Agriculture

New formula for US-South research funding
April 13, 2009 08:47 AM - Sharon Davis, SciDevNet

North–South agricultural research partnerships will gain another source of funding thanks to a new partnership in which the country's National Science Foundation (NSF) can get involved in collaboration with developing-country scientists.

Jackson: EPA Seeks Clarity in Rules, May Regulate Animal Waste
April 13, 2009 06:02 AM - Water & Wastewater News

Lisa Jackson, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator, asserted at a forum for the PBS Frontline documentary Poisoned Waters that new legislation is needed to strengthen EPA's authority to control pollution and protect local rivers, streams, and wetlands. Jackson, speaking at the National Press Club, said that court decisions had left "murkiness" about EPA's authority to enforce some mandates of the Clean Water Act. She said EPA would seek new legislation to "clarify" its authority to take action on smaller waterways.

Tiny super-plant can clean up animal waste and be used for ethanol production
April 7, 2009 10:29 AM - North Carolina State University

Researchers at North Carolina State University have found that a tiny aquatic plant can be used to clean up animal waste at industrial hog farms and potentially be part of the answer for the global energy crisis. Their research shows that growing duckweed on hog wastewater can produce five to six times more starch per acre than corn, according to researcher Dr. Jay Cheng. This means that ethanol production using duckweed could be "faster and cheaper than from corn," says fellow researcher Dr. Anne-Marie Stomp.

Can Organic Cropping Systems Be As Profitable As Conventional Systems?
April 7, 2009 09:14 AM - ScienceDaily

Which is a better strategy, specializing in one crop or diversified cropping? Is conventional cropping more profitable than organic farming? Is it less risky?

Mexico City vows to protect historic maize varieties
April 6, 2009 02:52 PM - Arturo Barba, SciDevNet

Mexico City has announced that it will take steps to protect more than 60 maize breeds known to grow in its territory, also known as the Mexican Altiplano. The announcement came just days before the Mexican Government said that it would allow the experimental cultivation of genetically modified (GM) maize in other parts of the country.

New England's sugar country confronts a bitter future as the climate warms
April 6, 2009 09:09 AM - David Biello, Daily Climate

All farming depends on the weather, but few foods are more dependent on a specific climate than maple syrup. After all, for the sugar maple's sap to run at all requires cooperative weather — freezing nights followed by warmer days. But thanks to the build-up of invisible greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, those temperature swings don't happen as reliably. At risk is an American tradition that stretches back even before Europeans discovered the "New World."

Plants buy Earth more time as CO2 makes them grow

Trees and plants are growing bigger and faster in response to the billions of tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by humans, scientists have found. The increased growth has been discovered in a variety of flora, ranging from tropical rainforests to British sugar beet crops.

Medieval warming 1000 yrs ago was a result of natural climate mechanism
April 5, 2009 07:12 AM - Thaindian News

In a new research, scientists have unraveled the natural climate mechanism that caused unusually warm weather in medieval times in Europe 1000 years back.

FDA: Avoid pistachios amid salmonella scare
March 31, 2009 07:10 AM - MSNBC from AP

Federal food safety officials warned Monday that consumers should stop eating all foods containing pistachios while they figure out the source of a possible salmonella contamination.

Feds take steps to drive depressed dairy prices up
March 30, 2009 11:00 AM - Michael Doyle, The Miami Herald

California's struggling dairy farmers will get a modest boost from the Agriculture Department, which announced plans Thursday designed to bolster prices and benefit hungry kids. With dairy prices plummeting, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the department will shift 200 million pounds of surplus nonfat dry milk into domestic feeding programs. Reducing the surplus stored in government warehouses is supposed to propel prices upward.

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