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Tag archives for Agriculture

A Farm Level View on Supply Chain Water Risk

WATSONVILLE, CA—Lettuce is a thirsty crop in parched California. It takes roughly 12 gallons to grow a single head, and Chris Willoughby, a mid-sized grower of leafy greens, broccoli and cabbage, is doing his best to cut back on that amount. When his wells ran salty 10 years ago, following decades of regional groundwater over…

Women Lead on Conservation in Nepal

“Women do most of the work in rural communities, they are the ones collecting firewood or fodder from the forests or fetching water from the faraway spring. Given how connected women are to nature, they are the most knowledgeable about natural resources and their connection to better livelihoods. Communities without empowered women are missing the backbone that strengthens them and helps them climb out of poverty.”

The Karoo Predator Project: Mitigating the human-wildlife conflict

Farmers, scientists and photographers are working together in South Africa’s Karoo to look for ways to ease the tense relationship between farming herds and natural predators.

Corn Remains King in USDA Irrigation Survey

By Brooke Barton Senior Program Director, Water Program, Ceres It’s no secret that our agricultural industry is very thirsty, gobbling up 80 percent of the freshwater that America consumes each year. It takes a lot of water to feed the nation, and every five years we get an accounting of just how much it takes,…

Feeding Conservation: An African Vision for Restoring Biodiversity

By Dale Lewis

Since 2003, the non-profit company Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) has been working in Zambia to help poor farmers improve their skills, grow surpluses, and receive above-market prices for their produce in exchange for meeting conservation targets. In managing the production and sale of these nutritious and chemical-free products, COMACO has committed itself to passing on above-market-price profits to farmers in the form of raw materials if they commit to conservation.

Conservationists Playing with Fire

By Julie Kunen

For millennia, tropical civilizations cultivated their crops through a practice known as slash and burn agriculture. In this practice, vegetation is cut down and burned to clear land and improve the soil with the resulting organic matter and nutrients. Fire also kills or drives away pests and encourages the regeneration of grasses in natural pastures. When used over extensive areas in a cycle of planted and fallowed fields, the practice is sustainable. Today, many agricultural communities that lack access to machinery and chemical inputs depend upon fire for their livelihoods, using it to clear and maintain the fertility of agricultural lands and to delimit property boundaries. Yet, fire is also a great danger to humans and there are many risks associated with the use of fire as a land management tool.

WWF’s Living Planet Report echoed on the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef ecosystem on the planet composed of almost 3000 individual reefs. For decades, the Great Barrier Reef has enjoyed World Heritage Status and been synonymous with diving, tourism and with Australia. But the reef is under threat of industrial development projects. Text and Photos by James Morgan.

Flooding the Landscape: The Site C Dam on B.C.’s Peace River

The broad flat valley bottom of Peace River in B.C. is home to farms and ranches all along its sunlit northern border. In the middle of the river and along its southern shore are a profusion of low lying islands, wetlands, riparian zones and boreal forest and it is clearly evident why this rich valley is one of the most important wildlife corridors along the entire Yellowstone to Yukon migration route. The the region is under threat of a 60 meter high proposed Dam that would create a massive 83 kilometer long reservoir extending back to Hudson’s Hope, flooding the landscape and turning it into a giant reservoir. Text and Photos by iLCP Fellow Garth Lenz.

Geography in the News: Worldwide Wheat Production

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM The Role of Wheat in Worldwide Agriculture Wheat is the principal grain used to make most breads and pastries. Grown mostly in the middle latitudes and Northern Hemisphere, annual wheat harvests are watched carefully. As the “staff of life” to multitudes, annual harvest assessments…

Searching for Sustainabile Clothing in India

Andrew Flachs researches the trials of Indian farmers and their rush toward modern farming practices, such as GMO crops and new pesticides. With time to reflect on his journey, he explains why these farmers do what they do, and why the question of how to approach farming is a complex one.

CA Farmers Find Unlikely Ally In Weathering Drought: A Major Utility Company

By Peyton Fleming Senior Communications Director, Ceres Joe Segura works for the electric and gas utility PG&E, but he sounds more like a farmer when you spend time with him. Driving around the drought-parched San Joaquin Valley here in California’s Central Valley, Segura winces as he describes groundwater wells “being sucked dry” and drives by…

Growing A Solution To California’s Groundwater Crisis

By Peyton Fleming Senior Communications Director, Ceres Three years before the California drought became a national crisis, national berry giant Driscoll’s, on the state’s Central Coast, knew it had a major problem with water. It was disappearing. As a result, water rights lawsuits had become commonplace, water rates were rising again and the precious liquid…

Late Monsoons and Agricultural Improvisation in Telangana, India

Andrew Flachs researches the trials of Indian farmers and their rush toward modern farming practices, such as GMO crops and new pesticides. In this post, he waits patiently with them for the rains as they hope and prepare.

Climate Change Joins Lions and Livestock in an Unlikely Partnership

In the coming years, climate change will transform the world in ways that we have not predicted. The king of the big cats has already survived two major periods of change, but with humans quickly taking over valuable grassland habitat, will they be able to survive another? On the Maasai Steppe of Tanzania, lions have…

States, Studies React to EPA Rule Release

On the coattails of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule for regulating carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, the White House issued a report on the health effects of climate change. The seven-page report outlines six major risks linked to rising temperatures—asthma, lung and heart illnesses; infectious disease; allergies; flooding-related hazards and heat stroke. But one week after release of the…