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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Put the Right Plant in the Right Place and Stop Digging

Posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 by

“Your garden’s so pretty! How do you do that?” my neighbor gushed. She: stylishly walking her dog; me: wet and muddy squatting down pruning broken limbs recently revealed by melting snow. I was about to explain I enjoy tending my garden and with a little effort her garden could be attractive too. […]

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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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The latest cutting-edge technology changing our landscapes? Trees

Posted on Sunday, January 7th, 2018 by

Most people round here think it’s pretty normal for the earth to just blow away,” says Lynn Briggs. “They seem to think it’s what happens and you just have to live with it. It’s even got a name – they call it fen blow.” But when Lynn and her husband Stephen moved on to their […]

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Land use can achieve 30% of carbon cuts by 2030

Posted on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 by

Rethinking land use – the way we exploit, manage and neglect the land – could achieve  about a third of the carbon cuts needed in the next decade. LONDON, 1 November, 2017 – Land use is often a forgotten priority, yet those of us who wish to contain global warming and avert catastrophic climate […]

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Greening the Earth could fight climate change as efficiently as cutting fossil fuels

Posted on Friday, October 20th, 2017 by

Planting trees, revitalizing soil, and other natural environmental actions could prove as effective in fighting climate change as ceasing all oil use across the planet, according to new study published by an international team of scientists in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Better stewardship of the land could have a bigger role in fighting […]

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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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Water for agriculture: Producing more with less

Posted on Tuesday, September 12th, 2017 by

It is common knowledge that a 60% increase in food production will be necessary to feed the world in 2050, and water is essential for agricultural production if it is going to meet rising food needs. In the last century, water was considered an infinite resource, yet water stocks are dwindling. Moreover, water consumption […]

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