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

Study Finds China Dominates Global Production Market

Lizzy Schultz

Research firm MarketLine has found that the global agricultural products market reached a value of just over $2.2 trillion in 2015, and the Asia-Pacific revision accounted for well over half of the world’s agricultural production. MarketLine found that, despite a decrease in overall value terms last year, China continues to be the dominant country in the agricultural products market, with …

Ag Group, Financing, Markets, Research

Michigan Students Study Bee Populations

Kelly Marshall

August marks the month bees in Michigan will begin producing honey, and researchers at Grand Valley State University will take advantage of what they can learn from that with a $2.3 million grant from the USDA to study the decline in honeybee population. The four-year, $200,000 study at Grand Valley, led by Jonathan Engelsma, professor of computing, will focus on …

Bees, Education, Research

USDA Analyzes Crop Insurance Demand

Lizzy Schultz

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a report completed by the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) on the effectiveness of crop insurance. The report, titled How Do Time and Money Affect Agricultural Insurance Uptake? A New Approach to Farm Risk Management Analysis, analyzes the relationship between wealth, savings, and insurance over time to identify alternative approaches to managing …

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Crop Insurance, Financing, Research, USDA

5 Things Caledonia Wants AgTech Investors to Know

Joanna Schroeder

There are five things Caledonia Solutions wants Agtech investors to know during this time of low commodity prices. The organization says that during down times, more growers stay away from making precision ag investments. However, this is contrary to what growers should actually do. “Growers with cash find now is the time to be a contrarian and invest in ag …

Agribusiness, Data, Research, technology

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

Buffer Crops Good Soil Runoff Strategy

Joanna Schroeder

University of Missouri researchers, focused on reducing soil and nutrient loss and runoff from agricultural fields, have found that using buffers between crops and trees both reduces soil runoff and maintains good growing conditions. Runoff, when fertilizer and pesticides are washed downstream, has been in the news lately as linked to “dead” areas in the Gulf of Mexico where high …

Corn, Cover Crops, Research, Soil, Soybeans, sustainability

Dukes Honored with John Deere Gold Medal Award

Kelly Marshall

Michael Dukes has been honored with the 2016 John Deere Gold Medal award. Dukes is the director of the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.  He has received national recognition for his expertise in irrigation and water conservation.  The award is given by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological …

Award, Research, Soil, University

“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

#ASTAannual Supports Future of #Seed Industry

Cindy Zimmerman

The future of the seed industry is in good hands if the students who are attending this year’s American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) annual meeting are any indication. ASTA has a strong interest in encouraging young people pursuing careers in the industry in a number of ways, from programs that mentor students to supporting the efforts of the American Seed …

ASTA, Audio, Research, seed