Agriculture Research and News
Agricultural decisions made by our ancestors more than 10,000 years ago could hold the key to food security in the future, according to new research by the University of Sheffield.
...> Full Article
|With more and more rainforest giving way to pasture and grazing land every year, the practice of cattle ranching in the Amazon has serious implications on a global scale. At the same time, however, it provides a degree of socioeconomic flexibility for Amazonian smallholders who simply can't survive on what the forest or agriculture provide. ...> Full Article|
|An analysis of 115 studies comparing organic and conventional farming finds that the crop yields of organic agriculture are higher than previously thought. Researchers also found that taking into account methods that optimize the productivity of organic agriculture could minimize the yield gap between organic and conventional farming. ...> Full Article|
|Because food crops are also used for energy production, millions of people are threatened by starvation. Algae could provide an alternative: They only need sunlight to grow, thrive in salty water on barren fields. But it is a major challenge to exactly reproduce sunlight in the laboratory. In collaboration with the Berlin LED manufacturer FUTURELED scientists at the Technische Universität München have now developed a methodology for simulating all kinds of light situations. ...> Full Article|
|A study of a 'Brown Snout' cider apples compared total harvested fruit weight, labor hours, tree and fruit damage, and fruit and juice quality for machine harvest and hand harvest. Results showed the machine harvester used four times less labor than hand harvest, yield reached 87 percent that of hand harvest, and juice quality characteristics were not negatively affected, suggesting that machine harvest may be suitable for cider apples if equipment is available and affordable. ...> Full Article|
|Researchers studied the growth and development of 10 bedding plant species in an unheated high tunnel compared with a traditional greenhouse in northern New York and northern Indiana. They determined that, although bedding crops should be examined on a cultivar- and species-specific basis, production of cold-tolerant annuals in unheated or minimally heated high tunnels can be a viable alternative for reducing energy costs in commercial bedding plant producers located in northern latitudes. ...> Full Article|
|Researchers compared the effects of nontillage weed control methods, including polyethylene black plastic, woodchips, shredded newspaper, a combination of shredded newspaper plus grass clippings, and bare soil (control) on soil characteristics, squash pollination and fruit production, and squash bee nesting. Shredded newspaper combined with grass clippings was determined to be effective mulch material that improved crop performance with no apparent negative impacts on squash bee nesting or on squash floral resources and pollination. ...> Full Article|
|Researchers determined effects of deficit irrigation treatments on three potted Bougainvillea varieties grown in two shapes. Shoot, total dry biomass, leaf number, leaf area, and macronutrient, phosphorus, and potassium concentration decreased in response to an increase in water stress, with the lowest values recorded in the severe deficit irrigation treatment. The researchers determined that moderate deficit irrigation treatments can be used successfully in Bougainvillea and recommended two genotypes suitable for pot plant production. ...> Full Article|
|Insecticides aimed at controlling early-season crop pests, such as soil-dwelling grubs and maggots, can increase slug populations, thus reducing crop yields, according to researchers at Penn State and the University of South Florida. ...> Full Article|
|The ability to detect when to harvest 'climacteric' fruits -- such as apples, bananas, pears and tomatoes -- at the precise moment to ensure 'peak edibleness' in terms of both taste and texture may soon be within reach for farmers, thanks to the work of a team of researchers from Saint Joseph University in Lebanon and the Université de Bretagne Occidentale de Brest in France. ...> Full Article|
The Technical Research Center of Finland has developed food application technologies for an ancient domestic protein crop -- faba beans.
...> Full Article
|A 12-year University of Illinois study shows that, although the use of cover crops does not improve crop yields, the practice does increase the amount of sequestered soil organic carbon using three different soil management systems. ...> Full Article|
Scientists have long known that air pollution caused by cars and trucks, solvent use and even plants, is reduced when broken down by naturally occurring compounds that act like detergents of the atmosphere. What has not been well understood until now are the relative contributions of all the processes producing such compounds. A new study, led by University of Toronto atmospheric chemist Jennifer Murphy, shows a key component of the process is the soil beneath our feet.
...> Full Article
Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is considered an excellent whole food as source of dietary proteins, carbohydrates, micronutrients and vitamins. It is the world's second most important pulse crop after common bean, and historically is an important daily staple in the diet of millions of people, especially in developing countries. Chickpea is the subject of a new study published today in the journal Genome.
...> Full Article
|University of South Carolina professor John Nelson knows you don't have to travel to a remote Amazon rainforest to discover a new species of plant. He and alumnus Douglas Rayner uncovered a rare hedge-nettle just 50 miles from Charleston, and they named it Stachys caroliniana, after the only state where it has been found. ...> Full Article||