background preloader

Agriculture, forestry and rural communities to June 2013

Facebook Twitter

Monsanto Declares Defeat In European Market. Despite the recent bumper crop of GMO labeling legislation in the U.S., Monsanto still has a strong grip on the country--just look at the so-called Monsanto Protection Act, which lets farmers plant GMO crops before the Department of Agriculture has declared them safe.

Monsanto Declares Defeat In European Market

Peak water, peak oil... Now, peak soil? (ScienceAlert) Monsanto hires infamous mercenary firm Blackwater to track activists around the world. Breakthough in wheat breeding science offers greater yields. UK wheat yields could be boosted by up to 30% with the introduction of a new wheat bred from a wild grass species.

Breakthough in wheat breeding science offers greater yields

The National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) in Cambridge has recreated the original rare cross between an ancient wheat and wild grass species that happened in the Middle East 10,000 years ago. The result is a ‘synthetic’ wheat which, when crossed with modern UK varieties, could offer new sources of yield improvement, drought tolerance, disease resistance and input use efficiency. Over the next 50 years the world needs to grow more wheat than has been produced in the 10,000 years since agriculture began. But wheat yields are showing signs of reaching a plateau; the national average UK wheat yield on-farm has stalled at around 8t/ha for the past 12 years. Cambridge-based scientists develop 'superwheat'

An international vision for wheat improvement. By 2050, a 60% increase in wheat production will be needed to meet the demand of a growing population.

An international vision for wheat improvement

The Wheat Initiative, an international consortium gathering public institutions and private companies, was created as part of the 2011 action plan of the G20 Agricultural Ministries to coordinate global wheat research and participate to global food security. On May 15, 2013, the Wheat Initiative issued its vision document paving the way for its actions. Wheat is a major staple crop worldwide but its production has not reached demand in 10 of the 15 past years. Wheat yield models indicate that climate change will reduce wheat yield potential in its major producing areas, and that wheat farmers in South Asia and North Africa will be hit hardest. Two Approaches for Optimizing Water Productivity / April 26, 2013 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service. By Dennis O'Brien April 26, 2013 U.S.

Two Approaches for Optimizing Water Productivity / April 26, 2013 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

Fertilizer Deep Placement Technology: A Useful Tool in Food Security Improvement. Three billion people depend on rice as a staple food crop, and it is cultivated in over 100 countries on 6 continents.

Fertilizer Deep Placement Technology: A Useful Tool in Food Security Improvement

The main nitrogen fertilizer application method in rice cultivation is hand-broadcasted urea. However, this surface application process contributes to losses from ammonia volatilization, denitrification, and runoff, leading to the extremely low (35%) efficiency factor in crop uptake of applied nitrogen. RTLS: The technology tracking cows to make them happy. When Asger Christensen started farming there were 40,000 dairy farmers in Denmark.

RTLS: The technology tracking cows to make them happy

Now there are only 3000. This is a family farm, where they grow maize and wheat, as well as raising cattle. The Christensens bought it in 1982 from Mrs Christensen's parents, and it has been in the family since 1760. They are survivors in an industry that has been squeezed hard. To cut emissions, match fertilizer to soil. UC DAVIS (US) — Changes in agricultural practices could reduce soil emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide and the atmospheric pollutant nitric oxide, report scientists.

To cut emissions, match fertilizer to soil

“Agriculture is the main source of nitrous oxide globally, so this study is a starting point to help us understand how to manage and control it,” says University of California, Davis, professor of soil biogeochemistry William Horwath, whose lab conducted the study. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was an effort to understand the sources of nitrous oxide and nitric oxide by different microbial processes, especially following the application of certain fertilizer nitrogen types.

Previous studies assumed that nitrous oxide production through ammonia oxidation occurs mainly when there is abundant oxygen in soils. Melting Pots of Biodiversity: Native and Introduced Plants in Tropical Smallholder Farming Landscapes. By Christian Kull, Associate Professor at Monash University, Australia. Norwegian Pinot Noir?: Global Warming to Drastically Shift Wine Regions. In less than 40 years, drinking wine could have a major toll on the environment and wildlife, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Norwegian Pinot Noir?: Global Warming to Drastically Shift Wine Regions

The study finds that climate change will likely force many vineyards to move either north or to higher altitudes, leading to habitat loss, biodiversity declines, and increased pressure for freshwater. New foot-and-mouth vaccine. Scientists have developed a new methodology to produce a vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV).

New foot-and-mouth vaccine

Because the vaccine is all synthetic, made up of tiny protein shells designed to trigger optimum immune response, it doesn't rely on growing live infectious virus and is therefore much safer to produce and there is no chance that it could revert to an infectious form. This collaborative research was led by Professor David Stuart, Life Science Director at Diamond Light Source and MRC Professor of Structural Biology at the Department of Medicine University of Oxford and Dr Bryan Charleston, Head of Livestock Viral Diseases Programme at The Pirbright Institute. Professor David Stuart, explains, "What we have achieved here is close to the holy grail of foot-and-mouth vaccines. Unlike the traditional vaccines, there is no chance that the empty shell vaccine could revert to an infectious form.

Clinical trials have shown it is as effective as current vaccines. Agricultural NOx. NOx. such as nitric oxide, comes from many sources.

Agricultural NOx

It is a misconception that it is only the result of combustion devices. There are natural sources such as thunderstorms and ordinary plant life. Changes in agricultural practices could reduce soil emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide and the atmospheric pollutant nitric oxide, according to a new study by scientists at the University of California, Davis. "Agriculture is the main source of nitrous oxide globally, so this study is a starting point to help us understand how to manage and control it," said UC Davis professor of soil biogeochemistry William Horwath, whose lab conducted the study.

Brazil supermarkets 'to avoid Amazon meat' 25 March 2013Last updated at 18:45 ET. A Long-Sought Goal: Crystallizing an Elusive Protein / March 22, 2013 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service. By Dennis O'BrienMarch 22, 2013 A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist and his colleagues have opened the door to development of more heat-tolerant crops by crystallizing a plant protein that plays a key role in photosynthesis. Pesticide application as potential source of noroviruses in fresh food supply chains. The search for a perennial wheat. Major gene discovery for Arizona, California lettuce industries. Pacific island trials closed-loop aquaponics.

Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands, is combining aquaculture with hydroponics in a pilot project funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme. Aquaponics could hold the answer to food supply for islands in the Pacific.