frequently lack the means to diversify. Mid-scale farms have the highest rate of adoption for diversification practices, according to this study. The researchers noted that mid-scale farmers also enjoyed secure land tenure and access to capital and resources that facilitated diversification, as well as relationships with buyers. All of these assets contributed to mid-scale farmers' ability to invest...

The University of British Columbia released results of a study on how different farming indicators impact the diversity of local birds in the farmland bordering the former Iron Curtain in Germany. A sharp difference in farm sizes exists along the former border, allowing for comparisons of the effect of smaller and larger agricultural landscapes and land uses. Researchers found that increased farm sizes resulted in a 15% decline in bird diversity. "Providing a mix of different crop type and other land uses such as forests and grassland within the agricultural landscape is crucial for biodiversity conservation and can mitigate the...

“Kill two birds with one stone” — isn't it time this old adage got an update? Instead of killing two birds with one stone, why don't we save two birds with one hedgerow? And protect soil from erosion while we're at it? And protect plants from wind damage, too? And do a bunch of other great things that benefit humans, animals, and the environment?
By Katherine Favor, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist...

In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Katherine Favor heads to Terranova Ranch in the central San Joaquin Valley of California to talk about conservation hedgerows with Don Cameron, the ranch’s general manager and vice president.
NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Katherine Favor and Don Cameron, General Manager of Terranova Ranch...

A methodology developed by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, the Varietal Threat Index, proposes a systematic way to monitor changes in varietal diversity on farm, between areas, and over time. The approach uses a rapid assessment technique to gather farmer knowledge about local agrobiodiversity, combined with a four-cell assessment method to identify and calculate the level of threat for each crop and variety reported, including both farmer and improved varieties. A study in India that involved 600 farmers identified significant diversity among landrace crops, but it also revealed that 76% or more of landraces were reported as vulnerable,...

A project in New Zealand is releasing a series of 20 reports in November, each providing recommendations for how claims regarding specific possible benefits of regenerative agriculture could be tested in Aotearoa New Zealand. The report releases are accompanied by a webinar series. A group of four reports released last week focused on approaches to test whether regenerative agriculture can offer 'nature-based' solutions for climate change. Three more reports just released focus on regenerative agriculture's impact on animal welfare and biodiversity. The first of these reports says that regenerative farming practices could increase native biodiversity on New Zealand farms. The...