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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…
A record-breaking winter heatwave - which makes pretty nice weather for a dip. DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAPIMAGE

Winter heatwaves are nice … as extreme weather events go

If you’ve stepped outside at lunchtime in Sydney over the past few days, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was more like early summer than the beginning of winter. On each of the past 23 days, the…
Wheat fields in central New South Wales. Sam Ilić/Flickr

Australian trade beats aid in boosting global food security

Should Australia aim to become Asia’s “food bowl”? How can we help farmers earn more for what they produce? And how can Australia best contribute to global food security? Those are some of the crucial…
Moving from cooperative to corporation could lure foreign investment for grain marketing group CBH, funding its aggressive expansion plans. AAP/Dan Peled

Lost in the maize? The future for Aussie grain cooperatives is bleak

Long a favoured model for Australian farmers operating in a risky and precarious industry, cooperatives seem increasingly anachronistic as greater numbers move toward demutualisation. This is a mistake…
Before the 1980s, farmers thought lack of water limited their yield. New crops and sowing methods are breaking yield barriers. Michael Middleton

Australia’s farming future: doing more with less water

Changing climate, drought and urban expansion threaten the yield of Australia’s wheat. But changes in cropping methods could address reduced water and lead to a jump in yield not seen since the late 1980s…
It’s getting harder to grow a lot of wheat. Stephen Mitchell

Australia’s farming future: can our wheat keep feeding the world?

Australia’s status as a major wheat exporter means we have a special role in helping the rest of the world eat. But with a changing climate, and so much of the world’s wheat being used as animal feeds…
Salt-resistant crops will be a boon for farmers whose properties are increasingly affected by salinity. EPA/Larry W. Smith

New variety of salt-tolerant wheat could help address food shortages

A new type of wheat bred with a gene that removes sodium from water can outgrow conventional strains by up to 25% in salty…
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…

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