No-yield farmland

Around my home are fields of deep green pasture which only very occasionally have livestock but are ‘topped’ in late summer, the cuttings left in-situ. In the coming months I’ll be asking if such areas might be put to better use.

I gather that farmers need to keep such areas in a state capable of being farmed in order to claim CAP subsidy payments.

Maybe these areas are ‘wildlife-friendly farming’. But back in the 70s and 80s they were ‘improved’ – often re-seeded and with fertilisers added – so today they support no biodiversity value at all. They look nice from a distance, but they’re no good for wildlife, and they don’t produce anything. So why keep them as open, improved rye-grassland?

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