Although there are various other types of eco-friendly weed control, organic farm workers often end up doing what most of us do in our backyard gardens – bending down and yanking weeds out by hand. Thanks to the relatively new process of "abrasive weeding," however, that may not always be necessary. As an added benefit, crops could be fertilized and weeded in one step.
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.
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.
Concept cars and motorcycles are a dime a dozen. Concept tractors? They're about as rare as hen's teeth. That hasn't stopped Czech tractor company Zetor hitting the Agritechnica fair in Hannover with a pimpin' concept that looks more Concorso D'Eleganza than field d'asparaguza, thanks to the help of storied Italian design house Pininfarina.
Fans of The Simpsons may recall Lisa using genetic engineering to create a super tomato that she hoped would cure world hunger. Now researchers at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) have come close to the real thing, not through genetic engineering, but with the use of nanoparticles. Although the individual fruit aren't as large as Lisa's creation, the team's approach has resulted in tomato plants that produced almost 82 percent more fruit by weight, with the fruit also boasting higher antioxidant content.
Scientists at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia have discovered a gene in an ancient Australian native tobacco plant that they say is the key to growing crops in space. The plant, Nicotiana benthamiana, has long been used in labs around the world to test viruses and vaccines due to the fact it has no immune system. Surprisingly, this trait has also led to the plant being extremely resilient, which is where space-based food production comes in.
A team from the John Innes Center in the UK has developed a method for producing large quantities of beneficial compounds by growing them in tomatoes. Given how high yielding the fruit is, it could be used to produce the substances on an industrial scale.
With the world’s population expected to hit 9.1 billion by 2050, coupled
with the growing effects of climate change on our ability to grow
crops, a company out of Barcelona has proposed a solution to feeding the
future world. Forward Thinking Architecture's triple-decker Smart
Floating Farms would feature 2.2 million square feet (2.04 sq km) of fish farm, hydroponic garden, and rooftop solar panels to power a floating barge, which could be anchored to the beds of oceans, lakes or rivers. The company estimates that each of its floating farms could produce about 8 tons (7.3 tonnes) of vegetables and 1.7 tons (1.5 tonnes) of fish per year.
A new farm-to-table community, said to be the first in California, has
opened in the city of Davis. The Cannery is made up of more than 500 energy-efficient homes, open spaces and trails surrounded and fed by a 7.4-ac (3-ha) working
If you've ever used tick medicine on your dog, then you're probably
aware of how toxic the stuff is. Well, it's used on cows too, and it can
end up in their meat, milk, or the surrounding environment.
Fortunately, however, scientists at the National University of Mexico
have developed a new type of tick treatment for cattle that is
reportedly much less toxic than what's currently used.