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Food Production

5/4/2014

Farmers are used to optimizing crop production on their own lands. They do soil tests to choose the right amount of fertilizers to apply, and they sometimes plant row crops on certain fields while...

4/24/2014

When soybean was popularized in the U.S. in the 1800s, farmers eagerly embraced the legume from East Asia as a forage crop. Today, it is more commonly grown as an oilseed crop rotated with corn...

4/21/2014

Wheat, corn, and rice account for about 85% of global cereal production, and these crops contribute a majority of calories eaten around the world. Their production is vital if we are to feed a...

4/16/2014

New Zealand’s pastoral landscapes are some of the loveliest in the world, but they also contain a hidden threat. Many of the country’s pasture soils have become enriched in cadmium...

4/2/2014

Does genetic manipulation cause unintended changes in food quality and composition? Are genetically modified (GM) foods less nutritious than their non-GM counterparts, for example, or different in...

3/25/2014

It can be tough being a crop in the Southern Great Plains. While irrigation has transformed the area into productive agricultural land, crops growing there still face obstacles.  Low rainfall...

3/16/2014

By all accounts, Norman Borlaug was a hardworking and humble man. When the phone call came to tell him that he had won the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize, he was out working in the wheat fields. His wife...

3/4/2014

As agricultural practices have evolved in recent decades, the total number of plant species grown for food worldwide has decreased. Diets have changed and become more Westernized. These trends...

2/4/2014

Organic farmers face quite a conundrum when it comes to controlling weeds. Fighting them with tillage instead of herbicides keeps chemical pollutants out of the environment. But tilling too much...

11/25/2013

A recent study shows that high-yielding, modern corn hybrids take up not only more nitrogen from soil but more micronutrients such as zinc, iron, manganese and copper. Nitrogen fertilizer rates...