New study shows that bacteria can be engineered to create their own fertilizer using air

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It is possible that in the future, agricultural crops will be able to produce their own fertilizer (© Pexels)

Researchers have successfully engineered bacteria to use nitrogen at night to create chlorophyll for photosynthesis. This new development could reduce the need for human-made fertilizers on agricultural crops, thus reducing the cost and manpower required for fertilizer application.

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Madagascan bananas may soon be extinct

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Photo: ‘Green Bananas’ by Holger Link on Unsplash

Bananas we buy across the world could be threatened with extinction in the future. This claim is due to the decline of wild banana species which could be the last resort for saving the world’s most popular banana, the Cavendish.

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Rallying around plant health in Jamaica

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Plant doctor Andrea Legg showing farmers an instar of the beet armyworm during the “understand the beet to beat the beet” module of the plant health rally held on May 31, at the St. Elizabeth  Agri-Fest (Credit: Marina Young, RADA, Jamaica)

The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Research and Development Division (R&D) and Plant Quarantine Produce Inspection (PQPI) – all agencies of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries of Jamaica – teamed up  with CABI Plantwise to prepare the first of a series of rallies on different plant health topics. A two-day workshop was held last month with a group of trained plant doctors on how to prepare and deliver a plant health rally.

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The Benefits of Crop Rotation for Corn and Soybean

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Corn production is one of the world’s major agriculture resources (© Oticki)

Many farmers who grow soybean and corn also integrate crop rotation strategies to avoid the continuous corn yield cost, but scientists from the US have given a new reason to use crop rotation. Evidence suggests that rotating crops increases yield and lowers greenhouse gas emissions compared to monoculture corn or soybean.

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Fostering knowledge and confidence to feed more

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Valli Kupuswamy with her grand-daughter, Pouvisha, in their kitchen. Photo: Sanjit Das/Panos

Globally, an estimated 815 million people go hungry each day. Without access to healthy food, they are chronically undernourished. Meanwhile, in spite of advances in agricultural technology, approximately 40% of the food grown annually in rural communities is lost to pests and diseases. People living with persistent hunger need and deserve a sustainable solution based on self-reliance. Reducing the losses caused by plant health problems by just 1% could mean feeding millions more.

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From Satellites to Stem Borers: Using Earth Observation to Forecast Pest Outbreaks

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Globally, over 500 million smallholder farmers provide food for two thirds of the world’s population. With 40% of crops lost annually to pests, achieving zero hunger by 2030 depends on increasing the productivity of these smallholders.

We already have weather forecasts, pollen forecasts and UV forecasts, but what if farmers had access to pest forecasts?

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Students learn Integrated Pest Management techniques in Beijing

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CABI has held a five-day course on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to train post graduate students and young researchers on a range of pest management techniques including how to keep pests, diseases and weeds below levels that cause economic damage.

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