Sheep graze in a dry field near the town of McFarland in California's Central Valley, August 24, 2016.
The Central Valley is the states agriculture hub producing vast quanities of fruits, vegetables, nuts as well as dairy, beef and lamb but has been struggle through five years of drought. / AFP / Robyn BECK        (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

GEORGINA GUSTIN – 2017: Agriculture Begins to Tackle Its Role in Climate Change

By allowing countries to decide how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the landmark Paris climate agreement opened the door to new solutions. And over the past year, many countries, particularly in the developing world, decided that an especially effective way to reach those targets is through their farms. Nearly 80 percent of the countries said they would use agricultural practices …

Agustina Larrea – ‘Experts call Latin America ‘the world’s scrapyard for pesticides’

Although agrochemical products, pesticides and genetically modified crops are today part of everyday life for those who live in the countryside, they are relatively new in Argentina. Very few people, apart from enviromental activists, question their use. Yet the consequences — in both the short and the long term — of their impact on the health of those living near …

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JESSE FROST – Winter: The Hottest Thing in Farming

Seeing fresh produce on the grocery store shelves throughout winter is nothing new—places like California, Florida, and Mexico have been making it happen for years. What is new, however, is how much of it has started coming from your local farmer, even in the northern half of the country. Because, as it turns out, winter farming is kind of having …

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Ruth Milka – 2016: The year solar panels became cheaper than fossil fuels

It’s finally happened. The renewable energy future has arrived. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), installing new solar panels is cheaper than a comparable investment in coal, natural gas, or other options. Solar and wind is now the same price or cheaper than fossil fuels in more than 30 countries. According to Michael Drexler, head of development investing at …

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How What We Eat Has Changed

Americans eat more chicken and less beef than they used to. They drink less milk – especially whole milk – and eat less ice cream, but they consume way more cheese. Their diets include less sugar than in prior decades but a lot more corn-derived sweeteners. And while the average American eats the equivalent of 1.2 gallons of yogurt a …

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Colin Todhunter – Entrenching Capitalist Agriculture in India Under the Guise of “Development”

This result has been the creation of food surplus and food deficit areas, of which the latter have become dependent on agricultural imports and strings-attached aid. Food deficits in the Global South mirror food surpluses in the North. Whether through IMF-World Bank structural adjustment programmes, as occurred in Africa, trade agreements like NAFTA and its impact on Mexico or, more generally, deregulated global trade rules, the …

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Anuradha Sengupta – They Lost Their Jungles to Plantations, But These Indigenous Women Grew Them Back

It is early morning in Dhepagudi, a sleepy hamlet nestled in the green hills of Odisha, India. Admai Kumruka is sifting millet in a traditional sieve made of bamboo strips. Children mill around, playing on a mud and sand mound. A few huts down, Rello Dindika is sorting through harvested corn. A group of women are chopping fresh pumpkin leaves …

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Joanna Hoyt – Here’s How Smart Homesteaders Avoid Cleaning Out Manure

Winter is coming, and for those of us who live in snowy climates the task of cleaning our barns and chicken coops is about to get more complicated. One solution is simply to stop cleaning out over the winter and try the deep-litter bedding approach. You’re probably already covering the floor of your stalls and coops with some kind of …

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Research into extreme weather effects may explain recent butterfly decline

Increasingly frequent extreme weather events could threaten butterfly populations in the UK and could be the cause of recently reported butterfly population crashes, according to research from the University of East Anglia (UEA). Researchers investigated the impact of Extreme Climatic Events (ECEs) on butterfly populations. The study shows that the impact can be significantly positive and negative, but questions remain …