Tag: University of Illinois

Sugarcane could cut carbon

Abandoned sugarcane plantations across the tropics could offer us a realistic, sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.

Ethanol produced from sugarcane has been one of the most successful short-term strategies to date in decarbonising energy supply, particularly in Brazil where the sugarcane ethanol system results in just 14% of the CO2 emissions of petroleum. In 2012 Brazil became the first country in which more bioethanol was used in cars than petroleum.

Transforming agriculture

Research seeking ways to increase yields for farmers worldwide has received $45 million to build on pioneering work in plant science to help feed the world

The five-year reinvestment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) will enable the researchers to continue their work to address the global food challenge.

Photosynthesis breakthrough

Researchers have increased plant productivity by boosting levels of three proteins involved in photosynthesis, offering hope for improving food crops

In field trials, the scientists saw 14–20% increases in the productivity of their modified tobacco plants, according to the new study published in the journal Science.

Hand-picked specialty crops ‘ripe’ for precision agriculture techniques

© L. Brian StaufferTiming the harvest and transport of highly perishable, hand-picked crops such as strawberries so these delicate products reach consumers at peak flavor and freshness is an intricate dance that partners Mother Nature with manual labor.

However, many of the “smart farming” techniques and technologies that help growers harvest more of what they sow faster and more efficiently have focused primarily on row crops like corn and soybeans, bypassing growers of high-value fresh produce.