Seminar To Explore Methods For Sustainable Agriculture

The importance of grassland and grazing for sustainable agriculture will be highlighted at a recent seminar at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute.

Like many western countries the UK has based its food supply on high-input grain crops. However, this system is highly dependent on fossil fuels in the form of agrochemicals and chemical fertilisers, and on diesel fuel. With the steady rise in oil prices it begins to look untenable.
An alternative is a return to mixed farming, where both crops and grazing livestock are produced on the same land. Any such system would require more labour than today’s highly mechanised cereal systems, contributing not just to ensuring future supplies of quality food, but to a thriving rural economy.
Mr Graham Harvey, writer for GrassRoots Food, discussed this topic at his seminar, ‘The absolute importance of grassland and grazing for sustainable agriculture’.
Mr Harvey explained, “It's small-scale mixed farming that the world needs as an alternative to modern, high-input crop production and to climate-proof our global food supply.”
Graham Harvey has written on the countryside, food and environmental issues for a range of national publications including Country Life, Private Eye and New Scientist. He has written over 500 episodes of The Archers, as well as being their agricultural story editor. His first book Killing of the Countryside was published to critical acclaim in 1997 and won the BP Natural World Book Prize. His new book - We Want Real Food - explains how many everyday foods have been depleted in nutrients and how to find the sort of foods that will truly protect our health. He lives in West Somerset.

Published on 17 February 2010 in Sustainability and Communities