Agriculture

Windowfarms Crowdsources to Turn Urban Food Deserts into Food Desserts
December 20, 2010 08:16 AM - Leon Kaye, Triple Pundit

Home gardening has surged in the past couple of years. Plenty of reasons account for the partial shift from factory farm to backyard farm: concern over nutrition, environmental issues, and economic worries.

Rabbits named Britain's most costly invasive species
December 15, 2010 08:17 AM - James Meikle, Ecologist

They were introduced to Britain by the Romans, are hated as pests and celebrated in children's books. Britain's estimated 40 million rabbits cost the economy more than £260m a year including damage to crops, businesses and infrastructure, a report says today.

The Fall of the European Butterfly
December 13, 2010 10:05 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Butterflies are one of the few insects on Earth that people actually like and admire. Unfortunately, mankind's beloved butterfly has fallen on hard times on the continent of Europe. According to a new study from Butterfly Conservation Europe, grassland butterfly populations have declined by 70 percent in the last 20 years.

Reflective Crops Could Cool the Planet
December 3, 2010 03:16 PM - Jessica Marshall, Discovery News

Planting more reflective versions of crops could cool regional temperatures in summertime, reducing the impact of increasing global temperatures in these areas, according to ongoing research. Increasing the reflectivity of crop plants by 20 percent could decrease temperatures in a given area by about one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), said Joy Singarayer of the University of Bristol, United Kingdom.

Turning Wastewater Into a Revenue Stream
December 1, 2010 05:21 PM - Matter Network , Clean Techies

Safely getting rid of what we flush away each day is the unglamorous role of the wastewater treatment plant. But a new process that turns sewage into high-quality fertilizer proves that creative minds can find inspiration for innovation just about anywhere.

Four degree rise 'would scupper African farming'
November 30, 2010 08:52 AM - Yojana Sharma, SciDevNet

A widespread farming catastrophe could hit Africa if global temperatures rose by four degrees Celsius or more, according to a study that calls for urgent planning for a much warmer future and investment in technology to avert disaster.

Egypt's factory farming boom threatens social strife in a hungry country
November 24, 2010 08:36 AM - Joseph Mayton, Ecologist

Increasing demand for meat in the land of the Pyramids is leading to more intensive farming, with serious consequences for food prices, the environment and animal welfare, reports Joseph Mayton in Cairo.

'Wonder food' spreads to Middle East
November 23, 2010 03:45 PM - Hazem Badr, SciDevNet

A nutritious blue-green algae, known as spirulina, has been added to school meals in Jordan to combat chronic malnutrition and anaemia among children. The Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina against Malnutrition (IIMSAM), which has observer status with the UN Economic and Social Council, says spirulina is rich in protein and vitamin B, and contains beta-carotene that can overcome eye problems caused by Vitamin A deficiency. A tablespoon a day can eliminate iron anaemia, the most common mineral deficiency.

Modern Insecticides' Devastating Effects
November 16, 2010 09:30 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Like DDT before it, a new class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids is believed to be causing drastic population declines in bird species. It is so effective at killing insects, that it has deprived birds of their basic food. Some scientists also believe they are behind the decline in bee populations in Europe and the United States known as honey-bee Colony Collapse Disorder.

The New Floods and Droughts
November 15, 2010 12:45 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Dust storms scour Iraq. Freak floods wreak havoc in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Rising sea levels erode Egypt's coast. Tuvulu and the Seychelles may disappear altogether as hey submerge into the ocean. A comprehensive vulnerability index suggests you move to Scandinavia, Ireland or Iceland as slightly safer places. The teeming plains of Asia are at greater risk in the next 30 years. Ten of the 16 most vulnerable countries are in Asia where high populations, low lying land and potential water shortages will plague more than other places and people. High Asia is dominated by many steep, dramatic mountain ranges that run through parts of Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, India, China, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and other countries. The region is home to more than 50,000 glaciers that are vital water lifelines to Asia's largest rivers, including the Yellow, Yangtze, Mekong, Indus and Ganges. Roughly two billion people depend on these rivers for their water and food supply. What happens when all this changes with the climate?

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