Science & Technology News
Banned pesticides 'not equally
harmful' to bees
The largest field study so far in to the
group of pesticides called "neonicotinoids" has concluded
that each acts differently on the brains of the bees.
One of the chemicals widely considered as
being the most toxic wasn't shown to affect bees at a level
found in the countryside.
However other "neonics" were shown to
cause significant harm to bumblebees. The results of the
study are published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Consumers underestimate severity of
global food challenge
Research findings released today show
significant levels of misunderstanding about the realities
of food production, namely that only 4% of adults surveyed
in Europe correctly estimate that world food production must
increase by 60% by 2050.
Results of the survey conducted by YouGov Plc suggest that
European adults (UK, Germany, Spain, Poland) underestimate
the potential severity of the world’s food supply problem
and the link between productivity and prices.
They also underestimate the role that
pesticides can play in supplying affordable food to the
consumers. In fact only 31% of adults surveyed think that
farmers’ inability to protect their crops against diseases
and crop infestation is a factor directly linked to
increasing the cost of the world’s food supply.
Farm Business, 28 April 2016
New gene-detecting technology brings
resilient superwheat closer
Scientists at the John Innes Centre (JIC)
and The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) have pioneered a new
gene-detecting technology which if deployed correctly could
lead to the creation of a new elite variety of wheat with
durable resistance to disease.
The new technology, called 'MutRenSeq',
accurately pinpoints the location of disease resistance
genes in large plant genomes, reducing the time it takes to
clone these genes in wheat from 5 to 10 years down to just
Effective use of these resistance genes in wheat could
increase global yields and vastly reduce the need for
Farming UK, 26 April 2016
field trials of GM fish oil plants
Scientists at Rothamsted Research have
been given the go ahead to carry out a field trial with
genetically modified (GM) camelina plants.
The trial, based at the facility’s test
field in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, will assess whether GM
Camelina sativa plants are able to make significant
quantities of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids
(LC-PUFAs) and astaxanthin in the seed of the plant.
Fish, like humans, do not produce these
oils but accumulate them through their diet in the wild or
through fishmeal and fish oil in farmed fish. The oils have
been shown to benefit human health and help protect against
coronary heart diseases.
Farmers Guardian, 25 April 2016
on ash dieback
UK scientists have identified the
country’s first ash tree that shows tolerance to ash
dieback, raising the possibility of using selective breeding
to develop strains of trees that are tolerant to the
The findings, which could help ensure
ash trees will thrive in UK woodlands, have today (22 April)
been published in a report co-funded by Defra and the
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Ash dieback is spreading throughout the
UK and, in one woodland in Norfolk, a great number of trees
are infected. However, there are exceptions which
demonstrate very low levels of infection by the ash dieback
fungus and here researchers have identified one tree,
nicknamed ‘Betty’, as having a strong tolerance to the
Defra / BBSRC, 22 April 2016
Concern over Brexit's impact on
The UK science community draws vital
benefits from EU membership and could lose influence in the
event of an exit, says a House of Lords report.
"Restrictive" regulations could block
cutting-edge research, the peers said. But UK researchers
placed a high value on opportunities for collaboration
afforded by EU membership, they added.
EU referendum: NFU backs staying in
Farmers' interests are best served by
remaining in the European Union, the National Farmers' Union
It passed a resolution following an
"overwhelming" vote in favour of staying in the EU, which it
said was based on the "balance of existing evidence".
The union - which has 55,000 members in
England and Wales - announced its position after a vote by
BBC News, 18 April 2016
Space seeds on
their way to schools
Thousands of schools in the UK will be
receiving seeds that have been in space with Tim Peake. The
British astronaut has launched a mass experiment to grow the
seeds of the salad leaf rocket.
They want to compare them with seeds that
have not been in space to see if there are any differences.
The experiment is being run by the Royal Horticultural Society's
campaign for school gardening and
the UK Space Agency.
14 April 2016
Land area planted with GM crops drops
for first time in two decades
For the first
time since the introduction of genetically modified crops in
1996, the total area planted with GM plants fell last year.
Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA),
which carries out the most authoritative annual survey of
biotech crops worldwide, said the 1 per cent decrease
reduced the total area from 181.5m hectares in 2014 to
According to Randy Hautea, ISAAA
global co-ordinator, the downturn after 19 consecutive years
of growth did not reflect any rejection of GM technology by
farmers. “It is principally due to an overall decrease in
total crop hectarage associated with low prices for
commodity crops in 2015,” he said.
