MSc Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security Conference, NUIG

Monday 4th September 2017 from 0900-1800
ILAS Lecture Theatre, National University of Ireland Galway

All are welcome – free admission! To register your attendance send email with name, address and your affiliation to: mary.gannon@nuigalway.ie

For the full programme of the event click here

Drought-proofing crops in Italy: is millet the grain of the future?

Stefania Grando (centre) talking about millet at Podere Santa Croce (photo: Bettina Bussi RSR)

In 2017 Italy experienced one of the worst droughts on record: the Po river reached a record-low level of 3.5 m below its hydrological zero in the month of June. The Po river valley (pianura padana) stretches from the north-west region of Piemonte to center-east Emilia-Romagna. Arguably, it’s one of the most fertile regions in Europe, its intensive agriculture however, relies heavily on irrigation during the summer months. Since October 2016, no significant precipitations occurred over the region, leading to an increasing hydrological deficit, aggravated by the exceptionally high temperatures recorded in June. Continue reading “Drought-proofing crops in Italy: is millet the grain of the future?”

Back to the future for the wheat of tomorrow

Farmers in Italy experiment with evolutionary populations

Biologist, science communicator and podcaster Jeremy Cherfas, visits Modesto Petacciato’s farm in Molise, south-east Italy, during the “Let’s Cultivate Diversity” event, June 2017. The event revolves on the deployment of evolutionary populations of cereals in marginal hilly lands, under low-input or organic management. 

 

The real father of the green revolution

150 years before Norman Borlaugh’s crosses ushered in the High Yielding Varieties we know today, the Italian pioneer of modern plant breeding provided its nation with the highly strategic self sufficiency in wheat production, during the autarchic effort known as “battaglia del grano” (the battle of the wheat). Nazareno Strampelli’s Durum wheat “Senatore Cappelli” has recently resurged to glory, thanks to its excellent quality for pasta making and suitability to organic conditions.

– Jeremy Cherfas reports –

The True Father of the First Green Revolution

Resource use efficiency in low-input agriculture

“Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist” (Kenneth Boulding, economist)

Prof Carlo Leifert of Newcastle University gives an excellent overview of resource use efficiency in low-input farming at the Oxford Real Farming Conference 2017