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Articles on Agriculture

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Dry conditions across the West follow a hot, dry year of record-setting wildfires in 2020. Communities were left with scenes like this, from California’s Creek Fire. Amir Aghakouchak/University of California Irvine

A dangerous fire season looms as the drought-stricken Western US heads for a water crisis

Drought conditions are so bad, fish hatcheries are trucking their salmon to the ocean and ranchers are worried about having enough water for their livestock.
An orchard near Kettleman City in California’s San Joaquin Valley on April 2, 2021. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Water wells are at risk of going dry in the US and worldwide

The US has one of the highest groundwater use rates in the world. When wells run dry, households may opt to conserve water, find new sources or sell and move.
Methane is the world’s second most abundant greenhouse gas. It doesn’t stay in the atmosphere as long as CO2, but it’s many times more potent. Photo by Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty Image

Reducing methane is crucial for protecting climate and health, and it can pay for itself – so why aren’t more companies doing it?

The lead author of a new UN report on methane explains the findings and how oil and gas companies could be making money and saving the climate at the same time.
The California Aqueduct, which carries water more than 400 miles south from the Sierra Nevada, splits as it enters Southern California at the border of Kern and Los Angeles counties. California DWR

Installing solar panels over California’s canals could yield water, land, air and climate payoffs

Installing solar panels over California's 4,000 miles of canals could generate less expensive, renewable energy, save water, fight climate change – and offer a solution for the thirsty American West.
A soldier looking over a maize field where Somali farmers are tending a crop in Dollow, northern Somalia. TONY KARUMBA/AFP/GettyImages

Somalia is facing another food crisis: here’s why – and what can be done to stop the cycle

For decades Somalia has been in a near-constant state of food insecurity. This is due to a combination of stagnant crop production, a rapidly increasing population and political unrest.
A prairie strip filled with flowers and wild rye grass between soybean fields on Tim Smith’s farm near Eagle Grove, Iowa, reduces greenhouse gases and stores carbon in the soil. The Washington Post via Getty Images

Climate-friendly farming strategies can improve the land and generate income for farmers

Farmers can help slow climate change by mixing native grasses into croplands, restoring wetlands and raising perennial crops. These strategies also conserve soil and water and build new markets.
Input subsidies aren’t helping women like Malawian farmer Grace Stenala. Amos Gumulira/AFP via Getty Images

Malawi’s farm subsidies aren’t helping women: but there are solutions

Malawi's revamped subsidy regime is designed to reach many more farmers. But a granular look shows that women aren't reaping the benefits.
A deforested piece of land in the Amazon rainforest near Porto Velho, in the state of Rondonia, in northern Brazil, on Aug. 23, 2019. Carl De SouzaA/FP via Getty Images

Brazil’s economic crisis, prolonged by COVID-19, poses an enormous challenge to the Amazon

Because Brazil's economic prosperity in the last two decades is increasingly linked to the Amazon's good health, restoring the country's economy is a critical first step toward ending deforestation.
A tomato vendor attends to buyer at a makeshift food market established to cushion the effect of COVID lockdown in Lagos. Photo by Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP via Getty Images

Pandemic underscores flaws in Nigeria’s farming and food supply chains

To overcome food insecurity, especially in a pandemic, Nigeria's emergency preparedness requires a total overhaul of it's agri-food supply chain.
Part of Gros Morne National Park in western Newfoundland is seen in June 2017. Tourism is critically important for many areas of rural Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel

Rural vs. urban Canada: No ‘one size fits all’ COVID-19 recovery

Misconceptions of rural realities can have serious implications. Better use of data can help avoid this and lead to policies that will help rural communities recover in the post-pandemic.

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