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Updated Friday 20th February 2015. On this page.... ..

 


Pesticide Stewardship

Pesticide abuse raises food safety concerns (19 February, english.vietnamnet.vn) Widespread abuse of pesticides was undermining food safety in the country, participants said at a recent conference on plant protection held in Hanoi.

Nebraska DriftWatch helps identify sensitive crops, reduce incidents of drift (Accessed 19 February, midwestproducer.com) Nebraska DriftWatch, a free online registry and map for commercial specialty and pesticide-sensitive crops, is being promoted to pesticide applicators to reduce incidents of drift.

‘Fresh’ norms to promote pesticide-free vegetables (16 February, newindianexpress.com) To ensure production and distribution of pesticide-free vegetables, Planning and Economic Affairs Department - Hill Area Development Agency - has renewed the guidelines for fruits and vegetables development project.

Food Security

Can GMOs end hunger in Africa? (Accessed 19 February, theverge.com) Depending on who you ask, genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are the solution to malnutrition and hunger in the developing world, or a threat to food sovereignty.

California's food of the future may look very different (18 February, kcra.com) Farmers say food prices, shapes will be affected by state's drought.

Bhutan’s seed bank to ensure food security (17 February, gulf-times.com) Boasting of more than 300 local rice varieties that have withstood varying weather conditions over the ages, Bhutan is relying on its seed bank - a conserve of seeds and other genetic resources of indigenous plants - to tackle food security issues arising out of climate change.

Zimbabwe: Irrigation critical for national food security
(17 February, allafrica.com) The continued dry spell in various parts of the country, among them Masvingo, Matabeleland North and South is causing anxiety to farmers who understand very well that it will affect their crop.

Crucial two weeks to save crops (16 February, iol.co.za) The next two weeks are critical in determining the outlook for domestic food prices during the year.

Environmental Security

Farmers take steps to preserve land (20 February, leadertelegram.com) A group of Eau Claire County farmers and landowners is forming an agricultural enterprise area in hopes of preserving farmland for future generations.

Trapped between growth and conservation (19 February, dw.de) The rare Pau brasil tree on Brazil's east coast is dying out. Its population can only be boosted with the help of local communities who have to first be convinced that protecting the environment pays off for them too.

Agro specialist calls for promotion of conservation farming (18 February, daily-mail.co.zm) Zambia has the capacity to end poverty in rural farming communities if the country continues to invest in conservation farming, a visiting Zimbabwean agriculture specialist Christians Thierfelder has said.

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Pesticide Industry

Yara and BASF to build ammonia plant in Texas (19 February, Reuters) Norway's Yara and Germany's BASF have agreed to invest a total $600 million to build an ammonia plant at BASF's site in Freeport, Texas.

Dhaunka Agritech surges on launching herbicide for sugarcane crop (16 February, business-standard.com) Dhanuka Agritech has surged 12% to Rs 578 on BSE after the company engaged in agro chemicals business said it has launched herbicide ‘SEMPRA’ to protect sugarcane crop from weeds.

Partners in Agro Chemical products expresses worry over high prices & fake Agro Chemical products in Ghana (15 February, gbcghana.com) Participants at a workshop on right use and application of Agro Chemical and farming inputs in Ghana have expressed concern about the high prices and circulation of fake agro chemical products in the country.

CCI approves FMC’s proposed deal to buy Auriga (16 February, livemint.com) subsidiary Deal is not likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India, says CCI.

Insecticides India sales down by 22% in Q3 2014-15 due to poor monsoon
(13 February, business-standard.com) However, the company records 23% jump in net profit during the quarter.

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Climate Change

Study finds climate change might dramatically reduce wheat production (Accessed 19 February, kansasagland.com) A recent study involving Kansas State University researchers finds that in the coming decades at least one-quarter of the world's wheat production will be lost to extreme weather from climate change if no adaptive measures are taken.

