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Poplars- a multiple use crop for surplus arable land - NF0408

Description
Agricultural over-production in Europe has resulted in large areas of farmland being no longer required for food crops. Set-aside has been the main mechanism for controlling arable crop surpluses, but non-food crop option include energy crops and forestry. Modern, fast-growing popular hybrids are very well suited to production on ex-arable land in southern Britain, and offer a wide range of potential uses – including fuel for heat or electricity, fibre for paper or fibreboard, pallets, food crates and furniture veneers. Crop rotations are shorter for poplars than for other forest tree species – one factor allowing easier integration with existing farm enterprises. Various studies have suggested that poplars compare very favourably with most alternative non-food crops.

MAFF funding is sought to support ADAS input into a major European project – poplars – a multiple-use crop for European arable farmers’ This project, which has already been granted 50% funding from the European Commission (FAIR6-CT98-4193), will examine current levels of demand for various popular wood products sand identify likely future market trends; determine the potential for widespread production of poplars as a non-food crop for surplus agricultural land, in the light of current economic and political factors and under a reformed CAP (as proposed by Agenda 2000); determine the probable environmental impact of large-scale popular production in agricultural areas; identify ‘key areas’ for poplar production, using GIS software; using GIS software; assess the attitudes of farmers and the general public to a potential increase poplar planting on farmland; and production revised recommendations for poplar production on arable or mixed farms.

Project Documents
• Final Report : Poplars- a multiple use crop for surplus arable land   (374k)
• Final Report - Annex : METHODOLOGIES FOR ECOLOGICAL MONITORING IN BIOENERGY CROPS   (277k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1999

To: 2002

Cost: £135,595
Contractor / Funded Organisations
ADAS UK Ltd.
Keywords
Agri-Environment              
Agri-Industrial              
Arable Farming              
Biodiversity              
Biofuels              
Birds              
Crops              
Environmental Effects              
Environmental Impact              
Environmental monitoring              
Farm Woodlands              
Farming              
Impact              
Fields of Study
Non-Food Crops