In response to high demand for year-round local produce, researchers with the University of New Hampshire report they have successfully grown bulbing onions planted in fall for a spring harvest with the aid of inexpensive low tunnels. - See more at: http://colsa.unh.edu/aes/article/onions#sthash.3ZJJLBcR.dpuf
China, the world’s top producer of rice and wheat, is seeking to cap the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that have helped to contaminate large swathes of its arable land and threaten its ability to keep up with domestic food demand.
LIMA, Dic 12 (IPS) - The magnitude of the climate changes brought about by global warming and the alterations in rainfall patterns are modifying the geography of food production in the tropics, warned participants at the climate summit in the Peruvian capital.
That was the main concern among experts in food security taking part in the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP20) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held Dec. 1-12 in Lima. They are worried about rising food prices if tropical countries fail to take prompt action to adapt.
The ability to detect when to harvest “climacteric” fruits -- such as apples, bananas, pears and tomatoes -- at the precise moment to ensure “peak edibleness” in terms of both taste and texture may soon be within reach for farmers, thanks to the work of a team of researchers from Saint Joseph University in Lebanon and the Université de Bretagne Occidentale de Brest in France.
2014 is on track to be hottest year on record, according to new reports. This is remarkable since such records are typically set in years where the long-term manmade warming trend and the El Niño warming pattern combine. But this year, it's pretty much all global warming.
Empirical assessment of Sub-Saharan Africa's soil fertility has confirmed that the region faces a significant decline in soil fertility, which could further aggravate food insecurity if no appropriate action is taken.
Forget all your ideas or stereotypes about farmers – these folk are wired in a way that even the most gadget-obsessed city dweller would envy. Many farmers have fields that are monitored in real-time for things like temperature, soil moisture, and fertilizer levels, generating a flood of data. And it’s not just the fields that are wired. Much of the newest generation of modern (and incredibly expensive) farm equipment like tractors, fertilizer sprayers or combines have onboard computers, GPS and sophisticated sensors to ensure that fields are worked precisely.
A collaborative research project between Australian and Chinese scientists has shown how soybean can be bred to better tolerate soil salinity. The researchers, at the University of Adelaide in Australia and the Institute of Crop Sciences in the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, have identified a specific gene in soybean that has great potential for soybean crop improvement. “Soybean is the fifth largest crop in the world in terms of both crop area planted and amount harvested,” says the project’s lead, University of Adelaide researcher Associate Professor Matthew Gilliham. “But many commercial crops are sensitive to soil salinity and this can cause major losses to crop yields
PISAC, Peru, Dic 29 (IPS) - In this town in Peruâ€™s highlands over 3,000 metres above sea level, in the mountains surrounding the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Quechua Indians who have lived here since time immemorial are worried about threats to their potato crops from alterations in rainfall patterns and temperatures.
The families food security is definitely at risk,â€ agricultural technician Lino Loayza told IPS. â€œThe rainy season started in September, and the fields should be green, but it has only rained two or three days, and weâ€™re really worried about the effects of the heat.â€
If the drought stretches on, as expected, â€œwe wonâ€™t have a good harvest next year,â€ said Loayza, who is head of the Parque de la Papa or Potato Park, a biocultural conservation unit created to safeguard native crops in the rural municipality of Pisac in the southeastern department or region of Cuzco.[pullquote]3[/pullquote]
Australian scientists have developed a model for oil palm cultivation, aimed at helping growers of the crop maximize the yields of their plantations, while minimizing detrimental environmental impacts.
While a disruption in drinking water supplies in Ohio and the Hypoxia “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico are two examples of what can happen when too much phosphorus fertilizer runs off into waterways from agricultural fields and suburban lawns, there are solutions to the problem
he cereal crops that humans rely on today as staple foods result from plant breeding decisions our ancestors made more than 10,000 years ago. Now, a series of intriguing experiments has revealed why those first arable farmers chose to domesticate some cereals and not others. The results – which will be presented at this week’s joint BES/SFE conference in Lille – could help today’s plant breeders improve tomorrow’s crops. -
A 12-year University of Illinois study shows that, although the use of cover crops does not improve crop yields, the practice does increase the amount of sequestered soil organic carbon using three different soil management systems
China’s air and water pollution is more visible than its soil pollution and more often makes headlines. But recent government studies underscore the worrying extent of heavy-metal pollution tainting China’s agricultural lands—and its food supply.
The effects of climate change often seem far-off: melting icecaps in the Antarctic, more frequent cyclones in South Asia and the expanding Sahara Desert. But climate change affects everyone. Small joys, such as happy hour at the local pub, for example, may not be so joyous in the near future. Agave plants in Tequila, Mexico, are facing harsher, drier summers. In contrast, the Maldives exemplify the extreme side of climate change: from falling biodiversity to rising sea levels which could entirely inundate the coral-based islands. While humanity can survive without happy hour tequila and vacations in the tropics, climate change threatens the basic human need of food. With global cooperation, this threat can be transformed into an opportunity for a sustainable future with a highly resilient agricultural system.
In the Northern Hemisphere, there's a strong seasonal cycle of vegetation. Each year in the Northern Hemisphere, levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide drop in the summer as plants "inhale," then climb again as they exhale after the growing season. During the last 50 years, the size of this seasonal swing has increased by as much as half, for reasons that aren't fully understood. Now a team of researchers has shown that agricultural production may generate up to a quarter of the increase in this s