Study: Crop diversification can improve environmental outcomes without sacrificing yields

Diversifying agricultural systems beyond a narrow selection of crops leads to a range of ecosystem improvements while also maintaining or improving yields, according to a new study that analyzed thousands of previously conducted experiments. Diversification practices such as crop rotations and planting prairie strips can lead to “win-win” results that protect the environment without sacrificing yields, according to the analysis.

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Rutgers Experts Can Discuss Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Spread in N.J.

New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 1, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor George C. Hamilton and Associate Professor Anne L. Nielsen

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UAH gets $600,000 to create more accurate analysis of soil moisture

A $600,000 grant to create a more accurate analysis of soil moisture for drought depiction, agricultural assessments and flood potential has been awarded to the interim dean of the College of Science at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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New method to combat damage, help revive NY berry industry

Greg Loeb has been experimenting with a thin mesh covering, called exclusion netting, around berry crops as a means to prevent spotted wing drosophila (SWD) infestation. The efficacy of the netting is documented in a paper, “Factors Affecting the Implementation of Exclusion Netting to Control Drosophila Suzukii on Primocane Raspberry,” published in the journal Crop Protection.

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Decline of Bees, Other Pollinators Threatens U.S. Crop Yields

Crop yields for apples, cherries and blueberries across the United States are being reduced by a lack of pollinators, according to Rutgers-led research, the most comprehensive study of its kind to date. Most of the world’s crops depend on honeybees and wild bees for pollination, so declines in both managed and wild bee populations raise concerns about food security, notes the study in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

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Geoengineering’s Benefits Limited for Apple Crops in India

Geoengineering – spraying sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to combat global warming – would only temporarily and partially benefit apple production in northern India, according to a Rutgers co-authored study. But abruptly ending geoengineering might lead to total crop failure faster than if geoengineering were not done, according to the study – believed to be the first of its kind – in the journal Climatic Change.

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How to Tackle Climate Change, Food Security and Land Degradation

How can some of world’s biggest problems – climate change, food security and land degradation – be tackled simultaneously? Some lesser-known options, such as integrated water management and increasing the organic content of soil, have fewer trade-offs than many well-known options, such as planting trees, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Global Change Biology.

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