• POSTnote

    Novel Food Production

    Food production systems worldwide may have to adapt radically to meet the rising global demand for food. Emerging approaches in the food sector include controlled-environment farming, alternative animal feeds, edible insects, and lab-cultured meat. This POSTnote considers these new technologies and summarises their respective advantages and limitations.

  • POSTnote

    Emissions from Crops

    Agriculture contributes 9% of the UK’s greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions burden and 10-12% globally. Although there is a long-term declining trend from UK agriculture, the sector may account for a larger share of overall emissions in the future as other sectors reduce emissions. This POSTnote focuses on reducing GHG emissions from growing and storing arable and horticultural crops.

  • POSTnote

    Catchment-Wide Flood Management

    Changing weather patterns have made structural defences less effective at managing flooding. An approach that employs a range of natural flood management measures across a river catchment is likely to reduce the probability of flooding and pressure on structural defences. This POSTnote describes the measures and the challenges of implementing them over large catchments.

  • POSTnote

    GM Insects and Disease Control

    Insects play a critical role in ecosystems, but can also cause economic and social harm by transmitting diseases to humans and livestock, and damaging crops. Genetically modified (GM) insects could be used alongside other approaches to mitigate harms. This POSTnote summarises possible benefits, risks and uncertainties associated with their deployment.

  • POSTnote

    Diffuse Pollution of Water by Agriculture

    Water pollution regulation is devolved in the UK. Surface, coastal and ground waters in England suffer from significant pollution problems: 78% of surface and groundwater bodies fail to meet the ‘good’ ecological status prescribed by the EU Water Frameworks Directive. Pollution increases water treatment costs and adversely affects wildlife. Compared to treatment, preventing water pollution at source can have a cost-benefit ratio as high as 1:65. This POSTnote describes the contribution of agriculture to water pollution, and measures that can be taken to reduce it.

  • POSTnote

    Phosphate Resources

    World food security is dependent on phosphate fertilisers manufactured from finite deposits of phosphate ore. The majority of remaining reserves are restricted to a limited number of countries raising geopolitical risks. This POSTnote describes the uses of phosphate and summarises ways in which dependence on mineral reserves could be reduced.

  • POSTnote

    Ambient Air Quality

    National and European regulations have improved UK ambient air quality. However, current air pollution levels continue to harm human health and the environment. This POSTnote summarises the evidence for effects of air pollutants and policies to address them

  • POSTnote

    Reversing Insect Pollinator Decline

    Pollination by insects enables the reproduction of flowering plants and is critical to UK agriculture. Insect pollinators have declined globally, with implications for food security and wild habitats. This POSTnote summarises the causes for the recent trends, gaps in knowledge and possible strategies for reversing pollinator decline.

  • POSTnote

    Plant-made Pharmaceuticals

    The use of genetically modified (GM) plants to produce pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines is an emerging technology that offers a low-cost, large-scale alternative to current methods. This POSTnote looks at recent advances in, and the benefits of, the technology, and analyses the associated biosafety and regulatory issues.

  • POSTnote

    Water Resource Resilience

    The availability of water resources is fundamental for society and economic activities. This POSTnote describes the reasons for uncertainties in water resource availability for future supply and demand and possible responses to managing these risks in the medium term.

  • POSTnote

    Balancing Nature and Agriculture

    This POSTnote explores two approaches to managing land for balancing nature conservation with sustainable food production. Land sharing integrates the objectives of agriculture and benefits to wildlife on the same land. Land sparing on the other hand separates intensive farming areas from protected natural habitats at larger scales.