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 ...

  • A worldwide network of seed information is taking root

    As an increasingly bloody civil war raged around them, a team of scientists in the Syrian capital Aleppo quietly packaged and shipped a series of nondescript cardboard boxes to an island not far from the North Pole. The boxes bore no sign of the conflict that had surrounded them or the precious material ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Target the crop not the soil - to reduce fertiliser use

    Feed the crop not the soil’ is the message of a new review into sustainable phosphorus use. Currently, phosphorus fertiliser is applied to the soil, and plants then take it up through the roots. However, more precise nutrient management is needed on farms, the researchers say, so that the phosphorus is targeted at the crop just as it needs it. Modern agriculture is dependent on phosphorus, ...

  • 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

  • Drought in Haiti ravages crops for farmers

    Jean-Romain Beltinor plunged a hoe into the rocky dirt on his parched hillside to prepare for planting seeds he does not have. After months of drought in northwest Haiti, the subsistence farmer struggles to find food for his 13 children. To earn a little money, he must turn to work that only makes things worse, cutting what little wood remains for charcoal. "The rain isn't falling. I can't feed ...


    By Associated Press

  • 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

  • Project Seeks Cropping Systems that Profit Farmers, Provide Food and Fuel and Scrub Carbon Out of the Air

    Cropping systems that are profitable for farmers and balance societal needs for food, feed, fuel, energy and clean air and water are the focus and challenge of Iowa State University’s Landscape Biomass Project. “My dad always said there is no reason that driving your car should not make the air cleaner, and there’s no reason that you should have to feel bad about turning on a ...


    By Ohio State University

  • 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, ...

  • Cassava`s huge potential as 21st Century crop

    Save and Grow, an environmentally-friendly farming model promoted by FAO, can sustainably increase cassava yields by up to 400 percent and help turn this staple from a poor people's food into a 21st Century crop, FAO said today. In a newly-published field guide detailing Save and Grow's applications to cassava smallholder production, FAO noted that global cassava output has increased by 60 ...

  • Desert bacteria could help boost crop yields

    Desert soil microbes could help halt desertification and boost agriculture in arid regions of the Middle East and North Africa, according to a study.   Scientists from the United Arab Emirates [UAE] have isolated local salt- and drought-tolerant strains of Rhizobia, soil bacteria that fix nitrogen when they become established ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • 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

  • Escaped nanoparticles hazardous to crops, says study

    Nanoparticles that escape during the manufacture and use of consumer products would substantially reduce the growth of wheat were they to end up in soil, according to Chinese scientists. The production, use and disposal of nanomaterials from sectors such as cosmetics and electronics can lead to their release into air, water and soil. Their presence in wastewater, and their direct use in ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Diversifying crops `could green African agriculture`

    The biodiversity of crop fields could be key to a greener revolution in Africa, where ecosystems are degrading and crop yields are stagnating, says a study conducted in Malawi. African farmers could halve their fertiliser use and still get the same yields, the study found, with less year-to-year variation in yields and with as much as 70 per cent more protein in grains — by simply rotating ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • 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

  • Spurred by warming climate - beetles threaten coffee crops

    The highlands of southwestern Ethiopia should be ideal for growing coffee. After all, this is the region where coffee first originated hundreds of years ago. But although coffee remains Ethiopia's number one export, the nation's coffee farmers have been struggling. The Arabica coffee grown in Ethiopia and Latin America is an especially climate-sensitive crop. It requires just the right amount of ...


    By GLOBE Foundation

  • 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 ...

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