agriculture crop damage News

  • Assessing crop damages after extreme weather

    Original story at MIT News Producing torrential rain and wind gusts exceeding 180 miles per hour as it made landfall in the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan left more than 6,000 dead and 4 million homeless. The November 2013 storm also obliterated thousands of ...

  • 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

  • Insect-eating bats save global maize farmers €0.91 billion a year from crop damage

    Insect-eating bats are estimated to be worth US$ 1 billion (€0.91 billion) a year to maize farmers around the world, a new study has revealed. Not only do bats reduce crop damage by eating adult corn earworm crop pests, they also suppress fungal infections in maize ears. Bats and their habitats need to be better protected for their ecological and economic contributions, say the study’s ...

  • 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 ...

  • Counting the cost of ozone pollution on crops

    A recent study has calculated crop losses as a result of surface ozone pollution. The study suggests that future earnings will be significantly reduced by ozone damage to crops, especially for some developing and agriculture-dependent countries. Surface ozone is an air pollutant that forms as a result of chemical reactions between other pollutants, particularly emissions from motor vehicles and ...

  • OPINION: Don`t sweep away crop diversity

    Anywhere you go in Malawi you find people sweeping the ground clean-floors, sidewalks, bare dirt around homes-even throughout small farms and gardens. Danielle Nierenberg visits Kristof Nordin's permaculture garden in Malawi Sweeping soil makes everything look tidy, but it causes major damage, making it vulnerable to erosion and nutrient loss. Not removing organic matter around crops has proven ...


    By Worldwatch Institute

  • Crop pests ‘vastly underestimated’ warns study

    The number of different pests plaguing crops in the developing world may be vastly underestimated, contributing to severely reduced harvests in some of the world’s most important food-producing nations, say researchers. About 200 pests and pathogens per country fly under the radar of researchers and policymakers in the developing world due to a lack of technical capacity to detect them, ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Improve crop yield by removing manure solids

    Manure has long been used as a crop fertilizer, but the challenge of finding an efficient use of the nutrients found in manure is ever present. The ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus in manure is low in relation to the nutrient needs of most crops. Therefore, crops tend to be overloaded with manure to meet the nitrogen requirement of agricultural crops, but the excess phosphorus from the process can ...

  • Some Midwest farmers` crops falter in record rains

    Weeks of record rainfalls drenched Don Lamb's cornfields this summer, drowning some plants and leaving others yellowed, 2 feet tall and capable of producing little, if any, grain. The 48-year-old central Indiana farmer can't recall anything like the deluges he's seen from late May on this summer; the latest was a 4-inch downpour a week ago. Neither can his father, who's been farming for 50 years. ...


    By Associated Press

  • Genetically Modified Crop Industry Continues to Expand

    One of the familiar narratives for the promotion of genetically modified (GM) crops is that they have the potential to alleviate poverty and hunger. But the real impacts of GM crops deserve closer assessment, writes Wanqing Zhou, research associate in the Food and Agriculture Program at the Worldwatch Institute, in the Institute’s latest Vital Signs Online article ...


    By Worldwatch Institute

  • 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

  • Rising heat hits Indian wheat crop

    Researchers in the UK have established a link between changing climate and agriculture that could have significant consequences for food supplies in South Asia. They have found evidence of a relationship between rising average temperatures in India and reduced wheat production, which was increasing until about a decade ago but has now stopped. The researchers, Dr ...


    By Climate News Network

  • 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, ...

  • Crop-mapping drones win MIT $100K

    Original story at MIT News Drones are positioned to change people’s lives, with tech giants building unpiloted aerial vehicles to deliver packages to homes or provide Internet access across the globe.   Using that idea as a jumping-off point, RaptorMaps, an MIT team ...

  • 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

  • Corn out earns energy crops—for now

    Corn stover is the most profitable cellulosic biofuel feedstock on cropland in the Great Lakes Region at current prices. For perennial biomass crops to earn farmers more than corn, prices or yields would have to change. At biomass prices of US$110–US$130 per metric ton or yield gains of 50–60%, poplar, switchgrass, and mixed grasses would become attractive. If prices of expensive U.S. miscanthus ...

  • Warming climate may devastate major US crops

    Three of the most important crops produced in the United States—corn, soybeans and cotton—are predicted to suffer declines of as much as 80 percent if temperatures continue to rise with manmade climate change, says a new study. In recent years, experts have debated whether human-induced global warming will cause crops to suffer or flourish, depending on the region and the crop. The new study, ...

  • 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

  • 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 ...

  • Agriculture: the unlikely earth day hero

    Rising temperatures, erratic weather, population growth, and scarce water resources - along with growing civil unrest and skyrocketing food prices - are putting unprecedented stress on people and the planet. For over 40 years, Earth Day has served as a call to action, mobilizing individuals and organizations around the world to address these challenges. This year, Worldwatch Institute's ...


    By GLOBE Foundation

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