Horseweed is a serious threat to both agricultural crops and natural landscapes around the globe. In the U.S., the weed is prolific and able to emerge at any time of the year.
Scientists have created plants whose cells and tissues 'blush' with beetroot pigments when they are colonised by fungi that help them take up nutrients from the soil. This is the first time this vital, 400 million year old process has been visualised in real time in full root systems of living plants. Understanding the dynamics of plant colonisation by fungi could help to make food production more sustainable in the future.
New University of Otago research has been examining how alpine-based hedgehogs hibernate from a different perspective - their backs.
Tomato fruits inform the mother plant when they are being eaten by caterpillars, shows a new study. Little is known about whether a fruit can communicate with the plant to which it's attached, which could be important for warning the plant of threats. This early evidence shows that pest attacks do trigger defensive electrical and biochemical responses across the plant. This could provide more effective monitoring strategies for detecting agricultural pests in the future.
A new tool developed by a University of Minnesota research team allows farmers to create a budget balance sheet of any nitrogen reduction plans and see the economic and environmental cost, return and margins, all customized to fields under their management.
Corn growers can choose from a wide array of products to make the most of their crop, but the latest could bring seaweed extract to a field near you. The marine product is just one class in a growing market of crop biostimulants marketed for corn. Biostimulants benefit crops and soil, but the dizzying array of products has farmers confused, according to Fred Below, corn and soybean researcher at the University of Illinois.
Engineers and plant pathologists at UC Riverside have developed a way to engineer a protein that blocks fungi from breaking down cell walls, as well as a way to produce this protein in quantity for external application as a natural fungicide. The work could lead to a new way of controlling plant disease that reduces reliance on conventional fungicides.
A new paper published in Nature Food offers the first comprehensive comparison of the most advanced international efforts to measure how nitrogen is managed in agriculture. Scientists from ten different research groups across the world, estimated how much nitrogen is added to croplands as fertilizer and manure, how much of the added nitrogen is harvested in crops, and how much is left over as potential environmental pollution.
An international research team that includes scientists and engineers from The University of Texas at Austin has devised a new method for making urea that is more environmentally friendly than today's process and produces enough to be competitive with energy-intensive industrial methods.
Plant material that lies to rot in soil isn't just valuable as compost. In fact, agricultural crop residue plays a crucial role in sequestering carbon, which is vital for reducing global CO2 emissions. This, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, among others.