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  • Did You Know?
    Three new studies confirm that exposures to common insecticides during pregnancy can cut a child’s IQ 4% to 7%  by age 9.
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Hot Science

Organic farming provides honeybees critical food sources in agricultural regions

Sep 02, 2019

  A study recently published in the Journal of Applied Ecology found that organic agriculture can significantly increase the health of honeybee hives by providing continuous food sources when flowers are scarce in the landscape. Intensive and conventional farming are known to decrease important biodiversity such as pollinators and natural enemies to pests by removing… Read More ›

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Agroecological-organic production of blueberries achieves highest economic, environmental performance

Aug 26, 2019

  A recent study in the journal Scientia Horticulturae found that agroecological organic production outperformed larger-scale and more intensive organic and conventional production systems. As the demand for organic food increases, organic farming is faced with new challenges related with scaling up to provide a greater supply of organic food. This study quantified the environmental… Read More ›

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Organic farms promote beetles that control foodborne pathogens spread by flies

Aug 19, 2019

  A recent study in the journal Biological Control surveyed beetle communities in conventional and organic farms, and found that only organic farms fostered the right beetle species that directly suppresses E. coli on farms. This study is important because it shows that supporting more biodiversity can reduce food safety risks on organic farms, which… Read More ›

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More harmful pesticides should be more expensive: A case study with wine grapes

Aug 12, 2019

A recent study published in the journal Global Ecology and Conservation found that farmers are more likely to purchase less expensive pesticides, and those that cost less also are the most harmful to the environment and to human health. Protecting crops against insect pests is essential for farmers to produce high-quality food. However, the popular… Read More ›

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Combining flower strips and trap crops provides pest control without pesticides

Aug 05, 2019

  A recent study in the journal Insects shows that planting floral resources for natural enemies and in combination with a trap crop that draws pests away from the cash crop is an effective strategy to control pests. Controlling crop pests naturally and without sprays can be challenging, especially against very aggressive pests like the… Read More ›

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Organic farming promotes beneficial soil fungi for multiple crops and increases plant growth, health and yield

Jul 29, 2019

  Organic farming helps bolster important beneficial soil fungi, leading to healthier plants. These fungi improve nutrient uptake and soil health, and can help ward off diseases. While synthetic chemicals used in conventional farming reduce the amount and diversity of these microbes, a new study published in Nature: Scientific Reports shows that organic farming increases… Read More ›

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Crop and non-crop vegetation promote birds on organic farms—those surrounded by natural habitat attract the most beneficial birds

Jul 22, 2019

  Organic certification requires farmers to support important biodiversity such as birds and bees. While a lot of research has shown that more plant diversity both on and off the farm can increase wildlife, not all biodiversity is welcomed. Some wildlife can cause problems as pests, and this includes some types of birds. Birds can… Read More ›

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Institutional kitchens have the leverage to significantly increase the purchase of sustainably grown food

Jul 15, 2019

  A recent study in Journal Canadian Food Studies Special Issue: Food Procurement shows that large institution kitchens may be key players in reshaping the supply chain to get more sustainable food onto more plates. Food enters the supply chain in many ways whether it is sold directly to consumers or to wholesale buyers who then… Read More ›

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Organic fertilizer production faces constraints, limiting access for organic farmers

Jul 08, 2019

  Biological soil amendments like compost are essential for organic farmers, and in some places, organic fertilizer production can be a limiting factor for organic farmers. A recent study published in the International Conference Proceedings of Uva Wellassa University, Sri Lanka  found that the biggest constraints to producing organic fertilizer were the amounts of time… Read More ›

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Organic coffee production supports important insect biodiversity

Jul 01, 2019

  It is well known that organic farming practices increase important and beneficial biodiversity. A recent study published in the journal Biota Neotropica confirms this for a tropical cropping system: coffee. Both above and below ground insect populations were compared in conventional versus organic farms in Brazil, the second-largest coffee producing country in the world…. Read More ›

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