Gardening in Australia requires, to varying degrees depending where in the country you are, pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers.
When working with garden chemicals, always make sure you are wearing gloves. Apply sprays and dusts downwind and wear goggles if necessary. Always follow the directions.
The threat of chemical weapon attacks is on the rise globally.
Governments often have limited knowledge of chemical production as it is the preserve of the private sector. Often these facilities are not as well secured as government facilities.
Honeybees aren’t the only wildlife affected by pesticides – wild bees and butterflies also feel the effect.
Wild bee image from www.shutterstock.com
Two new studies have linked controversial pesticides neonicotinoides to wild bee and butterfly declines.
Field tests of flood-tolerant ‘scuba rice.’
International Rice Research Institute/Flickr
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.
New research shows that street lighting changes the activity of moths, and is likely to disrupt nocturnal pollination.
Working bee colonies.
Elina L. Nino
Honey bees, which pollinate many valuable crops, are threatened by parasites, pesticides and development. But selective breeding, more benign pesticides and better nutrition could help turn the tide.
Are genetically engineered crops safe for human health and the environment? A new report says yes but points out problems and regulatory gaps. Three members of the study panel offer their takeaways.
Outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish, which eat coral, have been linked to poor water quality.
Starfish image from www.shutterstock.com
To fix pollution on the Great Barrier Reef, some farming practices will have to change.
Our modern crops need some help in the immunity department.
Andy / Andrew Fogg
Modern agriculture is synonymous with monoculture. That lack of diversity is bad news for plants' natural immune defenses. Researchers are figuring out how to help plants fend off microbes – without pesticides.
Roundup, or the chemical glyphosate, is a very common herbicide used to kill weeds.
The World Health Organization classifies the common herbicide glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans". But this doesn't mean using it to kill weeds in playgrounds will hurt children.
Pesticides have harmful effects on those using them.
Understanding the hazards and risks of pesticides is vital for people using them on crops.
Locust sits on a wheat stalk.
Insects have been in a feature in agriculture since the end of the 19th century. Using a combination of new and old control methods is the best way to deal with our food competitors.
Teeming with insect life?
Oregon Department of Agriculture
Continued use of pesticides will lower diversity of beneficial insects, costing corn farmers more money over time.
Not all bees are honeybees. This is a green ‘sweat’ bee.
Data from all over the globe suggest that bees are in decline, and we may lose a lot more than honey if bees are unable to cope with the changing climate and increasing demand for agricultural land.
A plant heavily colonized by a bacterial pathogen.
Jeannette Rapicavoli/UC Riverside
Vaccines aren't just for animals anymore. Research shows priming plants with pathogen-derived compounds strengthens their immune systems and enhances protection against future attack.
A flood plume containing sediments, nutrients and pesticides flowing onto the Great Barrier Reef from Bundaberg.
AAP Image/James Cook University
Successive plans to curb the sediments, nutrients and pesticides flowing into the waters around the Great Barrier Reef have fallen short, leaving the corals that call the reef home highly vulnerable.
No insects here – and no insecticide either.
FAO of the UN
Spraying chemicals on crops has proven costly and counter-productive, according to new research.
China’s government says it plans to tackle smog, but has also moved to shut down criticism on the issue in the wake of a popular online documentary.
Under the Dome, a hugely popular online documentary about China's smog crisis, could be as influential as 1962's US pesticide exposé Silent Spring - but only if Chinese officials allow debate to flourish.
Australia’s reputation for strict farming standards helped its beef industry weather the BSE crisis.
Malcolm Paterson/CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons
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…
After the pesticides we spray, who will be left flying?
The UK government is prepared to accept funding for studies on the risks of pesticides to bees and other pollinators from the manufacturers of the chemicals in question. Not surprisingly, this raises uncomfortable…