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Old 30-09-2018, 09:30 PM   #585
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The positive impacts of hedgerow restoration on global food production
Saturday, September 29, 2018
by: Edsel Cook

Modern farms these days have dispensed with the familiar hedgerows that surround crop fields in the name of maximum efficiency and productivity. This is a mistake because a study conducted by California-based researchers showed that these natural habitats can benefit nearby farms. Restoring these so-called field edge habitats will improve the productivity and sustainability of agricultural systems.

The biologically-diverse ecosystems of hedgerows provide important services to farms. They host many native species that pollinate plants and prey on harmful pests that damage crops. These beneficial wildlife improve the productivity of farms while outweighing any damage done by less beneficial critters like rodents.

Without the natural benefits provided by hedgerows, farmers have been forced to intervene more directly in their fields. They replaced native bees with honey bees and tried to balance their use of insecticides to get rid of pests without killing their bees.

Hedgerows have been making a comeback in recent years once farmers were clued in to their benefits and given answers regarding their concerns about. However, their slow restoration shows that much remains to be done to improve conservation efforts. (Related: Instead of paying farmers subsidies to grow unprofitable crops, wouldn’t it make more sense to legalize hemp agriculture and unleash billions in profit potential?)
Beneficial species in hedgerows protect and improve nearby agricultural crops
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