The decline was concentrated in
industrialised countries where GM crop cover was down 3 per
cent. In developing countries it rose 1 per cent. More than
half of all GM crops (54 per cent) are grown in Latin
America, Asia and Africa.
Financial Times, 13 April 2016
could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80%
The world's soils could store an extra
8 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases, helping to limit the
impacts of climate change, according to scientists at the
Universities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
The researchers said adopting the
latest technologies and sustainable land use practices on a
global scale could allow more emissions to be stored in
farmland and more ‘natural’ wild spaces.
The researchers estimate that growing
crops with deeper root systems, using charcoal-based
composts and applying sustainable agriculture practices
could help soils retain the equivalent of around 80% of
annual emissions released by burning fossils fuels.
Farming Online, 7 April 2016
Food waste key in emissions cuts
Reducing food waste and changing the way
people consume calories will help deliver a sustainable food
system and reduce emissions, a study suggests.
The global demand for food could more
than double by the middle of the century, yet an estimated
one third of produce is lost or wasted each year.
By cutting this waste will help food
security and reducing agriculture's climate burden, the
researchers added. The findings appear in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
New report lays out Brexit
implications for farmers
move towards a more liberal trading policy by the UK
following Brexit would result in a significant reduction in
farmgate incomes across the livestock sectors, particularly
if support is cut, according to a report commissioned by the
a more protectionist approach would see a boost in farmgate
prices as imports became a less attractive proposition, the
report by a Dutch research institute concluded. However, the
biggest factor when it comes to farm incomes would be the
approach the UK Government took to farm support.
NFU commissioned researchers at Wageningen University to
consider the impact on UK agriculture of nine possible trade
and farm support scenarios open to the UK Government in the
event of Brexit.
Farmers Guardian, 6 April 2016
West Suffolk estate set to become
potato research hub
Suffolk estate is set to become a Regional Research &
Demonstration Hub for potato growers and suppliers, thanks
to funding from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative.
coordinated and co-funded by the Agriculture and
Horticulture Development Board’s Potatoes Division (AHDB
Potatoes), has been awarded £109,273 and will be located at
Elveden Farms in West Suffolk, and will provide a unique
opportunity for the industry to see the latest research
innovations and practical science in action.
The site will promote improved
business and agricultural productivity and resource
management, alongside providing a space for knowledge
exchange and collaborative working.
UK, 6 April 2016
EU policymakers accused of
‘disregarding the science’ as key pesticides under threat
politicians and industry leaders have called on EU
policymakers to adopt a science-based approach as efforts to
restrict the use of glyphosate and neonicotinoids are
EU policymakers have been accused of
‘disregarding the evidence and science’ as the future of
vital crop protection products hangs in the balance.
The European Parliament’s Environment
overwhelmingly last week to reject European Commission
proposals to renew the licence for glyphosate for another 15
years, at least until the European Commission has carried
out an independent review into its safety. Separately, the
French National Assembly recently voted to ban the use of
all neonicotinoid insecticides from September 1, 2018.
Farmers Guardian, 1 April 2016
Action needed to boost ‘weak’
Britain’s horticulture sector is ‘weak’ and must be rebuilt
in order to reduce the food trade gap and benefit public
health, a report has found.
The Food Research Collaboration (FRC)
has called on the Government to put the sector at the
forefront of its forthcoming 25-year food and farming plan.
The report, Horticulture
in the UK: potential for meeting dietary guideline demands,
paints a sober picture of a mismatch between supply and
demand in the UK, particularly in light of public health
advice to eat more fruit and vegetables.
Statistics show from 1985-2014, there
has been a decline of 27 per cent for fruit and vegetables
combined. The area growing vegetables has fallen by 26 per
cent and the area growing fruit by 35 per cent.
Farmers Guardian, 30 March 2016
Plant-growing season now a month
longer than in 1990
The growing season for plants has become a month longer
than it was a few decades ago, Met Office figures show. In
the last 10 years, the growing season, measured according to
the central England temperature daily record, which
stretches back hundreds of years, has been on average 29
days longer than in the period 1961-1990, the data show.
