Root Crops News

  • Root strength in OSR and winter cereals

    We should never underestimate the importance of roots. Good plant roots are essential for water and nutrient uptake and as such have a significant influence on crop health and yield. Whatever the autumn weather, stimulating the development of deeper root systems will improve the plant’s ability to access the nutrients and water required for establishment and early growth. ...


    By Ilex EnviroSciences Limited

  • Study shows potential for sweetpotato production in Pacific Northwest

    Sweetpotato, a warm-season root crop grown across the world, needs heat and humidity to flourish. In the United States, commercial sweetpotato production occurs predominantly in the southeastern states and California, while production farther north is limited. Recently, Oregon State University researchers discovered cultural practices that could help to increase sweetpotato production in the ...

  • UF/IFAS researchers use pigs to root out problem weeds

    Sometimes, the old-fashioned ways are the best ways. Back before chemical pesticides and herbicides, farmers had to come up with ways to kill the weeds that took over their fields. One method used “back in the day” was letting pigs loose in fields that were not being used for crops for a season and allowing the pigs to do what they do naturally: dig up the roots of weeds and ...

  • Ohio State Expert: Rootless Corn Can Recover

    Rootless or “floppy” corn may look questionable, but under the right conditions, it can recover. Corn crops that are leaning or lodged may be impacted by rootless corn syndrome, said Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist. OSU Extension is the statewide outreach arm of the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. ...


    By Ohio State University

  • The dire need to support ‘orphan crop’ research

    In spite of debate over its definition, the term ‘orphan crops’ refers to crops that are under-researched and underfunded due to their limited importance in the global market. These include cereals, legumes, vegetables, root crops, fodder crops, oil crops, fibre crops and ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Rome-based UN agencies join forces on food losses

    The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have launched a joint project to tackle the global problem of food losses. Around one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year, amounting to 1.3 billion tonnes - or enough food to feed 2 billion people. The three UN ...

  • Climate-smart farming takes root in Kenya

    Like most African countries, Kenya is highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. There is growing concern about potential stress on fragile ecosystems and rural communities, especially in the arid and semi-arid agro-ecological zones and some humid highland areas of the country. In keeping with the Strategy for Revitalizing Agriculture (SRA) of Kenya 2010-2015 and Kenya's vision 2030, ...

  • Horn of Africa `should grow more climate-hardy cassava`

    Farmers in the Horn of Africa should focus on growing more improved cassava varieties, which are high-yielding and resilient to drought, according to researchers. The improved varieties developed by the Nigeria-based International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and tested in Ethiopia, may help tackle famine in the Horn of Africa, an area that was severely hit by ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Root-imaging technology could improve crop resilience

    Mexican researchers have welcomed a breakthrough in imaging plant roots, saying it could help breeders develop new varieties of crops that can thrive in harsh conditions. The technique uses X-ray computed tomography to build up a three-dimensional image by scanning through 360 degrees, a technology commonly used in ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Global well-being: rooted in the world`s forests

    This piece originally appeared in the Washington Post Environmental Leadership supplement on April 20, 2011, and is reposted with permission. This year, 2011, has been declared the International Year of Forests, and while a few bright spots exist, forests today face a host of challenges. Mounting pressures from agricultural expansion, rapid economic development, and growing demand for products ...

  • Greening China - Canadian trees takes root in China

    Ontario's official tree, the Eastern White Pine, has found a new home in China. It's one of several several tree species that Canadian companies like Maple Leaf Reforestation (MLR) and the Sino-Forest Corporation (SFC) are producing in China as part of a massive reforestation effort. China said in its most recent five-year plan that it aims to add 31-million acres of forest by 2015. In 2005, ...


    By GLOBE Foundation

  • Uganda starts `historic` trials on GM staple crops

    Ugandan researchers will carry out a series of field trials on some of the major food crops that have been genetically modified (GM), following several recent approvals by the Uganda National Biosafety Committee, despite a lack of clear legislation on commercialising any such products within the country. They will seek to develop both transgenic and conventional maize varieties tolerant to ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Increasing the shelf-life of cassava

    Crop scientists have identified several genetic mechanisms to improving the shelf-life of cassava roots. Long an unsolvable problem, the research has the potential to benefit the poorest of the poor, widening and strengthening the markets for cassava, reducing marketing costs, and losses along the marketing or value addition process. The research team, led by Hernán Ceballos at the ...

  • Maize seedlings predict drought Tolerance

    Scientists have developed a new method for measuring drought tolerance in maize. By comparing the shoot-to-root ratio in seedlings stressed by low water, scientists can predict whether a plant has the right mix of genes for adapting to drought conditions. The ideal drought-resistant maize should have a higher ratio of root surface area compared to leaves and stems. Developing enough adult plants ...

  • Reinforcement of soil by plant roots

    Landslides have devastating impacts across the globe resulting in the loss of life and the destruction of billions of dollars in infrastructure. Soil erosion from wind and water threatens food production, pollutes the environment, and can make living in major cities such as Beijing almost unbearable during dust storms. Just like the great dust bowl of the 1930s, many instances of soil erosion and ...

  • Genetic change could make crops thrive on salty soils

    Scientists have genetically modified plants to tolerate high levels of salt — offering a potential solution to growing food in salty soils. The researchers inserted a gene to remove salt — in the form of sodium ions — from water taken up by the plant before it reaches the leaves, where it does most damage. The research was published in The Plant Cell this month (7 July). High salinity reduces ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Less nitrogen could increase profit & sustainability

    More fertilizer doesn't always mean more profit. That's one conclusion from a 10-year study conducted by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists at the agency’s Soil Plant Nutrient Research Unit in Fort Collins, Colo., and colleagues at Colorado State University. From 1998 to 2008, the researchers evaluated and compared potential management strategies for reducing nitrogen and nitrate ...

  • Strategic organic matter throughput helps to build soil carbon and boost crop yields

    Potential improvement in crop yields and reduced greenhouse gas emissions were among the benefits of increased soil organic matter throughput according to the findings of a project funded by growers and the Australian Government through the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI). The relationships between organic matter inputs ...

  • Saltwater solution to save crops

    Technology under development at the University of New South Wales could offer new hope to farmers in drought-affected and marginal areas by enabling crops to grow using salty groundwater. Associate Professor Greg Leslie, a chemical engineer at UNSW's UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology, is working with the University of Sydney on technology which uses reverse-osmosis membranes to ...

  • Getting to the root of plants

    A diverse team of researchers from Europe, Asia and the USA have unearthed new information on how roots grow and develop. Specifically, how roots are able to move out sideways out of the central root and into the soil. Their discovery has opened the way to further research that may eventually lead to the creation of new crops with improved root structure, improving their chances of survival in ...

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