crop species News

  • Plants for supporting Orius species

    Orius laevigatus and Orius majusculus are predatory bugs, which are applied in several crops in greenhouses. They can eat many pests species, including nymphs and adults of thrips species, aphids, whtiteflies, eggs of moths, young caterpillars and spider mites. In some crops such as sweet pepper Orius  survives easily. Cut roses are apparently less suitable for oviposition. For ...

  • 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 ...

  • Cereal Crops Feeling the Heat

    LIVERMORE, California (ENS) - Warming temperatures since 1981 have caused annual losses of about US$5 billion for six major cereal crops, new research has found. This is the first study to estimate how much global food production already has been affected by climate change. From 1981 to 2002, fields of wheat, corn and barley throughout the world have produced a combined 40 million ...

  • GM cotton genes found in wild species

    Genetically modified (GM) cotton genes have been found in wild populations for the first time, making it the third plant species — after Brassica and bentgrass  — in which transgenes have established in the wild. The discovery was made in Mexico by six Mexican researchers investigating the flow of genes to wild cotton populations of the species Gossypium hirsutum. They found ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Multi-species mixtures for greater productivity and environmental resilience

    A recent study has revealed that grassland plots planted with a mixture of several agricultural plant species produced a greater yield than plots planted with a single species. The findings provide valuable evidence for scientists, farmers and policymakers who strive to increase the productivity of grassland, while reducing input of nitrogen fertilisers. The EU-funded1 study explored whether ...

  • Insect diversity improves crop pollination

    The decline in numbers of wild bees has caused concern regarding falling levels of pollination for important agricultural crops. Researchers have now demonstrated that the diversity of the pollinator community can significantly affect pollination. Insect pollination is a vital ecosystem service; a large proportion of the human diet either directly or indirectly depends on animal-based ...

  • Traditional farming `can save threatened species`

    Traditional farming methods are crucial for protecting a number of threatened bird species in the developing world, including bustards, cranes, ibises and vultures, a study has found. Livestock grazing and ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Invasive alien species: a growing problem for environment and health

    Invasive alien species pose greater risks than previously thought for biodiversity, human health and economies, according to two new reports from the European Environment Agency (EEA). An alien or non-native species is an organism which humans have introduced –intentionally or accidentally -outside its previous range. It is deemed ‘invasive’ if it has negative ...

  • Wild Tomato Species Focus of Antioxidant Study

    Tomatoes are known to be rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C, lycopene, β-carotene, and phenolics. Antioxidants, substances capable of delaying or inhibiting oxidation processes caused by free radicals, are of interest to consumers for their health-related contributions, and to plant breeders for their ability to provide plants with natural resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. While ...

  • 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 ...

  • Rising CO2 robs crops of protein

    New analysis suggests that rising CO2 levels will affect the protein content of major food crops, and indeed this may already be taking place. Experts suggest this change in the composition of the foods we eat could have consequences for human nutrition. Farmers can limit these effects by using more nitrogen-based fertilisers, but these in turn have a high environmental cost. Research ...

  • Basic food crops dangerously vulnerable

    In the case of wheat, for instance, as a deadly new strain of Black Stem Rust devastates harvests across Africa and Arabia, and threatens the staple food supply of a billion people from Egypt to Pakistan, the areas where potentially crop and life-saving remnant wild wheat relatives grow are only minimally protected. “Our basic food plants have always been vulnerable to attack from new strains of ...

  • Biofuel crops `can invade tropical ecosystems`

    Biofuel crops are more likely than other plants to become invasive in tropical and subtropical ecosystems worldwide, scientists have found. They say that a weed risk assessment (WRA) — which examines a plant's biology, geographic origin, known pest status and behaviour — can be used to predict whether a species of biofuel crop will become invasive, enabling countries to avoid environmental and ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Warning issued over invasive biofuel crops

    The Standing Committee of the Bern Convention (the Council of Europe Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats), has adopted a new recommendation for biofuels. The recommendation, which is legally binding to member states, states that biofuel crops of species which are already recognised as invasive in the proposed planting region should be avoided. This has come ...


    By GLOBE Foundation

  • Questions and answers on the new proposal for a regulation on preventing and managing invasive alien species

    What are invasive alien species (IAS)? Alien species are plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms that have been transported across ecological barriers such as mountain ranges, or oceans as a result of human intervention, and have become established in an area outside their natural range. About a quarter of these species are brought into Europe intentionally, for their beauty, ...

  • Coffee pest spreading to other crops in East Africa

    East Africa's horticulture could face a severe crisis due to 'species jump' — whereby a disease moves from a known host to new and unusual ones — affecting fruits, vegetables, and medicinal and ornamental plants. Researchers in Uganda have discovered that the Black Coffee Twig Borer, a devastating coffee pest, has crossed over from Robusta coffee to about 40 plant  ...


    By SciDev.Net

  • Environment: Pooling information to combat the threat of alien species in Europe

    How many plants can be found in the Alps that are not native to that region? Which animals were deliberately or accidently introduced to the Danube? How big a threat will they become to local wildlife? EASIN, the European Alien Species Information Network, launched today by the European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), takes a first step towards answering ...

  • GM crops could reduce need for herbicides

    Analysis of large-scale European field trial data reveals that lower quantities of herbicides are applied to crops genetically modified for herbicide-resistance compared with conventionally grown crops. However, the data also suggest that biodiversity may be reduced if genetically modified (GM) crops are grown widely. Transgenic crops are currently grown in 22 countries across the world, ...

  • History sheds revealing light on crop sequencing

    Forty years of crop sequencing trials have recently been collated by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA), giving Western Australian grain growers real insights into the rotational benefits of break crops. Representing more than 160 crop sequence experiments, the results were presented by DAFWA’s Mark Seymour at the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) supported 2009 ...

  • Keeping tabs on the next generation of transgenic crops

    A team of government and university crop scientists from across Canada has developed a scientific framework for monitoring the release of second-generation genetically modified crops. The framework is designed to assess the risks of novel genes entering wild populations. First-generation genetically modified (GM)/transgenic crops with novel traits have been grown in a number of countries since ...

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