Polyfarming is a regenerative agriculture project that combines forest resources, livestock and crops to recover a fertile soil in Mediterranean mountain areas. The project, co-financed by the European Commission's LIFE program, is led by the CREAF and the Planeses farm, where it is carried out on a real scale.
Research led by two French institutions shows that farmland comprising small fields sown with different types of crops is conducive to plant and animal diversity. Promoting such landscapes would help make up for the loss of natural and semi-natural habitats between crops.
Two CREAF researchers have taken part in the study, which shows that small, irregularly shaped fields on farmland boost the number and abundance of species. This is because pollinators use crop borders as highways or corridors for movement and protection. The trend of ever larger crop fields is endangering insect pollinator populations and their ability to pollinate crops
Plants' annual growing season has lengthened, exposing them to frost more often at a time when they are particularly sensitive. That can be detrimental to their activity and lead to substantial crop yield losses.
The production of essential crops such as wheat, maize, rice, and soybean will be substantially reduced. Effective measures for climate change adaptation will be necessary, as well as improvements in crop genetics in order to reduce the impacts of climate change.