Agriculture has just over a decade to adapt and evolve to new ways of working that will enable it to feed a growing global population without causing lasting damage to the environment, says Achim Dobermann, Director and Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research.
In a vision statement that concludes the institute’s annual report, released online today, Dobermann looks ahead to 2030, the year when the current 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations end.
Major changes in agricultural practices will be required to offset increases in nutrient losses due to climate change, according to research published by a scientific consortium including the James Hutton Institute.
A leading advocate of organic farming is urging proponents of sustainable agriculture to come together with research scientists to establish a joint strategy group that could present a united front to benefit food production and the environment.
UK crop research organisation NIAB has warned that the EU Commission’s hardline negotiating stance on Brexit is already damaging prospects for UK agri-science, and has called on Ministers to safeguard the UK science base.
Speaking in Cambridge today (30 June), NIAB Chairman Jim Godfrey said the collateral damage of the Brexit talks was becoming a reality after NIAB had recently been notified that future EU variety testing contracts commissioned directly by the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) and which might last beyond the envisaged Brexit date of 30 March 2019 would no longer be awarded to the UK.
Maintaining production of many UK crops is at risk if neonicotinoids, the pesticides linked with harming bees, are more widely restricted or banned completely, says Rothamsted Research in a position statement published today.
“Furthermore, if groups of chemistries are limited by legislation, the remaining groups will be more widely used, resulting in an increased risk of pests developing resistance to them,” continues the statement from Rothamsted, the longest-running agricultural research institute in the world.