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TERRA : Agriculture Is Life


The CARE Agriculture is Life is a unit which supports research and teaching in the field of agriculture. We have a significant tool at our disposal which is the experimental farm. Where we can set up experiments which, firstly, help the researchers and, secondly, may also help teaching staff to illustrate their courses, to prepare final dissertations or doctoral theses on certain subjects. There are a serie of projects that we can define as “structuring” which are plots of land dedicated to specific themes where we strive to develop research more forward-looking and multidisciplinary, looking at how organic matter affects the fertility and life of the soil, greenhouse gas emissions and yield. We also look to see whether it has an impact on plant diseases and weeds, for example. We also have other experiments which are more time-bound, which might last only a few years, and which are run on the basis of individual requests from units involved in research projects. In this case, it involved developing intercropping growing peas and winter wheat with a view to producing at least as much protein as with related procedures using less nitrogen-based fertiliser. There is also a plot where we have planted rows of trees or isolated trees to study agroforestry, which is a new technique in this region. EFFICIENCY GREENHOUSE GAZ IMPACT ASSOCIATED CROPS AGROFORESTRY Parts of the farm are set aside for grazing, involving several research projects. One of them use the grazing land for what is known as ‘precision’ grazing, and we have also been able to carry out research on the quantity of methane and other greenhouse gases which can be emitted by cattle and this helped show that grazing cattle are in fact a carbon sink and not a source of emissions.

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