August 2012

August 7th, 2012

From AgProfessional:

An international plant study could lead to the reduction in the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Although the researchers encouraged the idea of ending the need for all fertilizers and pesticides, in reality, that result is many years away.

The study helps to explain how microbial communities (microbiomes) living in and on plant roots can boost plant health, growth and defense against pests. By focusing on the microbiomes, researchers discovered that microbiome helps shuttle nutrients and information into and out of the roots within the soil matrix.

The research was led by the University of North Carolina, the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and included the University of Queensland in Australia.

The findings suggest that plant health could be boosted in the microbiome by plant probiotics that could eventually replace fertilizers and pesticides. Co-author Susannah Tringe, head of DOE JGI's Metagenome Program, said the microbiome can be viewed as an extension of the plant's genome.

Read more here. You can also learn more about this research here.

August 6th, 2012

From Greg Page, chairman and chief executive of Cargill. Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services.

As reposted from the Washington Post:

"In America’s heartland, farmers are making the agonizing decision to plow down cornfields that have succumbed to the worst drought in decades. The parched land, resulting lower yields and already tight grain stocks remind us that we can’t take food production for granted. They also raise the question: Can we feed a world on its way to 9 billion people, given weather events, pressure on natural resources and changing diets? At Cargill, we believe the answer is yes. But leaders in government, business and civil societies need to take into account three key imperatives to create a more food-secure world."

Read more here.