Ecological Agriculture. Integrating Low Input, High Productive Farming with Wildlife Conservation. Results from the Experimental Farm La Combe, Drome France


Wildlife conservation must be integrated with energy and resource efficient agriculture for the human population to survive. Modern high input energy and resource inefficient agriculture does not address these problems. An efficient food producing system which marries wildlife conservation with resource and energy efficient human food production is needed. This is Ecological Agriculture, modelled on how natural ecosystems work. It is defined as: The establishment and maintenance of a diversified, self-sustaining low input farming system managed to maximize net production without causing large or long term changes to the environment. It must be economically viable, and ethically and aesthetically acceptable [1]. Forty years of research on 4 experimental farms have assessed the practicality of this approach (results previously published). The 5th experimental farm in the mountains of the Pre Alps has completed its 10 years. The results are discussed in relation to the tenets of Ecological Agriculture. The techniques previously developed have allowed the results to fulfil the majority of the demands of efficient ecological agriculture and to produce food for 20 families from the farm’s resources despite the difficult climate, topography and soils. It is shown how energy and resource inefficient the omnivorous animals (poultry and pigs) are, compared to herbivores. The species diversity has increased and the whole farm is a nature reserve. Aesthetic and ethical problems have been addressed with an emphasis on a life of quality for farm animals.

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Kiley-Worthington, M. (2014) Ecological Agriculture. Integrating Low Input, High Productive Farming with Wildlife Conservation. Results from the Experimental Farm La Combe, Drome France. Open Journal of Ecology, 4, 744-763. doi: 10.4236/oje.2014.412064.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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