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Weather at key growth stages predicts Midwest corn yield and grain...

Average corn grain quality across the Midwest, with red areas showing the highest-protein levels graduating to purple, showing the lowest protein but highest yields. Credit: Carrie Butts-Wilmsmeyer, University of Illinois Corn is planted on approximately 90 million acres across the United States every year. With all that data, it takes months after harvest for government…

Strategies for growing biomass for fuel can have economic, ecological and...

Prairie grass. Credit: George Furey/UMN In efforts to curb our use of greenhouse gas-generating fossil fuels, plant-based biofuels are among the top contenders as alternative liquid energy sources for transportation. However, strategies to produce high yields of biomass for fuels are not a one-size-fits-all proposition, according to a study led by UC Santa Barbara professor…

Microbes help make the coffee

Coffee and beans (stock image). Credit: © BillionPhotos.com / Fotolia When it comes to processing coffee beans, longer fermentation times can result in better taste, contrary to conventional wisdom. Lactic acid bacteria play an important, positive role in this process. Other species of microbes may play a role in this process as well, but more…

A very small number of crops are dominating globally: That’s bad...

Soybeans (pictured above) are among a small handful of crops that are dominating global agriculture, and that's not a good development for sustainable agriculture says U of T environmental scientist Adam Martin. Credit: University of Toronto Scarborough A new U of T study suggests that globally we're growing more of the same kinds of crops,…

Machine learning detects importance of land stewardship in conservation policy

A machine-learning algorithm finds success in cooperative forest management policies that allow greater autonomy by smallholder farmers. Credit: Pushpendra Rana, University of Illinois At the southern tip of the Himalayas, farmers in the Kangra region of India's Himachal Pradesh graze cattle among rolling hills and forests. The forests, under management by the state or farmer…

Pika survival rates dry up with low moisture

With their sensitivity to overheating, pikas are an indicator species for how climate change may affect mountain-dwelling wildlife. Credit: Photo courtesy of Shana Weber Although it has been ranked as the cutest creature in US National Parks, the American pika is tough, at home in loose alpine rocks in windswept mountain regions. Related to rabbits…

High-protein rice brings value, nutrition

More than 750 million people don't get enough nutrients from their food. More than two-thirds of those people live in places that consume a...

Mobile, instant diagnosis of viruses

A new high-throughput, miniature, portable sequencing technique* has been developed in recent years, for human and animal health purposes. It uses mobile laboratories to...

Rice plants engineered to be better at photosynthesis make more rice

A new bioengineering approach for boosting photosynthesis in rice plants could increase grain yield by up to 27%, according to a study publishing January...

Whale Shark Diets Revealed

Whale sharks, the world's largest fish, likely endure periods of starvation and may eat more plants than previously thought, according to the first results...

The algae’s third eye

Just like land plants, algae use sunlight as an energy source. Many green algae actively move in the water; they can approach the light...

Blueprint for plant immune response found

Washington State University researchers have discovered the way plants respond to disease-causing organisms, and how they protect themselves, leading the way to potential breakthroughs...

Central Texas salamanders, including newly identified species, at risk of extinction

Biologists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered three new species of groundwater salamander in Central Texas, including one living west of...

How dangerous is microplastic?

After early reports of microplastic pollution in our oceans and beaches sounded the alarm, the global scientific community intensified its focus into this area....

Beech trees are dying, and nobody’s sure why

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A confounding new disease is killing beech trees in Ohio and elsewhere, and plant scientists are sounding an alarm while looking...

Murky water keeps fish on edge

A study led by researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University found fish become anxious and...

Bizarre ‘bristle-jaw’ creatures finally placed on tree of life

Chaetognaths, whose name means "bristle-jaw," can be found all over world, swimming in brackish estuaries, tropical seas and above the deep dark ocean floor....

Termites mitigate effects of drought in tropical rainforests

A major new study, led jointly by the University of Liverpool and the Natural History Museum, has discovered that termites mitigate against the effects...

New research is using drones to tackle climate change

A team of Nottingham scientists are using drones to survey woody climbing plants and better understand how they may affect the carbon balance of...

How trees and turnips grow fatter

Two international research teams have identified key regulatory networks controlling how plants grow 'outwards', which could help us to grow trees to be more...

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