Articles on Agriculture

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Suspected infestation of Macrophomina phaseolina, a “novel” soil pathogen, in the non-fumigated buffer zone of a strawberry field. Julie Guthman

Healthy to eat, unhealthy to grow: Strawberries embody the contradictions of California agriculture

California produces 90 percent of the US strawberry crop, but growers face curbs on toxic chemicals that have helped their industry expand. Can a system centered on mass production become more sustainable?
Soybean crop on a family farm near Humboldt, Iowa, 2017. USDA/Preston Keres

What the 2018 farm bill means for urban, suburban and rural America

Congress is drafting the 2018 farm bill, which will guide agriculture, nutrition, trade and rural development policy. A former agriculture secretary explains how this bill reaches far beyond farms.
A migrant worker picks peaches in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., in the summer of 2015. (Shutterstock)

The cruel trade-off at your local produce aisle

Every year, migrant workers come to Canada to pick the fruits and vegetables we take for granted. They aren't paid well and get none of the benefits they pay into. It's time to treat them fairly.
These peatlands burned in Kampar, Riau, Indonesia, on July 24, 2017. Rony Muharrman/Antara Foto via Reuters

More research needed for responsible peatland management in Indonesia

A balanced research program should focus on good and rational peat management efforts that minimise environmental impacts, and on water regulation that reduces the risk of fire.
More than 70% of Rwanda’s population are subsistence farmers. Shutterstock/Sarine Arslanian

Rwanda’s agricultural revolution is not the success it claims to be

Findings from several scientific studies show the real impact of Rwanda's agricultural policies and the challenges it faces.
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.
A Zimbabwean man harvests maize from a field outside Harare. Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

Why reducing post-harvest losses is a priority for Africa

The Food and Agriculture organisation estimates that 30 to 40% of total food production is lost before it reaches the market. The losses in Africa are greater and sustainable strategies are needed.

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