Stressed out cocoa trees could produce more flavorful chocolate

Stressed out cocoa trees could produce more flavorful chocolate

Most people agree that chocolate produced from cocoa tastes great, but is there a way to make it taste even better? Perhaps, according to scientists who looked at different conditions that can put a strain on cocoa trees. Reporting in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, they say that although the agricultural method used to grow cocoa trees doesn’t matter that much, the specific weather conditions do. Cocoa trees grow in hot and humid climates near the equator. Traditionally, these trees are raised together in mixed groves with other…

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Getting a better handle on methane emissions from livestock

Cattle, swine and poultry contribute a hefty portion to the average American’s diet, but raising all this livestock comes at a cost to the environment: The industry produces a lot of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Just how much gas the animals release, however, is the subject of debate. Now, one group reports in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology that a new approach could shed light on how accurate current data are. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the livestock industry is the second-biggest methane emitter in the…

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New Stress-Tolerant Rice Varieties Rolled Out for Africa by Rice Experts

The Africa-wide Rice Breeding Task Force, convened by the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), has recently nominated six varieties with improved tolerance to environmental stresses as ARICA, which stands for Africa Rice Varieties for Africa. “This is the second series of nominations since the ARICA brand was launched in 2013 to offer farmers a new generation of high-performing rice varieties for Africa,” said Dr. Moussa Sie, AfricaRice Senior Breeder and Breeding Task Force Coordinator. The ARICA varieties are selected through a rigorous multi-environment testing process including regional and national trials as…

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BREADFRUIT’S ABILITY TO REPEL INSECTS – Study Confirms

BREADFRUIT’S ABILITY TO REPEL INSECTS – Study Confirms

Breadfruit, used as a folk remedy in pacific regions to control insects, is an effective mosquito repellent, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have found. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their collaborators at the University of British Columbia in Okanagan, Canada, identified three breadfruit compounds Capric, Undecanoic and Lauric acids that act as insect repellents. ARS is the chief intramural scientific research agency of USDA. In the study, chemist Charles Cantrell and his colleagues at the ARS Natural Products Utilization Research Unit (NPURU) in Oxford and the University of…

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Fisheries given a solution to overharvesting

Fisheries given a solution to overharvesting

Consumer demand and inadequate scientific information has led to overharvesting, reducing fish species and fish stocks around the world. But University of Guelph researchers have identified a possible solution. They have developed a model that allows fisheries to net enough to meet rising consumer demand while ensuring adequate income and replenishment of natural stocks. The research was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “We know fish are getting rarer,” said John Fryxell, a U of G integrative biology professor and lead author of the paper. Many commercial…

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Cross River State Blaze a trail: Nigeria Agro-Industrialization has just began

Cross River State Blaze a trail: Nigeria Agro-Industrialization has just began

By David Peter In spite of the oil, agriculture remains the base of the Nigerian economy, providing the main source of livelihood for most Nigerians for more than 30% of the population. The sector faces many challenges, notably an outdated land tenure system that constrains access to land (1.8 ha/farming household), a very low level of irrigation development (less than 1 percent of cropped land under irrigation), limited adoption of research findings and technologies, high cost of farm inputs, poor access to credit, inefficient fertilizer procurement and distribution, inadequate storage…

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Introduction to Hydroponics Garden – A Guide for Beginners

Introduction to Hydroponics Garden - A Guide for Beginners

By definition, growing hydroponically means a grower isn’t using soil as a growing medium. In fact, the word hydroponics comes from Latin and means working water. The intent and scope of this article is not to provide a concise and complete set of instructions for growing hydroponically, but to provide a general overview of the various steps and processes so novice gardeners have a better idea of what may be involved. As always, do thorough research on each of the various aspects yourself to maximize your chance for success. All…

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Interconnected benefits of urban agriculture

Sowing Guide for Different kind of Crops

From a vacant plot in a blighted neighborhood springs neatly combed rows of plants put in by the neighbors. They meticulously care for this small piece of land and among the drab looking buildings sprouts a patch of green. Cultivating the land may have started as a way to unite a neighborhood; to give pride to place, or it might be the project of a local high school to teach land stewardship. The urban agriculture phenomenon has grown over the years for many reasons, each specific to the plot of…

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How to Make Fruit Trees Produce

How to Make Fruit Trees Produce

Spacing, pollination, training, pruning and fertilizing fruit trees give fruit trees the best chance to produce a bountiful crop. Flower buds form one season, then result in a fruit crop the following season. So, everything you do to care for your fruit trees will effect next year’s crop. Sunlight will encourage optimal fruit flavor and quality, as well as bud development. The correct training will open up a tree canopy to sunlight and air circulation, both of which are essential to making fruit trees produce. Plant fruit trees in the…

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