USA - Virginia Tech researchers to address methods for measuring on-farm food loss and waste

22.04.2022 271 views

Three faculty members in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech received a $633,551 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to fund a four-year research project on the economics of food loss and waste.

“Reducing food loss and waste may have implications for both the environmental impact of agriculture and for food prices,” said John Bovay, an assistant professor of food and health economics and the principal investigator for the project. “The environmental costs are mostly generated by inputs such as fertilizer, water, pesticides, and fuel to produce, market, and purchase food that eventually goes uneaten.”

In 2015, the Department of Agriculture partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to set a goal to cut our nation’s food waste by 50 percent by the year 2030.

The long-term goal in the Virginia Tech project is to develop methods for measuring on-farm food loss and waste and to construct a nationwide measure for vegetables as well, which is missing from existing U.S. measures of loss and waste along the farm-to-fork food supply chain.

The team will focus on vegetables for several reasons, according to Wei Zhang, a co-principal investigator and an assistant professor of environmental and natural resource economics.

“First, because produce is highly perishable, vegetables likely make up the majority of on-farm crop loss and waste. Second, vegetables are healthy but relatively expensive for consumers. Third, on-farm loss of vegetables may be particularly responsive to market forces and climate conditions,” said Zhang.

Feeding America, an organization that responds to the needs of individuals struggling with food insecurity, reported that the U.S. has more than enough food for everyone to eat. But each year, billions of pounds of food go to waste. Meanwhile, 38 million face hunger in the United States.

“This grant will allow the team to fully investigate the impact of agricultural policies on farm decision-making that will address these important and crucial issues of waste,” said Ford Ramsey, a co-principal investigator and an assistant professor in agribusiness.

The research began this year and is set to conclude in 2025.  

Source -


Dry situation in much of Northern Europe leads to concerns about early potato crop

Overall, markets remain largely unchanged, with sales and consumption settling back to pre-Covid levels. Digging of early Home Guard and Premier varieties have commenced in the south east this week, with small quantities available in retailers.


Spain - The losses due to rains and cold in Valencian agriculture could amount to 150 million euro

After two and a half months of persistent rainfall, low temperatures, and lack of sunshine, the farmers of the Valencian Community are starting to see the real damage these weather events have had or will have on most of their crops.


China - Apple production is expected to drop by about 30% in 2022

On May 11, strong convective weather occurred in many apple-producing areas in Gansu, and some areas experienced heavy rainfall and hail. In addition, apple-producing areas in Shandong have experienced multiple rounds of frosty weather in the past few days.


Spain - We estimate that about 50,000 tons of fruit may have been lost on the island of La Palma

On December 13, 2021, the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in La Palma came to an end; undoubtedly long-awaited news that was widely celebrated, but an end that also meant the beginning of a challenging reconstruction process, necessary to recover from the damage caused by the 85 day long phenomenon.


Pakistan - Scant hope for relief as repeated heat waves scorch

In Pakistan’s north, rising levels of heat have accelerated glacial melting, triggering the collapse of a historic bridge in the Hunza Valley, bordering China. In the south, weakened flows to the Indus river have resulted in a nearly 38 percent water shortage in Punjab and Sindh – major crop-producing provinces.


USA - The disease killing millions of bats costs ag hundreds of millions of dollars a year

Bats play a big role in agriculture. They fertilize, pollinate and eat crop-loving insects. As the deadly white-nose syndrome kills millions of bats across the U.S., the loss is felt across the industry – and it comes with a price tag.


Mozambique - Over 244,000 hectares of crops damaged by heavy rains

Just over 244,000 hectares of various crops have been plagued by heavy rains, flooding, storms, and drought in the Mozambican 2021-2022 agricultural campaign.


Canada - Seeding in Saskatchewan still behind schedule due to spring rains

Rain continues to put a damper on seeding in Saskatchewan. According to the weekly crop report from the province’s Ministry of Agriculture, 33 per cent of the 2022 crop is in the ground, significantly behind the five-year average of 53 per cent for this time of year.