First global atlas of the bacteria living in your dirt (soil)

sciencedaily

Researchers have compiled a ‘most wanted’ list of around 500 key bacterial species that are both common and abundant worldwide

Date: January 18, 2018
Source: University of Colorado at Boulder
Summary:
What lives in your dirt? Researchers are one step closer to finding out after compiling the first global atlas of soil bacterial communities and identifying a group of around 500 key species that are both common and abundant worldwide.
FULL STORY

Soil bacteria account for a large percentage of the planet’s living biomass and facilitate key soil processes such as carbon cycling and nutrient availability.
Credit: © Bits and Splits / Fotolia

Continue reading “First global atlas of the bacteria living in your dirt (soil)”

Advertisements

Earthworm numbers dwindle, threatening soil health

DW_Earthworms help recuperate soil and enrich it with much needed minerals. But environmentalists are concerned as earthworms have come under threat from intensive use of manure and acidic soil.

Vietnam’s Homegrown System for Saving Water

A young man returned home to invent an internet-integrated system that helps farmers produce more food with less water.

Tri Nguyen, CEO of MimosaTEK, was born and raised in Dalat, a city in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam, where the land is mountainous and fertile. He grew up surrounded by local farmers who planted a rich variety of products ­— from bell peppers and flowers to coffee and bananas. Tri moved to Ho Chi Minh City to work in the information technology sector as a young man, but when the opportunity came, he decided to return to his roots and start a strawberry farm with his friends in Dalat.

Tri turned to the local farmers to learn everything he could about growing strawberries. But he kept hearing something that didn’t seem right: The farmers instructed him to irrigate until water dripped out of the soil when he picked it up in his hands.

Tri did some research that confirmed his instincts: The farmers didn’t need to be using that much water. But when he told his neighbors, they insisted on continuing to overwater their crops. It was how they were taught and how they had farmed all their lives.

“I realized then that the farmers based their decisions on experiences instead of scientific data,” says Tri.

Smallholder and family farmers in Dalat water their crops based on what they see and feel. They don’t consult data on the weather or rainfall because they were never taught to do so. This is leading to excessive irrigation, which can stunt growth or kill crops, and deplete limited groundwater. Furthermore, Vietnam is still recovering from its strongest-ever drought, and every drop counts. Many of Dalat’s farmers are already suffering from water shortages. Continue reading “Vietnam’s Homegrown System for Saving Water”

Using real-time satellite data to track water productivity in agriculture

New FAO tool offers water-scarce countries and river basins a way to boost productivity

Photo: ©FAO/Olivier Asselin

Watering crops in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

FAO 20 April 2017, Rome – Measuring how efficiently water is used in agriculture, particularly in water-scarce countries, is going high-tech with the help of a new tool developed by FAO.

The WaPOR open-access database has gone live, tapping satellite data to help farmers achieve more reliable agricultural yields and allowing for the optimization of irrigation systems.

WaPOR was presented this week during a high-level partners meeting for FAO’s Coping with water scarcity in agriculture: a global framework for action in a changing climate. It allows for fine-grained analysis of water utilised through farming systems, generating empirical evidence about how it can be most productively used.

Worldwide water utilization – the majority of which is used by agriculture – has outpaced the rate of population growth for most of the last century and some regions are close to breaching viable limits. Continue reading “Using real-time satellite data to track water productivity in agriculture”

Using Remote Sensing to Map Rice Paddy Drop in the Mekong Delta

Gislounge_The Mekong River Delta is an important water source flowing through South East Asia. Primarily feeding the rice fields of Vietnam, the Mekong River Delta has long been an area of great fertility due to water flow and silt build up. However, agricultural efforts in the area have shown a decline in production because of the weather effects of El Niño. This year’s El Niño has been particularly strong, causing droughts in South East Asia.

Satellites including Europe’s Sentinel-1A can now track the rise and fall of different agricultural products around the world. The satellite’s imagery showed that rice production in the Mekong Delta has decreased in the past year, threatening the livelihoods of local farmers as well as food security worldwide. Continue reading “Using Remote Sensing to Map Rice Paddy Drop in the Mekong Delta”

The roles of community seed banks in climate change adaption

Although community level seed-saving initiatives have been around for about 30 years, until recently they have received little attention in the scientific literature on climate change adaptation and plant genetic resources. Based on research experiences from various countries, this article argues that community seed banks can enhance the resilience of farmers, in particular of communities and households most affected by climate change. Community seed banks can secure improved access to, and availability of, diverse, locally adapted crops and varieties, and enhance related indigenous knowledge and skills in plant management, including seed selection, treatment, storage, multiplication, and distribution.

Full article http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09614524.2017.1294653

Climate warming linked to India’s ‘suicide epidemic’

Climate warming linked to India’s ‘suicide epidemic’

  • Climate warming linked to India’s ‘suicide epidemic’

Copyright: Panos

Speed read

  • Study shows link of high temperature and suicide rate increase in growing season
  • Crop losses appear to be the reason as it cause distress and poverty
  • Policies such as providing crop insurance may cut suicide rates among farmers

scidev.net_[NEW DELHI] Warming due to climate change may have caused some 59,000 suicides over the last three decades in India, says a new study which statistically links temperature spikes to crop failures and farmer distress and suicides. Continue reading “Climate warming linked to India’s ‘suicide epidemic’”

PM green lights two large-scale reservoirs

vietnamnews

Update: April, 17/2017 – 10:19

Illustrative Image. — Photo baocongthuong.com.vn

HÀ NỘI – Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has given the investment green light to building two large-scale reservoirs with capacities of nearly a million cu.m each..

The Đồng Mít Reservoir in the central province of Bình Định and Cánh Tạng Reservoir in the northern province of Hòa Bình aim to improve irrigation for agriculture production, improve water supply and living standards in the two provinces. Continue reading “PM green lights two large-scale reservoirs”

Hạn mặn miền Tây: Sao phải ngăn mặn cấy lúa?

Zing 15/03/2016

Mặn đang xâm nhập sâu vào các tỉnh miền Tây khiến nông dân lo lắng. Tuy nhiên, GS Võ Tòng Xuân cho rằng “phải coi nước mặn là bạn, giúp nông dân ven biển làm giàu với con tôm”.

Theo thông tin từ Văn phòng công tác biến đổi khí hậu Cần Thơ, những ngày qua, độ mặn đo được trên sông Hậu ở địa phương này luôn ở mức trên 2.000 mg/l (2‰). Đây là điều chưa từng có trong lịch sử địa phương.

Tình trạng ngập mặn đang diễn ra ngày càng gay gắt khắp miền Tây, dưới tác động của El Nino kéo dài. Cơ quan chức năng dự báo, nước mặn và hạn hán đến tháng 6, ảnh hưởng nghiêm trọng đến lúa, cây ăn trái, nuôi trồng thủy sản và có đến khoảng 1 triệu người trong vùng thiếu nước sạch.

Thế nhưng, GS Võ Tòng Xuân lại có cái nhìn khác, không bi quan về thực trạng này.

Han man mien Tay: Sao phai ngan man cay lua? hinh anh 1
Lúa chết vì nhiễm mặn ở thị xã Vị Thanh, Hậu Giang. Ảnh: Việt Trung.

Continue reading “Hạn mặn miền Tây: Sao phải ngăn mặn cấy lúa?”