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Agriculture, Forestry & Horticulture

About 3/4 of Dorset's land is used for agriculture and 11% is woodland. Climate change affects land use, by changing the crop cycles and by providing a new investment in sustainable energy.

About three quarters of Dorset’s land area is used for agriculture. Variations occur every year in harvest. This is due to variations in weather during the growing season. Relatively small changes can make the difference between a large harvest and disaster. Farming practices have to evolve to cope with climate change. A warmer and wetter environment will cause a change in planting and harvesting dates and also cause a change in the variety of crops planted. Hopefully the increased atmospheric CO2 levels will stimulate photosynthesis and in turn increase crop yields. However animal and crop pests and diseases are likely to change and warmer and wetter summers my cause greater fungal and insect attack. 

In Dorset almost 11% of the land is woodland, an increase of 1.3% from the 1990’s. Warmer temperatures could increase pests and diseases while increase rainfall will cause more soil erosion. With stronger more frequent gales predicted in a changing climate more damage may be seen to trees.
 
With employment levels in the Dorset agricultural sector deceasing and with Dorset’s forested areas increasing both sectors have an opportunity to contribute towards renewable energy. The Dorset AONB management plan cites the production of bio-fuels as a key opportunity for its trees while in the section covering agriculture it states that renewable energy and bio-fuel production may offer a boost to the industry. These ideas would benefit the community as well as the local landowners.
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Please check the Dorset Sustainable Events Calendar for more events.
Please check the Dorset Sustainable Events Calendar for more events.

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Latest Resources Syndicate content

The State of NatureState of Nature ReportThis report was published in May 2013 , but with relatively little fanfare. A coalition (mmm couldn’t...
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