High-yield mosaic: Land development in Scotland as a blueprint for South America.
Photo: © Michael Weber / TUM

13.11.2012

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Scientists from the Technical University of Munich have demonstrated on a typical medium-sized farm in South America that diversified land-use not only protects the climate but can also be profitable.

Diversified land-use is not only good for climate protection but can also be profitable, said scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) at the end of October 2012. They demonstrated a model for medium-sized farms in South America showing that switching away from vast mono-crops to cropping on smaller land units can also pay off financially.

Diversified land-use means planting different crops on smaller fields instead of large-scale mono-cropping, and reserving a small part of the land for woods and hedges. Previously non-used areas are replanted with trees. The individual fields have to be just large enough to allow intensive farming using fertilisers and sewing and harvesting machines. The smaller woodlands and hedges protect the soil from erosion and are long term sinks for climate-damaging CO2.
The scientists have calculated the economic viability of the approach on the basis of a typical medium-sized farm. The model hacienda is 116 hectares in size, including fields, small woodland areas and non-used land.

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