Our work has shown that conventionally-farmed winter wheat does not contain enough invertebrates for farmland birds. However, this can be mitigated by establishing conservation headlands or by creating other insect-rich habitats.
The Sustainable Arable Farming for an Improved Environment (SAFFIE) project was a collaborative project which aimed to develop these ideas and improve farmland biodiversity.
We were involved in three experiments within this project.
The full report from the project and practical guidelines derived from the research are available from HGCA.
- Smith, B.M., Holland, J., Jones, N., Morbey, S., Morris, T., Southway, S. (2009). Enhancing invertebrate food resources for skylarks in cereal ecosystems: how useful are in-crop agri-environment scheme management options? Journal of Applied Ecology 46, 692-702.
- Smith, B.M. & Jones, N.E. (2007). Effects of manipulating crop architecture on weed and arthropod diversity in winter wheat. Aspects of Applied Biology 81, 31-38.
- Morris, T., Holland, J., Smith, B. Jones, N. (2004). Sustainable Arable Farming For an Improved Environment (SAFFIE): managing winter wheat sward structure for Skylarks Alauda arvensis. Ibis, 146, 155-162.