Smarter farming key to saving Amazon rainforest

Bradley Brooks – Associated Press/Washington Post, 02/08/2010

NOVA CANAA DO NORTE, Brazil — Walking on a dusty field of cut rice that was once rainforest, researcher Flavio Wruck explains how farming, the Amazon’s biggest killer, can be turned into its best defender.

At the government-run experimental farm where he works, he points toward plots where crops, cattle and timber live together.

It’s a simple system, long practiced in the U.S., of rotating crops and revitalizing pasture instead of simply chopping down forest and planting new grasslands. But here in the state of Mato Grosso (“thick forest”), where ranchers and farmers have destroyed more of the Amazon than anywhere else, it’s a relatively new idea.

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