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Big not always bad. Sustainable agriculture depends on farm

Stanislaw Switek: Institute of Zoology, Poznan University of Life Sciences

<div>Sustainable production in the European Union is promoted by numerous subsidies for farmers. Besides observing good agricultural practices such as proper pesticide use, farmers must adapt to greening rules since 2014. To receive payment they have to diversify crops, maintain permanent grassland and dedicate 5% of arable land to ecological focus area (EFA). Farms thus become an important element of environment conservation. The research was conducted in 321 polish farms. 43% of them had more than 100 ha, around 40% had between 30 and 100 ha, and 18% farms had less than 30 ha. Farmers declared their farms most attractive for birds, pollinating insects and game while less attractive for rodents, amphibians, and reptiles. Along with an increase in farm area, the attractiveness rating improved, which was caused by the presence of free-standing trees, field margins, ponds, and ditches. Only the attractiveness assessment for weeds and herbs didn’t depend on the farm size. Farmers' survey allows better adjustment of agricultural policy and gives the opportunity to modify and create security activities that are becoming more and more important.</div>