Wildflowers offer clues to what drives plant diversity

University of Queensland – A new study of Australian wildflower communities is improving understanding of how climatic stress controls plant diversity, based on the strategies different species use to survive, grow and reproduce. “Plant diversity tends to be lower in more stressful environments,” says University of Queensland School of Biological Sciences’ lecturer, and CSIRO researcher, […]

Researchers continue quest for organic oats

By Karen Briere OrganicBiz staff Four years after the first organically bred oat variety was registered in Canada commercial seed is still not available. Terry Tyson, procurement manager for Grain Millers in Yorkton, Sask., said it’s been a long haul to get Oravena to market. In the meantime, a second variety, OT8006, was approved for […]

Cover crops to mitigate and adapt to climate change

Penn State – Cover crops long have been touted for their ability to reduce erosion, fix atmospheric nitrogen, reduce nitrogen leaching and improve soil health, but they also may play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change on agriculture, according to a Penn State researcher. Climate-change mitigation and adaptation may be additional, […]

Quantifying the carbon storage value of grasslands

University of Wyoming – When grasslands feature a wide array of plant species, they provide a variety of benefits for humans and animals, including enhanced carbon storage capacity that can be quantified economically, according to a new scientific paper co-written by a University of Wyoming researcher. And the ability to measure the economic value of […]

Tips for improving organic soils

By Laura Rance OrganicBiz editor Fababeans are gaining ground in both organic and conventional cropping rotations because they are a good source of nitrogen for the soil and less susceptible to diseases that affect some of the other pulse crops. But soil scientist and consultant Jill Clapperton said farmers need to be ready for the […]

Need a nitrogen fix? Consider fababeans for your next crop

By Karen Briere OrganicBiz staff Regina – Organic farmers who are looking for the biggest nitrogen gain from adding a pulse to their rotation might want to consider fababeans. Saskatchewan provincial special crops specialist Dale Risula told a recent workshop for organic producers that while all pulses fix nitrogen, fababeans are at the top of […]