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Agriculture

Environment

This machine draws fertilizer from sewage

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart, Germany, have developed a new method to harvest phosphorus, a key component of agricultural fertilizers, from wastewater. It incorporates a reactor that is environmentally-friendly, doesn't rely on chemicals, and is ready to be marketed.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Purple potatoes may be as healthy as they are colorful

Researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) have developed new varieties of purple potato that are much richer in antioxidants than traditional white and yellow varieties. They're said to be on par with superfoods such as blueberries and pomegranates, potentially upgrading the humble potato to the ranks of health food.Read More

Space

Simulated Martian and lunar soils sprout their first crops

When and if colonists ever arrive on Mars, they're going to need something to eat … on a long-term, ongoing basis. That's why several research groups are looking into the feasibility of growing crops on the Red Planet. One of those teams, from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, previously tried growing food plants in simulations of both lunar and Martian soil. Although those tests proved unsuccessful, that wasn't the case the most recent time around.Read More

Drones

Parrot's multispectral crop monitoring sensor can be retrofitted to existing drones

Drones have certainly emerged as promising tool in agriculture, with several groups including MIT and DJI announcing crop-monitoring unmanned aircraft inside the last year. But what if you've already got a perfectly good drone capable of taking long, automated flights over your farmland? Parrot has just announced a sensor attachment that can be slapped on old drones to take infrared pictures and help farmers work out the areas in need of attention. Read More

Biology

Scientists plan to grow potatoes under Martian conditions

A new collaborative project between the International Potato Center (CIP) and NASA will see a crop of potatoes grown on Earth under the same conditions found on the Red Planet. The effort is not only a big step towards the goal of one day constructing a controlled farming dome on Mars, but will also demonstrate the potential of growing potatoes in inhospitable environments back home – something that the researchers hope will help tackle world hunger.Read More

Drones

DJI's agriculture drone takes to the air down on the farm

They may not capture the imagination in the same way as say, drones that deliver items in 30 minutes or shoot stunning 4K video, but drones stand to have a big impact on agriculture. Crop dusting and seeding has been carried out by aircraft for more than a century, but we are starting to see their autonomous and agile younger cousins emerge as highly suitable tools for the job. This is of course not lost on the world's biggest drone maker DJI, which has just a launched a drone for farmers that can be programmed to cover acres of farmland in pesticides every hour.Read More

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