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[前沿资讯] 新冠疫情导致中国削减肉类进口 进入全文

FT中文网

中国暂停来自一批海外加工厂的食品进口,原因是担心进口食品会将新冠病毒带入国内。分析师预计,这将推高中国国内肉类价格。中国消费者正面临肉类价格再度上涨和食品价格通胀加速的局面。此前,中国政府暂停来自一批海外加工厂的食品进口,原因是担心这些加工厂的新型冠状病毒肺炎(COVID-19,即2019冠状病毒病)疫情可能导致病毒被输回中国国内。此外,中国海关官员已加强对港口进口冷冻食品的检验检疫,导致食品积压长达两周和存储空间短缺,这将延迟中国城市的食品供应。此前,全球屠宰场的新冠疫情加剧了中国的担忧:进口食品可能携带新冠病毒。世界卫生组织(World Health Organization)和多国政府坚称,没有证据表明新冠病毒会通过食品或食品包装传播,但中国一些城市的海关官员表示,新冠病毒“很有可能”在冷冻容器中存活。

[前沿资讯] Prairie strips play multiple roles on farm 进入全文

Ag update

Tim Youngquist has a bit of a duel role, just like the prairie strips he promotes serve multiple roles.Youngquist farms with his father in southwest Sac County, Iowa, where they have worked to implement some prairie strips into their fields. But he also serves as the farmer liaison for the researchers doing on-farm research into prairie strips at Iowa State University. The strips he works on and promotes are used by farmers to address erosion, wildlife habitat and water quality issues, among other things. Both the man and the strips are multi-tasking.“I guess I'm kind of a prairie diplomat,” Youngquist says. “Farmers have a lot of questions.”Omar de Kok-Mercado works with Youngquist and with other researchers on the prairie strip project. He sees the strips slowly catching on and offering farmers a range of possibilities for improving their own farm situations

[政策法规] Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act 进入全文

AFBF

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act provided $9.5 billion in funding (approximately 0.48% of a package totaling nearly $2 trillion) to the Office of the USDA Secretary to craft a financial support package for producers impacted by COVID-19-driven supply, demand and revenue disruptions, 

[学术文献] Sustainable intensification in Western Kenya: Who will benefit? 进入全文

Agricultural Systems

Sustainable Intensification (SI) is essential for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to meet the food demand of the growing population under conditions of increasing land scarcity. However, access to artificial fertilizers is limited, and the current extension system is not effective in serving smallholder farmers. This paper studies farmers' response to improved fertilizer availability under field conditions. Data on farms and families were collected from 267 smallholder farms, while data on fertilizer use and crop response to fertilizer were collected on 127 farm plots. Fertilizer applications and maize yields were measured, and benefit to cost ratio (BCR) of fertilizer application was calculated and to assess its effect on food security. Farm household typologies were used to determine differences in farm endowment and food security classes. Fertilizer application did not significantly improve maize yields in 2017 due to unfavorable weather conditions and pest infestations, whereas significant yield responses were observed in 2018. Consequently, fertilizer application was economically beneficial (BCR >1) for only 45% of the farmers in 2017, compared to 94% in 2018 when 80% of the farmers passed the technology adaptation point (BCR > 2). Surprisingly, economic returns did not vary significantly between household types, implying that fertilizer application provides comparable benefits across all farm types. This is partly explained by the fact that soil fertility varied little between farm types (soil carbon content, for example, showed no correlation with farmer endowment). Still, large differences were observed in farmers' willingness to invest in larger fertilizer applications. Only a small proportion of farmers is expected to increase fertilizer applications as recommended. Our work demonstrates the need to address risks for smallholders and shows that socio-economic aspects are more important than biophysical constraints for policies promoting sustainable intensification.

[前沿资讯] What’s in the CARES Act for Food and Agriculture 进入全文

AFBF

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has roiled the U.S. economy, the Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. In addition to direct payments to individuals of up to $1,200, extended unemployment benefits and federal loan guarantees, the $2 trillion CARES Act provides a number of food- and agriculture-related benefits, including funding to ensure children and low-income families have continued access to nutritious, affordable food and to ensure farmers have the financial resources they need to offset the more immediate economic impacts of the virus. Today’s article reviews the food and agriculture-related provisions of the CARES act. For the agriculture-related provisions, the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture received $9.5 billion, approximately 19% of the total food and agriculture provisions, to provide financial support to farmers and ranchers impacted by coronavirus. The funding is allocated specifically for specialty crops, producers who supply local food systems and farmers’ markets, restaurants and schools, livestock producers, i.e., cattlemen and women, and dairy farmers.

[前沿资讯] Controlling plants with the power of colored light 进入全文

Science Daily

Scientists have found a way to control different plant processes -- such as when they grow -- using nothing but colored light. The development reveals how colored light can be used to control biological processes in plants by switching different genes on and off. The researchers hope that their findings could lead to advances in how plants grow, flower, and adapt to their environment, ultimately allowing increases in crop yields.

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