Agriculture

Farm insurance may help poor confront climate risk
June 24, 2009 10:31 AM - Alister Doyle, Reuters

Index insurance linked to rainfall, floods can help farms. Meant to streamline payouts for crop failures.

House Democrats reach deal on Climate Bill
June 24, 2009 07:01 AM - Richard Cowan, Reuters

Democrats in the House of Representatives on Tuesday said they had reached a deal on difficult agriculture issues in a climate change bill, clearing the way for a vote and probable passage in the chamber this week. "We have an agreement finally," said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, whose support had been widely sought by House Democratic leaders. Peterson declared he is now prepared to vote for the controversial bill.

Destroying Levees in Louisiana
June 20, 2009 06:21 AM - CORNELIA DEAN, The New York Times

In the 1960s, a group of businessmen bought 16,000 acres of swampy bottomland along the Ouachita River in northern Louisiana and built miles of levee around it. They bulldozed its oak and cypress trees and, when the land dried out, turned it into a soybean farm. Now two brothers who grew up nearby are undoing all that work. In what experts are calling the biggest levee-busting operation ever in North America, the brothers plan to return the muddy river to its ancient floodplain, coaxing back plants and animals that flourished there when President Thomas Jefferson first had the land surveyed in 1804.

NOAA Forecast Predicts Large "Dead Zone" for Gulf of Mexico this Summer
June 18, 2009 04:19 PM - Editor, ENN

A team of NOAA-supported scientists from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Louisiana State University, and the University of Michigan is forecasting that the “dead zone” off the coast of Louisiana and Texas in the Gulf of Mexico this summer could be one of the largest on record. The dead zone is an area in the Gulf of Mexico where seasonal oxygen levels drop too low to support most life in bottom and near-bottom waters.

Water in Africa – Business turns on the tap

Business is stepping in where governments fail to provide clean water in Africa, with Coca-Cola, SABMiller and major platinum miners leading the way. A world running short of water is presenting a new category of risk to businesses that few have begun to appreciate. That was the warning from campaigner WWF and noted research body the Pacific Institute, at the World Water Forum in Istanbul in late March.

Reviving American Chestnut Trees May Mitigate Climate Change
June 15, 2009 05:45 AM - ScienceDaily

A Purdue University study shows that introducing a new hybrid of the American chestnut tree would not only bring back the all-but-extinct species, but also put a dent in the amount of carbon in the Earth's atmosphere.

Canada frosts the most widespread in recent memory
June 10, 2009 08:34 AM - Rod Nickel, Reuters

The multiple frosts that have blanketed Western Canada in the last week are the most widespread in the top canola-growing province of Saskatchewan in at least five years, the Canola Council of Canada said on Tuesday.

Scientists produce GM crops without foreign genes
June 8, 2009 11:06 AM - Kimani Chege, SciDevNet

Scientists have unveiled a new way of altering the genetic sequence of a crop to produce a desired trait without needing to introduce foreign genes.

Brazil approves Amazon hydro-power dam
June 4, 2009 06:51 AM - Reuters

Brazil approved on Wednesday an environmental permit for a hydroelectric dam in the Amazon, an official said on Wednesday, advancing a project the government hopes will shore up power supplies but critics call an ecological disaster.

Pesticide may add low levels of melamine to Baby Formula
June 3, 2009 03:38 PM - Janet Raloff, Science News

Infant formulas purchased from stores in Canada show widespread tainting with traces of melamine, a toxic constituent of plastics and other materials. In China, the fraudulent use of melamine as a protein replacement in infant formulas resulted in the poisoning of more than 1,200 babies last year, six of whom died. Canada’s widespread contamination, however, appears unintentional and to stem from a very different source.

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