The sound is both exhilarating and deafening. This is Switzerland at its traditional best: Hundreds of brown cows – complete with cow bells - returning from the alpine pasture to their winter homes, creating a festival for tens of thousands of people. Welcome to the Alpabfahrt - the Alp Descent.
Alexander Döring, secretary general of FEFAC (the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation), on reducing the protein gap.
Making Europe less dependent on imports of protein raw materials is a challenge for the future. We meet two producers who are doing their bit to improve Europe’s protein production.
Only a small fraction of farmers, gardeners and winemakers use the rainwater falling on their farm and roof surfaces to irrigate their crops or as drinking water. The mindset plays a greater role here than economic calculations.
Halters, twine and rope: Farmers from across the world rely on products spun from the natural fibre, sisal. Until the late 1960s, Tanzania was the leading producer of sisal worldwide. But then the successful advent of synthetic fibres resulted in a prolonged slump. Now this versatile natural fibre, and thus northern Tanzania, is experiencing a new boom.
A modern farm is no place for children, it’s often said. So how will they discover and understand the joys and challenges of rural life? Peter Grimshaw met some farming champions who are dedicated to inspiring the rising generation.
Cuba is allowing more and more private enterprise and is seeking normality in its relations with the US. Agriculture is also changing as a result.
Antimicrobial resistance is a serious public health concern and livestock producers are increasingly under pressure to reduce antibiotic usage in animals. In the UK, the poultry industry is leading the way.
Turkish agriculture has lots to offer. With products such as hazelnuts, figs or sultanas, Turkey is a global leader in production. Looking at the whole industry shows an impressive variety of products, whereas many regions concentrate on growing only one specific crop.
Methane, biomass, solar panels: there is no shortage of resources on farms for producing energy locally. From Picardy to Provence, things are picking up steam.
When Russia is mentioned, most people think of chernozem soils and vast wheat fields. Few people are aware that buckwheat reveals a great deal about the Russian soul. This becomes clear at the very latest when you sit down to eat. Because Russian cuisine without buckwheat is unthinkable.
The countryside is a space to live and to work. And thus often an arena of conflicts of how to use that space. A challenge that needs to be tackled by farmers themselves.
What was previously only possible with different individual software tools, the John Deere Operations Centre is combining into one easy-to-use solution: All work operations in the palm of your hand – on your desktop, tablet, and smartphone.
Each spring truckloads of cattle from as far away as Mexico are brought to the Flint Hills, the last remnant of tallgrass prairie in North America to graze on the rich early-growth grass – a major logistics effort for farmers and forwarders.
It is particularly hard to assess the damage caused by compaction in deeper soil layers. But research data and statistics indicate a considerable impact on agricultural productivity.
Farmers are no strangers to challenges, but realising how it affects their mental health is not easy. With more than one person in UK agriculture committing suicide every week, it’s a subject that cannot be avoided.
The Columbia River is the largest river in North America in terms of the volume of water flowing into the Pacific. With over 26m tonnes of grain moving through it, it is the third largest transport corridor for grain.
Researcher Andrew Leakey is simulating atmospheric conditions for the next half of the century. The data obtained is supposed to mitigate the consequences of climate change.
Albanian agriculture has plenty of challenges, but the sector still has great potential. It is one of the largest producers in the world of medicinal and spice plants. But while many farmers are hoping that the country joins the EU, if and when that will happen is still uncertain.
In 2016, Alexandru Haita started to use John Deere’s web-based farming platform MyJohnDeere.com and the associated tool “Operations Centre” to manage his farming operation. And he has not looked back since.
Soil compaction is a well-known problem, but its impact is often underestimated and difficult to assess. And it is a growing concern for farming stakeholders.
Fresh players in the market and new factors influencing pricing mean grain prices are fluctuating significantly more than in the past. When selling their grain, farmers therefore need to focus on good risk management.
High welfare pig production isn’t always about free-range systems. With growing demand for ethically produced but inexpensive pork, high welfare indoor systems could be the way forward for the industry.
Prof Rainer Horn qualified as a professor of soil science in 1981 and from 1998 to 2017 he held the chair for soil science at Kiel University, Germany. His scientific interests are soil physics and soil ecology with a particular focus on physical land degradation.
The Mekong Delta is one of the most fertile regions in the world. Its farmers produce for both the Vietnamese and the global market. However, climate change and intensive cultivation are threatening its future.
Milk producers are under pressure from persistently low producer prices. At the same time, demand for more natural foods is rising. One solution could be to focus more on grazing management. But just "opening the cowshed door and let the cows out" is not enough.
Jan Peters is the founder of the information service agrarfax.de (today owned by Landwirtschaftsverlag GmbH). He is a correspondent for the specialist publication Agrarzeitung and provides agricultural information on a daily basis to Reuters Hamburg, Dow Jones Newswire London, and VWD Frankfurt.
Many farmers consider contracting as an option to spread their overheads and generate additional income. It’s also a potential route into agriculture for new entrants. But it’s not easy, so what should prospective contractors know to make them top of their field?
There are many types of hunger. If we want to feed the world, we should not only pay attention to the quantity but also to the quality of food.
Charlie Morgan, Director of Grassmaster Ltd, a grassland consultancy in the UK, gives advice on how to optimise grassland management.
The pumpkin is a special crop that has a long-standing tradition in Styria. Now, the fruit with its seed oil is also making an international name for itself. Local farmers and also the region are benefiting from this.
Compaction is an issue that is often discussed in relation to arable land – but it can also be a problem in grassland. Olivia Cooper speaks to soil expert Philip Wright to find out more.