Agriculture

Genetically modified insects could disrupt international food trade
February 1, 2017 12:10 PM - Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

Genetically modified organisms for pest control could end up as contaminants in agricultural products throughout the globe.

 

Land-use change possibly produces more Carbon Dioxide than assumed so far
January 31, 2017 01:08 PM - Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

CO2 emissions caused by changes of land use may possibly be higher than assumed so far. This is the outcome of a study made by the team of Professor Almut Arneth of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The work presented in Nature Geoscience (DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2882) for the first time considers processes, such as slash-and–burn agriculture or different ways of managing forests and cropland. The results also imply that reforestation is important to increase the ecologically important CO2 uptake by land ecosystems.

New tool helps oyster growers prepare for changing ocean chemistry
January 27, 2017 08:38 AM - NOAA

For Bill Mook, coastal acidification is one thing his oyster hatchery cannot afford to ignore.

Mook Sea Farm depends on seawater from the Gulf of Maine pumped into a Quonset hut-style building where tiny oysters are grown in tanks. Mook sells these tiny oysters to other oyster farmers or transfers them to his oyster farm on the Damariscotta River where they grow large enough to sell to restaurants and markets on the East Coast.

The global ocean has soaked up one third of human-caused carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions since the start of the Industrial Era, increasing the CO2 and acidity of seawater. Increased seawater acidity reduces available carbonate, the building blocks used by shellfish to grow their shells. Rain washing fertilizer and other nutrients into nearshore waters can also increase ocean acidity.

New tool helps oyster growers prepare for changing ocean chemistry
January 27, 2017 08:38 AM - NOAA

For Bill Mook, coastal acidification is one thing his oyster hatchery cannot afford to ignore.

Mook Sea Farm depends on seawater from the Gulf of Maine pumped into a Quonset hut-style building where tiny oysters are grown in tanks. Mook sells these tiny oysters to other oyster farmers or transfers them to his oyster farm on the Damariscotta River where they grow large enough to sell to restaurants and markets on the East Coast.

The global ocean has soaked up one third of human-caused carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions since the start of the Industrial Era, increasing the CO2 and acidity of seawater. Increased seawater acidity reduces available carbonate, the building blocks used by shellfish to grow their shells. Rain washing fertilizer and other nutrients into nearshore waters can also increase ocean acidity.

Researchers Work to Restore the Long-Lost Flavor of Tomatoes
January 26, 2017 04:29 PM - Michelle Hampson

New research reveals which genes are needed to reinstate the rich, original flavor of tomatoes, now absent in many grocery shelf varieties of this fruit. The results are published in the 27 January issue of Science.

Agricultural fires in Brazil harm infant health, a warning for the developing world
January 26, 2017 10:02 AM - Michael Hotchkiss via Princeton University

Pollution from the controlled fires that burn across Brazil's São Paulo state during the sugarcane-harvesting season has a negative impact on infant health nearby. But the health of those same infants likely benefits from the economic opportunities the fires bring to their parents.

Researchers at Princeton and Duke universities gathered information from satellites, pollution monitors and birth records to untangle those competing influences and accurately measure the impact of pollution from the fires. They found that exposure to pollution from the fires in the last few months of gestation leads to earlier birth and smaller babies, and they found some evidence of increased fetal mortality. Conditions in early life, including in utero, have been shown to affect children's long-term outcomes, not only in terms of health but also their educational and economic success.

New Paper Explains Consequences of Plant Disappearance in Salt Marshes on the Atlantic Coast
January 25, 2017 09:36 AM - The American Phytopathological Society

An important new research paper, titled “Response of Sediment Bacterial Communities to Sudden Vegetation Dieback in a Coastal Wetland,” examines the consequences of plant disappearance and changes in salt marsh soil communities following Sudden Vegetation Dieback (SVD).

The paper, published in Phytobiomes, an open-access journal of The American Phytopathological Society, is written by Wade Elmer, Peter Thiel, and Blaire Steven, scientists at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven. The setting for this study was the marshes of Connecticut’s Hammonasset Beach State Park.

Is warming behind India's depleting groundwater?
January 25, 2017 09:21 AM - SciDev.Net

Changing rainfall patterns may be depleting India’s groundwater storage more than withdrawals for agricultural irrigation, says a new study published in January by Nature Geoscience
 
While India’s diminishing groundwater is widely attributed to over extraction, especially in the northern agricultural belts of Punjab and Haryana, the study holds decline in rainfall caused by the rise in the temperatures in the Indian Ocean — a major factor in monsoonal rainfall patterns over the Indo-Gangetic Plain —  to be a more important cause.   

Trees supplement income for rural farmers in Africa
January 23, 2017 01:38 PM - University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

Trees may be easy to spot on the plains of Africa but they are often overlooked as a source of income for farmers. A University of Illinois study shows trees on farms may help reduce rural poverty and maintain biodiversity.

Trees supplement income for rural farmers in Africa
January 23, 2017 01:38 PM - University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

Trees may be easy to spot on the plains of Africa but they are often overlooked as a source of income for farmers. A University of Illinois study shows trees on farms may help reduce rural poverty and maintain biodiversity.

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