Research highlights need for grassland conservation, agriculture support

For farmers struggling against economic forces and doing everything they can to keep afloat, grassland biodiversity may be the last thing they want to worry about.

But expanding crops into grasslands to increase production could further jeopardize their operations’ profitability due to diminished yields, according to University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers. And these areas, while generally not well suited for growing crops, are important to the native biodiversity of the Midwest.

“Croplands are continuing to expand into grasslands and other natural areas at high rates — over a million acres per year are being converted,” says Tyler Lark, an assistant scientist in UW–Madison’s Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.

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Ken Notes: One of the best solutions is nature conservatives that can hold land for public use. We should identify the most sensitive properties and move them into private or public hands.

On the other hand we should identify the best land for development and agriculture and set it aside for these uses. With smaller farmers struggling, I hope we can at some point create agriculture trusts to make land available for smaller farmers before it all is owned buy CAFO`s and mega farms.



- - Volume: 8 - WEEK: 45 Date: 11/2/2020 9:07:52 AM -