crop nutrient News

  • “Biofortification” boosts nutrients in Africa’s staple crops

    Whether a bowl of rice or a piece of bread, staple foods provide millions of poor people around the world with a source of basic sustenance day in and day out. Now, a new technology promises to make these foods-which provide calories but do not always contain enough of the micronutrients required for good health-more nutritious. People who intake insufficient amounts of iron, zinc, and vitamin A ...


    By Worldwatch Institute

  • 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. ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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

  • Energy crops and their environmental implications

    Interest in producing cellulosic ethanol from renewable energy sources is growing. Potential energy crops include row crops such as corn, perennial warm-season grasses, and short-rotation woody crops. However, impacts of growing dedicated energy crops as biofuel on soil and environment have not been well documented. This review article looks at the impacts of growing warm-season grasses and ...

  • Food security depends on sustainable nutrient management of soils

    Food security is being threatened by loss of soil nutrients that are essential for the high yield of crops. A recent study outlines strategies to ensure the sustainable production of food through a holistic approach to soil nutrient management. In response to the rising demand for food from an increasing world population, high-yielding crops are being grown with the help of artificial fertilisers ...

  • Free webinar: Managing nutrients after the drought

    Join a panel of experts as they discuss how to practice good nutrient management in the wake of this year's drought Sponsored by the Agricultural Nutrient Policy Council and hosted by the American Society of Agronomy The drought of 2012 will long be remembered for its devastating effects on crops across a huge swath of North America's most productive soils. And ...

  • 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, ...

  • 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) ...

  • Can GM crops feed the hungry?

    Golden Rice burst into the public imagination a decade ago, in the form of a cover article in Time magazine that claimed the genetically modified (GM) rice could 'save a million kids a year'. The rice gets its golden hue from an excess of beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A that could help half a million children who go blind each year from an often-fatal vitamin A deficiency. But ten years ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Choice of winter cover crop mixture steers summer crop yield

    Scientists from Wageningen University & Research demonstrate that the productivity of a next main crop can be manipulated through the choice of species in a preceding winter cover crop mixture. They report their latest findings in the Journal of Applied Ecology of 2nd of June. With their publication, the scientist agree with recommendations of FAO to included cover crops in rotations, on top ...

  • 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

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Crop residues provide valuable protection for soil

    Removing wheat and sorghum crop residue after harvest, such as stalks, stubble and leaves, may cause more harm than good according to new research. Results indicate that removing residue can increase nutrient and sediment levels in water runoff, and decrease organic carbon stored in the soil. Crop residue left after harvest performs several ecosystem services. In particular it protects the soil ...

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