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Study shows hope of greater global food output, less environmental impact of agriculture
Can we have enough to eat and a healthy environment, too? Yes -- if we're smart about it, suggests a study published in Nature this week by a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota and McGill University in Montreal. (2012-08-29)

American Society of Agronomy announces 2012 award recipients
The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) announces the following 2012 awards that will be formally presented during their Annual Meetings, Oct. 21-24, 2012 in Cincinnati, OH. (2012-08-29)

A greener way to fertilize nursery crops
A US Department of Agriculture scientist has found a (2012-08-27)

No-till could help maintain crop yields despite climate change
Reducing tillage for some Central Great Plains crops could help conserve water and reduce losses caused by climate change, according to studies at the US Department of Agriculture. (2012-08-23)

Underground solution to starving rice plants
Scientists have pinpointed a gene that enables rice plants to produce around 20 percent more grain by increasing uptake of phosphorus, an important, but limited, plant nutrient. (2012-08-22)

Nematodes with pest-fighting potential identified
Formosan subterranean termites could be in for a real headache. US Department of Agriculture scientists have identified species of roundworms, or (2012-08-22)

Study to examine trends in urban agriculture
Farming in the city is a hot topic in some circles, but an exact picture of urban agriculture has not yet been painted. Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, along with faculty from New York University, will soon begin a study of urban agriculture in the United States. (2012-08-21)

Soybeans susceptible to man-made materials in soil
Researchers contend that manufactured nanomaterials -- now popular in consumer products such as shampoos, gels, hair dyes and sunscreens -- may be detrimental to the quality and yield of food crops, as reported in a paper in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2012-08-21)

A urine based 'potion' can act as a CO2 absorbent
The ocean, the ground, rocks and trees act as carbon drains but are far from places where greenhouses gases are concentrated, especially CO2. A Spanish researcher has proposed human, agricultural and livestock waste, such as urine, as a way to absorb this gas. (2012-08-17)

Wild pollinators support farm productivity and stabilize yield
Eighty-four percent of European crops are dependent on insect pollination. The serious decline in managed honeybees and wild bees in Europe can cause yield decreases with threats to the environment and economy of Europe. To raise awareness, the EC FP7 STEP Project published a farmers' fact sheet in 15 European languages. It encourages utilizing the benefits of wild insect pollinators, reducing the risks of relying solely on honeybees for crop production. (2012-08-17)

Researchers work to further biofuel production without increasing food prices
This fall, MU scientists are beginning a study to determine how non-food biofuel crops, such as switchgrass, grow in marginal land along the floodplains, where most crops cannot thrive. The team in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources has received a $5.4 million grant from the US Department of Energy to further its research. (2012-08-13)

MSU to lead new global food security effort
Michigan State University will use a $7.3 million federal grant to cultivate the next generation of agricultural scientists in Africa and Asia, in hopes of improving food security and nutrition there. (2012-08-06)

Birds do better in 'agroforests' than on farms
Compared with open farmland, wooded (2012-08-06)

Micro businesses' role for a more competitive agricultural food sector in Spain
Pablo Murta Albino studied the situation of the agricultural food industry in Spain from the perspectives of competitiveness, growth and performance. Having taken the financial state of 12,000 businesses between 1994 and 2007, this researcher stressed the important role that micro businesses have had on the growth of the sector. (2012-07-19)

Poisons on public lands put wildlife at risk
Rat poison used on illegal marijuana farms may be sickening and killing the fisher, a rare forest carnivore that makes its home in some of the most remote areas of California, according to a team of researchers led by University of California, Davis, veterinary scientists. (2012-07-13)

ASU ecologist receives prestigious global award for water research
Arizona State University professor James Elser today received the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award, the most prestigious global award in the aquatic sciences, at the July 2012 Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography meeting on the shores of ancient Lake Biwa, Otsu, Shiga, Japan. The Hutchinson Award is presented annually to recognize a scientist's previous five to 10 years of excellence in limnology (the study of inland waters) or oceanography. (2012-07-11)

New biofuel process dramatically improves energy recovery
A new biofuel production process created by Michigan State University researchers produces energy more than 20 times higher than existing methods. The results, published in the current issue of Environmental Science and Technology, showcase a novel way to use microbes to produce biofuel and hydrogen, all while consuming agricultural wastes. (2012-07-10)

Adoption of advanced techniques could propel crop improvement
Scientists could take greater strides toward crop improvement if there were wider adoption of advanced techniques used to understand the mechanisms that allow plants to adapt to their environments, current and former Purdue University researchers say. (2012-06-28)

Eat less meat and farm efficiently to tackle climate change
We need to eat less meat and recycle our waste to re-balance the global carbon cycle and reduce our risk of dangerous levels of climate change. New research from the University of Exeter, UK, shows that if today's meat-eating habits continue, the predicted rise in the global population could spell ecological disaster. But changes in our lifestyle and our farming could make space for growing crops for bioenergy and carbon storage. (2012-06-19)

Planting the right messages may make farms safer
Better marketing tactics may lead to improved safety in one of the nation's most dangerous occupations -- farming, according to Penn State researchers. (2012-06-12)

Asiatic pear genome sequenced
The first sequencing of the Asiatic pear genome has recently been completed by an international consortium of seven worldwide universities and institutions including the University of Illinois. (2012-06-12)

International consortium announce the first complete sequencing of pear genome
International consortium led by Chinese scientists announce the first complete sequencing of pear genome. (2012-06-06)

Maize diversity discoveries may help ease world's hunger pangs
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, report that ancient farmers had a stronger impact on the evolution of maize, or corn, than modern plant breeders have had on the grain -- now one of the world's top production crops. The findings, together with a companion study on maize diversity, will help plant breeders increase corn yield as they prepare for the challenges of global population growth and climate change. (2012-06-03)