And while more of the year is warm enough
for plants to grow, there has also been a decline in the
number of frosty days in recent decades, the Met
The Guardian, 24 March 2016
Defra farm strategy delayed until
after EU referendum
Long-awaited government plans to
“grow more, buy more and sell more British food” are
unlikely to be revealed before summer – and perhaps not
The 25-year strategy for food and farming is unlikely to
be published before the EU referendum on 23 June, said Defra
food and farming director Sarah Church.
Ms Church was speaking to industry
leaders and commentators at a Westminster Food & Nutrition
Forum event on Tuesday (22 March).
Farmers Weekly, 23 March 2016
Go wild to protect food security,
More needs to be done to ensure wild
relatives of our key food crops are conserved for future
generations, a study has said.
Researchers are concerned the genetic
diversity of these vital plants are not being adequately
stored in gene banks.
They say characteristics such as drought
or heat resilience could be lost forever unless action is
taken to preserve these genetic traits. The findings have
been published in the journal Nature
21 March 2016
£48m devoted to farming research
projects in Scotland
The Scottish government has announced
details of multimillion-pound projects aimed at improving
sustainable food and farming production.
Scottish rural affairs secretary Richard
Lochhead said the government has allocated more than £48m in
the 2016-17 financial year to strategic scientific research
in the area of rural affairs, food and the environment.
Research institutes that focus on advances
in crop science, animal welfare, food security and climate
change are to benefit from the funding.
Farmers Weekly, 21 March 2016
£17.5m funding secured to help
develop precision farming
More than £17m of government funding has
been secured over the next four years to create a global
hub for agricultural engineering and precision farming, as
part of the government’s UK strategy for agricultural
The Agri-EPI Centre aims to become a
world-leading centre for excellence for the livestock,
arable, aquaculture and horticulture sectors.
The centre will bring together expertise
in research and industry, as well as data-gathering capacity
in all areas of farming.
Farmers Weekly, 13 March 2016
EU exit threat to UK food security,
A major restructuring of agricultural
policy will be needed to maintain food security if the UK
leaves the European Union, academics have warned.
The UK’s forthcoming in-out
referendum on 23 June will have “momentous significance” for
the country’s food system, says a report by Food Research Collaboration.
the UK and the EU: Brexit or Bremain?,
the briefing paper argues that country must “wake up to the
enormity of unravelling 43 years of co-negotiated food
Farmers Weekly, 8 March 2016
Climate deadline looms for African
Researchers have produced a timescale of
how projected climate change is set to alter the face of
agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Climate change is widely projected to
have a significant adverse impact on food security if no
adaptation measures are taken, they explain.
In their study, the team provides timings
of the "transformations" needed to help minimise these
impacts. The findings have been published in the journal
Nature Climate Change.
7 March 2016
Reduced crop productivity and
negative changes in diet a likely scenario of climate change
change could kill more than 500,000 adults in 2050 worldwide
due to changes in diets and bodyweight from reduced crop
productivity, according to new estimates from the
University's Oxford Martin Future of Food Programme.
published in The Lancet, is the strongest evidence
yet that climate change could have damaging consequences for
food production and health worldwide.
Farming UK, 7 March 2016
£70m plan to ‘transform livestock
A £70m innovation centre aims to bring
together researchers and the industry to transform the
productivity of the UK livestock sector. The Centre of Innovation Excellence
in Livestock (CIELivestock) will set up
state-of-the-art facilities across the UK, providing the
livestock sector with world-beating access to research.
It will bring together the best in
breeding, animal health, biotechnology, feeding and genomics
with a goal to generate £12 for each £1 spent on research.
The project is being backed by
£31.7m in funding from the government’s Department for
Business Innovation and Skills. Additional funding is coming
from the industry and research institutions.
Farmers Weekly, 1 March 2016
EU exit 'risks British science'
Prof Sir Paul Nurse has said that UK
research would suffer if the country were to leave the EU.
A British exit would make it harder to get funding for
science and sell "future generations short", the Nobel Prize
Nurse, who is director of The Francis Crick Institute and
the former president of the Royal Society, believes those
who campaign for a "Brexit" are jeopardising "the long-term
future of the UK for short-term political advantage".
But a group of scientists arguing to leave
the EU counters that UK research would not be adversely
affected. They say British institutions would receive
similar amounts of European funding as they do now. A
national referendum on the UK's participation in the
European Union is set for 23 June.
