Crop-monitoring Solix agri-bot headed for field trials

Farmers could be spared a lot of work and expense – plus the environment could be spared a lot of harmful chemicals – if crops didn’t have to be sprayed indiscriminately. The new plant-inspecting Solix robot was designed with those facts in mind.Contin… Continue reading Crop-monitoring Solix agri-bot headed for field trials

Autonomous drones show promise for shooing birds away from crops

Birds regularly eat large quantities of crops, and often become accustomed to stationary devices designed to scare them away. That’s why scientists are now looking at using autonomous drones to do the job.Continue ReadingCategory: Drones, TechnologyTag… Continue reading Autonomous drones show promise for shooing birds away from crops

Mobile system treats crop seeds using electrons instead of fungicides

Because seeds may contain yield-reducing fungi, bacteria or viruses, they’re often chemically treated before they’re sold to farmers. A new mobile system, however, substitutes microbe-killing electrons for harsh and eco-unfriendly chemicals.Continue Re… Continue reading Mobile system treats crop seeds using electrons instead of fungicides

Breakthrough CRISPR-Combo edits some genes and activates others

CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology is one of the most important scientific breakthroughs of recent decades, but there’s always room for improvement. Researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) have developed a system they call CRISPR-Combo, which … Continue reading Breakthrough CRISPR-Combo edits some genes and activates others

CRISPR tomatoes genetically engineered to be richer in vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is a growing health issue, but very few foods are rich in the nutrient. To help combat the problem, scientists have now used CRISPR gene editing to fortify tomatoes with vitamin D.Continue ReadingCategory: ScienceTags: Plants, Food… Continue reading CRISPR tomatoes genetically engineered to be richer in vitamin D

Maze-like material keeps even the smallest insects from reaching crops

Instead of using insecticides, farmers will sometimes cover their plants with a mesh fabric. A new such material has now been developed, which keeps out a wider range of bugs while still allowing crops to get enough sunlight and water.Continue ReadingC… Continue reading Maze-like material keeps even the smallest insects from reaching crops

Could wax-coated sand replace plastic mulch in farmers’ fields?

Farmers will often place sheets of plastic on the ground along their crop rows, in order to help hold moisture in the soil. According to a new study, however, the use of wax-coated sand may be a cheaper and greener way to go.Continue ReadingCategory: S… Continue reading Could wax-coated sand replace plastic mulch in farmers’ fields?

Inexpensive banana-waste paper used to protect potatoes from pests

In East Africa and other regions, potato crops are currently threatened by a worm known as the potato cyst nematode. There could be new hope for protecting the plants, however, in the form of biodegradable paper made from banana waste.Continue ReadingC… Continue reading Inexpensive banana-waste paper used to protect potatoes from pests

Bioactive spray could be an alternative to genetically modified crops

Although genetically modified crops have some big advantages over their regular counterparts, initially creating the modified plants can be quite challenging. Scientists have now developed a simpler approach, in which normal plants are altered with a s… Continue reading Bioactive spray could be an alternative to genetically modified crops

Engineered ammonia-producing bacteria could replace crop fertilizers

Ammonia is commonly used in commercial crop fertilizers, which in turn can pollute waterways when they run off of fields. New research, however, suggests that engineered bacteria could one day take the place of such fertilizers.Continue ReadingCategory… Continue reading Engineered ammonia-producing bacteria could replace crop fertilizers