Historically, agriculture has always moved forward through technological innovation. The current moment is no different. Look for remote sensing, genetic engineering and CRISPR, robotics, and drones to continue to push agricultural productivity forward in 2017.
Kevin Folta explains how a report on pesticides from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food inadvertently makes the case for modernizing agriculture in the developing world.
Stuart Thompson, Senior Lecturer in Plant Biochemistry at the University of Westminster lays four key challenges to global food security: drought, emerging diseases, salty soils, and fertilizer dependence.
Stuart Thompson, Senior Lecturer in Plant Biochemistry at the University of Westminster lays out three areas; disease resistance, improved photosynthesis, and improved nutrition; where breakthroughs in biotech crop breeding could go a long way to improving the impact of agriculture.
University of Wyoming professor Andrew Kniss addresses the issues of intimidation and chilling effects of the USRTK’s FOIA campaign against researchers active in communicating about biotech in ag.
“In all, the impact of adopting slow growing birds is a 34% increase in feed per lb prime meat, a 40% increase in gallons of water and a 53% increase in the manure per bird marketed, and a 49% increase in costs per bird marketed.”
And to what end is this big step backwards in terms of sustainability being undertaken? Theoretically for animal welfare. But what is absent in this discussion is – why slower growing = better welfare?
How have the farm animals of today been shaped by centuries of domestication and selective breeding? Sujata Gupta investigates.
. . . The Pig Adventure, housing 3,000 sows and producing 80,000 piglets per year, sits alongside a 36,000-cow Dairy Adventure, with murmurings of further adventures for fish and chickens. This is “agro-Disneyland”, a place where rides have been replaced by adorable pink piglets and 72-cow robotic milking parlours (or cow “merry-go-rounds” as our guide calls them).
Microbes can unlock phosphorus and other micronutrients so that plants can use them. We developed a combination of four bacteria that are exceptionally good at making phosphorus available to plants, leading to bigger, healthier plants. They do this by releasing specialized molecules that break the bonds between phosphorus and soil particles. To get this technology into the hands of farmers who can use it, we launched a startup company called Growcentia and started selling our first product, which is called Mammoth P.
Researchers have identified set of genes that could improve the efficiency of photosynthesis in staple crops. An increase in yields up to 40% for cassava could mean substantial increases in food security for Africa and greatly improved incomes for subsistence farmers.
Alison Van Eenennaam explains why the FDA’s proposed regulations on biotech breeding make no sense.
More than a century after their discovery, we still don’t really know what blood types are for. Do they really matter? Carl Zimmer investigates.
Researchers at the University of Washington have bred a grass capable of bioremediating munitions sites by incorporating genes to metabolize RDX – a toxic compound found in munitions sites;- into Switchgrass and Creeping Bentgrass, plants viewed favorably by both graziers and wildlife managers.
UC Davis animal genomics and biotechnology specialist Alison Van Eenennaam weighs in on confusion about research funding and industry influence.
“We need salami. For that we need to go to the fridge.” “Where’s the fridge?” “The fridge is outside. It’s quite big.”