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Record-setting cold snap hits Europe

France had its coldest April morning on record Monday. The cold snap damaged crops because it came on the heels of an unusually warm period. …


US taxpayers are spending billions on crop insurance premiums to prop up farmers on frequently flooded, unproductive land

As climate change worsens flooding across the midwest and south, crop insurance payments on waterlogged land have surged 300 percent in recent decades. That number will likely rise. …


Small farms grow a large portion of the world’s food

By Vinny Ricciardi

It’s quite amazing. Small farms are still growing a large portion of the world’s food. In our recent study, we collected data from 55 countries and found that farms under 2 ha (5 acres) — the size of two American style football fields — are growing between 30–35% of all food produced.


Pesticides Are Harming Bees in Literally Every Possible Way

By Liza Gross Photo by Daniel Schoenen/Getty Images

While soybean farmers watched the drift-prone weed killer dicamba ravage millions of acres of crops over the last two years, Arkansas beekeeper Richard Coy noticed a parallel disaster unfolding among the weeds near those fields.


5 Major Crops In The Crosshairs Of Climate Change

By Dan Charles Photo: Heather Kim/NPR

Climate change is coming like a freight train, or a rising tide. And our food, so dependent on rain and suitable temperatures, sits right in its path.


Death by fertilizer

By Nathanael Johnson Photo: Nathanael Johnson

Nitrogen fertilizer is a disaster. Abandoning it would be a bigger disaster. Now a dozen billionaires are funding an alternative.


How much of the world’s food do smallholders produce?

By V Ricciardi, N Ramankutty, Z Mehrabi, L Jarvis, B Chookolingo

Explore our new dataset on how much food is produced by differently sized farms. For each of the 55 countries, we found nationally representative surveys and censuses that asked farmers how much of each crop they produced. Using this information, we calculated how much total crop production (in kilocalories) each farm size produced. Because different types of crops are allocated towards human food, animal feed, processed non-food goods, seed for planting, or are wasted during storage and transportation, we then worked out how each farm size allocated their production. All together, our dataset has > 150 crops from 55 countries. Click each tab to find out how much food, feed, processed goods, seed, or waste small farms are producing and how much land they’re using compared to larger farms – and check out how crop diversity differs across farm sizes. For more details check out our article and the downloadable dataset that contains sub-national information.


Global Food Security: How much of the world’s food do smallholders produce?

The widely reported claim that smallholders produce 70–80% of the world’s food has been a linchpin of agricultural development policy despite limited empirical evidence. Recent empirical attempts to reinvestigate this number have lacked raw data on how much food smallholders produce, and have relied on model assumptions with unknown biases and with limited spatial and commodity coverage. We examine variations in crop production by farm size using a newly-compiled global sample of subnational level microdata and agricultural censuses covering more countries (n=55) and crop types (n=154) than assessed to date. We estimate that farms under 2ha globally produce 28–31% of total crop production and 30–34% of food supply on 24% of gross agricultural area. Farms under 2ha devote a greater proportion of their production to food, and account for greater crop diversity, while farms over 1000ha have the greatest proportion of post-harvest loss.