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Articles on Crops

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Satellite imagery monitors environmental changes to inform agricultural decisions. Agricultural patterns are distinctly visible in this near-vertical false colour infrared photography of farmland south of Khartoum, Sudan. (JSC/NASA)

Space agriculture boldly grows food where no one has grown before

Technologies being developed for growing food in space have contributed to advances in agriculture and crops on Earth.
The red mangrove is among the species already selected for genome sequencing. Busara/Shutterstock

Why African scientists are studying the genes of African species, and how they do it

The African BioGenome Project is a pan-African project that seeks to sequence Africa’s endemic and indigenous plants and animals.
New technologies can bolster the production of important crops to feed billions of people. Shutterstock

South Africa should rethink regulations on genetically modified plants

A regulatory approach will place an unnecessary burden on bio-innovators. This will discourage local investment for in-house R&D, as well as projects in the public sector.
You can plant a seed from a delicious Honeycrisp apple from the grocery store — but the fruit that comes from that tree will not be Honeycrisp. (Shutterstock)

How a few good apples spawned today’s top varieties — and why breeders must branch out

Apple breeders have created crisp, juicy and tasty fruits, but the limited varieties leave crops vulnerable to diseases, pests and climate change. Introducing new traits could improve crop resilience.
An almost-dry dam, surrounded by wheat fields, in WA’s wheatbelt region. Shutterstock

We found a secret history of megadroughts written in tree rings. The wheatbelt’s future may be drier than we thought

Our research found that in 700 years, the 20th century was the wheatbelt’s wettest. This means all our drought predictions are skewed.
A prairie strip filled with flowers and wild rye grass between soybean fields on Tim Smith’s farm near Eagle Grove, Iowa, reduces greenhouse gases and stores carbon in the soil. The Washington Post via Getty Images

Climate-friendly farming strategies can improve the land and generate income for farmers

Farmers can help slow climate change by mixing native grasses into croplands, restoring wetlands and raising perennial crops. These strategies also conserve soil and water and build new markets.

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