Agriculture

Study tracks memory of soil moisture
January 16, 2017 01:31 PM - MIT

The top 2 inches of topsoil on all of Earth’s landmasses contains an infinitesimal fraction of the planet’s water — less than one-thousandth of a percent. Yet because of its position at the interface between the land and the atmosphere, that tiny amount plays a crucial role in everything from agriculture to weather and climate, and even the spread of disease.

The behavior and dynamics of this reservoir of moisture have been very hard to quantify and analyze, however, because measurements have been slow and laborious to make.

Climate change and farming: let's be part of the solution!
January 9, 2017 11:23 AM - , The Ecologist

What with rising rainfall in the west, and hotter, drier summers in the east, British farmers place plenty of challenges from global warming, writes Anna Bowen. But there are also positive opportunities for agricultural innovators to adapt their farming systems to changing conditions, make their operations more resilient and sustainable, and make themselves part of the solution.

Climate change and farming: let's be part of the solution!
January 9, 2017 11:23 AM - , The Ecologist

What with rising rainfall in the west, and hotter, drier summers in the east, British farmers place plenty of challenges from global warming, writes Anna Bowen. But there are also positive opportunities for agricultural innovators to adapt their farming systems to changing conditions, make their operations more resilient and sustainable, and make themselves part of the solution.

Species diversity reduces chances of crop failure in algal biofuel systems
January 9, 2017 10:20 AM - University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR—When growing algae in outdoor ponds as a next-generation biofuel, a naturally diverse mix of species will help reduce the chance of crop failure, according to a federally funded study by University of Michigan researchers.

Real Farming Report - Whose seeds are they anyway?
January 6, 2017 11:58 AM - Kathryn Hindess, The Ecologist

The new People Need Nature report - published to coincide with this week's annual Oxford Real Farming Conference - warns that modern farming practices are not good for wildlife. But they're not good for humans either. And with predictions that we will need to produce 70 per cent more food to feed a third more mouths by 2050 the question of seed ownership and diversity cannot be ignored. KATHRYN HINDESS reports

Real Farming Report - Whose seeds are they anyway?
January 6, 2017 11:58 AM - Kathryn Hindess, The Ecologist

The new People Need Nature report - published to coincide with this week's annual Oxford Real Farming Conference - warns that modern farming practices are not good for wildlife. But they're not good for humans either. And with predictions that we will need to produce 70 per cent more food to feed a third more mouths by 2050 the question of seed ownership and diversity cannot be ignored. KATHRYN HINDESS reports

Earliest evidence discovered of plants cooked in ancient pottery
December 19, 2016 12:58 PM - University of Bristol

A team of international scientists, led by the University of Bristol, has uncovered the earliest direct evidence of humans processing plants for food found anywhere in the world.

Researchers at the Organic Geochemistry Unit in the University of Bristol's School of Chemistry, working with colleagues at Sapienza, University of Rome and the Universities of Modena and Milan, studied unglazed pottery dating from more than 10,000 years ago, from two sites in the Libyan Sahara.

Earliest evidence discovered of plants cooked in ancient pottery
December 19, 2016 12:58 PM - University of Bristol

A team of international scientists, led by the University of Bristol, has uncovered the earliest direct evidence of humans processing plants for food found anywhere in the world.

Researchers at the Organic Geochemistry Unit in the University of Bristol's School of Chemistry, working with colleagues at Sapienza, University of Rome and the Universities of Modena and Milan, studied unglazed pottery dating from more than 10,000 years ago, from two sites in the Libyan Sahara.

Study shows wheat crop yield can be increased by up to 20% using new chemical technology
December 15, 2016 09:38 AM - University of Oxford

UK scientists have created a synthetic molecule that, when applied to crops, has been shown to increase the size and starch content of wheat grains in the lab by up to 20%.

The new plant application, developed by Rothamsted Research and Oxford University, could help solve the issue of increasing food insecurity across the globe. Some 795 million people are undernourished, and this year's El Nino has shown how vulnerable many countries are to climate-induced drought.

Study shows wheat crop yield can be increased by up to 20% using new chemical technology
December 15, 2016 09:38 AM - University of Oxford

UK scientists have created a synthetic molecule that, when applied to crops, has been shown to increase the size and starch content of wheat grains in the lab by up to 20%.

The new plant application, developed by Rothamsted Research and Oxford University, could help solve the issue of increasing food insecurity across the globe. Some 795 million people are undernourished, and this year's El Nino has shown how vulnerable many countries are to climate-induced drought.

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