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Weekly Overview: Caring for the Planet, Its Animals and People

18 September 2014

GLOBAL - A new study from Germany has identified some regions where the effects of climate change may, at least in part, be positive for farming in the future. A new Agriculture Commissioner has been nominated for the EU and already there has been a call for his top priorities to include the greening element of the Common Agricultural Policy and issues over direct payments.

Climate change poses a huge challenge to global agriculture but a new study by geographers at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, shows that some regions could benefit from it.

According to a simulation of the impact of climate change on agricultural production over the course of the 21st century, carried out by researchers led by Professor Wolfram Mauser at the University's Department of Geography, some two-thirds of all land potentially suitable for agricultural use is already under cultivation.

The study indicates that climate change will expand the supply of crop-land in the high latitudes of the Northern hemisphere – Canada, Russia, China – over the next 100 years.

However, in the absence of adaptation measures such as increased irrigation, the simulation projects a significant loss of suitable agricultural land in Mediterranean regions and in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.

In the European Union in the last week, European Commissioner for agriculture designate, Phil Hogan of Ireland has simplification of the direct payments in the Common Agricultural Policy and greening among his top priorities.

Also in the EU, new proposals have been put forward that will make veterinary medicines more available in the Community to treat and prevent diseases in animals.

The European Commission has been given the go-ahead to plans for veterinary medicinal products and medicated feed that are aimed at improving the health and well-being of animals, tackling antimicrobial resistance in the EU and fostering innovation.

Concern is being expressed in the United Kingdom over the safety of imported meat and food products after funding for non-statutory residue testing is withdrawn at the end of the financial year.

Jackie Linden

Jackie Linden

Top image via Shutterstock





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