Monday, July 23, 2012

“Superweeds” Immune to Glyphosate Prove Less Susceptible to Diseases

According to the Purdue University research, scientists trying to understand the way superweeds get their immunity against the common herbicide glyphosate may have lacked the essential piece of information.
Everybody knows that glyphosate, the active ingredient included in the popular herbicide called the “RoundUp” kills the majority of weeds across the USA. Not all of them, however. That made the farmers take some additional steps as far as the herbicides go. It is not quite clear what mechanisms have let weeds become resistant to the weed killers, yet some scientists believe that soil microbes might be responsible for that process.
It could be true as most laboratory tests are done in sterile soil, lacking all the microbes. These findings, published in Weed Science journal may bring all the details of the process owing to which some plants are not affected by the glyphosate. And that’s good news for  the agriculture industry as some further research is going to check how fungi in the soil affect root development, both with and without glyphosate. Now, farmers are hoping that the findings of the scientists from Purdue University will allow them to finally grow some fine crops, free of weeds and fungi.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Likelihood of Food Crisis Due to the Global Warming

Scientists warn that the UK consumers are likely to suffer dramatically reduced food choices very soon, unless something is done to cut down on the greenhouse gas emissions.
The Sustainable Consumption Institute research shows some threatening statistics according to which the food, now taken for granted, such as meat and vegetables, could become too pricey for many families should global temperatures stay in line with the present trends and reach 4˚C within the lifetime of one generation.
What is worse, the situation is not likely to improve even when families carry on lowering their carbon emissions coming from the energy use as global farming emissions tend to rise, along with the increasing appetite for the energy-intensive foods. The report puts forward what many people have been aware of years before: there’s a chance to minimize the adverse effects of global warming, yet people must reduce the consumption of energy and food alongside with goods and services.
Yet the situation looks like a vicious circle so far, as together with the rise of temperature more fertilizers would be used in agriculture and farming in order to boost the crop growth. And it would definitely lead to further rise in greenhouse gas emissions.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cultivators: A Big Comeback

Some farmers may wonder whether the tillage equipment is going to work extremely hard this summer. Well, apparently it can, and it is all owing to the tenacity of herbicide-resistant weeds, as stated in the report by CAST (Council for Agricultural Science and Technology).
The report recommends fighting the glyphosate – resistant weeds with the use of “integrated management solutions, perhaps including tillage”. However, intensifying tillage brings about some issues, such as costs, increased labor, machinery limitations and  the related conservation challenges.
Definitely, one of the solutions to control herbicide – resistant weeds is to adopt site-specific mechanical control. Yet, many farmers have already sold or junked their cultivators, so the remaining equipment may have the wrong spacing or corroded sweeps. That is why, if the widespread cultivation becomes a must, a lot of new iron is going to be designed and marketed.