As 2019 gets underway, we want to make sure that you’re equipped with the most up to date information on plant science in sustainable agriculture. So we have created a list of the most influential reports published over the last 12 months. Take a look to make sure you didn’t miss any!


A Special Report on the Impacts of Global Warming

Global Warming of 1.5°C: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

This United Nations report looks at the predicted impact of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. It established, among other findings, that “populations at disproportionately higher risk of adverse consequences with global warming of 1.5°C and beyond include local communities dependent on agricultural or coastal livelihoods”.

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Report of Projected Insect Pressure Increases

Increase in Crop Losses to Insect Pests in a Warming Climate: Deutsch, Tewksbury, Tigchelaar, Battisti, Merrill, Huey, and Naylor

Climate change causes erratic weather patterns, extreme temperatures, and changes in natural resources. This report adds increases in insect pressure to crops to the list of things farmers have to worry about if temperature rises by two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Under this scenario, farmers could lose 59 billion kilos of wheat –more than the entire wheat production in the US in 2017, 92 billion kilos of rice, and 62 billion kilos of maize.

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Annual Update on Status of Biotech Crops Around the World

Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2017: ISAAA

The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) released its annual global biotech crop acreage report, which features data on the environmental and socio-economic benefits of plant biotech. ISAAA reported that the adoption of biotech crops has reduced CO2 emissions by 27.1 billion kg and conserved biodiversity by saving 22.5 million hectares of land from agricultural use in 2016.

Additionally, in developing countries, planting biotech crops has helped alleviate hunger by increasing the incomes for millions of smallholder farmers and their families, bringing improved financial stability to more than 65 million people.

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Pesticide Safety, Investment, Efficacy Trends Report

Evolution of the Crop Protection Industry Since 1960: Phillips McDougall

This report demonstrates how pesticides have improved since 1960. A more diverse portfolio is available for farmers to fight crop pests of all sorts and as the growth of the sector continues, the safety and efficacy have increased while toxicity of the products has decreased.

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Analysis of The Current Position of Agriculture in the EU

The Challenges Facing Agriculture and The Plant Science Industry in the EU: AgbioInvestor  

This report analyses the European agricultural sector’s productivity, policy and support, regulatory environments, and reliance on imports. It highlights the obstacles put in place by a political system that does not prioritize agricultural innovation and shows the consequences of reduced access to modern agricultural tools.

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More Land Needed to Farm Organic Food than Non-Organic

Assessing the Efficiency of Changes in Land Use for Mitigating Climate Change: Searchinger, Wirsenius, Beringer & Dumas

In this report, published by Nature International Journal of Science, it was confirmed that farming organic food can result in higher emissions and greater land use due to loss from pests and lower yields. Biodiversity and carbon sequestration are important in the fight against climate change, and preserving land while feeding a growing population can be achieved with agricultural innovation like plant biotechnology and crop protection.

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Post-Brexit Possibilities for Regulation of Plant Biotechnology

UK Plant Genetics: A Regulatory Environment to Maximize Advantage to the UK Economy Post Brexit: Brookes, 2018

This paper examines the economic value of the UK plant genetics sector and the most appropriate regulatory environment for maximizing long-term benefits to the UK economy outlined in three scenarios: continued regulatory alignment with the EU, improved implementation and some change; making the current GMO system work “as intended”, or the UK sets its own path of divergence from EU regulations on GMOs.

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Review of Genetically Engineered Crops Safety Information

Food and Feed Safety of Genetically Engineered Food Crops, by Delaney B, Goodman RE, Ladics GS

This article reviews the safety information regarding Genetically Engineered (GE) crops and foods, by evaluating over 20 years of research in genetic engineering. Like the issue statement, it is based on the premise that although new GE crops are assessed by regulatory authorities prior to approval for commercial use, there is still a public debate on the safety GE crops.

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A Review of The Benefits GMOs Have Afforded Brazilians in the 20 Years Since Adoption

20 Years of GMOs: Environmental, Economic and Social Benefits in Brazil: CIB, Agroconsult

2018 marked the 20th anniversary of the introduction of GM crops in Brazil. The country is the second largest adopter of biotech crops globally on more than 50 million hectares of farmland and agriculture is one of the most dynamic industries within the country. To quantify the benefits of GM crops in the country, a conventional crop and a GM crop were compared, year by year, to assess the technical nuances of use of pesticides, the differences in production costs, and the financial results of one system verses the other.

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A Study Quantifying Economic and Social Benefits from Timely Regulation of Ag Biotech Products

The Impact of Delays in Chinese Approvals of Biotech Crops: Informa Agribusiness Consulting Group

The 2018 study quantifies the wide-reaching social and economic benefits both importing and exporting countries could realize if timely and functional regulatory systems were in place. Delays in the regulatory process—including delays in innovations reaching the marketplace – impede global initiatives to improve food and nutrition security, advance economic prosperity, and increase the adoption of environmentally sound practices.

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Literature review Shows Benefits of Tech to Smallholder Farmers

The Role of Technology in the Future of Smallholder Agriculture: CropLife Foundation

The role of technology to improve smallholder-based food production systems has been written about extensively. CropLife International worked with the CropLife Foundation to provide a literature review to better understand how modern agricultural technologies can improve smallholder livelihoods. The review found that of a variety of factors, risk was paramount in influencing the adoption of technology relating to irrigation, genetic resources, pest management, and conservation agriculture among others.

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You can also view our top 10 studies for 20172016, and 2015.

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