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Sustainable Dryland Farming

Combining Farmer Innovation and Medic Pasture in a Mediterranean Climate

Sustainable Dryland Farming by Lynne Chatterton
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Sheep and wheat are the staples of dryland farms in the Mediterranean zone of the Northern hemisphere. The commonly used dryland farming system introduced in the 1950s is proving unsustainable. Erosion has reached a critical level and pastures have all but disappeared. Experts advise more cropping (forage crops for instance) and more fertiliser. Yet intensification of the present system will only hasten erosion. Is there an alternative system that is both environmentally sustainable and within the means of most farmers in the region? Innovative farmers in a similar climate in Australia discovered a sustainable rotation using annual medics as both fertiliser and pasture. Attempts to transfer their knowledge have often foundered. Why is this so? How much do the experts know about this system? This book pulls apart the warp and weft of development on dryland farms to try to find some answers to these questions.
Cambridge University Press; February 1996
358 pages; ISBN 9780511872129
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Title: Sustainable Dryland Farming
Author: Lynne Chatterton; Brian Chatterton