27 February 2016
sign crop science agreement with Indian government
UK research institutes including the John Innes Centre (JIC) and
University of East Anglia (UEA) have
signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian
government’s department of biotechnology.
The agreement will set the scene for a
collaborative approach to crop science, with the government
and research institutes looking into increasing crop yields
and improving disease and drought resistance in crops.
In addition to JIC and UEA,
representatives from the University of Cambridge, NIAB in
Cambridge and Rothamsted Research have also signed the
Farming Online, 25 February 2016
Researchers make advance in fight
against deadly pig virus
team at The Roslin Institute used advanced genetic
techniques to produce pigs that are potentially resilient to
African Swine Fever – a highly contagious disease that kills
up to two-thirds of infected animals.
The new pigs
carry a version of a gene that is usually found in warthogs
and bush pigs, which researchers believe may stop them from
becoming ill from the infection. African Swine Fever is
spread by ticks. When standard farmed pigs are infected,
they quickly become ill and die, but warthogs and bush pigs
show no disease symptoms when infected.
The researchers used a gene-editing
technique to modify individual letters of the pigs’ genetic
code. By changing just five letters in their RELA gene, they
converted it to the allele that is found in the warthog.
UK, 22 February 2016
Fungi from goats' guts could lead to
The legendary abilities of goats and
sheep to digest a wide range of inedible materials could
help scientists produce cheaper biofuels.
Researchers say fungi from the stomachs
of these animals produce flexible enzymes that can break
down a wide variety of plant materials.
The scientists say that in tests, the
fungi performed as well as the best engineered attempts from
industry. The study has been published in
the journal, Science.
BBC News, 19 February 2016
Eustice calls for scientific approach
to new gene editing technologies
As the European Commission considers
whether new plant breeding technologies like gene editing
should be classified as GM, George Eustice has called for it
to rely on science rather than lawyers.
Farming Minister George Eustice has
made a plea for crucial regulatory decisions on new
ground-breaking plant breeding techniques to be based on
science rather than the whims of EU lawyers.
Speaking at the John Innes Institute,
Mr Eustice highlighted the work being done there and
elsewhere on techniques like CRISPR and Cisgenesis, which
could deliver major benefits for growers in future.
Farmers Guardian, 16 February 2016
GMs and lab-grown meat ‘future of UK
UK agriculture will have undergone
a “green revolution” by 2050 with farmers growing
genetically modified crops that are self-fertilising, pest
and drought resistant, claims a think tank study.
The combination of self-fertilisation and pest resistance
along with crops which are saline resistant and heat and
cold tolerant will “significantly increase the yield per
acre of many food crops”. In addition, new strains will be
developed through genetic engineering that have higher
edible yields a plant – and each modified plant will produce
more food than previous strains.
These are some of the predictions put forward for
agriculture in a new “futurology” study entitled The
UK and the World in 2050,
published by the Adam Smith Institute.
Farmers Weekly, 16 February 2016
Major company shows interest in
Scientists who developed a high-protein
pea which could replace soya as an animal feed say a major
company has expressed an interest in the project.
The pea, which helps livestock absorb
more protein from their diet, was developed by researchers
at the John Innes Centre, Norwich.
It has the potential to cut costs for
farmers because livestock need to eat fewer of the new peas
to obtain the same amount of protein as standard peas.
Farmers Weekly, 15 February 2016
Boost for UK
crop science as NIAB and EMR join forces
Two leading UK crop research institutes
are joining forces to create a major new centre for applied
crop science and innovation.
East Malling Research (EMR) has become
part of the NIAB group. This alliance, bringing together
internationally renowned expertise in crop genetics,
agronomy, environmental and data science, will strengthen
NIAB’s ambition to lead the UK in crop innovation. EMR
brings international leadership in top fruit and soft fruit
research, complementing NIAB’s scientific expertise in
arable crops, potatoes and ornamentals.
Both organisations have a focus on
industry-facing, applied research aimed at addressing the
challenges facing UK and global agriculture. The partnership
will strengthen the UK’s crop science infrastructure and
capabilities, with the pooling of complementary research
expertise, and a shared commitment to the translation and
application of science to support crop production in the UK
NIAB, 9 February 2016
Satellites to build farming’s first
UK digital cropping map
The first ever digital map of the UK’s
cropping areas has been made using satellites, as part of a
long-term environmental study.
