Field Crops Articles

  • Connections: New Green Revolution

    We are in need of a new revolution in how food is grown. A growing population in combination with climate change has put heavy pressure on our current system. The last time this happened (about 50 years ago) we had the Green Revolution to save the day. Major improvements in crop breeding and the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides resulted in enormous yield gains in farms across Asia, ...


    By BioCycle Magazine

  • Field of genes: Uncovering EGRINs (Environmental Gene Regulatory Influence Networks) in Rice that Function During High-temperature and Drought Stress

    Heat and drought stress greatly restrict crop productivity, but most of what we know about a plant’s response to these stresses comes from controlled laboratory studies. This factor, along with the complex nature of these responses, has hampered efforts to breed and engineer crops with improved stress tolerance. Plants respond to fluctuating environments through the altered expression of ...


    By H Smith Plastics LTD

  • Can genetic engineering help quench crops’ thirst?

    Researchers around the world are exploring how GMO technology might boost food production under hot, dry conditions. Roger Deal is trying to figure out how plants remember drought. An assistant professor of biochemistry and genetics at Emory University, Deal says most plants have a kind of memory for stress. When experiencing water shortage, for example, plants close ...


    By Ensia

  • Pesticides in foods

    The use of pesticides in foods is a concern - especially as some of these substances build up in food and pass into the human body. A pesticide is a substance used in agriculture mainly for repelling, eliminating, reducing, etc insects or microorganisms that might harm the crops. There are numerous scientific studies that demonstrate the problems that these substances can cause within the body - ...


    By Bioconservacion SA

  • Can bats reduce nut farmers’ pesticide use?

    Ecologist Katherine Ingram is on a quest to quantify the economic value of insect-eating bats in walnut groves. For the past three years, Katherine Ingram has had a most unusual summer job: catching bats and studying their droppings to see what they eat. A doctoral student in ecology at the University of California, Davis, Ingram is exploring the role bats can play as winged ...


    By Ensia

  • Implications of water policy reforms for virtual water trade between South Africa and its trade partners: economy-wide approach

    This paper employs an economy-wide framework to evaluate impacts of water and trade policy reforms in South Africa (SA) on virtual water flows. To pursue this analysis, the study derives net virtual water trade flows between SA and its partners to assess implications of recent trade agreements within the South African Development Community compared to economic cooperation with other major ...


    By IWA Publishing

  • DOE announces $55 million to fund GENSETS And TERRA programs

    On June 18, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $55 million in funding for projects to accelerate biomass development and develop generator technologies under the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The funding will be divided between two of ARPA-E's ...


    By Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

  • Crop gene banks are preserving the future of agriculture. But who’s preserving them?

    As climate change makes crop diversity even more important, gene banks struggle to stay afloat. During the past few years of civil war in Syria, rebel fighters have destroyed Shia mosques and Christian graves, and burned and looted Christian churches while the Islamic State group has demolished priceless artifacts in the region. Nothing seemed sacred to the disparate ...


    By Ensia

  • A win for farmers and the environment

    Is it possible to reduce pesticide use without compromising crop yields? Yes — and then some, according to a new study published in the journal Insects. Researchers at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom measured pesticide use and crop yield at 85 project sites in 24 Asian and African countries practicing integrated pest management ...


    By Ensia

  • Could traditional plants hold the secret to saving crops from pests?

    Researchers build on age-old practices to reduce food loss in Africa Without any effort at all, Hawa Saidi Ibura crushes dried beans, one at a time, between her fingers outside her home in Endagaw, a village in northern Tanzania. She’s holding a basket of a type of red bean eaten all over East Africa, but these beans ...


    By Ensia

  • Monitoring greenhouse gases from biofuel crops

    Global issues such as climate change and energy security have driven rapid growth in renewable energy production - wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, hydro, biofuels etc. However, logically, each of these methods should deliver a net benefit in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, so researchers in the United States have employed portable FTIR analysers to study the GHG emissions of biomass ...


    By Gasmet Technologies Oy

  • Comparative attributional LCA of annual and perennial ligno‐cellulosic feedstocks production, under Mediterranean climate, for bio‐refinery framework

    Annual fiber sorghum (FS) and perennial giant reed (GR) cultivated in the Mediterranean area, appear of interest due to their high productivity under drought conditions and the potential use as lignocellulosic feedstock for biorefinery purpose. This study compares the environmental constraints related to FS and GR produced in an experimental farms (Campania region), by means of an ...


    By John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  • We’re farmers – of course we’re optimistic

    "People think that farmers are unwise, that we only work with our hands. But that’s not true, we work with our brains,” says German farmer Thomas Kläber. The sun is breaking through the clouds and shedding its light on the golden fields. We’re in the German region of Brandenburg that surrounds the capital Berlin, and while most people tilt their heads backwards ...


    By YARA

  • Dancing Bees Waggle the Way to Happier Habitat

    Honeybee waggle dancers are helping researchers identify conservation best practices. The question scientists at the University of Sussex in the U.K. had was simple: Where do honeybees find food? But finding a way to answer that simple question seemed not so simple. Tiny radio or GPS trackers have a limited range, and it would take huge amount of work to survey fields on foot. Instead, ...


    By Ensia

  • Green Innovation Fund Targets Farmers

    Reading Greenwise Business this week, we’ve learnt of a new fund available to small and medium-sized enterprises that are shown to be pioneering solutions to some of the problems currently facing the country’s farming, from water resource efficiency, through to pest control. The venture capital fund of an initial £9 million investment, called Agri-Innovation Venture Capital ...


    By ENDURAMAXX

  • Cheap chemicals entice caterpillar-eating wasps to crops

    It may be a win-win situation: treating seeds with commercially available growth promoters before planting could have the added benefit of attracting parasitic wasps that feed on caterpillar pests, suggests a study. The protective effect of these cheap, commercially available chemicals, known as ‘plant strengtheners’, can help protect young ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • New tools and farmer training could revolutionize pesticide management in West Africa

    Field schools that train farmers in alternative methods of pest control have succeeded in nearly eliminating the use of toxic pesticides by a community of cotton growers in Mali, according to a new FAO study published today by the London-based Royal Society. The study was conducted in two areas - the Bla ...

  • Say it ain’t so, Joe!

    As the 2013 corn crop was being planted, futures prices were above $6.00 a bushel with an occasional bump above $7.00. Traders were concerned that the planting problems farmers were experiencing would result in reduced production. By the end of July, with fewer concerns about the size of the corn crop, the priced dropped below $5.00. Since then the price has trended downward so that as this ...


    By National Farmers Union

  • Crop protection 2.0: reducing environmental impact in the EU Is it feasible?

    By 2023 all EU member states must be complying with more stringent guidelines related to Integrated Pest Management (IPM). “The essence of the new guideline is reducing the environmental impact of pesticides,” says Piet Boonekamp, manager of the Bio-interactions and Plant Health business unit at Wageningen UR. “In principle this European goal can be achieved, as has been shown ...

  • Effects of a natural toxin on life‐history and gene expression of Eisenia andrei

    Earthworms perform key functions for a healthy soil ecosystem, such as bioturbation. The soil ecosystem can be challenged by natural toxins such as isothiocyanates (ITC), produced by many commercial crops. Therefore, the effects of 2‐phenylethyl ITC were investigated on the earthworm Eisenia andrei using an ecotoxicogenomics approach. Exposure to 2‐Phenylethyl ITC reduced both survival and ...


    By John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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