Articles on Crops

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In the heat, tomato plants can’t fight off the hungry tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta. From www.shutterstock.com

Crops could face double trouble from insects and a warming climate

Plants have evolved techniques for protecting themselves from heat and insect attacks – but when both these stresses happen at once, one defense may neutralize the other.
Tomatoes’ ancestors looked very different. Foxys Forest Manufacture/Shutterstock

Modern tomatoes are very different from their wild ancestors – and we found missing links in their evolution

Through genetic detective work, scientists have identified missing links in the tomato’s evolution from a wild blueberry-sized fruit in South America to the larger modern tomato of today.
Pulses of light followed by extended dark periods might help make indoor agricultural production more sustainable. DutchScenery/Shutterstock.com

Micro-naps for plants: Flicking the lights on and off can save energy without hurting indoor agriculture harvests

Indoor plant factories have high energy costs since LEDs replace the sunlight outdoor plants get for free. Scientists found a way to dial back how much light is needed by breaking it into tiny bursts.
Soil carbon can play a role in tackling climate change. Shutterstock

How soil carbon can help tackle climate change

Carbon in soil can help with tackling climate change. Maintaining soil quality by supporting farmers through economic incentives and technical approaches is important.
Global synchronization of food production negatively impacts food security. Shutterstock

Synchronizing food production can have disastrous effects

Governments need to think about global ways agricultural policies may affect the stability of the food system as a whole, beyond locally focused efforts to increase resilience in production.

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