Articles on Crops

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Beefy problem: livestock emit methane, but the soils where they graze can be much more climate-friendly than cropland. AAP Image/Caroline Duncan Photography

Veggie is the most low-carbon diet, right? Well, it depends where you live

Eating meat means greenhouse emissions. But the emissions from growing crops may have been underestimated, meaning that a climate-friendly diet isn't as straightforward as simply going vegetarian.
Our modern crops need some help in the immunity department. Andy / Andrew Fogg

Can we ‘vaccinate’ plants to boost their immunity?

Modern agriculture is synonymous with monoculture. That lack of diversity is bad news for plants' natural immune defenses. Researchers are figuring out how to help plants fend off microbes – without pesticides.
Sydney’s farms on the urban fringe produce 10% of the city’s fresh vegetables. Alpha/Flickr

Urban sprawl is threatening Sydney’s foodbowl

Farms on Sydney's fringes supply 20% of the city's food. That could drop by more than half if urban sprawl isn't kept in check.
Cassava feeds 800 million people - keeping it disease-free is a must.

World hunger: what the Ebola virus can teach us about saving crops

Rapid genetic disease screening will be the key to saving East Africa's crops - just as it was during West Africa's ebola crisis.
The world’s driest areas are tipped to get even drier, with potentially worrying implications for soil productivity.

If the world’s soils keep drying out that’s bad news for microbes (and people)

The world's 'drylands' – already home to 38% of the world's people – are set to dry out even more. And that could harm the soil microbes that keep soils healthy and help crops to grow.
Children from a village in Papua New Guinea’s Western Highlands Province stand in one of countless sweet potato gardens destroyed by frost across the country, August 2015. Kud Sitango

As Papua New Guinea faces worsening drought, a past disaster could save lives

Papua New Guinea is now facing a drought and frosts that look set to be worse than 1997, when hundreds of people died. So how can memories of 1997 save lives over the next few months?
Put innovative farming techniques in the right hands. CGIAR Climate

Yes, Africa will feed itself within the next 15 years

Africa will be able to feed itself in the next 15 years. That’s one of the big “bets on the future” that Bill and Melinda Gates have made in their foundation’s latest annual letter. Helped by other breakthroughs…
Tractors may have revolutionised farming but to protect biosecurity, farmers could do with some extra help. Ben McLeod/Flickr

Go with the grain: technology to help farmers protect crops

New technology to tackle biosecurity challenges down the track is one of the five megatrends identified in today’s CSIRO report Australia’s Biosecurity Future: preparing for future biological challenges…
Laboratory-based genetic modification is relatively new when you consider the centuries of selective breeding that precedes it. IRRI Photos/Flickr

GM techniques: from the field to the laboratory (and back again)

Welcome to GM in Australia, a series looking at the facts, ethics, regulations and research into genetically modified crops. In this first instalment, Peter Langridge describes two GM techniques: selective…
Not all that which is greening is green. André Künzelmann/UFZ

The ‘greening’ of Europe’s farms has been a failure

The European policies designed to encourage a more biodiverse environment that is better able to support wildlife and plants are failing. In fact, our analysis of the reforms designed to “green” the EU…

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