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Keep up-to-date with 4 European agriculture events in 2017

The agricultural sector is thriving in Europe. From Paris and Brussels to the corridors at Edinburgh University. Right now, concepts such as #PrecisionAgriculture and #SmartFarming are becoming more common among farmers and consumers alike. Agriculture needs to innovate, while focusing on sustainable practices, if it is to meet the demands of a growing population. The following is our choice of four European agriculture events to attend in 2017. Remember if you can’t make it in person, you can still follow the updates online.

25 February to 5 March 2017: Paris – Salon International de l’Agriculture (International Agricultural Show)

International Agriculture event

This French agricultural event is taking place at the Paris expo Porte de Versailles.

From the organisers: “The agricultural sector is changing...

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Join the World Economic Forum live online to discuss the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

The World Economic Forum in Davos is organising a debate on the UN's SDGs with the hashtag: #SDGLive

You can follow the World Economic Forum’s Twitter debate on the UN’s SDGs with the hashtag #SDGLive

This week started with the familiar annual call to the ski slopes of Davos in the Swiss Alps for the World Economic Forum 2017. The gathering brings together world leaders to share ideas and discuss industrial, regional and global agendas. It’s notable that China’s President Xi Jinping is attending this year’s event.

As part of the World Economic Forum, a live Twitter feed has been organised around a panel debate on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. These 17 SDGs were adopted on 25 September 2015, when countries agreed on a defined set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all — to be achieved over the next 15 years.

At Davos ...

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Will the EU’s precautionary principle disrupt precision farming?

Phil Hogan, EC Commissioner for Agriculture, talks about how the EU Space Strategy policy can help agriculture in the EU.

Phil Hogan, EC Commissioner for Agriculture, talks about how the EU Space Strategy policy can help agriculture in the EU.

On 26 October 2016 the European Commission announced, with much fanfare, its new space policy. It hopes it will keep the European space industry competitive for decades. The goal is to encourage private companies to use the data generated from EU-funded satellites in low-Earth orbit. This EU Space Strategy will impact every aspect of Europeans’ lives, from creating new jobs for start-ups and improving response times to natural disasters to coordinating self-driving cars. Thirty satellites are expected to be launched in the next 10 to 20 years.

Phil Hogan, the European Commissioner for Agriculture, was quoted as saying that this space technology will also be essential ...

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European Union: Please make up your mind on organic, for the sake of the environment

Derek 's quote on organic farming practicesBy Gary Frewin

Is the practice of organic farming supposed to be about eco-farming at its best or is it supposed to be all natural? It’s important to know because it cannot be both at the same time. Such is the confusion on this question today that everybody seems to have a different answer. Even the European Union (EU) has defined organic in radically different ways depending where you look, for example the Organic Legislation 2007 says this:

1) Organic production is an overall system of farm management and food production that combines best environmental practices […] and a production method in line with the preference of certain consumers for products produced using natural substances and processes.

The appeal to nature should be obvious to most of you...

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Image of a farmer on a farm. Monsanto's response to the Monsanto Tribunal.

For The Record: The mock tribunal distracts from real dialogue on the world’s food and agriculture needs and the full realization of human rights.

To people interested in food, the environment and biodiversity, human rights, and Monsanto,

In growing our food, farmers face some tough challenges as the world’s population continues to grow. We work daily to provide farmers with a broad range of solutions so they can have better harvests while making land, water and other natural resources go further, and make a more balanced plate of food more accessible for everyone.

To address these ever increasing challenges collaboratively and advance our commitment to human rights, we welcome a genuine constructive conversation with diverse ideas and perspectives about food and farming...

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Swiss Parliament Rejects Glyphosate Ban

Invasive hogweed

At least decisions are still made on the basis of sound science in some places.

While some European Union governments, led by France and Italy, have proposed new restrictions on the sale and use of glyphosate by farmers, municipalities and others who need to control weeds, the Swiss Parliament has just outright rejected a petition to ban glyphosate.

In a decision recently published on its website, the Swiss Parliament’s Committee on Science, Education and Culture rejected the petition, arguing that “According to current evidence there are no scientific reasons to justify a ban on the use of glyphosate in general, or in agriculture in particular.”

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the world’s most widely used herbicides, including Monsanto’s Roundup® brand weed killer.

For ...

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What does ‘carbon neutral’ farming mean?

A step-by-step guide to carbon neutral practices in farming.

A step-by-step guide to carbon neutral practices in farming.

You may have heard the term ‘carbon neutral’ in relation to farming practices that are better for the environment; but what does that mean exactly?

In a nutshell, it is a system that abandons traditional tilling (plowing) on farms and promotes the use of cover crops that help the soil absorb more water and store more carbon dioxide. This combination minimises the loss of fertile soil from wind and water erosion. Moreover, crops have the potential to store at least as much carbon as soil carbon instead of releasing it as greenhouse gas emissions.

Today, after the energy sector, agriculture is the world’s second-highest emitter of carbon dioxide...

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Monsanto launches #CO2MUCH campaign: Combating Agriculture’s Carbon Footprint

Image of #CO2Much Campaign banner.Agriculture’s carbon footprint totals about six billion tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) each year, making up 13% of global emissions. In fact, after the energy sector, agriculture is the world’s second-highest emitter.

Looking ahead, mitigating emissions and the effects of climate change will be crucial to preserving our planet. But with a growing global population and changing consumption habits, set to rise to over nine billion people by 2050, demand for food and in turn food production will also rise. With this in mind, it’s clear that reducing the impact of the agriculture sector will play a particularly crucial role in keeping global temperature targets below a 2oC rise.

That’s why Monsanto, in Europe and the rest of the world, is working to spread awareness and highlight to t...

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Awards go to digital innovation on the farm at EuroScience Open Forum 2016

A Combine Harvester on a farm. Image courtesy of CommBeBiz.

A Combine Harvester on a farm. Image courtesy of CommBeBiz.

This year, Europe’s biggest science festival, the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF16), was held in Manchester in the UK. Notable speakers included Dr Emmanuelle Charpentier, one of the scientists at the vanguard of the exciting genome technology CRISPR-Cas9, and director of the Max Planck Institute in Germany, as well as Andre Geim, professor at the University of Manchester UK who shared a Nobel prize for his discovery of the wonder material graphene.

About 4,500 thinkers, innovators, policy makers, journalists and educators from more than 90 countries attended ESOF16. One of the highlights that caught our attention was from CommBeBiz, an organisation partly funded by the European Commission, and their Innovation Awards in research...

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Ghent university and Bayer partner to improve soil health on farms

To improve agriculture in Europe sometimes you have to reach out and touch someone. From 29 June to 1 July 2016, agriculture and life sciences company Bayer put on its annual Forward Farming event, on a farm just outside Brussels in Belgium, to showcase a plethora of digital farm practices and technologies to invited guests. One was a joint university and Bayer project to scan the soil with digital tools to help a farmer work more efficiently and ecologically.

This two-minute video shows how precision farming helps farmer Jacob farm better and more ecologically in the Netherlands.

To be clear this story has nothing to do with the fact Bayer is trying to buy us. Monsanto also sees a future in precision farming as supported by our investment in the Climate Corporation back in 2013 and our...

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