Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment

Soybean Research May Reduce the Need for Nitrogen Fertilizer

A Washington State University (WSU) biologist has developed a way to increase soybean quality and yield by using the plant’s unique ability to pull nitrogen from the air.

Stronger Storms Hamper Ability of Streams and Rivers to Clean Up Pollution

Scientists from the University of New Hampshire used a new generation of high-technology sensors, placed directly into streams and rivers, to measure nitrate concentrations continuously under different flow conditions.

Teen Detectives Use DNA to Stalk Invasive Fish

Through Cornell’s FishTracker program, teams of life-jacket-clad teenagers lean out over docks to scoop water samples from the Hudson River and take them back to the lab, where researchers search for specific DNA signatures. “Every fish in the Great Lakes has been barcoded, just like the universal product code that you scan in the supermarket,” said James Casey, a virologist at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Native Plants and Crop Diseases

A new study proves that a common wheat virus can harm native grasses. With Agriculture and Food Research Initiative funding, researchers from Michigan State University, University of Kansas, and University of Virginia revealed the need for a better understanding of virus ecology to help protect native plants from crop diseases.

Two New Wheat Viruses Found in Oklahoma

Plant viruses are one of the leading causes of yield losses in wheat and other crops. Wheat is the leading crop in Oklahoma and garners more than $600 million in revenue to the state. To help farmers recognize the symptoms of plant viruses, University of Tulsa Plant Virologist/Plant Pathologist Dr. Akhtar Ali led a project to catalog viruses found on Oklahoma wheat.

Florida Takes a Bite out of Conehead Termites

An invasive termite in Southeastern Florida is losing its grip on the area, thanks to successful eradication efforts by a multi-agency working group.

Support of Farmers Markets throughout the United States

The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School, Farmers Market Coalition, and Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) launched an online Farmers Market Legal Toolkit.

CRISPR Mushrooms Coming Soon

Plant pathologist Yinong Yang at Penn State University used the versatile gene-editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9 to design a button mushroom that resists browning and may have a longer shelf life.

Maine Forest Management

Over the last 20 years, Maine’s forests have become younger and less dense. As a result, forests are not providing the most climate benefits that they could through carbon sequestration and storage. However, more carbon could be stored over the next 100 years, according to new research from the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire (UNH).

Wasp Used to Combat Stink Bugs

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an invasive pest that continues to expand its range throughout the United States.