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How tillage crops can influence the biodiversity on an agricultural landscape

Dr. Daire O’Huallachain, an agro-ecologist in Teagasc, joined Michael Hennessy on this week’s episode of The Tillage Edge Podcast to discuss biodiversity on the agricultural landscape.

Daire firstly explained that biodiversity in a landscape includes all the plants, insects, animals within it and that the biodiversity within an area will be a reflection of the management of that area, e.g. biodiversity in a rural area will be different compared to an agriculture landscape. 

Tillage crops add to the overall biodiversity in the agricultural landscape with particular species adapted to thrive on the tillage area and are dependent on it. 

Tillage is similar to other intensive farms with approximately 5-7% of the area dedicated to biodiversity habitats. However despite the quantity, Daire said the quality of these areas are often poor. Daire suggests a change, spurred on by Farm to Fork policies, to a quantity and quality of habitats and rewarding farmers with results-based payments will encourage farmers to manage habitats better and ultimately give a better outcome. 

Listen to previous episodes of the The Tillage Edge Podcast here