crop quality measurement News

  • 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 ...

  • Crop water use efficiency

    Crop water use efficiency (WUE), or yield per unit of water used, can be improved through irrigation management and methods, including deficit irrigation (irrigating less than is required for maximum yields) and supplemental irrigation (irrigating to supplement precipitation so as to avoid crop failure or severe yield decline). Thus, WUE is key for agricultural production with limited water ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • Cover crops reduce erosion, runoff

    Cover crops may be more effective at reducing soil erosion and runoff after maize harvest than rough tillage, according to scientists from the Université Catholique de Louvain, in collaboration with the Independent Center for the Promotion of Forage (CIPF). The three-year study, supervised by Charles Bielders and conducted by Eric Laloy, measured erosion and runoff losses from silt loam ...

  • Nitrogen recommendations based on crop reflectance

    Nitrogen fertilizer is usually applied in greater quantities to corn than almost any other crop. But when it’s applied in excess of requirements, loss of the excess fertilizer to the environment can contribute to degraded water quality. One of the challenges to making an appropriate nitrogen fertilizer recommendation is the potential variability in soil nitrogen availability that may occur ...

  • Crop performance matters when evaluating GHGs

    Measuring the emission of greenhouse gases from croplands should take into account the crops themselves. That’s the conclusion of a study in the September-October issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality, which examined the impact of farm practices such as tillage on the greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N2O). Expressing emissions per unit of crop yield rather than on a more conventional ...

  • 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, ...

  • Statistical analysis can estimate crop performance

    Scientists at Rothamsted Research, United Kingdom, in collaboration with the International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Syria have developed a method of accounting for spatial trend in single crop field trials. Spatial trend refers to the variations in crop yield and other characteristics observed when repeating this single crop field trial.   Usually plant ...

  • Potentially harmful effects of nanomaterials on soybean crops

    A new study has examined contamination of fully grown soybean plants by two nanomaterials – nano-cerium oxide and nano-zinc oxide. The results could be concerning, as they indicate that the nanomaterials are absorbed by plants, possibly affecting growth, yield, and the fixation of nitrogen in soil, an important ecosytem service. With the rapid expansion of nanotechnology, there is ...

  • Where is your soil water? Crop yield has the answer

    Crop yield is highly dependent on soil plant-available water, the portion of soil water that can be taken up by plant roots. Quantitative determination of the maximum amount of plant-available water in soil using traditional methods on soil samples remains challenging, especially at the scale of an entire field. However, a map of plant-available water capacity for a field would be instrumental in ...

  • Emissions cuts also offer quick health and crop benefits

    Reducing methane and black carbon emissions could quickly tackle climate change while improving food security and people's health, especially in developing countries, a study reports. Scientists identified 14 ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Increasing diversity through crop rotation boosts soil microbial biodiversity and productivity

    Planting a variety of crop species in rotation in agricultural fields increases the diversity of soil microbes below ground, recent research has found. This in turn positively affects soil organic matter, soil structure and aids the healthy functioning of the soil. The researchers say that rotational diversity can help farmers to grow crops in a more sustainable way that promotes soil stability. ...

  • Purfresh Expands Solar Crop Protectant Product Line with Purshade Ultra

    Purfresh, a leading provider of clean technologies that purify, protect, and preserve the global food supply chain, today introduced Purshade® Ultra, a next-generation solar stress protectant scientifically engineered to provide advanced ultraviolet (UV) protection for crops. Purshade Ultra, formulated with premium materials and advanced chemistry, is the latest member of the Purshade family of ...


  • Crossbreeding GM crops may increase fitness of wild relatives

    A new study has investigated the effects of interbreeding a genetically modified squash crop with its wild relative. The findings demonstrate that it could cause wild or weedy relatives to become more resistant to disease. Genetic Modification (GM) can be used to develop crops that are resistant to specific pests. However, there are concerns that if a GM crop interbreeds with its wild or weedy ...

  • Maintaining food crop diversity: an interview with Gary Paul Nabhan

    Guest author Fred Bahnson interviewed Gary Paul Nabhan, a lecturer, food and farming advocate, folklorist, and conservationist who lives and farms in the U.S. Southwest. Nabhan discusses his new book, the future of agriculture, and how 1,400-year-old Lebanese farming techniques influence his land ethic. Tell me about your latest book, Where Our Food Comes From-Retracing Nikolay Vavilov's ...


    By Worldwatch Institute

  • The importance of measuring and monitoring soil moisture

    Crop irrigation uses more than 70% of the world’s water, and thus, improving irrigation efficiency is decisive to sustain the food demand from a fast-growing world population.* In future measuring and monitoring soil moisture will get more and more important to meet the needs of an increasing demand for food. Eijkelkamp offers solutions with a wide range of ...


    By Eijkelkamp Soil & Water

  • A model to measure soil health in the era of bioenergy

    One of the biggest threats to today’s farmlands is the loss of soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil organic matter (SOM) from poor land-management practices. The presence of these materials is essential as they do everything from providing plants with proper nutrients to filtering harmful chemical compounds to the prevention of soil erosion. Sustainable management practices for crop residues are ...

  • Dutch-German research team develops new integrated crop protection system for greenhouse horticulture

    The Dutch-German ‘Healthy Greenhouse’ project offers a completely new ‘total concept’ for crop protection in modern greenhouse horticulture. This new ‘Healthy Greenhouse System’ enables growers to produce high-quality crops without pests and diseases. After four years of research the results of the Interreg project ‘Healthy Greenhouse’ will be ...

  • Selective broccoli harvester increases uniformity and quality of the product

    Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture is developing a harvester for broccoli. This robot is different from other mechanical harvesters by adding a selectivity feature: an intelligent Computer Vision system registers and selects only the broccoli of a pre-determined exact size and leaves the remainder until another optimal harvesting moment is reached. A broccoli crop does not grow in an uniform ...

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