Cover Crops, Sensors, and Food Security

Marty McFly and Doc Brown stand at the end of an unfinished bridge, dangling out over a ravine. The two had planned to use the bridge as a runway for a time-traveling DeLorean, accelerating them back to the future. “Oh well, guess we’ll have to wait a year until it’s finished,” Marty says. […]

Energy sorghum may combine best of annual, perennial bioenergy crops

by Julie Wurth, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment CABBI researcher Caitlin Moore, standing here in an Illinois sorghum field, was a lead author on a study that found annual energy sorghum behaved more like miscanthus than maize in the way it captured light and used water to produce abundant […]

Groups of bacteria can work together to better protect crops and improve their growth

IMAGE: Scientist Susanna Harris in the lab. view more  Credit: Noam Eckshtain-Levi, Susanna Leigh Harris, Reizo Quilat Roscios, and Elizabeth Anne Shank Certain bacteria, known as plant-growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB), can improve plant health or protect them from pathogens and are used commercially to help crops. To further improve agricultural yields, it is helpful to identify factors […]

Crops grown in Bangalore high on toxic heavy metals

Scientists in Bangalore, India have found toxic levels of four heavy metals, chromium, nickel, cadmium and lead, in crops and vegetables grown on soil irrigated with water from six lakes in the city, reports a study published December in Current Science. According to the study, the 17 lakes in and around Bangalore, a bustling city […]

Groups of bacteria can work together to better protect crops and improve their growth

Scientist Susanna Harris in the lab. Credit: Noam Eckshtain-Levi, Susanna Leigh Harris, Reizo Quilat Roscios, and Elizabeth Anne Shank Certain bacteria, known as plant-growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB), can improve plant health or protect them from pathogens and are used commercially to help crops. To further improve agricultural yields, it is helpful to identify factors that can […]

Light signal emitted during photosynthesis used to quickly screen crops — ScienceDaily

An international effort called Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) aims to transform crops’ ability to turn sunlight and carbon dioxide into higher yields. To achieve this, scientists are analyzing thousands of plants to find out what tweaks to the plant’s structure or its cellular machinery could increase production. University of Illinois researchers have revealed a […]

Unsafe levels of radiation found in Chernobyl crops

Crops grown near the Chernobyl nuclear site in Ukraine are still contaminated with radiation from the explosive 1986 disaster.  In a new study, researchers found that wheat, rye, oats and barley grown in this area contained two radioactive isotopes — strontium 90 and cesium 137 — that were above safe consumption limits. Radioactive isotopes are […]

Adding grazing to cover crops can benefit bottom line

Cattle graze on a cover crop during the Texas A&M AgriLife Research study. Credit: Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Paul DeLaune Growing dual-purpose wheat for both grazing and grain production is an important agricultural practice in the Southern Great Plains. But of late, more Texas Rolling Plains producers want to know if alternative systems to […]