Current Agricultural News and Events

Current Agricultural News and Events, Agricultural News Articles.
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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)

Men less likely to see food as national security issue amid pandemic
On average, men not only showed less empathy toward temporary agricultural laborers but also were less likely to see food supply and production as national security issues, according to a study led by a Washington State University researcher. (2020-10-08)

Fly larvae extract will replace antibiotics in fighting plant pathogens
Biotechnologists from MIPT have developed a method for extracting the active constituents from the fat of black soldier fly larvae. These compounds possess unique antimicrobial properties and can destroy bacteria that cause farm crop diseases and are resistant to antibiotics. (2020-10-05)

Harvesting vegetation on riparian buffers barely reduces water-quality benefits
Allowing farmers to harvest vegetation from their riparian buffers will not significantly impede the ability of those streamside tracts to protect water quality by capturing nutrients and sediment -- and it will boost farmers' willingness to establish buffers. (2020-10-02)

New research sheds light on the reluctance of farmers to adopt new technologies
Research from the University of Kent's School of Economics sheds new light on a long-standing obstacle to improving agricultural productivity in developing countries: the reluctance of small-scale farmers to adopt modern technologies because of the risks associated with them. (2020-10-01)

Hand pollination, not agrochemicals, increases cocoa yield and farmer income
Agroecologists from Göttingen University compare pesticides, fertilisers, manual pollination and farming costs in Indonesia (2020-09-30)

Two pesticides approved for use in US harmful to bees
A previously banned insecticide, which was approved for agricultural use last year in the United States, is harmful for bees and other beneficial insects that are crucial for agriculture, and a second pesticide in widespread use also harms these insects. That is according to a new analysis from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin. (2020-09-29)

The cost of drought in Italy
Drought-induced economic losses ranged in Italy between 0.55 and 1.75 billion euros over the period 2001-2016, and droughts caused significant collateral effects not only on the agricultural sector, but also on food manufacturing industries. A study just published led by the CMCC Foundation sheds light on the characterization of the damages caused by droughts while providing a tool with applicability in the implementation of drought risk management plans and the evaluation of drought management policies. (2020-09-28)

Broad beans versus soybeans as feedstuff for dual-purpose chickens
Practices of the poultry industry have raised ethical and ecological concerns: ethical concerns include culling day-old male chicks of egg-laying breeds; ecological concerns include importing large quantities of soybeans for feedstuff. Researchers at Göttingen University looked at using a regional crop - like broad beans - and dual-purpose chicken breeds (suitable for both meat and egg-laying). They found that these were both suitable alternatives, which did not impact the quality of chicken meat. Results were published in Foods. (2020-09-23)

Some but not all US metro areas could grow all needed food locally, estimates study
How local could food be in the U.S.? A modeling study estimates the distance within which metro centers could meet food needs if they tried to feed themselves locally. Some--but not all--could rely on nearby agricultural land, and dietary changes would increase local potential, according to the study. (2020-09-14)

Ammonium triggers formation of lateral roots
Despite the importance of changes in root architecture to exploit local nutrient patches, mechanisms integrating external nutrient signals into the root developmental program remain poorly understood. ''Here, we show for the first time that local ammonium supply stimulates the accumulation of auxin in the root vasculature and promotes auxin diffusion and lateral root formation to build a highly branched root system'', says Prof. Nicolaus von Wirén from the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK). (2020-09-11)

Caffeine shot delivers wakeup call on antifungal drug resistance
The management of fungal infections in plants and humans could be transformed by a breakthrough in understanding how fungi develop resistance to drugs. It was previously thought that only mutations in a fungi's DNA would result in antifungal drug resistance. Current diagnostic techniques rely on sequencing all of a fungi's DNA to find such mutations. Scientists from the University of Edinburgh have discovered that fungi can develop drug resistance without changes to their DNA -- their genetic code. (2020-09-09)

Plant protein discovery could reduce need for fertilizer
Researchers have discovered how a protein in plant roots controls the uptake of minerals and water, a finding which could improve the tolerance of agricultural crops to climate change and reduce the need for chemical fertilisers. (2020-09-04)

Genetics of the tree of life
The African baobab tree (Adansonia digitata) is called the tree of life. Baobab trees can live for more than a thousand years and provide food, livestock fodder, medicinal compounds, and raw materials. USDA scientists counted the significant tree's chromosomes - information critical for conservation, agricultural improvement, and further genetic work. Their findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports. (2020-08-27)

Measles outbreaks in Niger linked to rainfall and temperature, study finds
Rainfall and temperature drive agricultural activity, which, in turn, influences patterns of measles outbreaks in the West African nation of Niger, according to an international team of researchers. The findings may be useful for improving vaccine coverage for seasonally mobile populations within Niger and other countries. (2020-08-25)

Climate change and land use are accelerating soil erosion by water
Soil loss due to water runoff could increase greatly around the world over the next 50 years due to climate change and intensive land cultivation. This was the conclusion of an international team of researchers led by the University of Basel, which published the results from its model calculation in the scientific journal PNAS. (2020-08-24)

Revealed: How billions in EU farming subsidies are being misspent
A unique study has analyzed in detail how EU agricultural subsidies flow down to the local level. The new data show that most income support payments go to intensively farmed regions already above median EU income, while climate-friendly and biodiverse farming regions, as well as poorer regions, are insufficiently funded. Consequently, the majority of payments are going to the regions causing the most environmental damage and the farmers in the least need of income support. (2020-08-21)

One in 10 Tennessee families were food insufficient during early months of COVID-19
The latest research from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture indicates that during late April and early May 2020, approximately 525,000 Tennessee households were food insufficient, meaning they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat - that's one in 10 families. About 30% of these struggling households were food sufficient prior to the onset of the pandemic. (2020-08-19)

Tennessee agricultural sectors taking a hit from COVID-19
The latest research from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of agricultural commodity production and distribution, leading to substantial price declines and reduced income for farmers. (2020-08-19)

Effects of nutrient pollution in marine ecosystems are compounded by human activity
Nutrient pollution in the oceans caused by human activity can significantly impact marine life. The process results in an explosion of plant and algal life in the sea that disrupts delicate marine ecosystems and destroys marine habitats. However, a new review highlights that the problem can be exacerbated by other human actions, such as climate change. The article proposes an integrated solution that involves ecosystem management and includes practical steps to reduce nutrient pollution. (2020-08-17)

Farmers help grow water plan
Overallocation of surface water for growing food crops is shifting agriculture and other industry to use groundwater - which is much more difficult to measure and monitor. Using local producer knowledge as 'soft data' to estimate groundwater use in modelling is a helpful tool in mapping sustainable use of scarce resources, Flinders University experts say. (2020-08-17)

DNA damage triggers reprogramming into stem cells
A joint research team from the National Institute for Basic Biology (NIBB) in Japan, Huazhong Agricultural University in China, and the Czech Academy of Sciences in the Czech Republic has discovered that DNA damage causes cell? to reprogram themselves into stem cells and regenerate new plant bodies in the moss Physcomitrella patens. The researchers describe this phenomenon as a unique environmental adaptation of plants. (2020-08-17)

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