Crop Insurance Subsidies Should Be Capped

May 25, 2017 Marc Brazeau 0

Large farms should be able to buy crop insurance on every acre, but there should be limits to the amount of their bill that taxpayers are responsible for. Other subsidy programs have a payment limit. Why should crop insurance be different?

Six Tips to Recognize Good Science

May 18, 2017 Guest Authors 0

How can you tell good science from bad science? As the quality of peer review falters and pop science reporting relies on controversy it gets harder all the time. Here are six guidelines for separating the signal from the noise.

Have We Lost 75% of Crop Diversity? It’s Not That Simple

May 17, 2017 Guest Authors 0

Colin K. Khoury of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture looks at claims that 75% of crop diversity has been lost in the modern era. Instead, he finds that though there have been winners and losers among crops as agriculture has intensified, over the past 50 years, almost all countries’ diets actually became more diverse, not less, for the crops that FAO statistics do report.

Palm Oil Production Frozen Over Company Abuses

May 15, 2017 Guest Authors 0

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil has frozen Goodhope Asia Holdings palm oil operations on seven concessions in Indonesia. The company had been linked to various cases of environmental and human rights abuses in the archipelago country, including allegations of grabbing land from an indigenous community in Papua province, on the heavily forested island of New Guinea, where the industry is quickly expanding.

Anatomy of a USRTK Hit Job

May 11, 2017 Kevin Folta 0

Kevin Folta takes you through, step by step, how the anti-GMO smear machine of US Right to Know works to vault their propaganda and character assassinations into the mainstream press.

A New Framework to Halt Palm Oil Deforestation?

May 11, 2017 Guest Authors 0

Companies have said they need more support from governments of tropical forest nations to make their Zero Deforestation Commitments a reality, citing a maze of administrative and regulatory frameworks across palm oil producing countries as hampering their efforts.

The new HCS Approach Toolkit might help address this very issue, however, as it is intended to standardize the methodology for protecting tropical forests and identifying suitable landscapes for the sustainable production of palm oil.

Why the Calorie Is Broken

May 5, 2017 Guest Authors 0

Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley of Gastropod cover the history of calorie measurement and the ways calorie counting is inaccurate and unhelpful. They then look at a number of proposed alternative to nudge people towards successful weight loss.

Crop Probiotics: How More Science and Less Hype Can Help Farmers

May 1, 2017 Guest Authors 0

While crop probiotics offer an ecologically friendly option for farmers looking to improve and protect their harvests, the Australian market is far from reliable.

Our research group was asked to evaluate commercial crop probiotics. Over a year of experimentation on a sugarcane farm, we tracked the supposedly beneficial bacteria and fungi of two Australian probiotics products from soil to crop.

DNA analysis didn’t detect changes in root-associated bacteria, but the composition of root-associated fungi changed.

Facing up to Phosphorus

May 1, 2017 Guest Authors 0

Farmers around the world have come to depend on manufactured inorganic fertilizers containing key plant nutrients phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium to enhance soil fertility, especially in the otherwise poor soils of most tropical settings. But while all three are relatively abundant in nature, commercially viable sources of phosphorus to make these fertilizers could be exhausted just a few decades from now. That prospect, which remains a source of heated debate, has spurred a drive to recover the significant quantities of this element that disappear in the waste streams of cities and farms.