Plant Reproduction Finding by University of Kentucky Scientists Could Lead to More Reliable Crop Production

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 5, 2021) —Understanding the mechanisms behind successful plant reproduction can lead to more reliable crop production and higher yields. In a recent study, an international group of scientists led by researchers from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture,…

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.

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 can discuss the spread of and threat posed by the invasive spotted lanternfly, a destructive pest, in New Jersey. “Their…

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

Juicy Genomics

When Pulitzer Prize and Grammy award winner Kendrick Lamar rapped “I got millions, I got riches buildin’ in my DNA,” he almost certainly wasn’t talking about the humble tomato. But a new study unveiling more than 230,000 DNA differences across 100 tomato varieties which will allow breeders and scientists to engineer larger, juicier, more profitable plants, proves that tomatoes indeed have riches buildin’ in their DNA, too.

Rutgers Expert Can Discuss Ethnic or Exotic Crops in N.J., Mid-Atlantic

New Brunswick, N.J. (June 9, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick ethnic crop research specialist Albert Ayeni is available for interviews on growing non-native crops in New Jersey and the mid-Atlantic, including exotic peppers, okra, roselle (sorrel), tropical spinach (amaranths) and…

Oyster Farming and Shorebirds Likely Can Coexist

Oyster farming as currently practiced along the Delaware Bayshore does not significantly impact four shorebirds, including the federally threatened red knot, which migrates thousands of miles from Chile annually, according to a Rutgers-led study. The findings, published in the journal Ecosphere, likely apply to other areas around the country including the West Coast and Gulf Coast, where oyster aquaculture is expanding, according to Rutgers experts who say the study can play a key role in identifying and resolving potential conflict between the oyster aquaculture industry and red knot conservation groups.

Rutgers Experts Can Discuss Food Shortages Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

New Brunswick, N.J. (April 21, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick experts William J. Bamka and Michelle Infante-Casella are available for interviews on food shortages and disruptions in the food supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both work in the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment…

A closer look at agriculture market interruptions during COVID-19

Disruptions caused to the food and agriculture sector’s supply chains by the COVID-19 pandemic are being analyzed by the Texas A&M AgriLife-led Center of Excellence for Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense Center, or CBTS, a Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Center of Excellence.

Oysters and Clams Can be Farmed Together

Eastern oysters and three species of clams can be farmed together and flourish, potentially boosting profits of shellfish growers, according to a Rutgers University–New Brunswick study. Though diverse groups of species often outperform single-species groups, most bivalve farms in the United States and around the world grow their crops as monocultures, notes the study in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Rutgers Creates ‘Scarlet Sunrise’ Bicolor Grape Tomato

New Brunswick, N.J. (March 3, 2020) – A Rutgers University–New Brunswick tomato breeding team known for developing the ‘Rutgers 250’ tomato has created ‘Scarlet Sunrise,’ a unique and flavorful bicolor grape tomato. The team at Rutgers’ New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station…

Diverse cropping systems don’t increase carbon storage compared to corn-soybean rotations

Diversified crop rotations protect water quality and have other environmental benefits, but recent experiments show that farms can’t rely on such rotations to improve carbon storage in the soil. The findings contradict widely held expectations that the extensive root systems of perennials and cover crops would deposit carbon in soils.

LED Lighting in Greenhouses Helps But Standards are Needed

While LED lighting can enhance plant growth in greenhouses, standards are needed to determine the optimal intensity and colors of light, according to Rutgers research that could help improve the energy efficiency of horticultural lighting products.

Decoding plant chatter could lead to stronger crops

Researchers will use a $2.25 federal grant to study how cells communicate within plants, and between plants and pathogens, to develop crops that are resilient to disease and other stresses. The work also could play a role in reengineering plants and microbes to improve biofuel production.

Red Algae Thrive Despite Ancestor’s Massive Loss of Genes

You’d think that losing 25 percent of your genes would be a big problem for survival. But not for red algae, including the seaweed used to wrap sushi. An ancestor of red algae lost about a quarter of its genes roughly one billion years ago, but the algae still became dominant in near-shore coastal areas around the world, according to Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Debashish Bhattacharya, who co-authored a study in the journal Nature Communications.