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Agriculture remains a major employer in Australia but the challenges of competition, food security and climate change are on the horizon. AAP image/supplied by Graincorp

Australia’s ‘five strong pillar economy’: agriculture

As the Coalition government prepares its second budget, how is the "five pillar" economy promised by Tony Abbott faring?
The decoration of choice by Europe’s farming-friendly forefathers. Solange Rigaud

Neolithic bling provides clues to spread of farming in Europe

Studying beads, shells and animal teeth – ornaments which carried deep cultural meaning to prehistoric man – reveals that northern Europeans resisted the spread of agriculture for centuries.
Food to table, Chicago style. crfsproject

Why all cities should have a Department of Food

Urban and regional planners need to play a bigger role in bringing healthy food to cities and towns. One research project aims to change that.
Water from coal seam gas mining would be treated at a reverse osmosis plant before being re-injected into the ground. CSIRO

Can water from coal seam gas be re-injected into the ground?

The Queensland government wants companies to use waste water from coal seam gas extraction for useful purposes such as recharging aquifers. New CSIRO research shows that, with careful monitoring, it can be done.
A conceptual variable-rate fertilization system that would use sensors to determine how much fertilizer to apply in real-time. R Sui and J A Thomasson

Farmers of the future will utilize drones, robots and GPS

Precision agriculture harnesses technology to help farmers grow more food using less water, fertilizer, pesticide, fuel and labor.
Farming makes a huge contribution to global greenhouse emissions, mainly through methane from livestock. Billy Hathorn/Wikimedia Commons

Meat the future: new book sets out the effects of the world’s diet

Meat uses a lot of resources - between three and ten times as much as plants for the same amount of protein. The rich world might be slowly losing its taste for meat, but the developing world isn't.
Put innovative farming techniques in the right hands. CGIAR Climate

Yes, Africa will feed itself within the next 15 years

Africa will be able to feed itself in the next 15 years. That’s one of the big “bets on the future” that Bill and Melinda Gates have made in their foundation’s latest annual letter. Helped by other breakthroughs…
Mountain Pygmy Possum numbers are declining due to environmental changes, including earlier snow melt. AAP/Tim Arch/DSE

Early birds: how climate change is shifting time for animals and plants

Every Spring, the blanket of Australian alpine snow starts to melt, and the Mountain Pygmy Possum wakes up from its seven-month-long hibernation. Naturally after so long under the snow, its first thought…
Harvesting a crop or mining the soil by taking out more than we return? Flickr/Cyron

The supply chain in farming – do we count all the assets?

Most people understand the idea of a supply chain so that, for example, to make a car you need many thousands of different car components for assembly at the factory. If any of those components are no…
Rabbits can strip grasslands bare and chew through young woody trees. John Schilling/Flickr

The rabbits of Christmas past: a present that backfired for Australia

On Christmas Day 1859, the Victoria Acclimatisation Society released 24 rabbits for hunting, to help settlers feel more at home. Given the millions of dollars in damage to agricultural productivity that…
Eat greener greens, they’re better for the planet. thebittenword.com/flickr

Organic farming techniques are closing gap on conventional yields

The unintended consequences of our agricultural food system – polluted air and water, dead zones in coastal seas, soil erosion – have profound implications for human health and the environment. So more…

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