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Pollinators like bumblebees are declining in Europe. What are the causes, the consequences and the possible solutions? Researchers know that the causes are multiple: a combination of habitat loss, pathogens, alien species, agrichemical pollution and even climate change.
Published: 15 January 2015
Global demand for food is expected to increase by 70% by 2050, while a steep increase in biomass use will also put pressure on agriculture. Feeding the world without damaging the environment is the focus of World Food Day 2014 - and the goal of several EU-funded research projects.
Published: 5 December 2014
Is it possible to produce fertilizer from animal bones? And what are the potential benefits for agriculture and the environment? To find out Futuris went to a test plant in Hungary, where an unusual experiment is under way.
Published: 14 October 2014
Farmers around the world are united in their loathing of fruit flies. A new warning system developed by an EU-funded project to alert them of imminent infestation could save struggling farmers both time and money and cut down on pesticide use. Two companies are preparing to commercialise the results.
Published: 30 July 2014
In a time of climate change, when fuel resources are under pressure and lands face potential erosion risks, humble grass seems an unlikely saviour. The European research project OPTIMA is helping cultivate high-yielding perennial grasses that could address these possible challenges, offering a number of valuable environmental and economic benefits.
Published: 11 June 2014
High-profile food scares, such as the outbreaks of mad cow disease, foot-and-mouth disease and dioxin contamination episodes in recent years, have put a spotlight on a growing concern for food safety: the need to ensure that animal feed an expanding global trade is free from contamination. The European Union (EU)-funded project QSAFFE is working on faster and better ways of checking for contaminated feed.
Published: 27 May 2014
EU-funded researchers have developed a more water-efficient technology to help convert sunshine in deserts into electricity. The technology removes the need for water in cooling systems, helping to make solar power generation cheaper and sustainable in sun-rich desert regions.
Published: 26 May 2014
Published: 19 March 2014
The benefits of producing biofuel from perennial grasses make them a very attractive alternative source of energy. An EU-funded project is working to create improved varieties and identify the optimal environments for production of different grass species to make perennial grasses even more sought after.
Published: 22 January 2014
Agriculture is at risk from climate change as temperatures, pest levels and growing seasons change. However, agriculture also contributes to these effects through emissions from fertilisers, water wastage and biological processes. A third of vegetables and fruit consumed in the EU are produced by protected horticulture. As 90% of the greenhouse growers are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), they have to compete with cheaper labour, production costs and regular supply from producers outside the EU.
Published: 12 September 2013