Researchers inoculated oilseed rape plants with a species of fungus that is known for its ability to combat pest insects. Utilising the relationship between beneficial fungi and crop plants may introduce a new era of agriculture where the plant resilience is improved and the ecological footprint of traditional/chemical pesticides is minimised.
Maize roots secrete certain chemicals that affect the quality of soil. In some fields, this effect increases yields of wheat planted subsequent to maize in the same soil by more than 4%. While the findings from several field experiments show that these effects are highly variable, in the long term they may yet help to make the cultivation of grains more sustainable, without the need for additional fertilizers or pesticides.
A total of 57 institutions around the world share their expertise in a ground-breaking study which highlights the urgent need to protect the world’s forests from non-native pests amid climate change.
A team of scientists have conducted a new study which shows that three ways to fight the invasive Prosopis juliflora tree in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania all proved very effective in almost all cases.
An international research consortium is developing disease-resistant rice varieties. In the scientific journal eLife, the authors now report on the discovery of a recent bacterial outbreak in Tanzania – and describe how they modified an African rice variety to make it resistant to the pathogen.
Adding silicon to soil could help protect canola from clubroot. Treatment may also help crops weather drought and extreme heat, researchers find.
Worldwide, farmers are being challenged with a variety of issues, including growing populations, a changing climate and soil degradation, among many others. To combat these challenges, researchers are looking for solutions and have begun to focus their work on the viability of sustainable agriculture practices, like cover crops.
Tomatoes, bananas, cabbages, melons, pumpkins and cucumbers… are just some of the 150 crops of commercial interest that are victims of Fusarium oxysporum, one of the most important pathogens in the world due to the millions of dollars in losses it is responsible for and its ability to attack different types of plants. Although it can go unnoticed in the soil for more than 30 years, when it detects the roots of a host plant, it grows towards them, colonizing its vascular system and causing crops to wilt.
Scientists have warned of the ‘devastating’ impact that fungal disease in crops will have on global food supply unless agencies across the world come together to find new ways to combat infection. Worldwide, growers lose between 10 and 23 per cent of their crops to fungal infection each year, despite widespread use of antifungals. An additional 10-20 per cent is lost post harvest. Academics predict those figures will worsen as global warming means fungal infections are steadily moving polewards, meaning more countries are likely to see a higher prevalence of fungal infections damaging harvests.