Agriculture

Grasses Have Potential as Alternate Ethanol Crop, Illinois Study Finds
November 2, 2010 08:56 AM - Editor, Science Daily

Money may not grow on trees, but energy could grow in grass. Researchers at the University of Illinois have completed the first extensive geographic yield and economic analysis of potential bioenergy grass crops in the Midwestern United States.

Master Chocolatiers Give Green Chocolate a Boost
November 2, 2010 08:49 AM - Agence France-Presse , Organic Consumers Association

From its chocolate factory in the French Alps, Stephane Bonnat's family has been nurturing ties with cocoa farmers around the world for over a century, and together they are now driving a green revolution.

Yemen's capital 'will run out of water by 2025'
October 25, 2010 08:54 AM - Omar Naje, SciDevNet

[SANA'A, YEMEN] Water shortages in Yemen will squeeze agriculture to such an extent that 750,000 jobs could disappear and incomes could drop by a quarter within a decade, according to a report. Poor water management and the enormous consumption of water for the farming of the popular stimulant khat are blamed for the predicted water shortages, which experts say could lead to the capital Sana'a running out of water by around 2025.

Fences reduce water pollution
October 22, 2010 08:58 AM - Tom Marshall, Planet Earth Online

There are plenty of high-tech ideas to tackle pollution, but recent research suggests that some of the biggest gains in keeping our waterways clean could come from a more traditional technology - fences. Simply fencing off streams and drainage ditches so farm animals can't deposit manure in and around them could cut levels of faecal pollution dramatically, according to scientists.

PepsiCo Seeks to Surpass Coke in Water Conservation in UK
October 20, 2010 08:55 AM - Yale Environment 360, Clean Techies

International drink and snack giant PepsiCo has vowed to cut the carbon emissions and water consumption of its UK operations by 50 percent in five years.

Ending Hunger in Africa
October 14, 2010 11:55 AM - Danielle Nierenberg, Worldwatch Institute

As hunger and drought spread across Africa, there's a huge focus on increasing yields of staple crops, such as maize, wheat, cassava, and rice. Although these crops are important for improving food security, they cannot cure malnutrition alone. There is no one-size fits all or single crop solution to solving global hunger, alleviating poverty, or protecting the environment and mitigating climate change. But the good news is that there is a multi-crop solution and it's already being spear-headed by farmers on the ground: vegetables.

Bring on Enviropig?: Can Genetic Engineering Make Meat a More Sustainable Food?
October 12, 2010 12:14 PM - Editor, Justmeans

Food safety advocates may shudder at the thought, but a team of scientists in Canada have come up with a new breed of pig that is intended to make meat a greener, more sustainable food. The Enviropig is engineered to have the same meat quality as your typically breeded Yorkshire pig, with all the ideal protein and fat content developed for the market. But in addition, it is also engineered to produce less toxic manure that releases fewer pollutants into the atmosphere, thereby making it a more environmentally sustainable option for large scale pig farmers.

Scientists warn of livestock greenhouse gas boom
October 5, 2010 03:47 PM - Benjamin Kolb, SciDevNet

Soaring international production of livestock could release enough carbon into the atmosphere by 2050 to single-handedly exceed 'safe' levels of climate change, says a study. Scientists combined figures for livestock production in 2000 with Food and Agriculture Organization projections for population growth and meat consumption by 2050. They found that the livestock sector's emissions alone could send temperatures above the 2 degrees Celsius rise commonly said to be the threshold above which climate change could be destabilising.

America's Food Waste Equates to Wasted Energy
October 5, 2010 11:29 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

America is certainly the land of plenty. This country has been blessed with an overabundance of natural resources and some of the world's most fertile agricultural land. However, every year millions of tons of food is wasted. According to a new study published in the journal, Environmental Science & Technology, the amount of food wasted in the US each year is equivalent to wasting approximately 350 million barrels of oil.

Florida orange groves still shrinking
September 24, 2010 07:16 AM - Jane Sutton, Reuters, Miami

Florida's orange groves are still shrinking as the state battles the tree-killing citrus greening disease and farmers sell their land, the annual Department of Agriculture census showed on Thursday. The number of commercial orange trees and total acreage devoted to orange groves have steadily shrunk over the last five years in Florida, which accounts for two-thirds of U.S. citrus fruit production. The state has 63.78 million commercial orange trees, down about 1.9 percent from 2009, the USDA said.

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