A Tale of Two Worlds: Favourable Projections, Looming Dearth

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It is the best of times, it is the worst of times, it is the season of plenty, it is the season of famine – in short, it is that time when the positive medium term outlook for world agriculture is tempered by the “usual suspects.” For the fourth month running, the FAO Food Price…
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Warming Climate Marches Pests and Pathogens Polewards

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The distribution of plant pests and pathogens has been observed to be moving away from the equator towards the North and South poles and inhabit areas previously too cold for their existence. This threatens to increase the percentage of crops lost annually to pests and pathogens and subsequently raises major concerns over global food security. A…
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Record crop losses cost the United States $17.3B last year

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Over $17 billion was spent in 2012 on farm insurance claims for destroyed crops in the U.S., up from an average of $4.1 billion per year from 2001 until 2011. This record-breaking jump in insurance pay-outs was in large part due to extreme weather conditions over the past growing season. Drought, heat and hot wind accounted…
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Update: Plant Health News (19 Jun 13)

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Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including how  how irrigation is unlocking the ag potential in Chile’s driest region, how climate change is affecting food supply in Ghana and an assessment of the first billion acres of biotech crops. Click on the link to read more of the latest plant…
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Crowdsourcing: citizen farmers help in the fight against climate change

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Farmers in India are helping in to fight the effects of climate change by lending their data collection skills for research into wheat. Biodiversity International is working with partners such as the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) and the IFFCO Foundation as part of an initiative called Seeds4Needs. This initiative aims to identify the crop…
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New Type of Invasive Whitefly Recorded In South Africa

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A species of whitefly that transmits cassava mosaic virus has been detected in South Africa for the first time. The whitefly, Bemisia tabaci is a cryptic species complex containing some important agricultural pests and virus vectors. The term ‘cryptic species complex’ means that Bemisia tabaci is considered to be a complex of at least 24 different…
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The Climate Reality Project- Coffee Production Hit by Climate Change

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[ustream id=27051308 hwaccel=1 version=3 width=480 height=302] Video streaming by Ustream Recently aired as part of The Climate Reality Project (founded by Al Gore), this documentary contains a 5 minute  film about climate change and smallholder coffee production in Colombia. The film featured as part of a 24 hour online stream of climate documentaries and discussions…
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Is sustainable agriculture the answer to climate change?

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As the most recent set of climate change talks draw to a close, the focus is once again on the policies that could help in the resolution of this global issue. There has been little faith in the outcomes of these talks before, with targets continuously missed. The conference aims to secure a new treaty…
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Coffee Production in Hot Water- The Impacts of Climate Change on the Future of Coffee Crops

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Coffee (Coffea) is the one of the world’s favourite drinks and the second most traded commodity after oil, accounting for annual retail value of US$ 90 billion. The two main species used in the production of coffee are Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica), which accounts for 70% of coffee production, and Robusta coffee (Coffea canephora). The…
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Experts suggest crops to replace those affected by climate change

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Members of the banana family could become a vital food source for millions in developing countries, a new report suggests. The report was written by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) after a request was made by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). CGIAR looked at the effect of climate…
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