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Food & Agriculture

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Ag Census Demonstrates Value of Agriculture

Today, farmers and ranchers have less than three weeks to return their Census of Agriculture – and at USDA, we hope that everyone who can get their response back to us as soon as possible.

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Global Organic Farming Acreage Expanded x3 Since 1999

Despite a slight decline between 2009 and 2010, since 1999 the global land area farmed organically has expanded more than threefold to 37 million hectares, according to new research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute for its Vital Signs Online service ( Regions with the largest certified organic agricultural land in 2010 were Oceania, including Australia,

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Crop Sensors Come of Age

Implementing optical sensing requires growers to think differently about the application process,as well as potential benefits. Minnesota farmer Robert Goettl emphasizes not simply relying on the technology. “Every year the vegetation is different, and even different varieties can have different color changes,” he says. “You need to think about what the corn looks like before

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Gabon Will Implement a GIS Dedicated to Food Security

Gabonese President set up a structure dedicated to food security issues, the Gabonese Agency for food security (AGASA) and turned to IGN France International to implement its Geographic Information System (GIS). Gabon spends every year 250 billion FCFA to import food products. The objective of the Gabonese authorities is to achieve food self-sufficiency and to help

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Remote Sensing, Microbiology Used to Trace Foodborne Pathogens

 In 2011, an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes in cantaloupe led to almost 150 illnesses and 30 deaths. With a spate of recent outbreaks of such foodborne pathogens as Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli and L. monocytogenes, the ability to predict where and how these deadly microbes enter the food supply chain could save lives and

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Technology is King Down on the Farm

In so many respects, the farming life may never change. Farmers get their hands dirty, work their fingers until they swell and then work some more. They get around their fields in pickups, working an industry with notoriously narrow profit margins. But the basics of farming and tools needed to feed a hungry global population aren’t what

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Supporting Climate-Friendly Food Production

This summer, record temperatures and limited rainfall parched vast areas of U.S. cropland, and with Earth’s surface air temperature projected to rise 0.69 degrees Celsius by 2030, global food production will be even more unpredictable, according to new research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute ( Although agriculture is a major driver of human-caused climate change,

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Europe Embarks on ‘Save Our Soils’ Campaign

After carbon footprinting and fairtrade schemes, saving and restoring soils might well become the new sustainable trend hitting European retail shelves. On 5 December, World Soil Day, Nature & More is launching an awareness campaign on the theme of soil degradation, in alignment with WWF and FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Global Irrigated Area at Record Levels, But Expansion Slowing

In 2009, the most recent year for which global data are available from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 311 million hectares in the world was equipped for irrigation but only 84 percent of that area was actually being irrigated, according to new research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute for its Vital Signs Online service

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Green Farming Agenda Faces EU Budget Axe

Some EU national governments and lawmakers are pushing to weaken proposals intended to create natural defences against pesticides and fertilisers in crop fields. But they should reconsider their opposition to buffer strips and other natural areas, green advocates say. The future of the CAP remains uncertain in part because the budget for 2014-2020 is still undecided. EU leaders gathering

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