Articles on Agriculture

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Iron-rich rice helps feed the poor: could we do it without patenting? Jane Rawson

Will patenting crops help feed the hungry?

Rice is the primary source of food for roughly half the world’s population. But it falls well short of providing enough iron, zinc and pro-vitamin A to meet daily nutritional requirements. Iron deficiency…
Grape growers are already suffering emotional stress because of climate change. ryanovineyards/Flickr

Positive mental health key to tackling rural climate change

Mental health has been an issue in rural areas for the past few decades. Climate change will only add more stress to the lives of rural people. While a report by the Climate Institute shows broad scale…
In India, species decline when they have to share land with agriculture. flickrPrince

Food vs. fauna: can we have our biodiversity and eat, too?

So, we have to feed an extra 2.5 billion people by 2050. For those of us interested in the future of biodiversity on this planet, this poses an uncomfortable challenge. It is also the topic of a recent…
GM is not being used to make fishbread Frankenfoods. Dave Lifson/Flickr

Top five myths about genetic modification

The Conversation asked CSIRO scientist, Richard Richards, to look at the top five myths about genetic modification (GM), and correct the public record. Myth one: GM is just haphazard, imprecise cross-breeding…
Your cafe breakfast was brought to you by phosphorus, but we’re running out. caccamo/Flickr

Securing phosphorus: food for thought, and food for the future

Take a moment to think about your next meal. It will contain phosphorus. You contain phosphorus. In fact, you can’t survive without phosphorus: it’s in our DNA and our cell membranes. Nothing can survive…
Environmental activists have targeted palm oil – an industry crucial to Indonesia’s development. AAP

Big NGOs should stop monkeying around and get tougher on the West

In 1990 there were about 400 international environmental groups. Today, this number is more like 1.4 million. So why is the world apparently in a worse state now? Have environmental groups paid too much…

Look at grain type when reducing emissions

A study which looked at how farm practices affect nitrous oxide levels has found it depends on the crops. Nitrous oxide is…

Even plants get stressed

Plant and computer scientists have discovered the genes plants use to manage environmental stresses. Called “cis-regulatory…
Agricultural research has become increasingly dependent on industry and CRC funding. Flickr/Marcy Reiford

Agricultural research feels funding shortage squeeze

Funding shortfalls are hurting Australia’s agricultural research sector at a time when climate change, a looming food crisis…
The benefits of lifting the import ban on bananas outweigh the risks. Maxey

As the apple import ban crumbles, is it time to go bananas?

The ban on importing apples from New Zealand was lifted earlier this month, bringing to an end a restriction established in 1921. With this long history of protection from imports, it is not unexpected…
Despite attacks, CSIRO isn’t giving up on genetic research. AAP

CSIRO: GM essential for health and food security

Just as medical researchers work to unlock the role our human genes play in disease, CSIRO investigates how plant genes can be used to boost the health benefits of food, increase crop yields and prevent…

Soil nitrite cleanses the air

Researchers have discovered that soil nitrite is released into the air in the form of nitrous acid (HONO). The atmosphere…

Diet affects sheep sex

Research shows that feeding pea silage to ewes increased the likelihood of male lambs being born by 15%. The study took 300…

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