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Under your feet is something very ordinary but essential to life-soil. It grows the food we eat and regulates the water, carbon and nutrient cycles that shape our environment and climate. To help keep farming sustainable, EU-funded researchers have mapped out the long-term impacts of how farmers use soil, and developed a tool and guidelines to support best practices in farms.
Published: 20 May 2015
Mycotoxins - produced by fungi - contaminate about 25% of food crops worldwide, according to the latest estimates. Detecting contamination quickly and reliably is essential for food safety, as mycotoxins could be transferred to bread, for instance, making it unsafe to eat. The MYCOHUNT project developed a system that can sniff out mycotoxins almost immediately. It is expected to be on the market within two years.
Published: 27 March 2015
"Cases of food poisoning from vegetables affect more people and lead to more hospitalisations than those from meat." While it may come as news to many consumers this fact, revealed by Ana Allende, a food microbiologist with CEBAS-CSIC, will not surprise her colleagues working on a major European research project on food safety.
Published: 12 March 2015
EU-funded researchers have developed an automated prototype to help farmers monitor and control the amount of water and fertiliser they need for their crops. It has already been successfully tested on 25 hectares of land (an area roughly the size of 35 football pitches), and the SMEs involved are making commercialisation plans - there is currently no such system on the market.
Published: 16 February 2015
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
Climate change poses new challenges for farmers, and for the scientists who try to predict its effects. An EU-funded researcher has developed a computer model for better predictions of environmental impacts on crops and communities.
Published: 12 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
Although pigs are actually one of world's cleanest creatures - despite their reputation to the contrary - cleaning up after them is a challenging task. The bulk, gas emissions and associated odours give pig manure a bad name. But if you know how to extract them, there are value nutrients secreted in the slurry. The EU-funded EfficientHeat project has advanced waste disposal while giving pig farmers the potential to turn manure into money.
Published: 3 November 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
EU-funded researchers have developed a smart irrigation system that calculates the exact amount of water crops need each day. The technology allows farmers to save time, effort and water and achieve the best yield possible - drop by drop.
Published: 8 October 2014