What Drives the Price of Wheat, Beyond War in Ukraine

The price has fallen sharply from its peak after one major producer, Russia, invaded another, Ukraine. But that hasn’t ended fears of a global hunger crisis.

#agriculture-department, #fertilizer, #food, #futures-and-options-trading, #global-warming, #international-relations, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #russia, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #shortages, #ukraine, #wheat

Boosting one gene in rice yields more grain using less fertilizer

Image of a series of steps in a hillside, each covered in green vegetation.

Enlarge / A terraced rice field in Vietnam. (credit: Getty Images)

Nitrogen fertilizer is made from natural gas. Extracting and burning natural gas is harming life on our planet, so we should probably stop doing it (or at least try to cut back considerably). But food crops, like all plants, need that nitrogen. It’s quite the conundrum, especially since the human population relying on those crops is slated to grow over the next few decades, while the acreage of arable land is slated to drop.

In response, genetic engineers in China have been developing crops that can thrive with less nitrogen, and they made a strain of rice with a yield that’s 40 to 70 percent higher than that of regular rice. It has more grain per branch, each grain particle is bigger and denser, and the plants flowered earlier. Most breeding methods currently used in cereal crops can only generate a yield increase of less than one percent, so this is a pretty big deal.

One gene alters many

The scientists started by looking at proteins called transcription factors, which often control the expression of a set of genes that are often involved in varying aspects of a single physiological function. In this case, the focus was on transcription factors that were already known to regulate photosynthesis.

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#agriculture, #biology, #fertilizer, #genetic-engineering, #rice, #science

Meet the Peecyclers. Their Idea to Help Farmers Is No. 1.

A shortage of chemical fertilizer, worsened by the war in Ukraine, has growers desperate. It just so happens that human urine has the very nutrients that crops need.

#agriculture-and-farming, #fertilizer, #niger, #recycling-of-waste-materials, #rich-earth-institute, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #shortages, #united-states, #urine, #waste-materials-and-disposal

War in Ukraine Threatens World Food Supplies

Nations are not secure unless their food supplies are.

#afghanistan, #agriculture-and-farming, #bangladesh, #belarus, #chicago-board-of-trade, #commodities, #corn, #egypt, #european-union, #famine, #fertilizer, #food, #food-insecurity, #grain, #international-relations, #international-trade-and-world-market, #north-atlantic-treaty-organization, #pakistan, #russia, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #shortages, #sudan, #supply-chain, #ukraine, #united-nations, #war-and-armed-conflicts, #wheat, #world-food-program

Sri Lanka’s Plunge Into Organic Farming Brings Disaster

The economically troubled country banned chemical fertilizers without preparing farmers, prompting a surge in food prices and worries about shortages.

#agriculture-and-farming, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #fertilizer, #food, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #international-trade-and-world-market, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #rajapaksa-gotabaya, #shortages, #sri-lanka, #tea, #vegetables

Urea Shortage Is Felt Around the World

Farmers in India are desperate. Trucks in South Korea had to be idled. Food prices, already high, could rise even further.

#agriculture-and-farming, #cf-industries-holdings-inc, #china, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #england, #fertilizer, #india, #international-trade-and-world-market, #madhya-pradesh-india, #natural-gas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #potash, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #russia, #seoul-south-korea, #shortages, #south-korea, #trucks-and-trucking, #united-states, #world-bank

How a Stunning Lagoon in Spain Turned Into ‘Green Soup’

Tons of dead fish have washed ashore in recent years from the Mar Menor, a once-crystalline lagoon on the Mediterranean coast that has become choked with algae. Farm pollution is mostly blamed.

#agriculture-and-farming, #fertilizer, #mediterranean-sea, #politics-and-government, #spain, #water-pollution, #wildlife-die-offs

Global Natural Gas Crunch Roils Consumers and Industry

Rising demand for the fuel is sending electricity bills soaring and forcing factories to shut down.

#alternative-and-renewable-energy, #brazil, #china, #coal, #electric-light-and-power, #fertilizer, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #natural-gas, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #south-korea

What Is Ammonium Nitrate, Blamed in the Beirut Explosion?

In ordinary circumstances, ammonium nitrate is fertilizer. But when placed under stress of heat and pressure, it acts like a bomb.

#ammonium-nitrate, #beirut-lebanon, #beirut-lebanon-explosions-2020, #fertilizer, #lebanon