Fact of the week

  • Tinted solar panels could boost farm incomes

    August 4, 2020

    University of Cambridge – Researchers have demonstrated the use of tinted, semi-transparent solar panels to generate electricity and produce nutritionally-superior crops simultaneously, bringing the prospect of higher incomes for farmers and maximising use of agricultural land. By allowing farmers to diversify their portfolio, this novel system could offer financial protection from fluctuations in market prices […]

  • Rising temps put desert shrubs in high-efficiency mode

    July 28, 2020

    University of Utah – Death Valley doesn’t seem like the most ideal place to ride out rising temperatures amid a changing climate. But for the desert plants that live there, it’s home–and they face the choice to adapt or die. Research from the University of Utah shows that one shrub, the brittlebush, is adapting, and […]


  • Water-saving alternative forage crops for livestock

    July 21, 2020

    American Society of Agronomy – In the semi-arid Texas High Plains, growers and producers are concerned about the sustainability of beef and dairy industries, which rely heavily on irrigated corn for feed-grain and silage. A main source of irrigation – the Ogallala Aquifer – is declining rapidly. The aquifer’s decline emphasizes the need for producers […]

  • Hail, floods hit Prairie crops

    July 13, 2020

    forrest manitoba july 2020

    Heavy rain and flooding are contributing to crop damage from hailstorms in parts of Western Canada, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association as its members tally up the impact of the storms seen on the Prairies between June 20 and 28 and July 2-4. CCHA member insurance companies, in their July 13 report, say […]


  • Earth still running hot

    July 7, 2020

    While our part of the world hasn’t been breaking any heat records of late, plenty of places on the planet have been. Looking at the overall picture, global temperatures for May were either the warmest or second warmest on record, depending on which agency you look at. According to both NOAA and NASA, May 2020 […]

  • Wildfire researchers set up shop

    June 30, 2020

    The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) has announced it will set up its Canadian Wildfire Strategic Network at the University of Alberta, where Canadian scientists specializing in wildfires plan to train students, develop tools and “improve the state of knowledge related to wildfire management.” U of A wildfire expert Mike Flannigan, the new […]


  • Reallocate subsidies to fight fall armyworm: study

    June 23, 2020

    CABI – A new CABI-led study is calling for governments to reallocate subsidies to encourage the use of lower risk control options – such as biopesticides – in the fight against the devastating maize pest fall armyworm (FAW). The research, which was spearheaded by Dr Justice Tambo and published in the journal Science of the Total […]

  • Predicting severe hail storms

    June 16, 2020

    National Science Foundation – When a hail storm moved through Fort Worth, Texas on May 5, 1995, it battered the highly populated area with hail up to 4 inches in diameter and struck a local outdoor festival known as the Fort Worth Mayfest. The Mayfest storm was one of the costliest hailstorms in U.S history, […]


  • How bacteria fertilize soybeans

    June 9, 2020

    ETH Zurich – Plants need nitrogen in the form of ammonium if they are to grow. In the case of a great many cultivated plants, farmers are obliged to spread this ammonium on their fields as fertilizer. Manufacturing ammonium is an energy-intensive and costly process – and today’s production methods also release large amounts of […]

  • How bumblebees speed up flowering

    June 2, 2020

    ETH Zurich – Spring has sprung earlier than ever before this year, accompanied by temperatures more typical of early summertime. Many plants were already in full bloom by mid-?April, about three to four weeks earlier than normal. These types of seasonal anomalies are becoming increasingly frequent due to climate change, and the resulting uncertainty threatens […]

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