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  • Warming overnight lows across the Prairies

    December 7, 2017

    Several months ago I received a question about winter temperatures and humidity levels along with another question about overnight low temperatures. In particular, about whether or not there has been a trend towards warmer overnight lows. While these two questions are not totally connected I began looking into the numbers and here is what I […]

  • The optimal amount of rainfall for plants

    Oregon State University – Researchers have determined what could be considered a “Goldilocks” climate for rainfall use by plants: not too wet and not too dry. But those landscapes are likely to shrink and become less productive in the future through climate change, said Stephen Good, a hydrologist at Oregon State University and lead author […]

  • Temperature threshold seen for plants’ ability to fight disease

    November 30, 2017

    Michigan State University – An issue of global concern is the anticipated shortage of agricultural output to meet the steady rise in human population. Michigan State University scientists understand that overcoming crop loss due to disease and adverse weather will be key in achieving this goal. One of the best historical examples of this is […]

  • Migrating birds winter in Israel in response to climate change

    Israel | Reuters – Climate change is turning Israel into a permanent wintering ground for some of the 500 million migrating birds that used to stop over briefly before flying on to the warm plains of Africa, Israeli experts say. The birds now prefer to stay longer in cooler areas rather than cross into Africa, […]

  • Chance of La Niña this winter at 65 to 75 per cent

    November 23, 2017

    Reuters – A U.S. government weather forecaster has added its voice to a growing chorus calling for La Niña conditions to continue through the winter. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, in a monthly forecast pegged the chance of La Niña developing at about 65 per cent to 75 […]

  • Parched Prairies settle in for frigid winter

    Manitoba Co-operator – Much of Manitoba may have adequate soil moisture, but the same can’t be said for your colleague to the west. Timely snows will be badly needed this winter to insulate drought-stricken areas of Western Canada from what are expected to be cold temperatures. Multiple areas of southern Saskatchewan are locked in a […]

  • Has breeding highly productive corn reduced its ability to adapt?

    November 16, 2017

    University of Wisconsin-Madison – Stuck where they are, plants have to adapt to their environments, responding to stresses like drought or pests by changing how they grow. On a broader scale, crop breeders need to be able to develop new varieties that are adapted to a new location or changing growing conditions in the same […]

  • Soil minerals may act as huge carbon sink

    Washington State University – A Washington State University researcher has discovered that vast amounts of carbon can be stored by soil minerals more than a foot below the surface. The finding could help offset the rising greenhouse-gas emissions helping warm Earth’s climate. Marc Kramer, an assistant professor of environmental chemistry at WSU Vancouver, reports his […]

  • Easing soil temperatures with cover crops

    November 9, 2017

    American Society of Agronomy – Soil characteristics like organic matter content and moisture play a vital role in helping plants flourish. It turns out that soil temperature is just as important. Every plant needs a certain soil temperature to thrive. If the temperature changes too quickly, plants won’t do well. Their seeds won’t germinate or […]

  • Plants grow well in ‘smart’ solar greenhouse

    University of California – Santa Cruz – The first crops of tomatoes and cucumbers grown inside electricity-generating solar greenhouses were as healthy as those raised in conventional greenhouses, signaling that “smart” greenhouses hold great promise for dual-use farming and renewable electricity production. “We have demonstrated that ‘smart greenhouses’ can capture solar energy for electricity without reducing […]