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A new artificial intelligence (AI) tool available for free in a smartphone app can predict near-term crop productivity for farmers in Africa and may help them protect their staple crops—such as maize, cassava and beans—in the face of climate warming, according to Penn State researchers.

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Wild plants grow in all agricultural fields that reduce crop yields by competing with them for water, light and nutrients. To control them, the most frequent management among producers is based on the use of herbicides. These agrochemicals are most effective when applied at the time weeds barely emerge.

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Researchers from the University of Cambridge's Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU) and Department of Plant Sciences have discovered that drought stress triggers the activity of a family of jumping genes (Rider retrotransposons) previously known to contribute to fruit shape and colour in tomatoes.

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An innovative technology would allow to control diseases and pests through endophytic microorganisms in vegetables. The information was released in Chillán, Chile, in a seminar called “Soil health in the production of Frutillas in the Ñuble Region” organized by Corfo, the regional ministerial secretary of Agriculture and INIA Quilamapu.

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One of the biggest risks for the food industry is the intoxication of the population due to the presence of pathogens in their products.

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Over-fertilization of agricultural fields is a huge environmental problem. Excess phosphorus from fertilized cropland frequently finds its way into nearby rivers and lakes.