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Wild Tomato Genome will Benefit Domesticated Cousins

A team of researchers has assembled a reference genome for Solanum lycopersicoides, a wild relative of the cultivated tomato, and developed web-based tools to help plant researchers and breeders improve the crop. Solanum lycopersicoides (S. lycopersicoides) harbors a gene making the plant resistant to a particular strain of bacterial speck disease. The gene could be introduced into cultivated tomatoes to protect …

AI Helps Detect Watermelon Disease Quickly, Accurately

If you savor a juicy watermelon in the scorching summer heat, farmers toil to meet your tastes. But, like all farmers, those who produce watermelons seek ways to control diseases, so they don’t lose all or part of their crops. The needs of growers drive Yiannis Ampatzidis to use artificial intelligence to detect pathogens early and accurately. One such disease, …

Getting to the Root of How to Grow Cowpea in Difficult, Dry Conditions

Cowpea is an important crop in many parts of the world, especially sub-Saharan Africa. It is resilient and can grow in areas with little rainfall and low-quality soils. But as hardy as it is, cowpea yields can decrease by drought and low levels of soil phosphorus. In a recent study, researchers determined cowpea root characteristics that could help the plants grow …

Artificial Photosynthesis Can Produce Food Without Sunshine

Photosynthesis has evolved in plants for millions of years to turn water, carbon dioxide, and the energy from sunlight into plant biomass and the foods we eat. This process, however, is very inefficient, with only about 1% of the energy found in sunlight ending up in the plant. Scientists at UC Riverside and the University of Delaware have found a …

An Aromatic Tomato Could be Looming – a La Heirloom Varieties

You can scarcely find a tasty, heirloom tomato in the grocery store. But University of Florida scientists helped discover a way to enhance tomato smell and taste. Breeding efforts over the last half century have emphasized traits that are important to producers – yield, disease resistance, appearance and post-harvest shelf life among them. While those traits are important, modern commercial …

Agtech Startups to Compete for $250,000 in AgSharks Pitch Competition

Western Growers and S2G Ventures are now accepting applications for the 2022 AgSharks Competition, a unique event where startup companies pitch their innovations in front of a live audience of the world’s largest specialty crop producers to win a $250,000 minimum investment. Impact-driven entrepreneurs and startups developing technologies that promote a more healthy and sustainable food and agriculture system can …

Novel Strawberry IPM Tool Included in CA DPR Grant Funding

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced $1.78 million in Alliance Grants for five projects that aim to increase the speed and the scale at which safer, more sustainable pest management practices are adopted across the state. Each project will promote innovative Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems and practices in agricultural, urban or wildland settings. “Alliance Grants directly support the department’s …

Impacts of Water Restrictions on Agriculture Production Cannot Be Understated

United Vegetable Growers Cooperative — Our most precious resource is in critical condition. Chances are if you have driven through the Central San Joaquin Valley over the past 20 years you have seen prominent signs and billboards scattered along the interstate highways as well as the backroads. Many can attest to driving by one of these signs countless times while checking their fall …

Best Farming Practices for Treated Seeds Underscores Commitment to Environmental Stewardship

As planting season begins across the West, Western Plant Health is reminding farmers about the importance of following basic steps that will help ensure the ongoing stewardship of pesticide-treated seeds, which help reduce the overall use of pesticides. This major agricultural advance provides seed treatments that help protect developing seeds during their most vulnerable time – at planting and germination. …

Vertical, Indoor Farming Boosts Yield and Anti-Cancer Nutrition of Watercress

How does it sound to grow plants without sunlight or soil, in racks going up and down instead of in rows on the ground? That’s how crops grow in indoor vertical farms, where nutrient-rich, recycled water feeds plants under red and blue LED lights. This innovative approach gives farmers the chance to alter crops as they like, whether that means …

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