Materials science: How to keep cool without costing the Earth | The Economist


Starting a Value added business in Agriculture

The surge of farmer-owned value-added processing has been rapidly developing. Producers of various commodities have begun to increase investment in their farming ventures, not by the traditional method of expanding production, but rather through investment in initial or first stage processing of their agricultural commodities and through the second stage marketing of their commodities. To some extent, further marketing and processing have been driven by low commodity prices, but, in general, these trends reflect the philosophy of a growing number of producers that producer-owned markets, whether for processing or otherwise, are essential for farmers’ continued existence in agricultural production. Many types of value-added agribusinesses have been formed to further process raw agricultural commodities. Examples of such value-added agribusinesses include processing corn into sweeteners and ethanol; processing corn or soybeans into feed for hog production, fish production, and chicken and egg production; processing soybeans into structural board products; extruding oil and other related products from soybeans; processing hogs and marketing meat products; processing cattle and marketing beef products; and a number of other ventures (Campbell 1995).

Soils For Life focuses on capturing more rain through better land management

Posted 6 Mar 2017, 3:25pm Cattle in front of portable trough PHOTO: Soils For Life believe the rain drops that are evaporating can be used for things like extra vegetation. (ABC Rural: Emma Brown) MAP: Mackay 4740 How do you capture every rain drop from the sky, how is it possible and what difference would that make for our farmers? The Soils For Life organisation is determined to work out how it can capture more rain for Australian farmers and the landscape. Their work is based on the 100-drop scenario developed by a scientist called Walter Jehne, as explained by Soils For Life chief of staff Natalie Williams. Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek. 00:00 00:00 AUDIO: Natalie Williams explains how farmers can capture more rainfall (ABC News) "For every 100 drops of rain that fall on Australian landscapes and soils, these drops can be divided up according to where they end up," Ms Williams said. "Thirty-six drops go into the landscape itself, of that 30 go to vegetation, keeping grass green and trees growing and only six of those drops go into recharging the aquifers." Another 14 drops of the 100 go into creeks and rivers and eventually out to sea or Lake Eyre, depending on where you are located.

Healthy soil is the real key to feeding the world

One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable. It can be, but it isn’t necessarily. After all, soil erosion from chemical-free tilled fields undermined the Roman Empire and other ancient societies around the world. Other agricultural myths hinder recognizing the potential to restore degraded soils to feed the world using fewer agrochemicals.

Broadacre Breakthrough – 3 Simple Steps to Build Profit and Reduce Problems

Nutri-Tech Solutions (NTS) has specialised in cost-effective solutions for the large scale (broadacre) farming sector and our research and product development in this arena has really paid dividends since we began expanding into Asia. It turns out that what works for cereals, legumes and brassicas also works for rice. We have found that our efforts to create the "biggest bang for the buck" for Australian broadacre growers, is truly appreciated and embraced in rice-producing countries like India, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia. During my recent seminar tour of North America, we found that Canadian cash croppers are also reporting impressive benefits from these inexpensive programs. This experience in multiple locations has enabled us to fine tune and field test concepts and products, to the point that we can now offer an exciting, three-step program for the upcoming Australian planting season.

Plant mycorrhizal status, but not type, shifts with latitude and elevation in Europe

Abstract Aim Identifying the factors that drive large-scale patterns of biotic interaction is fundamental for understanding how communities respond to changing environmental conditions. Mycorrhizal symbiosis is a key interaction between fungi and most vascular plants. Whether plants are obligately (OM) or facultatively (FM) mycorrhizal, and which mycorrhizal type they form – arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM), ectomycorrhizal (ECM), ericoid mycorrhizal (ERM) or non-mycorrhizal (NM) – can have strong implications for plant species distribution at the continental scale and on the responses of plants to environmental gradients.

Soil Therapy™ Guidelines – Understanding your Soil Report (Part 4)

Soil Therapy™ Guidelines – Understanding your Soil Report (Part 4) 09 FEBRUARY 2017In this instalment of Soil Therapy™ guidelines, I will continue to highlight the key characteristics and strategies relative to the minerals measured on your soil test. Here, we will consider sodium and sulfur. Sodium – Friend or Foe? Most growers think of sodium … Continue reading Soil Therapy™ Guidelines – Understanding your Soil Report (Part 4)