Subsistence farmers in Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean are learning how to construct raised planting beds and install drip irrigation systems to boost their agricultural productivity, conserve water and perhaps even halt the rapid advance of desertification in some drought-prone regions.
When exposed to nitrogen fertilizer over a period of years, nitrogen-fixing bacteria called rhizobia evolve to become less beneficial to legumes – the plants they normally serve, researchers report in a new study.
A new analysis suggests the planet can produce much more land-plant biomass – the total material in leaves, stems, roots, fruits, grains and other terrestrial plant parts – than previously thought.
This growing season, crop researchers at the University of Illinois are experimenting with the use of drones – unmanned aerial vehicles – on the university’s South Farms.
An invasive weed that has put some southern cotton farmers out of business is now finding its way across the Midwest – and many corn and soybean growers don’t yet appreciate the threat, University of Illinois researchers report.