Scientists complete most comprehensive genetic analysis yet of corn
An interdisciplinary team, led by researchers at Cornell University and the US Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, today published the most comprehensive analysis to date of the corn genome. (2012-06-03)

Moving cotton land to bioenergy crops may be 'green' in more ways than one
What happens when traditional cotton country is converted to grow bioenergy crops? That's what a team of Texas AgriLife Research scientists will determine in a new US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture-funded project. The team, led by Dr. Nithya Rajan, AgriLife Research agronomist in Vernon, has been awarded a $500,000 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative bioenergy grant. (2012-05-31)

Livestock industry beefs up Illinois's economy
A recent report conducted by the University of Illinois provides an economic snapshot of the current state of the livestock industry, giving the Illinois livestock industry data to back up their importance to the state. The data show the production sector of the industry contributing to more than 25,000 jobs and $3.5 billion to the state's economy. When combined with meat and dairy processing, the numbers are an even more impressive 99,000 jobs and $27 billion. (2012-05-29)

Ben-Gurion U. researchers successfully test solar desalination system for arid land agriculture
The solar-powered system uses nanofiltration membranes to treat the local brackish water, resulting in high-quality desalinated irrigation water. The results of the Josefowitz Oasis Project indicate that irrigation with desalinated water yields higher productivity from water and inorganic fertilizers compared with current practices. Crops grown with desalinated water required 25 percent less irrigation and fertilizer than brackish water irrigation. (2012-05-24)

Sichuan Agricultural University and BGI to unravel the relation between DNA methylomes and obesity
In a highlighted paper published online in Nature Communications, researchers from Sichuan Agricultural University and BGI, the world's largest genomics organization, reported the atlas of DNA methylomes in porcine adipose and muscle tissues, providing a valuable epigenomic source for obesity prediction and prevention as well as boosting the further development of pig as a model animal for human obesity research. (2012-05-22)

York researchers evaluate impact of climate change on biodiversity and habitats in East Africa
University of York researchers will play a key role in a new project studying the impact of climate change in Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia. (2012-05-21)

Secret soil cracks linger, despite surface sealing
Researchers at the University of NSW in Sydney have developed an innovative technique for examining the flow of water through cracks in soil by measuring electrical resistivity. They discovered that even when cracks appear visibly closed on the surface they often remain open underground. They can now detect the exact time when underground cracks close, which will have big implications for agricultural management of water. (2012-05-14)

Clemson professor awarded nearly $600,000 4-year grant to study language of plants
Clemson University researcher Julia Frugoli has received the first installment of a nearly $600,000 four-year grant to study how plant roots and shoots communicate to control their growth. It could help grow plants without nitrogen fertilizer and dramatically increase the world's food supply. (2012-05-14)

Soybeans soaked in warm water naturally release key cancer-fighting substance
Soybeans soaking in warm water could become a new (2012-05-09)

Model forecasts long-term impacts of forest land-use decisions
Accurate predictions found in early test results of new model, which is timely due to emerging questions regarding forest land use and the environmental impact. (2012-05-08)

Ohio's ultra-fast broadband network to expand to Portsmouth, Wooster
The Ohio cities of Portsmouth and Wooster will serve as hubs on the state's ultra-fast broadband network, OARnet, providing the network with even greater statewide reach at speeds of 100 Gigabits per second. The Ohio Controlling Board today approved the $3.1 million state investment in this latest broadband enhancement. Ohio Governor John Kasich announced earlier that the state would boost its broadband network backbone speeds ten-fold to help advance research and job growth across Ohio. (2012-05-07)

Genes shed light on spread of agriculture in Stone Age Europe
One of the most debated developments in human history is the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies. This week's web edition of Science presents the genetic findings of a Swedish-Danish research team, which show that agriculture spread to Northern Europe via migration from Southern Europe. (2012-04-26)

Lower food and fuel costs could result from MU researcher's battle against soy pest
University of Missouri plant pathologist Melissa Mitchum and colleagues recently received a $466,000 grant from the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to continue their research on protecting soybeans from nematode parasites, which cause $1.3 billion annually in soybean crop losses in the US. (2012-04-26)

Research is ensuring stormwater systems are designed for the future
A Kansas State University team is researching how climate change is affecting rainfall and weather patterns to help with future adaptation and mitigation strategies. The researchers are updating rainfall distribution data to ensure current stormwater management systems can handle future weather changes. (2012-04-23)

Ben-Gurion University planting an olive tree forest in the desert for agricultural research
Wadi Mashash is the only site in Israel where agricultural production is entirely based on the collection and use of the desert's rare flood waters. The techniques developed at Wadi Mashash are used to combat desertification worldwide and facilitate sustainable development of drylands. Already, much of the knowledge gained by past experiments, such as an acacia tree forest, is helping many countries in Africa grow trees for food, fodder and firewood without depleting all their resources. (2012-04-18)

Genetically modified corn affects its symbiotic relationship with non-target soil organisms
Although Bt corn is one of the most commonly grown GM crops in the United States, little is known about its effects on the long-term health of soils. Although there are many benefits to using biotechnology in agriculture, such as potentially reducing insecticide use, there may be unintended side effects as well -- does GM corn impact non-target soil organisms, such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, or affect plants subsequently grown in the same field? (2012-04-17)

Drastic changes needed to curb most potent greenhouse gas
Meat consumption in the developed world needs to be cut by 50 percent per person by 2050 if we are to meet the most aggressive strategy, set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to reduce one of the most important greenhouse gases, nitrous oxide. (2012-04-12)

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