Researchers at the Centre for Ecology and
Hydrology (CEH) have been working with with Remote Sensing
Applications Consultants (RSAC) to produce “Land Cover plus:
The project combines the CEH’s existing UK
land cover map with new analysis of radar satellite data to
map arable crops and grassland at field level. Over the next
three years crop maps will be updated annually to build up
rotational cropping information for the whole of the UK.
Farmers Weekly, 5 February 2016
Japanese to open giant lettuce farm
run by robots
A Japanese company is starting
construction of a giant lettuce “farm” which will be run
almost exclusively by robots, cutting its labour
requirements by half. The development highlights the
potential for new technology to transform agricultural
practices, particularly in countries struggling with labour
Spread, a vegetable company, which
supplies more than 2,000 supermarkets in Japan, already
operates a plant producing 21,000 head of lettuce a day at
Kameoka in Kyoto. It has emerged the company will shortly
start construction on a plant at Keihanna, producing 30,000
head of lettuce a day, where every part of its operation
other than the planting of the seed will be carried out by
Farmers Weekly, 2 February 2016
Boosting food crop yields 'can
Increasing crop yields could help meet
the rising global demand for more food while sparing land to
protect biodiversity, a study has suggested.
The expansion of agriculture is deemed to
be one of the main drivers for global habitat and
Researchers from the UK and Brazil say
that boosting yields could help - but only if policies such
as incentives or land-zoning are implemented as well.
Their findings have been published in the journal
Man admits stealing patented corn
seeds from US fields to take to China
A Chinese man pleaded guilty in a US court
on Wednesday to stealing patent-protected corn seed from
agribusiness giants Monsanto and DuPont to take back to China for
Mo Hailong, 46, participated in a plot to
steal inbred corn seeds from the two US companies so that
his then employer, Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group, could
use them in its own seed business, the US Department of
Mo “admitted to participating in the theft
of inbred – or parent – corn seeds from fields in the
southern district of Iowa for the purpose of transporting
those seeds to China,” the department said in a statement.
The Guardian, 28 January 2016
'Technological progress is the key to
productivity and sustainability in agriculture'
Technological progress is the key to
productivity and sustainability in agriculture, a new report
to the European Parliament stresses.
mechanical and increasingly digital advances represent the
only realistic means of meeting the challenges of feeding a
growing global population while protecting the environment,
according to Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre, the report's
Entitled Technological Solutions for
Sustainable Agriculture in the EU, the report highlights how
so called precision farming can cut the use of pesticides,
fertilisers while improving soil fertility and boosting
UK, 26 January 2016
SRUC to build new ‘world class’
poultry research centre
Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is to
move its poultry research unit from Ayrshire to Midlothian,
creating a “state of the art” centre in the process.
The new facility will be built on the
Easter Bush Estate, just outside Edinburgh, which is already
home to most of the college’s animal and veterinary
scientists, over the next two years.
SRUC’s poultry team undertakes a large
amount of research for both government and private concerns,
with particular focus on avian-related nutrition, welfare
and the study of disease.
Farmers Weekly, 25 January 2016
Fatty acids from GM oilseed crops could
replace fish oil
Oil from genetically modified (GM)
oilseed crops could replace fish oil
as a primary source of the beneficial Omega 3 fatty acid EPA
– according to new research from the University of East
Anglia in collaboration with Rothamsted Research and the
University of Stirling.
BBSRC-funded researchers at the University
of East Anglia studied the effect in mice of consuming feed
enriched with oil from glasshouse grown genetically
engineered Camelina sativa, developed at the
The team examined levels of EPA in various
organs in the body such as the liver, as well as its effect
on the expression of genes key for regulating the way the
body processes fats. The results show that the benefits were
similar to those derived from fish oils.
BBSRC, 21 January 2016
Reducing meat consumption could actually
harm environment, study finds
Reducing meat consumption may not be as
environmentally friendly as campaigners have claimed.
The findings of a new report have shown
that increasing demand for meat provides an incentive for
farmers to maintain grassland and recover degraded pastures.
Researchers from the University of
Edinburgh, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and Brazilian
Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), found reducing
beef production in the Brazilian Cerrado could actually
increase global greenhouse gas emissions.
