Tag: agriculture

‘Lost city’ used 500 years of soil erosion to benefit crop farming

Researchers at the University of York working on a 700-year old abandoned agricultural site in Tanzania have shown that soil erosion benefited farming practices for some 500 years.

The study, published in Quaternary Research, shows that historical practices of capturing soils that were eroded from the hillside could be valuable to modern day farming techniques.

Dramatic changes needed in farming practices to keep pace with climate change

© James Hutton InstituteMajor changes in agricultural practices will be required to offset increases in nutrient losses due to climate change, according to research published by a scientific consortium including the James Hutton Institute

Plants use calcium to convey internal warning of attacking aphids

Scientists at the John Innes Centre have discovered how plants send internal warning signals in response to attack by aphids.

They found that when the insect feeds on a leaf it triggers the plant to admit calcium into the damaged cells. This small flux of calcium prompts the plant to signal that an attack is underway, and a larger amount of calcium is then mobilised from within the cell.

Researchers urge agricultural industry to challenge barriers to women farmers

© James Hutton InstituteResearch by Newcastle University and the James Hutton Institute has found that women play a major role in Scottish agriculture, participating in the full range of farming activities. However, barriers remain to their entry into the industry, their career progression, and promotion to leadership roles.

These are some of the findings of research commissioned by the Scottish Government into the contribution of women to agriculture. The Women in Agriculture report was launched at the Royal Highland Show as part of the ‘Women in Agriculture Breakfast’, hosted by SRUC, with the participation of Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

Scotland’s first vertical indoor farm to be operational by Autumn 2017

Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS), the Scottish-based vertical farming business, is set to complete the construction of its first indoor growth facility in the next few months. The purpose-built facility is being constructed at the James Hutton Institute‘s site in Invergowrie, near Dundee.

The completion of the indoor farm will allow for a full-scale trial to deliver the UK’s first commercially viable vertical growing environment through a collaboration with global automation business Omron

International scientific alliance launched for crop improvement in sub-Saharan Africa

© John Innes CentreAn international scientific alliance to fast track-crop improvement in sub-Saharan Africa is launched today.

The Alliance to Accelerate Crop Improvements in Africa (ACACIA) supports African scientists to find solutions to local food security challenges – and maximise the impact of the John Innes Centre’s cutting-edge science in Africa.