Latest from EU Member States

Ecological Focus Area in Germany: What Influences Farmers’ Decisions?

Catch crops (68%), fallow land (16.2%) and nitrogen fixing crops (11.8%) dominated ecological focus areas (EFAs) in Germany in 2015. Why is this? What influences farmers’ decisions on EFAs? One of the authors of a new peer reviewed publication on this topic, ARC2020 regular Sebastian Lackner, summarises the paper, in which he and colleagues interviewed a range of experts on the matter. […]

Latest from Brussels

CAP Greening | EFAs in Focus

Using a recent document by the Commission on Ecological Focus Areas – EFAs – this long read traces the story of The Common Agriculture Policy’s EFAs. EFAs are up for discussion and consideration once again, as current Commissioner Phil Hogan seems intent on banning pesticides from these areas. They may, after all, emerge as a way to protect biodiversity and the ecosystem and agri services nature provides. In four parts. […]

Latest from EU Member States

UK | Biodiversity Home Truths in State of Nature report

In David Attenborough’s foreword to The State of Nature 2016, he writes: “…Nature is in serious trouble and it needs our help as never before.” The report singles out intensive agriculture and climate change as the two most serious threats to biodiversity in the UK. Agriculture still occupies 75% of the UK’s land area and the declining fortunes of mixed farming has led to consolidation and specialisation on a massive scale at landscape level. It is hardly surprising then, that the environmental impact of farming should be an issue of public concern. Look at this picture of a field with an over-wintered crop above: it is typical of thousands up and down the UK. Beneath the serried ranks of seedlings, criss-crossed with tracks that reflect the width of the spraying boom which passes periodically, countless farmland species struggle to adapt to what is often a hostile environment. The State of Nature editorial team identify earlier planting and regular spraying as important underlying factors in the way intensive farming impacts biodiversity. The study draws on long […]