Chill after sustained warm spell can hurt plants (19 February, thespectrum.com) Not so long ago, a visitor to the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) office in Las Vegas asked me what might be some of the problems gardeners could face if this very early, warm spring were to continue into the summer.

Brazil's corn and soybean crops flattening out influenced by climate conditions (18 February, en.mercopress.com) Brazil's sowings of safrinha corn are to fall for the first time in seven years, Conab (National Supply Co.) said, cutting its forecast for the country's overall production of the grain, and lowering hopes for the soybean harvest too.

Some U.S. soybean yield losses caused by weather variations
(17 February, hoosieragtoday.com) Researchers have determined that precipitation and temperature variations over the past 20 years have suppressed the U.S. average soybean yield gain – how much it improves every year – by around 30 percent, contributing to an industry loss of $11 billion nationwide.

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Pesticide Legislation and Regulation

Toxic pesticides accepted in new agricultural legislation (Accessed 20 February, peruthisweek.com) Pesticides and GMOs are creeping into Peruvian agriculture.

House kills controversial pesticide buffer zone bill (20 February, hawaiinewsnow.com) My son is not a lab rat. I don't want years from now him to be sick." Kayla Nakasone said.

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Pesticide Exposure and Residues

Researchers find tentative link between pesticide use and ADHD (Accessed 20 February, dailytargum.com) 6.4 million children in the U.S. are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Study links sugarcane fieldwork with kidney disease epidemic in Central America (Accessed 18 February, ticotimes.net) Scientists are now a little closer to uncovering the cause of a chronic kidney disease (CKD) epidemic that has killed more than 20,000 people in Central America in the last two decades.

Study finds lower pesticide levels in people who eat organic produce
(16 February, ecowatch.com) While health-conscious individuals understand the benefits of eating fresh fruits and veggies, they may not be aware of the volume of pesticides they could be ingesting with their vitamin C and fiber.

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Agricultural Policy

Farmers want less Common Agricultural Policy paperwork (18 February, heraldscotland.com) Scottish farmers face a Spring of frantic form-filling, as they attempt to navigate the new bureaucracy ushered in by Common Agricultural Policy reform - but the Scottish Government could help ease this paperwork pain by reconsidering some of its deadlines.

New drone rules could benefit Iowa farmers, businesses (17 February, desmoinesregister.com) Newly proposed commercial rules for the use of unmanned aircraft open doors for Iowa farmers, Realtors and businesses to be more productive, experts said Monday.

OJK to overhaul funding (16 February, thejakartapost.com) The government has promised to overhaul the limited access to funding for farmers and other small-time actors in the agriculture, livestock and fisheries sectors, all of whom are key to achieving food security in the country.

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Soil Management

Two conferences to focus on no-till and soil health (Accessed 19 February, midwestproducer.com) The Nebraska No-till Conferences, focusing this year on using no-till and building soil health, will be held in Beatrice on Monday, Feb. 23, and in Holdrege on Tuesday, Feb. 24. No-till production practices have been shown to improve profitability while conserving soil and water.

Ohio farmers needed to participate in soil fertility projects
(19 February, farmanddairy.com) The Ohio State Soil Fertility Lab is looking for farmers and crop consultants from across the state to cooperate with a number of projects this year.

High-potential crops are being starved of potash (18 February, fwi.co.uk) Some high-potential crops are being starved of potash which is limiting yields, particularly on compacted soils at index 2 or less.

Test soil now to grow better crops and gardens (15 February, augustafreepress.com) Most Virginians take the winter off from gardening, but cold months are a great time to test your soil, said Chris Mullins, a Virginia Cooperative Extension greenhouse specialist at Virginia State University.

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Water

DNR: Crop water use ‘right on’ (16 February, thecountrytoday.com) A compilation of weather and high-capacity well irrigation data from Wisconsin’s Central Sands growing region shows that potato and vegetable farmers are using just the amount of water their crops demand.

