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Australian farmers apply nearly a million tonnes of nitrogen-based fertilisers every year. Pete Hill/Flickr

Meet N2O, the greenhouse gas 300 times worse than CO2

When we talk about greenhouse gases we usually talk about carbon dioxide. When media reports depict climate change, we invariably see the cooling towers of a coal power station. Which is fair, because…
Honeybees pollinate a third of Australia’s food crops. Losing them due varroa might would cost the economy billions of dollars. David McClenaghan

Australian farmers face increasing threat of new diseases: report

A nationwide outbreak of foot and mouth disease; an invasion of a devastating wheat disease; our honeybees completely wiped out. These are just three possible disastrous scenarios facing Australia; they’re…
Tractors may have revolutionised farming but to protect biosecurity, farmers could do with some extra help. Ben McLeod/Flickr

Go with the grain: technology to help farmers protect crops

New technology to tackle biosecurity challenges down the track is one of the five megatrends identified in today’s CSIRO report Australia’s Biosecurity Future: preparing for future biological challenges…
Officals move in to contain virus in Yorkshire. Steve Parkin/PA

Bird flu is back, but should we be worried?

A single case of avian influenza, also known as bird flu, has been confirmed at a farm in East Yorkshire. We still don’t know what strain of virus is behind it but health officials, and no doubt the public…
Australia’s reputation for strict farming standards helped its beef industry weather the BSE crisis. Malcolm Paterson/CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

Australia shouldn’t sacrifice food safety standards for free trade

Ten years on from the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, Australia is entering another round of negotiations towards the new and controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. In this Free Trade Scorecard series…
Time for Brazil to pull in the harvest? Sweeter Alternative

Hard Evidence: who will reap rewards from Russia farm sanctions?

The Russian ban on the imports of some agricultural products from the US, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway has sparked much debate over the likely impact on American and European farmers…
Environmental officer Glendon Turner was allegedly shot and killed by a New South Wales farmer. AAP Image/NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Turner Family

Land clearing laws bring out worrying libertarian streak

Last week, an environmental officer, Glendon Turner, was allegedly shot and killed by a farmer near the town of Moree in New South Wales. A 79-year old man, Ian Turnbull, has been charged with Mr Turner’s…
Not all that which is greening is green. André Künzelmann/UFZ

The ‘greening’ of Europe’s farms has been a failure

The European policies designed to encourage a more biodiverse environment that is better able to support wildlife and plants are failing. In fact, our analysis of the reforms designed to “green” the EU…
Canola fields: one of the battlegrounds of the debate over genetic modification. Michael Jones/supplied

WA’s court verdict on GM crops is a dose of common sense

In a landmark West Australian Supreme Court decision, a farmer growing a genetically modified canola crop has been spared the blame after his neighbour accused him of contaminating his organic farm next…
Cleaned out - badgers can make quick work of even spiny hedgehogs. Steve Plummer

The badger cull is not the answer to hedgehogs’ problems

What to do, when two of Britain’s most loved animals run up against each other? In a study recently published in the journal PLOS One, we found that the numbers of hedgehogs living in suburban areas in…
GM crops are grown without fuss around the world, just not the UK and Europe. EPA/Shepherd Zhou

GM crops: time to counter the scare stories and relax barriers

Many people, including me, are pretty fed up with the continuing fuss about GM food and crops. Are they too dangerous to eat? Are they a hazard to the environment? Despite a “debate” stretching back to…
Australian farmland is changing hands more often, but data on who is buying and selling is inadequate. Erin Smith

Lost in the paddock: Australia flying blind on farm ownership

The debate about who owns Australia’s farmland is often expressed in crude and narrow ways, and not just on talkback radio. Take last year’s leaders debate at Rooty Hill during the final week of the election…

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