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Agriculture and forestry

Farming and plant protection are segments of agriculture and forestry an independent area.

Farming - a segment of agriculture

Agriculture involves all issues related to the production of food for humans and animals. Farming is the segment of agriculture that cultivates and farms fields to produce renewable raw materials. In addition to the targeted cultivation of crops, farming also involves maintenance and plant protection. Farming requires taking into account a wide variety of factors, such as managing fields with some degree of crop rotation. That means no field is cultivated with the same crop two years in a row. As a result, a variety of minerals are used, giving the soil time to regenerate. Plant protection is necessary in the farming industry in order to keep crops from withering and to protect them from pests and vermin. Shortly after the harvest, the soil is prepared for the next season. Farming, including plant protection, is often mentioned in the same breath as forestry, although this is inaccurate since forestry is an independent field.

Plant protection as an important element of farming

The term "plant protection" was used within the farming industry as early as 1890. Plant protection is described as all measures aimed at preventing the damage and diminishment of agricultural crop output. The German requirements relating to plant protection for the farming industry are outlined in the plant protection law . Plant protection may be carried out only by those with the proper training and those who adhere to the basic principles of integrated plant protection and protection of the ground water. Plant protection is one of the core elements of farming because it ensures a high-quality yield and healthy human nutrition. A special form of plant protection entails measures to combat birds that cause crop damage. Species that pose a threat to farming include blackbirds and starlings. This type of plant protection utilizes optical or acoustic measures to drive the birds off. The farming industry receives assistance with plant protection issues through special information sources and also via financial help. Without plant protection, the farming industry would be less productive.

Demarcation line between forestry and farming

Both forestry and farming involve the cultivation of renewable raw materials. The difference is that forestry is not focused on the financial aspect. Instead, the primary aim is the preservation and protection of the forests. Trees are thinned out when they are too close to other trees, when they die or if room for new plants must be made. Although forestry certainly has one eye on profits, the well-being of the forest is always the main objective. The importance of forestry and wood products is universally underestimated. Thanks to the forestry industry, we enjoy wood furniture, books and firewood. Forestry is a vital part of our lives, even if we don't actively participate. Forestry involves methodical work to keep forests alive. In Germany, there are three different forms of ownership: government, community and private. Despite the different forms, they all have to be managed with the principles of forestry in mind. Each German Bundesland (state) has enacted a state forestry law. The chief foresters are responsible for monitoring the implementation of the law. With the most forest acreage in Germany, Bavaria boasts the country's largest forestry operations.

Summary

The farming and plant protection industries contribute to a high quality of life and low product prices by maintaining the highest possible crop yield per field. While forestry places a high value on sustainability like farming and plant protection, the primary aim is still ensuring the health of the forests.

Agricultural and Forestry Science

This special field deals with the primary production of human and animal foodstuffs as well as renewable raw materials. Also addressed are issues related to habitats for flora and fauna, recreation or landscape and common use.

Among other subjects, reports are available on topics such as crop and plant management, ecological farming, horticulture, viticulture, forest management and agriculture.

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Ecuador: Deforestation destroys more dry forest than climate change

Tropical forests all over the world are at risk. Two of the main threats are the deforestation for arable land and climate change. Scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Thünen-Institute compared the losses due to deforestation with those that would result in extreme climate change scenarios in Ecuador. Although global warming is likely to change the distribution of species, deforestation will result in the loss of more dry forests than predicted by climate change damage.

A large proportion of Ecuador's rare dry forests are located in the southwest of the country, in the Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena region. These forests provide not...

02.02.2018 | nachricht Read more

Combination of Resistance Genes Offers Better Protection for Wheat against Powdery Mildew

UZH plant researchers have tested newly developed wheat lines with improved resistance in field trials. They have demonstrated that a combination of two variations of a resistance gene provides wheat with better protection against the fungal disease.

A decent wheat harvest requires robust wheat. However, wheat crops are often infected by fungal diseases such as powdery mildew. For several years now, UZH...

22.01.2018 | nachricht Read more

New study shows producers where and how to grow cellulosic biofuel crops

According to a recent ruling by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 288 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel must be blended into the U.S. gasoline supply in 2018. Although this figure is down slightly from last year, the industry is still growing at a modest pace. However, until now, producers have had to rely on incomplete information and unrealistic, small-scale studies in guiding their decisions about which feedstocks to grow, and where. A new multi-institution report provides practical agronomic data for five cellulosic feedstocks, which could improve adoption and increase production across the country.

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17.01.2018 | nachricht Read more

Robotic weeders: to a farm near you?

Technology provides alternative to herbicides, hand-weeding

The future of weeding is here, and it comes in the form of a robot.

10.01.2018 | nachricht Read more

Alfalfa loss? Annual ryegrass is a win

Annual forage crops offset losses from alfalfa winterkill

Meet alfalfa, a perennial legume used mainly as high-quality feed for dairy cattle. Alfalfa is also used as feed for beef cattle, horses, sheep, and goats....

03.01.2018 | nachricht Read more

Unlocking the mystery of pollen tube guidance

Solving the cocrystal structure of a pollen tube attractant and its receptor

Pollen tube guidance towards the ovule is an important step for fertilization in flowering plants. In order for this to happen, a pollen tube attractant...

02.01.2018 | nachricht Read more

How much soil goes down the drain -- New data on soil lost due to water

According to a new study, almost 36 billion tons of soil is lost every year due to water, and deforestation and other changes in land use make the problem worse.

According to a new study by the University of Basel, the European Commission - Joint Research Centre and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH, UK), almost...

18.12.2017 | nachricht Read more

Cascading use is also beneficial for wood

Another ten years — that is approximately how long sustainable forestry will be able to satisfy the continuously growing demand for wood. In Germany and Europe, new concepts are therefore being discussed for more responsible and efficient industrial use of the renewable, but still limited wood resources. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are using data from a European research project to analyze the potential efficiency of multiple use between harvesting and combustion of wood.

Does the cascading use of wood really lead to increased resource efficiency? For example, if the raw wood is first used to make construction elements, then...

11.12.2017 | nachricht Read more

The future of crop engineering

Photosynthesis is the process underlying all plant growth. Scientists aim to boost photosynthesis to meet the increasing global demand for food by engineering its key enzyme Rubisco. Now, researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry have succeeded in producing functional plant Rubisco in a bacterium. This allows genetic engineering of the enzyme. The study could one day lead to better crop yields and plant varieties with increased water-use efficiencies or enhanced temperature resistance. The results were published in Science.

The world's population is predicted to exceed 9 billion in 2050. With more mouths to feed, there is a pressing need for improved food output. To meet the...

08.12.2017 | nachricht Read more

Maize pest exploits plant defense compounds to protect itself

The western corn rootworm continues to be on the rise in Europe. Why attempts to biologically target this crop pest by applying entomopathogenic nematodes have failed, can now be explained by the amazing defense strategy of this insect. In their new study, scientists from the University of Bern, Switzerland, and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, show that the rootworm larvae are able to sequester plant defense compounds from maize roots in a non-toxic form and can activate the toxins whenever they need them to protect themselves against their own enemies.

The western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) is a devastating pest of maize plants, which has spread throughout Europe. This year’s pest...

28.11.2017 | nachricht Read more
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Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

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Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

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