SoilMate’s Medium News Digest #27
Happy Friday for our Readers! Enjoy some fresh AgTech News by the end of the week!
Research: pest attack-order changes plant defenses
The dining time of different insects affects plant protection and nutritional quality — a challenge identified in a new study relevant to pest management strategies. Through a series of greenhouse experiments, Saumick Basu, a WSU research scientist and lead author of the study, and his colleagues at the Crowder Laboratory at WSU and Cornell University attempted to understand what was happening to pea fields in the Palouse area of East Washington. «Plants in the field have a chance of being exposed to many different types of biotic stress elements, what we call antagonists,» said Basu. «Based on how these antagonists are coming to the plants, it can change the plant responses and ultimately leads to changes in their overall productivity.»
Producers face new diseases due to climate change
A study by Exeter University suggests that climate change will increase the burden of crop diseases in some parts of the world and reduce it in others. As the world warms, the impact of crop diseases is likely to decrease in tropical regions, including Brazil, sub-Saharan Africa, India, and South-East Asia. A new study determines that higher temperatures will increase yields for most crops at high latitudes, while in the tropics there will be little or no gains. The study also shows that in the US, Europe, and China significant changes in the composition of pathogens (diseases) affecting their crops are likely to occur.
The largest testing of new agricultural products in history
Farmers Business Network (FBN), a global agricultural company working with farmers, is now taking applications to participate in the «Farm Research and Development Program for 2022», hoping to expand the current testing. FBN’s membership network covers 27,000 farmers on 70 million acres. FBN describes the On-Farm R&D initiative as a «one-of-a-kind, real-life sustainable agriculture and innovation testing program that links agricultural technology decision-makers from biology to robots and sensors, directly with farmers and large enterprises, on the farm, in real-world testing.»
Study: how soil health practices boost the outcome
Farms are large commercial enterprises in the states where 71% of the country’s corn and 67% of soybean are grown. These states include the entire Corn Belt, from eastern Nebraska to Ohio, as well as South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, and Tennessee. The average farm size was almost 2,000 acres. Farmers who use techniques that improve soil health also reduce production costs and become more profitable. It is a result of a study of 100 farmers in nine states producing corn and soybean that researchers from the non-profit Soil Health Institute (SHI) supported by Cargill, Inc. Positive results have been obtained for almost all the farms studied. Net profits per acre grew on average $51.60 per acre for corn and $44.80 per acre for soybean.