Agriculture

Summer rainfall in vulnerable African region can be predicted
May 25, 2017 09:18 AM - University of Exeter

Summer rainfall in one of the world’s most drought-prone regions can now be predicted months or years in advance, climate scientists at the Met Office and the University of Exeter say.

Increasing Aridity and Land-use Overlap Have Potential to Cause Social and Economic Conflict in Dryland Areas
May 25, 2017 08:06 AM - USGS

Climate change combined with overlapping high-intensity land uses are likely to create conditions detrimental to the recreation economy, wildlife habitat, water availability and other resources in hyper-arid landscapes, or drylands, in the future, according to a recent paper published in Ecosphere.

Drylands are of concern because broad-scale changes in these systems have the potential to affect 36 percent of the world’s human population.

Secret weapon of smart bacteria tracked to "sweet tooth"
May 24, 2017 09:25 AM - Texas A&M Agrilife Communications

Researchers have figured out how a once-defeated bacterium has re-emerged to infect cotton in a battle that could sour much of the Texas and U.S. crop.

Newly-published spinach genome will make more than Popeye stronger
May 24, 2017 08:39 AM - Boyce Thompson Institute

“I’m strong to the finich, ‘cause I eats me spinach!” said Popeye the Sailor Man.

While you may not gulp spinach by the can-fuls, if you love spanakopita or your go-to appetizer is spinach artichoke dip, then you’ll be excited to know that new research out of Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) will make it even easier to improve this nutritious and delicious, leafy green.

Newly-published spinach genome will make more than Popeye stronger
May 24, 2017 08:39 AM - Boyce Thompson Institute

“I’m strong to the finich, ‘cause I eats me spinach!” said Popeye the Sailor Man.

While you may not gulp spinach by the can-fuls, if you love spanakopita or your go-to appetizer is spinach artichoke dip, then you’ll be excited to know that new research out of Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) will make it even easier to improve this nutritious and delicious, leafy green.

Fall Calving Season May Yield Higher Returns for Tennessee Beef Producers - Risk and returns evaluated
May 24, 2017 08:16 AM - University of Tennessee

The vast majority of cow-calf producers in Tennessee and the Southeast using a defined calving season have long favored spring calving; however, researchers at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture have evaluated the risk and returns for a fall calving season, proving once again that timing is everything.

Selecting an optimal calving season involves a complex set of factors including nutritional demands of brood cows, forage availability, calf weaning weights, calving rates, seasonality in cattle, and feed prices and labor availability.

Weather Patterns' Influence on Frost Timing
May 23, 2017 08:43 AM - University of Utah

Gardeners know the frustration of a false spring. Coaxed outside by warm weather, some people plant their gardens in the spring only to see a sudden late frost strike at the plants with a killer freezer burn. Grumbling green thumbs, along with farmers and water supply managers, would benefit from more accurate predictions of the first and last frosts of the season.

Such timing is in flux, however. The frost-free season in North America is approximately 10 days longer now than it was a century ago. In a new study, published today in Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Utah and the U.S. Geological Survey parse the factors contributing to the timing of frost in the United States. Atmospheric circulation patterns, they found, were the dominant influence on frost timing, although the trend of globally warming temperatures played a part as well.

Weather Patterns' Influence on Frost Timing
May 23, 2017 08:43 AM - University of Utah

Gardeners know the frustration of a false spring. Coaxed outside by warm weather, some people plant their gardens in the spring only to see a sudden late frost strike at the plants with a killer freezer burn. Grumbling green thumbs, along with farmers and water supply managers, would benefit from more accurate predictions of the first and last frosts of the season.

Such timing is in flux, however. The frost-free season in North America is approximately 10 days longer now than it was a century ago. In a new study, published today in Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Utah and the U.S. Geological Survey parse the factors contributing to the timing of frost in the United States. Atmospheric circulation patterns, they found, were the dominant influence on frost timing, although the trend of globally warming temperatures played a part as well.

Reduced U.S. Air Pollution Will Boost Rainfall in Africa's Sahel, Says Study
May 22, 2017 02:13 PM - The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Falling sulfur dioxide emissions in the United States are expected to substantially increase rainfall in Africa’s semi-arid Sahel, while bringing slightly more rain to much of the U.S., according to a new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

Pollution filters placed on coal-fired power plants in the United States starting in the 1970s have dramatically cut emissions of sulfur dioxide, a toxic gas that contributes to acid rain and premature deaths from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. If U.S. sulfur dioxide emissions are cut to zero by 2100, as some researchers have projected, rainfall over the Sahel could increase up to 10 percent from 2000 levels, computer simulations published in the study suggest.

Reduced U.S. Air Pollution Will Boost Rainfall in Africa's Sahel, Says Study
May 22, 2017 02:13 PM - The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Falling sulfur dioxide emissions in the United States are expected to substantially increase rainfall in Africa’s semi-arid Sahel, while bringing slightly more rain to much of the U.S., according to a new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

Pollution filters placed on coal-fired power plants in the United States starting in the 1970s have dramatically cut emissions of sulfur dioxide, a toxic gas that contributes to acid rain and premature deaths from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. If U.S. sulfur dioxide emissions are cut to zero by 2100, as some researchers have projected, rainfall over the Sahel could increase up to 10 percent from 2000 levels, computer simulations published in the study suggest.

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