Agricultural and Forestry Science

Canadian scientists develop first-ever Fusarium-tolerant pastry wheat

Eastern Canadian producers can now benefit from a new wheat cultivar with increased tolerance to Fusarium head blight, a fungal disease which has cost the Canadian agri-food industry hundreds of millions of dollars.

The new line, a soft red winter wheat often used for pastries, exhibits nearly four-times fewer mycotoxins when exposed to the fungus, than other wheat varieties on the market. The level of mycotoxins present in wheat can greatly affect yields, as well as grade and market value.

Examining a disease decimating global potato yields

While many Americans will be relaxing after their Thanksgiving Day feast, many people around the world may have a shortage of food, particularly potatoes, a staple that is being seriously threatened by a disease called potato late blight.

In a news story appearing in the journal Science (Nov. 29), “Taking the Bite Out of Blight,” writer Glenn Garelik examines the disease that is affecting potato production globally.

Potato late blight (Phytophthora infestans ) is the pathogen tha

Conservation of the natural land resources of the Mekong delta

Physical fertility of typical Mekong delta soils (Vietnam) and land suitability assessment for alternative crops with rice cultivation

Most of the soils in the Mekong delta, Vietnam are formed and developed during the Holocene period. The first Viet people came to reclaim and exploit this plain at the beginning of the 17th century. As a result, in the middle of the 19th century, the Mekong delta had become the largest region of agricultural production, essentially rice produce for ma

From designer milk to ’green’ cows: predictions for milk and dairy products in the next 50 years

Old MacDonald will be surprised when he sees what’s headed for his dairy farm: specially bred cows that naturally produce low-fat milk, designer milk that boosts the immune system, and “green” cows — engineered to produce less methane to help stem global warming. All are among the changes predicted for the future of the milk and dairy industry over the next 50 years.

These and other developments are described in a special report commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Journal of Agr

To Thin or Not to Thin

USGS-funded research weighs benefits of forest thinning on plants and animals

Recent studies show that thinning of young forests can benefit the development of old-growth characteristics and the diversity of plants and animals, but only if methods are used that protect and promote the development of shrubs, hardwoods, and large or old trees.

The findings, which were made by researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Oregon State University (OSU), hold special sig

Gene Researchers Close In On Nicotine’s "Evil Cousin"

Nicotine isn’t all bad, despite its addictive qualities and its presence in tobacco products, increasingly taboo in these health-conscious times. As a chemical compound, nicotine even has beneficial properties. It’s used around the world as a relatively cheap, environmentally friendly insecticide, repelling bugs that attack tobacco and other plants, and – contrary to popular misconceptions – it is not a carcinogen.

Take a nicotine molecule and snip off a methyl group, though, and y

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