Agriculture

Overpumping Reduces California's Groundwater Storage
April 12, 2017 12:30 PM - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Decades of overpumping groundwater have irreversibly altered layers of clay beneath California's Central Valley, permanently reducing the aquifer's ability to store water, finds a new satellite remote sensing study by scientists at Stanford University, Stanford, California; and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Discovered a key mechanism in the plant defense against fungal infections
April 10, 2017 02:03 PM - Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics

Each year, fungal infections destroy at least 125 million tons of the world’s five most important crops -rice, wheat, maize, soybeans and potatoes-, a quantity that could feed 600 million people. Fungi are not only a problem in the field, but also produce large losses in the post-harvest stage: during product storage, transport or in the consumer hands. Also, it should be noted that some fungi produce mycotoxins, substances capable of causing disease and death in both humans and animals. Farmers use fungicides to treat fungal infections, but these are not always 100% effective and, moreover, consumer demands pesticide-free products.

Discovered a key mechanism in the plant defense against fungal infections
April 10, 2017 02:03 PM - Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics

Each year, fungal infections destroy at least 125 million tons of the world’s five most important crops -rice, wheat, maize, soybeans and potatoes-, a quantity that could feed 600 million people. Fungi are not only a problem in the field, but also produce large losses in the post-harvest stage: during product storage, transport or in the consumer hands. Also, it should be noted that some fungi produce mycotoxins, substances capable of causing disease and death in both humans and animals. Farmers use fungicides to treat fungal infections, but these are not always 100% effective and, moreover, consumer demands pesticide-free products.

Satellites map carbon sequestered by forests, with accuracy of up to ten metres
April 7, 2017 09:40 AM - VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Led by VTT, the EU North State project has developed a new method of using satellite images to evaluate the forest carbon balance. The carbon balance indicates how much carbon is sequestered or released by forests each year. This enables the carbon balance to be displayed on digital maps, with an accuracy of up to ten metres.

Satellites map carbon sequestered by forests, with accuracy of up to ten metres
April 7, 2017 09:40 AM - VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Led by VTT, the EU North State project has developed a new method of using satellite images to evaluate the forest carbon balance. The carbon balance indicates how much carbon is sequestered or released by forests each year. This enables the carbon balance to be displayed on digital maps, with an accuracy of up to ten metres.

New Map Shows How Groundwater Pumping Could Affect the Malad River
April 7, 2017 08:15 AM - United States Geological Survey (USGS)

A new report illustrates how groundwater pumping can affect the amount of water available in streams within the Malad-Lower Bear River Area in Utah. The product was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water Rights.

Scientists engineer sugarcane to produce biodiesel, more sugar for ethanol
April 4, 2017 12:04 PM - Plants Engineered to Replace Oil in Sugarcane and Sweet Sorghum (PETROSS), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A multi-institutional team led by the University of Illinois have proven sugarcane can be genetically engineered to produce oil in its leaves and stems for biodiesel production. Surprisingly, the modified sugarcane plants also produced more sugar, which could be used for ethanol production.

 

Scientists engineer sugarcane to produce biodiesel, more sugar for ethanol
April 4, 2017 12:04 PM - Plants Engineered to Replace Oil in Sugarcane and Sweet Sorghum (PETROSS), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A multi-institutional team led by the University of Illinois have proven sugarcane can be genetically engineered to produce oil in its leaves and stems for biodiesel production. Surprisingly, the modified sugarcane plants also produced more sugar, which could be used for ethanol production.

 

Battling nature's nasty side
April 3, 2017 08:33 AM - University of Saskatchewan

When told the subject of her research has a bit of an alien predator vibe, Natacha Hogan is quick to agree.

“Oh, I like that,” said the assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science. “When you look at the structures of these mycotoxins, some really are scary looking. Many are very complex structures with multiple rings fused together and many functional groups hanging off the sides. They sort of look like spiders.”

Even short-duration heat waves could lead to failure of coffee crops
March 30, 2017 04:56 PM - Oregon State University

"Hot coffee" is not a good thing for java enthusiasts when it refers to plants beset by the high-temperature stress that this century is likely to bring, research at Oregon State University suggests.

A study by OSU’s College of Forestry showed that when Coffea arabica plants were subjected to short-duration heat waves, they became unable to produce flowers and fruit.

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