Agriculture

Drought in Australia food bowl worsens
September 2, 2008 08:59 AM - Reuters

Drought in Australia's main food growing region of the Murray-Darling river system has worsened, with water inflows over the past two years at an all-time low, the government's top water official said on Tuesday. The drought will hit irrigated crops such as rice, grapes and horticulture the hardest, but would have less impact on output of wheat, which depends largely on rainfall during specific periods and is on track to double after two years of shrunken crops.

Small farmers to join Brazil sustainable cane move
August 29, 2008 10:55 AM - Reuters

Dozens of small and medium-scale farmers in Brazil's Sao Paulo state will grow sugar cane certified as meeting strict social and environmental standards, the region's cane producers association said late on Thursday. Several ethanol companies like Cosan and Louis Dreyfus signed deals to produce and export verified sustainable ethanol in the last couple of months to address consumers' concerns over the impact of ethanol which powers almost all the country's new cars.

Water Corruption Prevents Progress
August 29, 2008 09:57 AM -

Africa's largest water transfer effort, the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, plans to supply water to the industrial heartland of South Africa and to generate energy for impoverished Lesotho. The multi-billion dollar investment offers economic growth and greater water security for underserved communities in the region.

'Best Hope At Sustainable Fisheries' Short-changed By Conservation Efforts, Researchers Argue
August 26, 2008 09:44 AM - University of British Columbia.

Small scale fisheries produce as much annual catch for human consumption and use less than one-eighth the fuel as their industrial counterparts, but they are dealt a double-whammy by well-intentioned eco-labelling initiatives and ill-conceived fuel subsidies, according to a University of British Columbia study.

Roundtable Reveals International Biofuel Standard
August 25, 2008 09:53 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

Biofuels offer the promise of a low-carbon fuel that could power vehicles and stimulate the world's rural economies. Yet biofuels are also among the most vilified of environmental technologies. Ethanol refineries are not always clean. The labor on biofuel farms is not always fair. The diversion of feedstocks from food to fuel may be driving up global commodity prices.

A New Biopesticide For The Organic Food Boom
August 25, 2008 09:51 AM - American Chemical Society

With the boom in consumption of organic foods creating a pressing need for natural insecticides and herbicides that can be used on crops certified as "organic," biopesticide pioneer Pam G. Marrone, Ph.D., is reporting development of a new "green" pesticide obtained from an extract of the giant knotweed in a report scheduled for presentation here today at the 236th national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Uruguay: Organic Wool Has Become the Great Challenge
August 25, 2008 09:47 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

There is a strong growing demand in the world for "organic" wool and consumers are willing to pay a bonus, which is a promising advantage for Uruguay and its textile industry, said Pedro Otegui, one of the country's leading wool and textile exporters.

Wastewater fears for urban farms

Urgent action is needed to remove pollutants from urban wastewater, which is often used in cities to grow food, an international study has warned. Data collected by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) found that 85% of cities discharged the water without any appropriate treatment.

As GMO Sugar Beets Sneak Into the Food Supply, Citizens Fight Back
August 16, 2008 11:35 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

"Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -- Anthropologist Margaret Mead

Study Looks at Health of Farmworkers
August 14, 2008 10:38 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

MENDOTA -- When customers come into his store, Joseph Riofrio sees the positive effects of an ongoing study in Mendota on the health of farmworkers and their job risks. Hispanic farmworkers are more concerned about diabetes and their sugar intake, something Riofrio did not see a few years ago.

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