Telangana stalling water to 6 lakh standing crops in Krishna delta: Devineni (14 February, thehansindia.com) AP Irrigation Minister Devineni Umamaheswar Rao condemned the Telangana police and Telangana government for denying Krishna water to the Krishna Delta. 

“Aquacrop”, crop water productivity model (14 February, ictupdate.cta.int) "Aquacrop” is a crop water productivity model (by FAO since 2009) intended for agricultural research and stakeholders.

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GM Crops

Telangana, Gujarat may approve GM food crop trials, says Mahyco (19 February, livemint.com) While Madhya Pradesh is not too keen on the trial, Karnataka is considering it, says Mahyco CTO Usha Zehr.

Indian farmers say GM cotton reduces pesticide use, improves yields (18 February, geneticliteracyproject.org) The debate over genetically modified crops rears its head every now and then, but for many farmers, it is an open-and-shut case.

Smart Talk: Are genetically modified crops safe? (16 February, witf.org) In the twenty-first century the vast majority of corn, soybeans, and cotton grown in the United States is genetically modified to resist pests or pesticides.

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Organic Crops

Organic agriculture’s low yields aren’t sustainable (18 February, geneticliteracyproject.org) The United Nations has estimated that food production will need to nearly double from 2008 levels by the year 2050 to feed the world’s growing population (nearly all from the least developed nations) and make up for shrinking agricultural land.

Organic farming produces healthier, tastier foods (18 February, crescotimes.com) We all eat our fair share of fruits and veggies, but do you ever stop to consider where these foods come from?

Organic farming continues to rise across the globe (16 February, csmonitor.com) 2 million of the world’s 1.5 billion farmers are now producing organically, with nearly 80 percent based in developing countries. India boasts the most certified organic producers, followed by Uganda and Mexico.

Experience highlights organic grain seminar (16 February, agrinews-pubs.com) Taking the leap into organic grain production can be intimidating but that curtain of the unknown will be opened at an upcoming organic grain transition seminar.

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Biofuels and Biopesticides

Europe needs to introduce practical incentives for best biofuels (18 February, euractiv.co) MEPs must move beyond the polarised debate about biofuels and introduce practical measures that will pull Europe’s biofuels policy in the right direction, says Robert Wright.

Biopesticides, biostimulants show results in fruits and vegetables (18 February, growingproduce.com) When many people think biocontrols, they think organic. But by far most farming in California is done conventionally, and because of that, David Holden — one of the expert presenters at the Biocontrols 2015 Conference & Tradeshow — mostly focuses on his real-world experiences in conventional farming when discussing his research into biopesticides and biostimulants.

Fermenting rice for biofuel & feed (17 February, asianscientist.com) Scientists have developed a method to process rice plants into both biofuel and animal fodder that does not require special equipment.

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Research, Resources & Knowledge Transfer

Drones to help Rajasthan, Gujarat farmers detect crop diseases (19 February, economictimes.indiatimes.com) Farmers in Gujarat and Rajasthan could soon have an unmanned aerial vehicle flying over their fields to survey their crops, helping them map crop diseases along with assisting insurance companies in settling claims.

Integrated pest management technology delivered in on farm school under NMAET (19 February, scoopnews.in) Fourth one day Training Programme Organized in On Farm School at Village Jerda, Block Ramgarh, District Samba under National Mission On Agricultural Extension and Technology.

Ministry effects new agricultural concept (18 February, zawya.com) The Ministry of Agriculture will implement a new concept called "Integrated Farming Systems (IFS)" in Hail, Al-Hassa and Jazan regions in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

Fungus may save crops from disease and global warming (17 February, scientificamerican.com) As scientists seek to make crops resilient against disease and the effects of climate change, they are turning to what may seem like an unlikely champion: fungi.

New variety sends hope to cassava growers (14 February, ippmedia.com) Families relying on cassava as a major food or cash crop may have something to smile about following reports that a new variety of the crop piloted in three   districts in the country has shown encouraging results.

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