Farmers Guardian, 18 January 2016
GM free-for-all 'probably illegal'
Council's legal service has serious doubts about the
legality of controversial Commission plans to allow member
countries to ban the use of imported GM food and feed, as
such a move would not comply with European Union internal
market and world trade rules.
In a legal opinion distributed to
member countries, Council lawyers find major flaws in the
legal basis of the proposals. They cite a lack of specific
reasons to justify a ban at national level and say any
import restrictions would flout Europe's international trade
Farming UK, 18 January 2016
Agriculture courses see biggest leap
in new student numbers
subjects had the largest surge in popularity of all UK
university courses last year, according to new figures
released today by the Higher Education Statistics agency.
throughout the UK categorised as 'Agriculture and related
subjects' saw the biggest leaps in new student numbers at
both undergraduate (four per cent) and post graduate (29 per
cent) levels from 2013/14 to 2014/15.
The 29 per cent increase in
postgraduate agriculture students was leagues ahead of all
other advances, the closest being 10 per cent for subjects
allied to medicine.
Farming UK, 14 January 2016
New vision and
high level research strategy for UK Animal and Plant Health
BBSRC has published, on behalf of a
partnership of key UK research funders and policy makers, a
vision and high level research strategy for UK Animal and
Plant Health Research to 2020 and beyond.
In December 2014, Defra and the
Government Office for Science jointly published the report Animal
and Plant Health in the UK: Building our science capability,
which made the compelling case for a more coordinated
approach across public funders of animal and plant health
The new research vision and high level
strategy has been developed, with leadership from BBSRC, as
an early action towards delivering that joined up approach.
BBSRC, 13 January 2016
More than 50% of UK’s food and feed
More than half of the UK’s food and feed
is sourced from abroad, increasing the environmental impact
on other poorer countries, a study has found.
Researchers say the UK’s food
self-sufficiency has decreased substantially over recent
decades, as more food and animal feed are imported compared
with 25 years ago.
Published in the latest
Journal of the Royal Society Interface,
it also shows that the environmental impact of the UK’s food
is increasingly “outsourced” to other regions, including
South America, south-east Asia and the EU.
Weekly, 9 January 2016
investment to make British agriculture more competitive
Speaking at the Oxford Farming
Conference this week, agriculture secretary Liz Truss said
the government plans to increase capital funding in
agriculture by 12 per cent over the next five years to £2.7
billion. The investment includes doubling investment in
science and animal and plant health.
“We will invest in technology, digital
systems, growing our exports, world leading science,
protection against animal health and plant disease and flood
defences,” Mrs Truss said.
The agriculture secretary said that
British government will shortly be publishing a new
programme for Food and Farming for the Environment covering
the next 25 years, which will include decentralising
decision making in the Department of Environment, Food and
Rural Affairs (Defra) and cutting red tape for farmers.
Farming Online, 7 January 2016
inspire the public at Open Farm Sunday 2016
BBSRC has funded three new public
engagement projects to produce on-farm activities that will
inspire and educate people about the science behind farming
and food production. The activities will be used by farmers
and visiting scientists at LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday on 5 June
Open Farm Sunday, managed by LEAF
(Linking Environment And Farming) is the farming industry’s
annual open day where the public can find out how their food
is produced and the work farmers do to manage the
countryside. Since 2006, over 1,000 farmers across the UK
have opened their gates and welcomed over 1.5M people onto
farms across the UK.
Activities funded by BBSRC focus on
egg production and soils, as well as ‘whole farm’ science to
enable visitors to understand the importance of farming
within the context of food security and raise awareness of
how UK bioscience underpins the agricultural industry.
BBSRC, 7 January 2016
Increasing yields and rewilding ‘spared’ land could slash
GHG emissions by 80 per cent
farming industry could drastically reduce its greenhouse gas
emissions by 2050 if it increased farm yields and freed up
land for woodlands and wetlands.
A Cambridge University study said
the industry could meet the Government’s 80 per cent
emissions reduction if it expanded the area of natural
forests and wetlands to match its European neighbours.
However, this would require new polices
promoting both sustainable increases in farm yields and
sparing land for climate mitigation. Reducing meat
consumption and food waste will also be important, according
to the study published in the journal Nature Climate
Farmers Guardian, 4 January 2016