Towards a space for exchange and innovation – La Terre de Chez Nous

Towards a space for exchange and innovation – La Terre de Chez Nous

A room attentive to exchanges.

Published on: May 13, 2022

On Tuesday, May 3, about fifty farmers came to Fontenelles to attend the conference hosted by the Regional Nature Park (PNR) by Doubs Horloger and the Regional Union of Comtois designation of origin cheeses (Urfac) on the theme “Landscape contributions from the PDO sectors in their territory”.

Doubs Horloger PNR was born on September 4, 2021. It stretches from the canton of Montbenoît to the edge of the Pays de Montbéliard, bounded on the east by the Swiss border and the Dessoubre watershed on the west.
Its vice president, Gilles Robert, introduces the morning by announcing his goals. “Of course we want to preserve the landscapes of the regional nature park, which are dear to us, but above all to make this park a place of exchange, for discussion between all actors in the area.” Eric Fevrier, President of Urfac (Regional Union of Cheeses with Comtois Designation of Origin), takes the floor to recall that this structure was originally created to discuss cross-cutting issues involving the four Comtois cheese designations. Very quickly, biodiversity was a key issue. Since 2015, 50 dairy processing workshops have conducted biodiversity audits of farmers’ practices of supplying milk. The results are then shared with environmental organizations. A constructive dialogue between the actors will make it possible to achieve real added value for the territory.

❚ Water quality
Jérémy Pourreau from Epage Doubs-Dessoubre presented the impact of agricultural activities on water. In the introduction, he warns: “I only want to talk about agricultural practices because I address an audience of farmers, but it is clear that the other activities have an impact on the water”.
Jérémy Pourreau recalls the effects of high levels of phosphate and nitrate in waterways. When their speed is high, it participates in the reduction of the population of invertebrates and increases the development of algae, which is harmful to aquatic biodiversity. But the condition of the rivers can be improved. Jérémy Pourreau explains that the development of the banks of watercourses avoids the trampling of cattle. This practice makes it possible to stop the expansion of watercourses, which are responsible for their heating, a condition that is favorable for the spread of algae.
One practice also mentioned by Jérémy Pourreau is the maintenance or planting of trees along streams. In the same way, the shade makes it possible to reduce the temperature of the water. In addition, the root systems allow water to better infiltrate the soil, restore its buffering power and improve groundwater filling. An ideal transition between water quality and quantity management, a very important issue in an area that has experienced terrible droughts in recent years.

❚ The amount of water
The speaker is very clear. Agriculture will have to adapt to climate change because it will be the first activity to be affected by future dangers and it has the levers to adapt to them.
To remedy this, emphasis is placed on strengthening the soil’s buffer capacity. Epage recommends preserving current reserves as much as possible, but also restoring wetlands, floodplains, etc. Many solutions allow storage, water infiltration or nitrogen uptake, eg when setting up hedges.
The advice was well heard by the farmers present. Florent Dornier, Secretary General of FDSEA 25, testifies to this as he specifies that Doubs is the first linear division of replanted hedges, in collaboration with France’s natural environment, the League for the Protection of Birds and the Hunting Association. Farmers’ awareness of climate change is very real given their commitment to payments for environmental services in relation to the Danish Water Agency. Philippe Monnet, President of FDSEA 25, adds that the use of water from farmers’ cisterns should also be the subject of discussions in PNR. This water resource must be a significant reserve in case of lack of public network …

CB

The entire article can be found in our newspaper on May 13, 2022.


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