SoilMate’s Weekly News Digest #20
This week we are focusing on digitalization in Agribusinesses, severe weather conditions in the Midwest of The U.S., how crops can overcome drought and more.
Digitalization of Agribusinesses: what to expect in 30 years
The digital revolution has covered almost every industry. Companies around the world now rely on technology and digital devices to optimize operations. Although agriculture is rooted in manual labor and family farming, agribusiness has also introduced technological advances in its industries.
The digitalization of agriculture is a necessary step for the world economy. Population growth is expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050 so that agriculture cannot rely solely on human strength.
Many innovations have come into agribusiness to make the industry more efficient and modern, taking into account technological advances and trends.
Click on the link to learn about leading innovations in agribusiness.
USDA opens registration for the nationwide CLEAR30 program
Landowners and agricultural producers currently enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) now have an opportunity to join a 30-year contract through the Clean Lakes, Estuaries, and Rivers initiative.
CLEAR30 was created by the Agriculture Act 2018 for solving water quality issues and was available only in a few regions. Now access to the program has been extended to agricultural producers throughout the country.
This program will help to ensure that the effects and benefits of conservation are maintained for 30 years and to reduce sediment and nutrient run-off. Coastal protection also provides benefits of carbon sequestration.
Heat in the U.S. has decreased, but drought expands
The U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that the drought increased from eastern Dakota to the east via Iowa, Wisconsin, and southern Michigan. Meanwhile, conditions in the south Corn Belt remain much more favorable for crop progress with few drought concerns.
Currently, in Iowa, 95% of the state is in abnormally dry to drought status. Now Mid-June 2021 is considered as the fifth hottest and fourth driest in 30-plus years for Iowa. Hot weather helped to decrease soil moisture, and dry weather increased drought conditions. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 41% of the U.S. corn crop is located in at least a moderate drought area.
Research: memory mechanism allows plants to adapt to heat stress
Researchers at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in Japan found that the family of proteins controlling small heat shock genes allowed plants to «memorize» how to deal with heat stress.
Since plants can’t run from severe weather conditions like deadly high temperatures, they must deal effectively with heat stress to survive. Therefore, improving the thermal stability of crops is an urgent task in agriculture.
«Heat stress is often repeated and changed,» says the lead author of the study Nobutoshi Yamaguchi. «After being subjected to moderate heat stress, plants become tolerant and can adapt to further heat stress. It is called «memory» of thermal stress and is reported to correlate with epigenetic modifications.»