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‘From hand-pulling to high tech’: The balancing act of sustainable weed management in modern farming

Jon Entine’s article published by the Genetic Literacy Project (GLP) discusses the evolution of weed management in agriculture, from primitive methods to modern biotechnological advances. While chemical herbicides and GM crops have increased yields and efficiency, concerns about environmental and health impacts persist. Organic advocates promote more sustainable practices like crop rotation and biological controls. Entine stresses the need for an evidence-based, integrated approach combining traditional and innovative methods to ensure agriculture’s sustainability and safety.

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Pioneering study highlights need for climate-resilient potato cultivars amidst global warming

A study by researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, published in Frontiers in Plant Science, reveals significant challenges potato cultivation faces due to climate change. The research team underscores the importance of developing stress-tolerant potato varieties to maintain global food security amid rising temperatures, drought, and increased pest incidences. The study includes advancements in understanding potato plants’ molecular responses to environmental stress, critical for breeding resilient cultivars.

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Message on a spud: The rise of Potato Parcel and other startups that challenge conventional wisdom

An article by Veeksha Dechamma in Jumpstart discusses five unconventional startups that challenge traditional business ideas, highlighting Potato Parcel as an example. Founded in 2015, this company lets customers send messages on potatoes, an idea that gained traction after featuring on Shark Tank. Potato Parcel, now worth US$1.75 million, offers various customizable options and encourages recipients to plant the potatoes they receive.

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Unlocking the potential of the humble spud: Scientists explore ways to climate-proof potatoes

Potatoes, the world’s fourth most important crop, are under threat from climate change, with rising temperatures, erratic rainfall, and extreme weather challenging production. This article reviews strategies for enhancing potato resilience, such as breeding climate-tolerant varieties and adopting biotechnology and sustainable practices. Collaborative efforts are vital to secure this staple food’s future, ensuring global food security amidst a changing climate.

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Breaking ground in biofumigation: A new mustard hybrid offers natural disease control hope to potato growers

The potato industry in Canada could majorly benefit from AAC Guard, a new mustard hybrid acting as an effective biofumigant against verticillium wilt and nematodes. As chemical pesticides face deregistration, this natural solution, born of conventional breeding by Mustard 21 Canada and partners, offers an alternative. Its high glucosinolate levels are key in suppressing various pathogens.

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Unveiling the layers of regenerative agriculture: Promises and challenges

Regenerative agriculture, focusing on soil health and reduced synthetic input reliance through diverse cover crops, is gaining attention. Andrew McGuire of CSANR critically analyzes its principles and claims in his article, distinguishing it from sustainable agriculture. Its promise and practicality are debated, with success stories tempered by research on widespread implementability. McGuire is inspired by Gabe Brown, a prominent figure in the movement.

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The subtle science of potassium application: Enhancing potato quality without compromising yield

Sarah Light and her team studied how potassium chloride application timing affects potatoes, finding that fall applications don’t increase plant chloride and may reduce chloride accumulation since it leaches below the root zone. Their research indicates no significant impact on nitrogen levels, yield, or tuber specific gravity, regardless of fertilizer timing. The study, funded by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, contributes to optimizing fertilizer use in agriculture.

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‘Beyond the plow’: Exploring reduced tillage strategies and techniques in potato farming

Reduced tillage practices are increasingly being implemented by potato growers for environmental and crop productivity benefits. This article delves into these methods, emphasizing their role in sustainable agriculture by enhancing soil health, decreasing erosion, and improving biodiversity. Covering strip tillage, zone tillage, and no-till, the article discusses the methods’ ability to maintain soil structure, increase carbon sequestration, and facilitate resilience to climate variability.

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Soil health reimagined: Key practices for a thriving agricultural future

Helen Holman of Emerald Research emphasizes the importance of soil health, which requires soils to thrive, not just survive, for sustainable agriculture. She outlines five key indicators of healthy soil: structure, chemistry, organic matter, and water management. To improve soil health, Holman suggests increasing organic matter, promoting microbial activity, and understanding soil chemistry.

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