crop research

IUCN Congress: Crop wild relatives in peril; food giants’ regenerative-ag push

The wild relatives of some of the world’s most important crops are at risk of extinction, threatening efforts to breed plants with greater resilience to climate change and improve yields, according to a new paper presented Tuesday at the IUCN World Conservation Congress. (No paywall)

Lippman awarded NAS prize for research into hardier crops

Genetics professor Zachary Lippman is the winner of the 2020 Prize in Food and Agricultural Sciences, announced the National Academy of Sciences on Wednesday. The honor is awarded annually to a mid-career scientist making extraordinary contributions to agriculture or biology.

GOP hoots ‘elitist’ as Democrats question USDA’s plan to relocate researchers

Hoping to dissuade Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, farm-state Democrats in Congress asked for a cost-benefit analysis that would justify moving two USDA research agencies out of Washington. Two senior Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee ridiculed the opposition to the relocation as elitism and knee-jerk obstructionism of President Trump.

‘On-off switch’ would allow plants to grow well and tolerate stress

Plants that grow well often fare poorly in heat or drought, while those that seem to shrug off hot or dry weather often grow slowly; neither type is ideal for crops. Now a Purdue plant scientist “has found the switch that creates that antagonism, opening opportunities to develop plants that exhibit both characteristics,” said the university.

Scientists propose global research alliance to meet world food needs

The world’s need for food is growing faster than the projected supply, says a group of crop scientists in proposing the formation of a broad-based research network to develop new varieties and mitigate the impact of climate change on world hunger. Writing in the journal Science, the scientists say that the fruitful international collaboration on wheat, which began with the Green Revolution of the 1960s, can be a template for work on many crops.

Settlement talk in USDA scientist whistleblower case

An administrative law judge set a Jan 6 session to discuss a possible settlement of a complaint by a USDA scientist of mistreatment after he suggested neonicotinoid pesticides are a threat to insects that pollinate crops, said the Washington Post.

USDA allots $113 million for specialty crop research

Some $113 million in grants were awarded by USDA for research, market-building and information-sharing projects that benefit growers of fruit, vegetables, tree nuts and nursery crops collectively known as specialty crops because of their limited plantings compared to widely grown field crops …

U-Illinois to scale back off-campus research on crops

Due to a decline in state support, U-Illinois plans to reduce off-campus research on crops, and may shut down field research at four locations around the state, said the Associated Press.

USDA offers $66.5 million for specialty crop, organic research

A total of $66.5 million is available for work that will benefit specialty crop and organic producers, said the Agriculture Department. The money would cover the cost of research and "extension" -- activities that deliver information about improved crops...

Grain research center names new director general

The rector of Wageningen University in the Netherlands will become director general of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) on June 1. Martin Kropff will succeed Thomas Lumpkin, who has been CIMMYT chief since 2008.

Cornell will monitor crops with a drone

Two crop specialists for Cornell Cooperative Extension have federal approval for an experiment of monitoring crops with a drone equipped with visual, thermal and multi-spectral cameras, says the Finger Lakes Times in Geneva, New York.

Specialty crops get $118 million for promotion and research

The Agriculture Department announced $118 million in grants for research and market-building for specialty crops - fruits, vegetables, horticulture, nuts and nursery crops.