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News About Farming On Earth and in Space
May 24, 2017
Popular artificial sweetener also works as pesticide and insect birth control
Washington (UPI) May 23, 2017
According to a new study, a popular artificial sweetener could double as a pesticide and birth control for insects. In recent experiment, scientists used erythritol - the sugar alcohol in Truvia - to kill newly hatched fly larvae. Researchers also measured diminished egg production among flies feeding off of the sugar substitute. "Erythritol has potential to be deployed in a wider array of settings, targeting adults, egg production, active feeding larvae, or all of the above," Sean O'D ... read more

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Blue and purple corn: Not just for tortilla chips anymore
Consumers today insist on all-natural everything, and food dyes are no exception. Even if food manufacturers are willing to make the change, current sources of natural dyes are expensive and hard to ... more
Diverse rotations and poultry litter improves soybean yield
Continuous cropping systems without rotations or cover crops are perceived as unsustainable for long-term yield and soil health. Continuous systems, defined as continually producing a crop on ... more
Norway to boost climate change defences of 'doomsday' seed vault
Norway on Saturday said it would boost protection of a seed storage vault designed to protect the world's crops from disaster, after soaring temperatures caused water to leak into its entrance. ... more
Why did hunter-gatherers first begin farming?
The beginnings of agriculture changed human history and has fascinated scientists for centuries. Researchers from the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield have shed ... more
Plants call 911 to help their neighbors
When Harsh Bais, a botanist at the University of Delaware, emailed Connor Sweeney to tell the high school student he would be willing to mentor him on a research project, Sweeney, a competitive swim ... more
Novel use of satnav saves precious water
Water conservation is a growing concern globally, and particularly for farmers in the USA, where decades of irrigating huge fields has depleted vital resources of fresh surface water and groundwater ... more
Chinese exporting adulterated fish to Brazil: police
Brazilian police said Tuesday they have uncovered a ring that imported Chinese fish illegally adulterated to be heavier and as such, worth more when resold. ... more
Tillage farming damaging earthworm populations
The digging, stirring and overturning of soil by conventional ploughing in tillage farming is severely damaging earthworm populations around the world, say scientists. The findings published in the ... more

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Syngenta shareholders accept ChemChina offer
Shareholders in Swiss pesticide and seed giant Syngenta have accepted the company's takeover by state-owned ChemChina, the companies said Friday, which would be the biggest overseas acquisition by a Chinese firm. ... more
Can edible insects help curb global warming?
Livestock are responsible for a problematic amount of greenhouse emissions, and unfortunately, the demand for meat - particularly beef - is growing. ... more
Conservation agriculture offers tired soil remedies
When you are tired or hungry, you're not as productive. You may need to rest or eat. If you push yourself too far, you may get ill. Soil gets tired and hungry, too. How do growers know that? W ... more
Scientists say agriculture is good for honey bees
While recent media reports have condemned a commonly used agricultural pesticide as detrimental to honey bee health, scientists with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture have found t ... more
Researchers track impact of Brazil's 'Soy Moratorium'
The Brazilian state of Mato Grosso produces enough soybeans to be the equivalent of Iowa and Illinois put together. But it also plays home to lush Amazon rain forest, one of the richest, and most vu ... more
Common pesticide damages honey bee's ability to fly
Biologists at the University of California San Diego have demonstrated for the first time that a widely used pesticide can significantly impair the ability of otherwise healthy honey bees to fly, ra ... more
Startup cooking up silkworm noodles for Chinese meals
Entrepreneur Matilda Ho is out to get silkworm noodles on the menu in China. ... more
Urban farming flourishes in New York
The urban farm craze is finding fertile ground in New York, where 10 young entrepreneurs are learning to grow greens and herbs without soil, bathed in an indoor, psychedelic light. ... more

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China-bound illegal donkey hide haul seized in Pakistan
Pakistani police have confiscated more than 4,000 donkey hides that were set to be illegally exported to China where they are highly sought after for their use in traditional medicine, officials said Thursday. ... more
Rivers of blood orange: Juice floods Russian town
Russian authorities on Wednesday were probing an accident at a beverage factory that saw fruit juice flood the streets of a town south of Moscow. ... more
When Nature vents her wrath on grapes
Making wine is a tough job in most places, what with frost, hail, drought and bushfires to contend with. ... more
A novel form of iron for fortification of foods
Around 1.2 billion people worldwide suffer from iron deficiency, with women worse affected than men. In Europe, one in five women around the age of 20 suffers from iron deficiency. Typical symptoms ... more
Syngenta sales slip as ChemChina takeover looms
Swiss pesticide and seed giant Syngenta said Monday its sales slumped one percent in the first quarter, but said its planned takeover by ChemChina was on track for completion in May. ... more
'Eating with the eyes' is hard-wired in the brain
Have you ever wondered why just seeing food can make your mouth start to water? By visualizing neuronal activity in specific areas of the zebrafish brain, scientists at the National Institute of Gen ... more
New data unearths pesticide peril in beehives
Honeybees - employed to pollinate crops during the blooming season - encounter danger due to lingering and wandering pesticides, according to a new Cornell University study that analyzed the bee's o ... more
Sunflower seeds traced as source of toxic mold, potent liver carcinogen
Michigan State University researchers have shown that sunflower seeds are frequently contaminated with a toxin produced by molds and pose an increased health risk in many low-income countries worldw ... more
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