Infectious bacteria force host plants to feed them, study finds

A species of bacteria that infect corn crops compel their hosts to produce a feast of nutrients that keeps the pathogens alive and thriving long before they start to kill the plant's cells, new research shows.

Corn belt farmland has lost a third of its carbon-rich soil

More than one-third of the Corn Belt in the Midwest—nearly 100 million acres—has completely lost its carbon-rich topsoil, according to University of Massachusetts Amherst research that indicates the U.S. Department of ...

20-year field experiment: Rotate corn for better soil health

Soil microbes are living, working barometers of soil health. They are responsible for turning atmospheric nitrogen into forms plants can use, and for releasing nitrogen back into the air. Farm management decisions undoubtedly ...

Shifting the balance of growth vs. defense boosts crop yield

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) scientists are figuring out how to pack more kernels onto a corn cob. One way to boost the productivity of a plant, they say, is to redirect some of its resources away from maintaining ...

Reduced soil tilling helps both soils and yields

Agriculture degrades over 24 million acres of fertile soil every year, raising concerns about meeting the rising global demand for food. But a simple farming practice born from the 1930's Dust Bowl could provide a solution, ...

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