Thursday, May 14, 2009

A dilemma

Within farming a switch is occurring whereby previous grass silage is being replaced by maize silage. A bonus is that maize needs less nitrogen (fits with Nitrate Vulnerable Zones Policy), has greater productivity and lower production costs. The switch to maize is, to an extent, being driven by the need to grow crops with less nitrogen use but also because climate change makes it possible.

On the other hand, compared to grass silage, soil erosion is greater under maize, and oxidation of soil organic matter becomes a source of atmospheric carbon – rather than a carbon sink which grassland is.

So it’s dammed if you do, and dammed if you don’t.


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