Current Agricultural News and Events

Current Agricultural News and Events, Agricultural News Articles.
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Soil health is as environmentally important as air and water quality, say microbiologists
Healthy, sustainably managed soil is a critical ecosystem for continuous sustenance of plants, animals and humans globally. While the concept of 'soil health' still continues to evolve, the versatility of the concept allows its adoption by many stakeholders. (2021-01-26)

Study finds water quality improvements in Maryland's Choptank River
The Chesapeake Bay has a long history of nutrient pollution resulting in degraded water quality. However, scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are reporting some improvements in the Choptank River on Maryland's Eastern Shore, a tributary of Chesapeake Bay that is often used as a model for progress in restoring the estuary. (2021-01-26)

Study looks at how land acquisitions affect climate change
In a newly published study in the journal Nature Food, researchers looked at what drives large-scale land acquisitions and how the implementation of large-scale land acquisitions for agricultural development affect carbon emissions, and in turn, climate change. (2021-01-13)

Illinois residents value strategies to improve water quality
Illinois residents value efforts to reduce watershed pollution, and they are willing to pay for environmental improvements, according to a new study from agricultural economists at the University of Illinois. (2021-01-13)

Soil degradation costs U.S. corn farmers a half-billion dollars every year
One-third of the fertilizer applied to grow corn in the U.S. each year simply compensates for the ongoing loss of soil fertility, leading to more than a half-billion dollars in extra costs to U.S. farmers every year, finds new research from the University of Colorado Boulder. (2021-01-12)

No-till practices in vulnerable areas significantly reduce soil erosion
Soil erosion is a major challenge in agricultural production. It affects soil quality and carries nutrient sediments that pollute waterways. While soil erosion is a naturally occurring process, agricultural activities such as conventional tilling exacerbate it. Farmers implementing no-till practices can significantly reduce soil erosion rates, a new University of Illinois study shows. (2021-01-12)

Using solar energy and agriculture to limit climate change, assist rural communities
Co-developing land for both solar photovoltaic power and agriculture could provide 20% of total electricity generation in the United States with an investment of less than 1% of the annual US budget, a new paper by Oregon State University researchers found. (2021-01-04)

Groups of bacteria can work together to better protect crops and improve their growth
Certain bacteria, known as plant-growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB), can improve plant health or protect them from pathogens and are used commercially to help crops. To further improve agricultural yields, it is helpful to identify factors that can improve PGPB behavior. (2020-12-28)

Current food production systems could mean far-reaching habitat loss
The global food system could drive rapid and widespread biodiversity loss if not changed, new research has found. (2020-12-21)

Study: Bumble bees lacking high-quality habitat have higher pathogen loads
Bumble bees found in low-quality landscapes -- characterized by a relative lack of spring flowers and quality nesting habitat -- had higher levels of disease pathogens, as did bumble bees in areas with higher numbers of managed honey bee hives, according to research led by Penn State scientists. (2020-12-21)

Crops near Chernobyl still contaminated
Crops grown near Chernobyl are still contaminated due to the 1986 nuclear accident, new research shows. (2020-12-17)

Green revolution saved over 100 million infant lives in developing world
New research from the University of California San Diego shows that since modern crop varieties were introduced in the developing world starting in 1961, they have substantially reduced infant mortality, especially for male babies and among poor households. (2020-12-17)

Academies call for prompt action to protect biodiversity in the agricultural landscape
The biodiversity in Germany's agricultural landscape has declined considerably in recent years. In a joint statement, the German Academies of Sciences state the protection of biodiversity as an urgent and complex challenge. A change in society as a whole towards sustainable farming is required. It is important to also take the economic, political, legal, and social parameters of agriculture into account. Thus, the scientists recommend a systematic approach, implementing a variety of solutions at the same time. (2020-12-15)

'Windows of opportunity' crucial for cutting Chesapeake nutrient, sediment loads
The vast majority of nutrients and sediment washed into streams flowing into the Chesapeake Bay are picked up by deluges from severe storms that occur on relatively few days of the year. That is the conclusion of a new study led by Penn State researchers, who say it offers clues for cleaning up the impaired estuary. (2020-12-14)

