Millions of Chinese farmers reap benefits of huge crop experiment

Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2018 by

Rice farmers in China increased their crop yields when they adopted new evidence-based farming practices.Credit: KeystoneUSA-ZUMA/REX/Shutterstock A landmark project to make agriculture more sustainable in China has significantly cut fertilizer use while boosting crop yields on millions of small farms across the country, researchers report in Nature1. As part of a decade-long study, scientists […]

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Farmer-scientists driving social change

Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2018 by

On a brilliant day in July, twenty-some years ago, I stood ankle-deep in the cool mud of a fragrant rice field in central Thailand, listening to the farmers around me discuss the bugs on the plants (were these “satru puut” or “satru thammachat”? pests or natural enemies?), and whether or not the Nitrogen-fixing aquatic Azolla they had […]

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How Crushed Volcanic Rock in Farm Soil Could Help Slow Global Warming

Posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 by

Volcanic plains tend to be fertile farmland. A new study explores how spreading crushed volcanic rock on farms can increase carbon storage and crop yields. Credit: SounderBruce/CC-BY-SA-2.0 Pulverizing volcanic rock and spreading the dust like fertilizer on farm soils could suck billions of tons of carbon from the atmosphere and boost crop yields […]

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Farming crops with rocks could reduce carbon dioxide

Posted on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 by

A new study has found that farming crops with crushed rocks could help to improve global food security and capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The pioneering research by scientists at the University of Illinois, together with U.S. and international colleagues, suggests that adding fast-reacting silicate rocks to croplands could capture CO2 and give increased […]

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A Method for Growing a Lot of Food on Little Land

Posted on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 by

Over the last nine years, Ben Hartman’s farm in northern Indiana has become more efficient and profitable following the techniques developed by an unlikely source: Toyota. By adapting the production techniques developed by the car manufacturer—commonly referred to as “lean manufacturing“—Hartman has revolutionized his methods, cut down his work hours dramatically, and shrunk the size of his farm, […]

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Farmland could be used to sustainably offset America’s entire carbon footprint

Posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 by

Amid the roaring debate on how to curb climate change in Bonn last year, an impasse was finally broken on agriculture. Both a cause and casualty of climate change, our food system accounts for up to 24% of greenhouse gas emissions. Yet hit by soaring temperatures and more frequent extreme weather, farming is becoming […]

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Why Urban Farming Is Key in the Fight Against Hunger and Climate Change

Posted on Friday, January 19th, 2018 by

The urban farms sprouting up and across cities around the world aren’t just feeding mouths—they are “critical to survival” and a “necessary adaptation” for developing regions and a changing climate, according to a new study. Urban farms—which include plain old allotments, indoor vertical farms and rooftop gardens nestled amongst busy streets and skyscrapers—have become increasingly popular and important as the world’s population […]

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The Simple River-Cleaning Tactics That Big Farms Ignor

Posted on Tuesday, December 19th, 2017 by

DES MOINES, IOWAIone Cleverley wasn’t eager to break up with her tenant, who had been farming 88 acres of her central Iowa land for more than a decade. He was affable and hardworking, but after harvesting his corn and soybeans, the farmer left her fields unplanted. Cleverley had learned that each spring, as the soil […]

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Innovations in desert and drylands farming

Posted on Thursday, October 5th, 2017 by

The global demand for food, water and energy is expected to increase by about 40 to 50 percent by 2030. This is driven in part by an expanding population, rapid urbanization, greater prosperity and changing diets. Meeting the increasing demand requires smarter, greener and more efficient food systems – especially as the climate changes […]

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Dirty undies help American researchers to test Tennessee soil

Posted on Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 by

The underwear has been buried in different soils for 30 days and shows the different rates of degeneration. (Supplied: Coffee County Soil Conservation District) Undies, jocks, drawers… There are plenty of names for underwear around the world. Now, a group of farmers in Tennessee, in the United States, has found a new use for […]

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