Articles on Agriculture research

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Field tests of flood-tolerant ‘scuba rice.’ International Rice Research Institute/Flickr

Moving beyond pro/con debates over genetically engineered crops

Advocates have argued for years about whether genetically engineered crops are safe to grow and eat. Plant pathologist and geneticist Pamela Ronald calls for a more nuanced discussion.
A South African farmer from Piketberg 100km outside Cape Town inspects the dry soil in his field of sewn wheat. It is cheaper to import the crop than to grow it commercially. Epa/Nic Bothma

South Africa’s struggling agricultural sector: what went wrong 20 years ago

South Africa's agricultural industry has struggled over the past 20 years due to the country's rush to liberalise the sector while other countries continued to support their farmers.

Biofortified lentils may help prevent disease

Increasing the concentration of selenium in lentil seeds may help prevent a global deficiency of the essential mineral. Researchers…
With growing pressures on our land, the aim will be to ‘farm smarter, not harder’. choctruffle/Flickr

Agriculture in Australia: growing more than our farming future

AUSTRALIA 2025: How will science address the challenges of the future? In collaboration with Australia’s chief scientist Ian Chubb, we’re asking how each science discipline will contribute to Australia…
A far-from-mellow yellow. Owen Humphreys/PA

Revealed: the chemical blitz bees face in fields

Perhaps I was naive, but when I discovered the extent of the chemical soup applied to typical fields I was astonished. As part of our ongoing investigations into the impact of pesticides on bees, we looked…
We need more, but more of what? Perhaps not this. David Giles/PA

How to feed nine billion people, and feed them well

Resource-intensive agriculture, despite its productivity, nevertheless has failed to feed the world’s current population, never mind the nine billion people expected by 2050. This system that currently…
Keep looking - there’s a new way of farming in there somewhere. Geoff Caddick/PA

Break agriculture’s chemical monopolies to free our food

Current farming methods rely too much on expensive chemicals such as fertiliser and pesticides; agroecology combines the best of ecological science and farmers’ knowledge to develop more sustainable food…

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