Choosing different crops, building soil organic matter and planting more trees could allow farmers to reduce the risk of nearby rivers from bursting their banks miles downstream, according to an innovative new research project.
Researchers in a collaborative project led by the University of Reading will work with farmers, advisors, communities and local authorities across the West Thames area to learn how different land management methods impact on flood risk.
The LANDWISE (LAND management in loWland catchments for Integrated flood riSk rEduction) proposal is one of three projects funded under the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)’s £4m Understanding the Effectiveness of Natural Flood Management (NFM) programme, and will receive £1.25m.
Waitrose has today announced it will be extending its commitment to Fairtrade produce by making 100% of its own-label tea Fairtrade certified by October 2017.
This will mean all 46 Waitrose tea products will be Fairtrade, which clearly symbolises to customers that the tea farmers are benefiting from good working conditions, a fair deal and funds to spend on their local community. Farmers can choose how to spend the Fairtrade Premium generated – whether on developing their business or on community projects such as schools, health clinics or leisure facilities.
Timing the harvest and transport of highly perishable, hand-picked crops such as strawberries so these delicate products reach consumers at peak flavor and freshness is an intricate dance that partners Mother Nature with manual labor.
However, many of the “smart farming” techniques and technologies that help growers harvest more of what they sow faster and more efficiently have focused primarily on row crops like corn and soybeans, bypassing growers of high-value fresh produce.
Waitrose has made a commitment to growing British salad leaves all year round, as part of their ongoing support for UK farming. The new and innovative growing system is a UK first and has been in development since 2014.
Each year, around 88 million tonnes of food is discarded in the EU. This is something that Kristina Liljestrand, researcher at Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), wants to do something about. She is now giving companies in the food supply chain specific tools that can reduce both food waste and the environmental impact of food transport.
With an innovative modeling approach, researchers set out to examine corn and soybean yields and optimal nitrogen (N) fertilizer rates. In their study, recently published in Frontiers in Plant Science, they uses a 16-year long-term dataset from central Iowa, USA, with a state-of-the-art simulator that modeled corn and soybean yields, improving predictions of optimal N fertilizer rates for corn. This has global relevance for food security and sustainable agricultural practices in light of future climate change scenarios.