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Providing seeds with a protective coating that also supplies essential nutrients to the germinating plant could make it possible to grow crops in otherwise unproductive soils, according to new research at MIT. A team of engineers has coated seeds with silk that has been treated with a kind of bacteria that naturally produce a nitrogen ferti

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Researchers at the Dutch Institute of Ecology conducted a study that concluded that certain species of resistant bacteria can protect plant roots against fungal infections. "Bacteria are essential for the functioning of plants, animals and people," research leader Jos Raaijmakers told Science Daily.

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Martin Williams, associate professor in the Department of Crop Science at the University of Illinois, says that the cultivation of sweet corn in the Midwest of the United States is planted in an average population of 60,000 plants per hectare.

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Massive networks of drains, pipes and tiles that enable food production on much of the world's most productive cropland are due for expansion and replacement to meet the demands of agricultural intensification and climate change.

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The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are launching, at the Latin American level, the Concursable Fund of the INNOVA AF Project, within the framework of the agreement between both organizations.

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Soon, soybeans will be bred to yield stable oil without the addition of dangerous trans fats. Lettuce will be grown to handle warmer, drier fields. Wheat to contain less gluten. And pigs bred to resist deadly viruses. Someday, maybe even strawberry plants whose delicate berries can be picked by machine instead of by hand.