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UI researchers develop technology to promote sustainable farming

April 4, 2019

A team of University of Iowa researchers has been awarded $1.6 million from the U.S. Agriculture Department to develop technology to improve soil temperature and moisture in farming areas. UI chemical & biochemical Professor Jun Wang said the project is especially important to develop now in order to prepare for the future.

Source: The Daily Iowan By: Alexandra Skores

WaterSmart program conserves two months’ water usage with precision irrigation

April 2, 2019

The water conservation program of the Brazos Valley, BV WaterSmart, garnered two state awards recently for their water conserving efforts and educational activities toward reducing water waste. Since 2010 the program has contributed to a cumulative annual reduction amounting to about two months of College Station’s water use. Today College Station uses about three percent more water than it did in 2010, while its population has increased by more than 20 percent.

Source: AgriLife Today By: Laura Muntean

New, more efficient way to reduce water use and improve plant growth

March 29, 2019

A team of scientists has revealed a new, sustainable way for plants to increase carbon dioxide (CO2) uptake for photosynthesis while reducing water usage. The breakthrough was led by a team of plant scientists at the University of Glasgow and is published today in the journal Science. The researchers used a new, synthetic light-activated ion channel, engineered from plant and algal virus proteins, to speed up the opening and closing of the stomata – pores in the leaves of plants—through which carbon dioxide (CO2) enters for photosynthesis.

Source: By: University of Glasgow

Innovative irrigation system could future-proof India’s major cereals

March 20, 2019

To grow more food for more people under a changing climate, radical changes are needed to how we use water and other precious resources. Nowhere is this more obvious than India, where a growing demand for food combined with climate change is putting serious pressure on groundwater resources, especially in the populous Indo-Gangetic Plains. This area in the country’s northwest is the most important production area for India’s two staple cereals: rice and wheat. Science is confronting this challenge: a pioneering study demonstrates how rice and wheat can be grown using 40 percent less water, through an innovative combination of existing irrigation and cropping techniques. The study’s authors, from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA), Punjab Agricultural University and Thapar University, claim farmers can grow similar or better yields than conventional growing methods, and still make a profit.

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation News By: Vanessa Meadu

Soil sensors can prevent homeowners from overwatering gardens

March 11, 2019

Farmers know water is a valuable resource, and many farmers are now using soil sensors in their fields to control soil moisture content.

Small-plot and home gardeners can take a cue from professional farmers by becoming more conscientious about when they apply irrigation to home landscapes and gardens throughout spring and summer, says Andre da Silva, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension vegetable horticulturist.

Source: University of Georgia Extension By: Clint Thompson

Grain sorghum irrigation water-use efficiency dependent on weather conditions

March 6, 2019

Grain sorghum production is highly susceptible to changes in climatic conditions, more so than to different irrigation regiments a producer might implement on the crop, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research modeling study.

The results of the study, “Simulation of efficient irrigation management strategies for grain sorghum production over different climate variability classes,” were recently published in Agricultural Systems journal.

Source: AgriLife Today By: Kay Ledbetter

New Grant Boosts Flow of Water Research at Fresno State

February 15, 2019

Faculty and student water researchers at Fresno State will soon benefit from new grants providing $150,000 in funding to study innovative irrigation techniques, including artificial intelligence, low-flow filtration and aerial systems imagery.

A total of four grants were awarded by the Irrigation Innovation Consortium, a collaborative research effort to accelerate the development and adoption of water and energy-efficient irrigation technologies and practices through public-private partnerships. Each grant includes partnerships with one or more of the start-up ventures from the Water, Energy and Technology (WET) Center at Fresno State. The projects will involve over 20 Fresno State students.

Source: Fresno State News By: Laura Ramos