Letters: Reasons to keep Europe’s CAP

The assumption that the common agricultural policy (CAP) is a wasteful boondoggle (Rotten but here to stay, 5 July) is at best misguided and at worst misleading. This week, as the European parliament votes on CAP reform post-2013, it is clear that MEPs are coming to a consensus on…


Pesticide threat looms over French West Indies

Sorting and washing bananas in Martinique, where chlordecone was used to combat the banana weevil. Photograph: Jean-Daniel Sudres/Corbis France is once again embroiled in a health and safety scandal. For 20 years, from 1973 to 1993, the insecticide chlordecone (Kepone) was used in Martinique and Guadeloupe, in the French West…


Response: The CAP is our best hope of protecting biodiversity in the countryside | Mark Avery

The RSPB, alongside a Swedish accordion club and a Danish billiards club, is one of the groups highlighted in your editorial as recipients of payments through the common agricultural policy (CAP) (Rotten but here to stay, 5 July). But while the piece features some of the unusual recipients of…


Scientist leading GM crop test defends links to US biotech giant Monsanto

Anti-GM campaigners say a trial to genetically protect potatoes against blight is a waste of taxpayers’ money because a naturally produced strain already gives immunity. Photograph: Alamy The scientist in charge of a taxpayer-funded trial that may determine whether genetically modified crops will be grown in the UK has been…


Organic farming gives better pest control, bigger spuds

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PARIS — Supporters of organic agriculture got a boost on Thursday with a scientific study that said pesticide-free potato farming improved control over crop-munching insects and delivered bigger plants. David Crowder, an entomologist at Washington State University, led a team that reviewed published data about local potato fields, looking in particular at plant-chewing beetles and…


Assign A Bug Boss To Tackle Pest Problems

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Some things you can always count on during the growing season, and one of those is pest problems, says Missy Bauer, Associate Field Agronomist for Farm Journal. She encourages growers to eliminate the guesswork about insect pressure by assigning someone on the farm the role of pest boss. Here are some brief tips she offers…


‘Balanced’ Ecosystems Seen in Organic Agriculture Better at Controlling Pests, Research Finds

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ScienceDaily (July 1, 2010) — There really is a balance of nature, but as accepted as that thought is, it has rarely been studied. Now Washington State University researchers writing in the journal Naturehave found that more balanced animal and plant communities typical of organic farms work better at fighting pests and growing a better plant. The…


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