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U.S. livestock gorge on bakery rolls and pet food

Reuters – U.S. farmers are feeding their livestock everything from outdated pet food and leftover bakery rolls to crops imported from South America after unprecedented spring planting delays boosted prices for locally grown corn. Agricultural co-operatives, equipment dealers and plants that process corn into ethanol have already been strained because farmers were unable to plant […] Read more


Communist collapse had green lining

Post-Soviet food system changes led to greenhouse gas reductions

Changes in agriculture, trade, food production and consumption after the collapse of the Soviet Union led to a large reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a new study has found. From 1991 to 2011, there was a net emissions reduction of 7.61 gigatons (Gt) of carbon dioxide equivalents — the same as one-quarter of the CO2 […] Read more



Beef and pork healthy choices too

Researchers say there’s no correlation between meat choice and blood cholesterol levels

Chicken consumption has soared in recent years due to a presumption that it’s a healthier choice, but researchers now say that might not be so. The assumption is that poultry, due to its lower levels of saturated fatty acids, would contribute to lower blood cholesterol levels. Two recent clinical trials, from the Lawrence Berkeley National […] Read more


Edit avian flu out of chicken genes

New research suggests it could be possible to halt the bird flu virus in chickens

Scientists have used gene-editing techniques to stop the bird flu virus from spreading in chicken cells grown in the lab. The findings raise the possibility of producing gene-edited chickens that are resistant to the disease. Researchers prevented the virus from taking hold by deleting a section of chicken DNA inside lab-grown cells. The next step […] Read more



New mutations for herbicide resistance rare

Most resistance seems to come from pre-existing genetic conditions

After exposing more than 70 million seeds to a soil-based herbicide, researchers at the University of Illinois were not able to find a single herbicide-resistant mutant. Though preliminary, the findings suggest that the mutation rate in amaranth is very low, and that low-level herbicide application contributes little — if anything — to the onset of […] Read more


Fruit-eating bug marches west

It’s been a familiar sight in Manitoba for a while, and now seems set on new horizons

A pest that has targeted strawberries and other soft fruits in Manitoba could be headed west. The spotted wing drosophila, which is thought to have come from southeast Asia, has been spotted in Manitoba in small numbers. SWD’s presence in Alberta and British Columbia suggests Saskatchewan may be the bug’s next home. SWD is an […] Read more



Neonics leave bees vulnerable to mites, study shows

The pesticides are shown to affect bees’ ability to groom themselves

Neonicotinoid pesticides affect honeybees’ ability to groom and rid themselves of deadly mites, a University of Guelph study has revealed. The research comes as Health Canada places new limits on the use of three key neonicotinoids while it decides whether to impose a full phase-out of the chemicals. Neonics are the most commonly used insecticides […] Read more


Plant signals trigger remarkable bacterial transformation

Nostoc bacteria convert atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia for the Sago palm

A recent Japanese study has shown that extracts from the Sago palm stimulated nitrogen-producing bacterial transformation. Researchers hope that better understanding of the system could someday lead to more efficient, less fertilizer-dependent agricultural production. The cycad Cycas revolute, or Sago palm, is a palm-like plant that grows on rocky coastal cliffs in the subtropics and […] Read more



Manure map raises recycling hopes

A study shows potential for farmers to reclaim phosphorus fertilizer

A New Jersey university is mapping the world’s manure in an effort to jump-start a movement to recycle phosphorus. In the April 2019 issue of Earth’s Future, a research team from Stevens Institute of Technology mapped the journey of phosphorus from soil to crops, to livestock and humans, and eventually into sewers and landfills. This […] Read more


Back from South America for the summer

Warblers fly from Churchill to the Carolinas, then non-stop over the ocean for 2-1/2 days

University of Guelph biologists have tracked an annual migration of up to 20,000 kilometres made by the 12-gram blackpoll warbler, one of the fastest declining songbirds in North America. The bird’s trek between its breeding grounds in the central and western boreal forest of North America and its winter home in the Amazon Basin is […] Read more