Articles on Agriculture

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Farmers are turning to natural bacteria to improve crops like cane – but they might be getting rubbish. Gavin Fordham/Flickr

Crop probiotics: how more science and less hype can help Australian farmers

Crop probiotics are natural, eco-friendly and could provide huge benefits for Australian farmers. But our loose regulations means genuine products are competing with snake oil.
Healthy soil from an Oregon farm. Aaron Roth, NRCS/Flickr

Make our soil great again

To help feed a growing world population, restore biodiversity and slow climate change, a geologist calls for a moon shot effort to restore healthy soil around the world.
Bowen’s market gardens supply some 13% of Australia’s perishable vegetables.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie has blown a hole in the winter vegetable supply

Sydney, Melbourne and many other areas can expect to pay more for veg from next month, after widespread crop losses in Bowen, a major source of winter vegetables such as tomatoes, beans and capsicum.
Planting a diverse blend of crops and cover crops, and not tilling, helps promote soil health. Catherine Ulitsky, USDA/Flickr

Healthy soil is the real key to feeding the world

Conventional wisdom says we need industrial agriculture to feed the world. Not so, says geologist David Montgomery: Practices that focus on creating healthy soil can transform agriculture.
New research challenges the assumption that world food production must double by 2050 to keep up with demand. The authors call for more focus on conservation through measures such as these diverse winter cover crops planted on a Pennsylvania dairy farm. Mitch Hunter

We don’t need to double world food production by 2050 – here’s why

According to widely-cited estimates, world food production must double by 2050 to keep up with population growth. New research challenges this target and calls for balancing growth with conservation.
Prairie potholes in South Dakota are important breeding and feeding areas for many types of birds. Under the Clean Water Rule, farmers cannot fill them in or discharge pollutants into them without a permit. Laura Hubers, USFWS/Flickr

Why farmers and ranchers think the EPA Clean Water Rule goes too far

President Trump signed an executive order to roll back the 2015 Clean Water Rule. Two water experts explain why the rule alarms farmers and ranchers concerned about over-regulation.

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