Agriculture / Article / Crop residues / Crop-Livestock / ILRI / Soils

Can conservation agriculture work where scarce biomass feeds hungry livestock?

Rice residues after harvest, near Sangrur, southeast Punjab, India (photo credit: Neil Palmer/CIAT). There is a new report of mixed results about the viability of adopting ‘conservation agriculture’ to enhance soil health and sustain long-term crop productivity in the developing world, an approach advocated by many. The authors of the report work at five centres … Continue reading

Animal Feeding / Crop residues / Crop-Livestock / Disease Control / Forages / Soils

Scientists arrive in Senegal to give African hunger a black eye

A long neglected crop with the potential to halt hunger for millions in Africa, sustain the livestock revolution underway in developing countries, rejuvenate nutrient-sapped soils, and even feed astronauts on extended space missions, is attracting scientists from around the world to Senegal this week for the Fifth World Cowpea Research Conference. “It’s hard to imagine … Continue reading

Africa / Agriculture / Brazil / Cattle / Environment / Food Security / Latin America / Livestock / North America / NRM / Research / Soils / Water / WLE

The miracle of the cerrado

Brazil has revolutionized its own farms. Can it do the same for others? IN A remote corner of Bahia state, in north-eastern Brazil, a vast new farm is springing out of the dry bush. Thirty years ago eucalyptus and pine were planted in this part of the cerrado (Brazil’s savannah). Native shrubs later reclaimed some … Continue reading

Africa / Agriculture / Environment / Ethiopia / ILRI / IPMS / Markets / NRM / Soils / WLE

Sustainable land management through market oriented commodity development: Case studies from Ethiopia

This working paper by Berhanu Gebremedhin, Gebremedhin Woldewahid, Yigzaw Dessalegn, Tilahun Gebey and Worku Teka on Sustainable land management through market oriented commodity development: Case studies from Ethiopia was released on 30 August, 2010. Land degradation has been identified as severe environmental problem in Ethiopia, especially since the early 1970s. Because there is significant degradation … Continue reading

Africa / Agriculture / Asia / Innovation Systems / Soils

Does a country’s dirt determine its destiny?

‘Chad is dirt poor because its dirt is poor. Germany is relatively rich because its soil is rich. That’s the provocative conclusion flowing from a new study, which suggests that just two fundamental factors—soil type and climate—can largely explain why humans have prospered in some places but not in others. The finding, drawn from a … Continue reading

Climate Change / Livestock / Soils

“Livestock and Climate Change” and soil organisms

Eventually, if livestock agriculture gets totally out of hand, the soil will be depleted of carbon and the plants, livestock and humans will all die; but because there’s so much carbon in the soil, we’ll have runaway global warming long before that happens. Thus, livestock are critical to the climate change issue. Read more … … Continue reading