Space Agriculture: The Final Frontier

Kelly Marshall

Precision farming may be a fairly exact science these days, but growing plants in space is still a murky one.  Those in agriculture can appreciate the importance of growing food on board a space station or during a mission to Mars, but a new paper in the Botany Letters highlights the challenges scientists still face in this agricultural frontier. The …

Plant Science, Research

Valent, Danforth Plant Center Solidify Rhizosphere Project

Joanna Schroeder

Valent BioSciences Corporation (VBC) and St. Louis, Missouri-based Donald Danforth Plant Science Center have solidified a multi-year Master of Cooperation agreement focused on the area of root science and the rhizosphere. The partnership will capitalize on The Danforth Center’s focus on discoveries and technologies for improving agricultural productivity with minimal environmental impact including new research on non-destructive imaging technology for …

Plant Science, Research, Soil, technology

More than 100 Nobel Laureates Support GMOs

Kelly Marshall

This morning three Nobel Laureates presented at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. to call on Greenpeace, the United Nations and governments around the world to support GMOs. They are the public face of more than 100 Nobel Laureates who signed a letter asking that campaigns agains products like Golden Rice be abandoned.  The letter condemns practices that are …

Ag Group, biotechnology, GMO, Plant Science, technology

“FitBit” for Healthy Plants

Kelly Marshall

Hours of research in a lab mean next to nothing if a researcher doesn’t know what happens to seeds in the field. Up till now scientists have checked crops the same way it’s been done for centuries- by walking through the rows. But not any longer.  Now researchers have created the Phenocart, a portable collection of sensors scientists can push through the …

Data, Plant Science, Research

New Discovery A Boon for Plant Breeders

Kelly Marshall

The idea of “dark matter” may send your mind to astronomy (or at least science fiction), but plant scientists have discovered what they’re terming “dark matter” in the maize genome.  This new discovery is a tiny percentage of regulatory DNA, and accounts for approximately half of the variations in observable traits that occur in corn. Cornell University and Florida State …

Corn, Education, Plant Science, Research

Crop Advances Grow with Protection

Kelly Marshall

Intellectual ownership of seed technology has long been argued.  Some support the free exchange of seed and plant varieties because of the benefits to plant breeders and growers. Others are in favor of intellectual property, which protects a company’s investments.  But every issues has pros and cons.  To determine the impact of intellectual property protection on seed development Stephen Smith and …

Agribusiness, Plant Science, Research, seed

Soil Health Institute Names Chief Scientific Officers

Kelly Marshall

For the first time the Soil Health Institute has selected a Chief Scientific Officer.  Dr. Steven R. Shafer, one of the nation’s top agricultural research leaders, has been selected for this position. “The Soil Health Institute is committed to safeguarding and enhancing the vitality and productivity of our soils. To accomplish this mission, high priority, outcome-driven research and education are …

Ag Group, Plant Science, Research, Soil

Research Leads to More Food with Fewer Resources

Kelly Marshall

Science and agriculture have been working together to feed a rapidly growing population and increasing yields is one of the most important factors in that food production.   Because yields are largely determined by a plant’s reaction to the stresses of drought, climate change and salinization of fields researchers at Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences, the University of …

Food, Nutrient Management, Plant Science, Research, Resources, Security, water

Farm Different With StollerUSA

Lizzy Schultz

One of the most popular learning sessions at the 2016 Commodity Classic was StollerUSA’s “Farm Different to Break Through Yield Barriers” roundtable discussion, where a panel of growers who have seen continually increasing yields discussed specific cultural and management practices they use to increase yields. “The session is set up to have some of our growers themselves speak, instead of …

Ag Group, Audio, Commodity Classic, Crop Protection, Plant Science, StollerUSA

First Phytobiomes Roadmap Published

Joanna Schroeder

The Phytobiomes Roadmap has been published by a team (the Phytobiomes organization) led by Iowa State University. The Roadmap lays out the vision for agriculture to increase health, productivity, and sustainability of current cropping and forest systems and outlines a strategic plan to acquire the knowledge needed for the vision to become reality. The Roadmap calls for better understanding of …

agronomy, climate, Plant Science, Soil