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Tomato jumping genes can help speed-breed drought-resistant crops

Cambridge - A new study from British researchers shows how harnessing tomato jumping genes can assist with the process of developing speed-breed drought-resistant crops, thereby helping to address world hunger.

Interview: Israeli startup helps US farmers boost crop yields Special

A new startup out of Israel that has come to the U.S. and is starting to help American farmers improve crop yields by deploying new technology that maximizes bee pollination. Omer Davidi, co-founder and CEO of BeeHero explains.

Agriculture robot speeds data collection

Chicago - A technological advance for the agribusiness. A new Ag robot has been developed, which speeds data collection and has the capability of analyzing crops as they grow.

Satellite technology aids ranchers with crop management

The Canadian government has laid down a challenge to technology companies to help farmers to manage crops using new risk management tools.

Why corn is best used for food and not for biofuels

Should corn production be orientated more towards biofuels, as a green energy alternative, or for food? This debate has continued to run since biofuel technology has come to the fore. A new report argues that the biofuel argument has lost credibility.

Armyworms threaten southern Africa food supply: UN agency

Harare - An outbreak of armyworm caterpillars present in several southern African countries threatens to strip the entire region of key food supplies, warned the UN food agency Thursday.

On a South African farm, despair over armyworm attack

Onderstepoort - Peeling back the maize plant's leaves reveals a small brown caterpillar -- an armyworm that writhes as it burrows into the heart of the crop, producing a sticky dark paste.

Emergency Harare meeting warns of 'huge' armyworm threat

Harare - International experts at emergency UN talks in Harare warned Tuesday that crop-eating armyworm caterpillars posed a serious threat to food supplies across several African countries.

Anti-fungal RNA spray developed to combat barley crop disease

Barley fields can be devastated by fungal infections and many fungicides are limited in their effectiveness or they are too toxic to be deployed safely. A new approach involves spraying barley crops with RNA molecules to inhibit fungus growth.

Tomatoes may hold the key to crop disease resistance

Agricultural scientists have isolated a receptor used by tomatoes to detect the infectious agent that causes bacterial speck disease. The receptor could be transferred into other crops to make them disease-resistant.

Scientists enter into battle with Greenpeace over GM food

Few issues spark as much intensity as genetically modified foods and both sides wheel out scientists to give opinions on the safety (or otherwise) of genetically modified produce. In a new move, a consortium of scientists has gone on the offensive.

Battling against crop pests thanks to genetics

Three research groups have recently reported on advances with crop diseases resistance. These related to detecting novel disease resistance genes and the successful transfer of resistance into wheat, soybean, and potato.

Deadly crop killing fungus reaches Asia

A fungus that causes considerable damage to crops has reached Asia. Microbiologists are attempting to determine the origin of the recent Bangladesh outbreak, through the use of a digital platform.

Lower fertilizer applications with the help of fungi

With concerns about the use of chemical fertilizers being discussed in both the U.S. and Europe, news that fungi might present an alternative means for improving crop yields has been welcomed by scientists and policy makers.

Russia may ban corn and soybeans from U.S.

A Russian watchdog group says U.S. corn contains dry rot and the use of GMOs may result in a ban on both corn and soybeans from the States.

Tackling invasive rice-killing fungi

Tokyo - Scientists have a clue as to how to stop fungi that kills a variety of fruits, vegetables, rice. Researchers have identified the enzyme used by the fungus to make tenuazonic acid, which is the toxin that kills the crops.

Heavy pesticide use in Scotland revealed

Edinburgh - Some parts of the world are pushing ahead with organic farming and eschewing the use of pesticides. Not so in Scotland, it seems. Three new reports reveal the extent of pesticide use in the country.

Poor state of the world’s soils revealed

Soils are essential for the world’s food system. Soil regulates water, carbon and nitrogen cycles. However, the state of many soils in the world is poor and action is needed as part of strategies to boost food production.

GMO (genetically modified) crops to be banned in Scotland

GMO (genetically modified) crops are going to be banned in Scotland. The move is to protect the country's "clean, green" status.

Fertilizers could harm native plant species

Dublin - Fertiliser use is creating a situation whereby native plant species are battling more exotic plants, according to a new study.

The risks of methyl bromide exposure remain

Methyl bromide is a highly toxic pesticide. Although it is not permitted to be used in areas close to human habitation, incidences of poisoning still occur according to the U.S. CDC.

GM crops do not always work as expected

Hertford - A genetically modified wheat has failed tests in the U.K. The crop was designed to repel pests and grow a more hardy variety of the grain.

Roll over biology, super computer creates better crops

For years biologists have toiled away to find ways to make better crops. Now it seems the answer lies with computers. An advanced computer has fully detailed the nanostructure of cellulose, the key to creating more robust grains.

Wasp control: Using one insect to control another

Whitefly is a well-known agricultural pest. It leaves a characteristic white gooey mess across plants and objects like cars. The white mess soon becomes a black mold. It seems that wasps might be a solution to push-back on whitefly.

Bees are drawn to pesticides, triggering risk of death

A study shows bees prefer food laced with pesticides. Further research adds to the evidence that such chemicals are harmful to some pollinators.

A new crop virus reported in North America

Chicago - A type of mastrevirus called switchgrass mosaic-associated virus 1, has been detected in North America. Such viruses cause damage to staple food crops like corn and wheat, and lead to economic consequences.

Europe revises its stance on GM crops

A new agreement in the European Union allows genetically engineered crops to be approved without member-state votes. This represents a U-turn for before all member states needed to agree. The new policy will allow several GMO foods to enter the market.

Barley was key to people moving to Alpine regions

The cold-tolerant cereal crop barley allowed humans to live and farm higher than ever starting more than 3,000 years ago, according to new research.

New treatment against wheat viruses

A technology has helped wheat become resistant to viruses. The technology involves genetic engineering, although more environmentally sustainable options are possible in the longer-term..

Europe agrees to GMO crops

Brussels - Member states of the European Union have agreed on a EU-wide directive for the authorization process of genetically modified crops, with an opt-out for individual countries.
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Crops Image

Photograph showing the difference between wheat and goatgrass
Photograph showing the difference between wheat and goatgrass
Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board
A scarecrow is a decoy placed in open fields to discourage birds from disturbing and feeding on rece...
A scarecrow is a decoy placed in open fields to discourage birds from disturbing and feeding on recently cast seed and growing crops.
A woman stands outside of her temporary home and dried up maize crop in Epworth  in Harare  Zimbabwe
A woman stands outside of her temporary home and dried up maize crop in Epworth, in Harare, Zimbabwe
IRIN Photos
The London Freedom Seed Bank is a network of food growers and gardeners dedicated to saving  storing...
The London Freedom Seed Bank is a network of food growers and gardeners dedicated to saving, storing and distributing open-pollinated seed.
Irrigation sprinkler in a field of corn  central Nebraska. It also waters half the yard.
Irrigation sprinkler in a field of corn, central Nebraska. It also waters half the yard.

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