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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.
Fulani of northern Nigeria: well aware of the problem. Fulani by Attila Jandi/Shutterstock

Fake animal drugs threaten African livestock and livelihoods

For millions of livestock owners across Africa, a disease in the herd can mean hardship or even ruin. Access to effective veterinary treatment is therefore essential for many people’s livelihoods. Many…
Queensland’s drought conditions have been worsened by persistent high temperatures. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Who’s been affected by Australia’s extreme heat? Everyone

Australia has been hit by two years of heat: 2013 was the hottest ever recorded and 2014 wasn’t far behind, taking third place. The country has also sweltered through several significant heatwaves, and…
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…
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…
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…

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