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The FFC Bulletin 2023 V3 July

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An introduction to the principles of service (cover) crops and intercropping

This Bulletin’s main FFC extension report is an introduction to the principles of service (cover) crops and intercropping.

Service crops, also known as cover crops and non-cash crops and the practice of intercropping are increasingly important tools to address multiple objectives in agriculture and horticulture.  Indeed there are so many different names, benefits, uses, approaches and options that it can be quite confusing for newcomers.  This report is therefore a beginners guide to the principles of service crops and intercropping.  Read more…

UK Diverse Forage Project wrap up videos and information

The British Grassland Society have wrapped up their Diverse Forage Project with a series of informative videos, including a background to the project, species uses, research results including animal trials, green house gas emissions and the future potential of multi-species swards. See their website

EU-FarmBook – all EU agricultural research information in one place!

There has been a realisation in the European Union that a huge amount (tens of billions of euros!) of agricultural science is undertaken, often as part of large multi-year, multi-participant, and multi countries projects, the public results of which disappear at the end of the project when the projects website closes due to no ongoing funding and maintenance.  The websites of current projects are also not linked to any one central repository so unless your in the know, you, have no easy way to find out that a new project is underway.  The EU-FarmBook is a pilot to bring all of the agriculture and forestry research and information into one place.  Considering the amount of information, the multiple forms of the data, that its in multiple languages and aims to be available in all EU official languages is just mind boggling.  But if anyone can do it the EU can, as they already run some of the most complex multilingual websites in the world.  One to keep an eye on.  See their website

Farming with soil life: A handbook for supporting soil invertebrates and soil health on farms

SARE and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation have published a highly informative handbook on soil invertebrates and soil health and how to farm to support both of them.  While there are an ever growing list of soil health publications, this one has a particular focus on invertebrates, particularly arthropods (‘insects’) including how to monitor them in your fields.  Coming from SARE with USDA funding you can rely on its scientific and sustainability integrity.  Download a  copy or from the BHU website, SARE website,  Xerces website.

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