Weedy rice gets competitive boost from its wild neighbors

Weedy rice is an agricultural pest with a global economic impact. It is an aggressive weed that outcompetes cultivated rice and causes billions of dollars in yield losses worldwide. A study from Washington University in St. Louis offers new insights into genetic changes that give weedy rice its edge over cultivated rice in tropical regions of the world.

First certified carbon-negative beef production opens doors to emerging agricultural technologies, says Notre Dame expert

Argentina, one of the premier beef producers in the world, has set a precedent for livestock farmers by certifying the first carbon-negative beef — opening the doors for a number of emerging technologies that have the potential to reduce methane emissions from…

Central Illinois named US Tech Hub for biomanufacturing by Biden-Harris administration

President Joe Biden announced Monday that the Illinois Fermentation and Agriculture Biomanufacturing Hub (iFAB) is among 31 designated Regional Innovation and Technology Hubs (Tech Hubs) by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) — recognizing Central Illinois as a globally competitive center for innovation and job creation in biomanufacturing.

Record $80 million grant to fund pilot program encouraging the implementation of climate-smart practices on farms

With the Alliance to Advance Climate-Smart Agriculture, which is now underway, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will distribute more than $57 million of the largest grant in the university’s history to producers to enact climate-friendly practices and serve as a pilot program for a national model.

Whole Orchard Recycling Provides Alternative to Burning Trees

Whole orchard recycling is an alternative process for disposing of trees at the end of their productive lives. Researchers are studying how this process may also help improve nitrogen in soils. Hear a microbiologist explain whole orchard recycling on the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory’s Bonding Over Science podcast.

Curbing waste improves global food security but has limited environmental benefits

Reducing waste is one way to help combat hunger around the world, but stricter control over food loss and waste does not lead to better environmental outcomes, according to researchers at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Colorado Boulder. In a paper published recently in Nature Food, the scientists stress that curbing food spoilage increases the amount of produce in markets, which leads to lower costs.

Canned, frozen corn industry struggling across US growing regions

For those whose primary experience with corn is the butter-drenched cob variety, it might come as a surprise that other forms of sweet corn are in trouble. A new University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign analysis shows sweet corn production for frozen and canned products has been steadily shrinking in the U.S. over the past 27 years, particularly in rainfed portions of the Midwest.

Top corn producing state to see future drop in yield, cover crop efficiency

How will future climate change affect nitrogen loss, and will cover crops still be effective in removing nitrogen from drainage water? A new study investigating near- and far-term climate change in Illinois suggests cover crops will still be beneficial, but not to the same degree. The report also forecasts major declines in corn production across the state in the future.

Carbon mitigation payments can make bioenergy crops more appealing for farmers

Bioenergy crops such as miscanthus and switchgrass provide several environmental benefits, but low returns and profit risks are barriers for investment by farmers. A new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign shows that carbon mitigation payments could increase net returns and reduce income risk, potentially enticing more farmers to grow these crops.

Binghamton University and six HBCUs forge New Educational and Research Alliance

In collaboration with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Binghamton University, State University of New York has announced a New Educational and Research Alliance (New ERA) with six historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs): Alabama A&M University, Central State University, Tuskegee University, Prairie-View A&M University, the University of the District of Columbia and Virginia State University.

New Research Suggests Wheat Crops May Be Threatened by Unprecedented Heat and Drought

A recent study led by a researcher at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University found that the likelihood of extreme temperatures that could affect crop yields has increased significantly in wheat-producing regions of the U.S. and China.

How much nitrogen does corn get from fertilizer? Less than farmers think

Corn growers seeking to increase the amount of nitrogen taken up by their crop can adjust many aspects of fertilizer application, but recent studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign show those tweaks don’t do much to improve uptake efficiency from fertilizer. That’s because, the studies show, corn takes up the majority of its nitrogen – about 67% on average – from sources occurring naturally in soil, not from fertilizer.

Tank-mixing herbicides may not be enough to avoid herbicide resistance

Eight years ago, University of Illinois and USDA-ARS scientists turned weed control on its head. More and more herbicide resistant weeds were popping up, and the pest plants were getting harder to kill. It was clear farmers could no longer rely on the same chemicals year after year. Industry campaigns and herbicide applicators began touting the benefits of rotating herbicides annually to avoid developing resistance, and rotation quickly became common practice.

Automated agricultural machinery requires new approaches to ensuring safety

From self-driving tractors to weeding robots and AI-powered data collection, automated machinery is revolutionizing agricultural production. While these technological advancements can greatly improve productivity, they also raise new questions about safety measures and regulations. To address these issues, a recent study from the University of Illinois reviewed current academic literature on the safety of automated agricultural machines. Based on a review of more than 60 papers, the researchers identified three main topics: environmental perception, risk assessment and mitigation, and human factors and ergonomics.

RPI Researchers To Develop New Market for Farm Waste

There are more than 80,000 sheep and lambs living on over 2,000 farms in New York State. Their wool has many uses including clothing, carpets, furniture, bedding, insulators, fertilizers, and more. However, about 10-15% of wool is wasted during the sorting and cleaning processes. Researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are aiming to turn that waste into a new profit source for farmers, and produce an eco-conscious, high-performance yarn in the process.

Fresh veggies need a good scrubbing to prevent contamination

Cangliang Shen, a researcher with the West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and WVU Extension, has studied the microbial safety of both local farmers market produce and mobile poultry processing units, revealing risks from bacteria like E. coli, listeria and salmonella.

Early crop plants were more easily ‘tamed’

Plants are capable of responding to people and have behaviors comparable to tameness, according to authors of new research that calls for a reappraisal of the process of plant domestication, based on almost a decade of observations and experiments.

Dairy sector boasts 100 years of successful herd data collection

The U.S. dairy industry operates a comprehensive data collection program that records herd production information from farmers nationwide. The program provides crucial input for cattle breeding and genetics, and its cooperative structure ensures benefits for producers and scientists alike. A new study from the University of Illinois explores the program’s century-old history, highlighting its relevance for modern agriculture and digital data collection.

Pesticide Contaminants in Water Test Kit, an Innovation from Chula for Safe and Sustainable Agriculture

Farmers in Thailand still largely use chemical herbicides, especially paraquat and atrazine, to control weeds on their farms. According to research by the Office of Agricultural Economics, in 2019, Thailand imported almost 10 million kilograms of paraquat and close to 3.5 million kilograms of atrazine. The residues of these herbicides cause harm to the environment, living creatures, and our health.