Articles on Agriculture

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Though not this obvious from the outside, plants are keeping time. Hua Lu

Studying circadian rhythms in plants and their pathogens might lead to precision medicine for people

Precisely calibrated timekeepers are found in organisms from all domains of life. Biologists are studying how they influence plant/pathogen interactions – what they learn could lead to human medicines.
Irrigated fields, like these in Nigeria, increase the risk of workers getting malaria. Arne Hoel / World Bank

Malaria testing and treatment increases worker wellness – as well as effort

Health investments raise worker productivity, but firms may not observe changes in worker effort. Technology that measures physical activity demonstrates these potential gains.
More carbon stays in the soil when farmers leave their fields alone between harvesting and planting. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

How carbon farming can help solve climate change

The Paris climate agreement aims to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels. We need to curb greenhouse gas emissions, but we can also make gains with carbon farming.
Smallholder agriculture in southern Ethiopia. Smallholder farmers are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity. Leah Samberg

World hunger is increasing thanks to wars and climate change

According to the UN, world hunger is rising for the first time in 15 years. The answer is not only growing more food, but also buffering small-scale farmers against climate change and armed conflicts.
Balinese farmers with Mount Agung in the background. Areas with high volcanic activity also have some of the world’s most fertile farmlands. Reuters/Darren Whiteside

How Mount Agung’s eruption can create the world’s most fertile soil

Volcanic ash can cause a nuisance to farmers, burying agricultural lands and damaging crops. But in the long term, this ash will create highly productive soil that can support huge populations.

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