Roadmap offers solutions for future of food, global ag innovation
To deflect future world food crises created by climate change, a Cornell University-led international group has created a road map for global agricultural and food systems innovation. (2020-12-10)

Temporal crop diversity stabilizes agricultural production
Securing food supplies around the globe is a challenge facing humanity, especially in light of the predicted increase in the world's population and the effects of climate change. Greater crop diversity in agriculture is seen as a stabilising factor for food security. Yet crop diversity alone is not sufficient. In an article for Nature, a team of researchers coordinated by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) argue that it is also essential that crops differ in their temporal production patterns. (2020-12-09)

Dynamics in the root zone
Nutrient contamination of groundwater as a result of nitrogen-based fertilisers is a problem in many places in Europe. Calculations by a team of scientists led by the UFZ have shown that over a period of at least four months per year, nitrate can leach into the groundwater and surface water on about three-quarters of Europe's agricultural land. The proportion of areas at risk from nitrate leaching is thus almost twice as large as previously assumed. (2020-12-09)

Simple, sensitive test helps monitor bats and protect biodiversity
A new article in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry explores the use of a simple, inexpensive, and minimally invasive technique referred to as 'micronuclei detection' to assess genetic toxicity (genotoxicity) in free-ranging bats in areas of varying agricultural activity. (2020-12-07)

Not enough Hazelnuts? Our future climate points to Australia for new cultivations
The food industry is looking for new areas that are suitable for hazelnut farming to satisfy a growing global demand and to diversify supply. In a recent study, realized with a CMCC Foundation contribution, scientists analysed the effects of climate change on hazelnut production in Australia in the coming decades, revealing an expected yield increase in the southeastern coast of the country. (2020-12-03)

After shipping, pallets pose big risk to public, cause many accidents, injuries
Shipping pallets -- often used as display platforms in retail settings or seen as raw material for household projects -- were responsible for sending more than 30,000 people to the emergency rooms of U.S. hospitals over a recent five-year period, according to a new study. (2020-12-02)

Bridges between villages in Nicaragua serve as links to markets
Yale Economic Growth Center researcher Kevin Donovan and coauthor find that building footbridges positively affects rural economies in flood-prone areas. (2020-11-30)

Sheep show the contamination by microplastics in the agricultural soils of Murcia
A team from the Diverfarming project has found microplastics in 92% of the faeces of sheep fed in intensive agricultural zones of Murcia that they analysed (2020-11-25)

New modified wheat could help tackle global food shortage
Researchers at the University of York have created a new modified wheat variety that increases grain production by up to 12%. (2020-11-25)

Scientists apply the METRIC model to estimate the land surface evapotranspiration in Nepal
Scientists apply the METRIC model to estimate the land surface evapotranspiration in Nepal (2020-11-24)

Can we harness a plant's ability to synthesize medicinal compounds?
Anthraquinones are a class of naturally occurring compounds prized for their medicinal properties, as well as for other applications, including ecologically friendly dyes. Despite wide interest, the mechanism by which plants produce them has remained shrouded in mystery until now. New work reveals a gene responsible for anthraquinone synthesis in plants. Their findings could help scientists cultivate a plant-based mechanism for harvesting these useful compounds in bulk quantities. (2020-11-24)

College students are less food insecure than non-students
College students are significantly less likely to be food insecure than non-students in the same age group, according to a new study from the University of Illinois. (2020-11-19)

Biochar from agricultural waste products can adsorb contaminants in wastewater
Biochar -- a charcoal-like substance made primarily from agricultural waste products -- holds promise for removing emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals from treated wastewater. That's the conclusion of a team of researchers that conducted a novel study that evaluated and compared the ability of biochar derived from two common leftover agricultural materials -- cotton gin waste and guayule bagasse -- to adsorb three common pharmaceutical compounds from an aqueous solution. (2020-11-16)

