crop nutrient News

  • Soil biodiversity reduces nitrogen pollution and improves crops’ nutrient uptake

    Increased soil biodiversity can reduce nitrogen pollution, improve nutrient uptake by plants and even increase crop yields, new research suggests. The two-year study found that levels of nitrogen leaching from soil with an abundant soil life were nearly 25% lower than for soil with a reduced level of soil life. Practices which enhance soil biodiversity such as reduced tilling, crop rotation and ...

  • Cover Crops Capture Nutrients to the Benefit of Farmers and Water Quality

    Many factors contribute to the excess phosphorous that stimulates algal systems in bodies of water such as Lake Erie. Sources of excess phosphorous include urban stormwater, factories, sewers, household wastes and lawn fertilizer, and in some areas runoff from fertilizers or manure applied to fields. Fortunately, many farmers are already doing their part to improve water. ...

  • Writing an equation for soil success

    Soil isn’t one size fits all. It may look the same under your feet – but under a microscope, that’s a different story. A plant’s roots, tiny bugs – these things can tell one soil from another quite easily. Soil scientists typically measure different aspects of soil — how much air it contains, how well it retains water, heat, and more — to ...


    By American Society of Agronomy

  • Chesapeake Bay Nutrient Trading

    Proposed federal legislation to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay could help a typical Maryland crop farm earn an additional USD10,000 in net profit each year, according to a new analysis by the World Resources Institute (WRI). The analysis, How Baywide Nutrient Trading Could Benefit Maryland Farms, forecasts the potential profits to farmers who participate in an interstate nutrient ...

  • Integrating animal and crop production can reduce nutrient leaching from agricultural fields

    Nutrient leaching, the movement of plant nutrients from soil to water, can have negative effects on aquatic ecosystems due to eutrophication, which reduces the oxygen available in water, causing species and habitat loss. Ecological Recycling Agriculture (ERA), which is based on ecological principles and integrates crop production and animal husbandry, may limit this effect. This study ...

  • The future of cover crops

    Winter cover crops are an important component of nutrient cycling, soil cover and organic matter content. Although its benefits are well documented, cover crop use in farming systems is relatively low. Research has shown that time and money are the two primary reasons why farmers are hesitant to adopt the technique. Developing innovative and cost-effective crop cover systems could increase the ...

  • Cultivating crops on city rooftops

    To meet the challenges of producing food in a more environmentally-friendly way, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has called on cities to develop 'living walls' of edible plants. Through vertical farming, agriculture could become a feature of urban life, lowering energy consumption, carbon emissions and resource use in food production. By shortening the distance produce has to travel from ...


    By GLOBE Foundation

  • Cover Crops Add to Farm Sustainability

    A potentially record-setting U.S. corn harvest is underway. Many farmers can attribute the use of cover crops as one of multiple best management practices (BMPs) that help them increase yield year after year. Combined with BMPs of The Fertilizer Institute’s 4R Nutrient Stewardship program that promotes the application of nutrients at the right source, right rate, right time and right place, ...

  • CSIRO and Bayer to focus on sustainable crops

    This collaboration will develop and apply models to assess the system-wide consequences of new-generation cereal crops in the face of global environmental and food security challenges. The project will assess the full environmental impact of the crops, including their influence on the carbon footprint of cereal production. This program will build on a long-term cereal research agreement between ...

  • Climate change to disrupt soil nutrients in drylands

    The increased aridity expected this century as a result of climate change may disrupt the balance of key soil nutrients with a knock-on effect on soil fertility threatening livelihoods of more than two billion people, a study finds. The drop in nitrogen and carbon concentrations that occurs as soils become dryer could have ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Reality check for `miracle` biofuel crop

    The hardy jatropha tree as a biofuel source may not be the panacea for smallholders that some have claimed, say Miyuki Iiyama and James Onchieku. It sounds too good to be true: a biofuel crop that grows on semi-arid lands and degraded soils, replaces fossil fuels in developing countries and brings huge injections of cash to poor smallholders. That is what some are claiming for Jatropha curcas, ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Nutrient Management Plans: A Study in Cause and Effect

    It seems practical on the surface. Nutrient management plans (NMPs) should supply plants with ideal amounts of nutrients, minimize runoff, and maintain or even improve the soil condition. And the farmer behind the plan would work with a set of conservation practices designed to reduce harmful pollutants while still obtaining optimal crop yields. However, many U.S. Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) ...

  • Fertilizer placement affects nutrient leaching patterns

    Controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs) are a widely used method of delivering nutrients to nursery container crops. The fertilizers contain encapsulated solid mineral nutrients that dissolve slowly in water, and are then released into substrates over an extended period of time. Although the use of CRFs is an accepted practice, growers and researchers are always looking for ways to decrease ...

  • Conservation work minimizes sediment, nutrient runoff

    A USDA assessment shows benefits of farmer-led conservation efforts to reducing runoff, Agriculture Secretary highlights the need for conservation programs provided by a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report that shows farmers have significantly reduced the loss of sediment and nutrients from farm fields ...

  • 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

  • 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 ...

  • 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

  • Paul Tracy elected to certified crop adviser board

    Dr. Paul W. Tracy of Columbia, MO, has been elected to the position of Vice-Chair on the International Certified Crop Adviser (ICCA) Board. He will begin his term in January 2011, and he will become chair in January of 2012. Tracy succeeds Russell Duncan of South Carolina, who will become Chair of the ICCA Board in January 2011. Tracy received a B.S. degree in agriculture from Montana State ...

  • Using rotation crops to improve soil quality

    Soil quality issues are being researched within two crop rotation experiments that started in 1994 at Narrabri. They compare several crop rotations that include or exclude legume phases. The data presented here relate to the most recent 2-year cycles of these experiments. Following cotton harvest at the end of the previous cycle, rotation crops are sown (winter cereal, faba beans (grain) or vetch ...

  • Understanding why rye works as a cover crop

    Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists may soon find a way to enhance the weed-killing capabilities of a cereal grain that enriches the soil when used as a winter cover crop. Rye is often grown in winter and killed in the spring, so the dead stalks can be flattened over soybean and vegetable fields to block sunlight and prevent spring weeds from getting the light they need to germinate. ...

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