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Archive for the Agriculture Category

Corn Rootworm Could Be Back Big This Year

Corn Rootworm Could Be Back Big This Year

  Dow Jones Newswires04/02/2014 @ 10:46am The western corn rootworm, a Farm Belt scourge, is gaining further ground against genetically modified crops designed to kill it, marking a setback for biotech seed makers. The rootworm, a voracious bug that can undermine farmers’ crops, is developing resistance to pest-killing toxins in corn seed marketed in the U.S. by Syngenta AG of Switzerland, according to new research from Iowa State University. The study, published last month, expands on earlier research showing that the insect had developed resistance to a widely grown genetically modified corn developed by Monsanto Co. The more-resilient bugs, documented […]

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Reduced Acres Buries the Risk of $3.50 Corn

Reduced Acres Buries the Risk of $3.50 Corn

Corn prices exceeded $5 this week and market expert Jerry Gulke says the downside risk has been reduced at least for a while. By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor Even if Midwest farmers are still several weeks away from planting, they can celebrateimproving prices. Old- and new-crop corn surpassed $5 this week, and old-crop soybean prices have remained above $14.50. These prices followed Monday’s friendly round of USDA reports. In its annual Prospective Plantings reports, USDA predicted 91.7 million acres of corn (down 4% from 2013), 81.5 million acres of soybeans (up 6% from 2013), 55.8 million acres of […]

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Fertilization destabilizes global grassland ecosystems

Fertilization destabilizes global grassland ecosystems

New study led by University of Minnesota researchers demonstrates that fertilization of natural grasslands — either intentionally or unintentionally as a side effect of global farming and industry — is having a destabilizing effect on global grassland ecosystems. Using a network of natural grassland research sites around the world called the Nutrient Network, the study represents the first time such a large experiment has been conducted using naturally occurring sites. Led by Yann Hautier, a Marie Curie Fellow associated with both the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota and the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and […]

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Conserving potato agrobiodiversity: Top-down and bottom-up approach needed

Conserving potato agrobiodiversity: Top-down and bottom-up approach needed

Mashed, smashed and fried, Americans love potatoes, but only a few varieties are grown in much of North American agriculture. In South America, where potatoes originated, more than 5,000 varieties continue to exist. A Penn State geographer is gathering all the information he can about the agrobiodiversity of these uniquely adapted tubers with an eye toward sustainability of this fourth largest food crop worldwide. “In the U.S. we rely primarily on 10 to 12 types of potatoes total,” said Karl Zimmerer, department head and professor of geography. “In fact, mostly we use only 5 to 8 varieties. In South America, […]

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