Green Deal: Good for a climate-neutral Europe - bad for the planet
Europe is to become the first climate-neutral continent- this goal of the 'Green Deal' was announced by the EU in late 2019. Carbon emissions shall be reduced, while forestation, agriculture, environmentally friendly transport, and renewable energies shall be pushed. In Nature, scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) show that this ''Green Deal'' might be a bad deal for the planet, as the EU will outsource environmental damage by high imports of agricultural products. (DOI: 10.1038/d41586-020-02991-1) (2020-11-12)

Research finds that UK consumers dislike hormones in beef and chlorine washed chicken
New reveals the extent to which UK consumers dislike food produced using production methods such as hormones in beef and chlorine washed chicken. The research also reveals that UK consumers highly value food production that adheres to food safety standards set by the EU as well as UK produced food. This is particularly relevant for post-Brexit trade deals and the ongoing debates about UK food standards. (2020-11-12)

Some U.S. states hit harder by COVID-19 food insecurity
Food insecurity in America is reaching an all-time high during the COVID-19 pandemic. But large regional differences exist in the severity of the impact. (2020-11-12)

Study: crop diversification can improve environmental outcomes without sacrificing yields
Diversifying agricultural systems beyond a narrow selection of crops leads to a range of ecosystem improvements while also maintaining or improving yields, according to a new study that analyzed thousands of previously conducted experiments. Diversification practices such as crop rotations and planting prairie strips can lead to 'win-win' results that protect the environment without sacrificing yields, according to the analysis. (2020-11-10)

The ecology of crop pests
Ecological theory provides insights on pesticide use in agriculture (2020-11-09)

Global fisheries could alleviate a global food emergency in extreme situations
A new international study argues that, if managed sustainably in advance, global fisheries could alleviate food shortages even after a nuclear war. (2020-11-09)

Climate change and food demand could shrink species' habitats by almost a quarter by 2100
Mammals, birds and amphibians worldwide have lost on average 18% of their natural habitat range as a result of changes in land use and climate change, a new study has found. In a worst-case scenario this loss could increase to 23% over the next 80 years. (2020-11-06)

Ecologically friendly agriculture doesn't compromise crop yields
Research published in Science Advances--based on an analysis of 5,188 studies comparing diversified and simplified agricultural practices--indicates crop yield was maintained or even increased under diversified practices. (2020-11-05)

Losing ground in biodiversity hotspots worldwide
Agriculture is eating into areas that are important in protecting some of the most biologically diverse places on the planet. Most of this new agricultural land is being used to grow cattle feed. (2020-10-29)

Grafting with epigenetically-modified rootstock yields surprise
Novel grafted plants -- consisting of rootstock epigenetically modified to ''believe'' it has been under stress -- joined to an unmodified scion, or above-ground shoot, give rise to progeny that are more vigorous, productive and resilient than the parental plants. (2020-10-22)

Vanilla cultivation under trees promotes pest regulation
The cultivation of vanilla in Madagascar provides a good income for small-holder farmers, but without trees and bushes the plantations can lack biodiversity. Researchers from the Universities of Göttingen (Germany) and Antananarivo (Madagascar), investigated the interaction between prey and predators in these cultivated areas. They released dummy prey to determine the activity of natural enemies. The result: more prey were attacked as the proportion of trees increased. Results were published in the Journal of Applied Ecology. (2020-10-21)

Echo from the past makes rice paddies a good home for wetland plants
Tokyo, Japan - Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University studied the biodiversity of wetland plants over time in rice paddies in the Tone River basin, Japan. They found that paddies which were more likely to have been wetland before agricultural use retained more wetland plant species. On the other hand, land consolidation and agricultural abandonment were both found to negatively impact biodiversity. Their findings may one day inform conservation efforts and promote sustainable agriculture. (2020-10-17)

Sweetpotato biodiversity can help increase climate-resilience of small-scale farming
Sweetpotato biodiversity can help increase climate-resilience of small-scale farming, according to the findings of a study undertaken by researchers from IRD, CIRAD and the CGIAR center, the International Potato Center (CIP). The findings of this global analysis of the intraspecific diversity of the sweetpotato--one of the world's most important food crops, demonstrate the role of this genetic diversity in the productivity and resilience of food and agricultural systems in the face of climate change. (2020-10-14)

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