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Researchers propose a unified, scalable framework to measure agricultural greenhouse gas emissions

Illinois natural resources and environmental sciences professor Kaiyu Guan says that there are many farming practices that can go a long way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but the scientific community has struggled to find a consistent method for measuring how well these practices work. His new study presents a comprehensive approach to help the stakeholders within the agricultural industry “speak the same language” when discussing greenhouse gas emissions. 

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NRES professor Kaiyu Guan receives AGU Macelwane Medal, becomes AGU fellow

Kaiyu Guan, Founding Director of the Agroecosystem Sustainability Center (ASC) and a Blue Waters Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, has received the prestigious James B. Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union (AGU). 

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Bringing cells to life … and to Minecraft: $30 million NSF grant to support whole-cell modeling

Beckman researchers and collaborators, including Eric Morgan of NRES and ALEC, received $30 million from the U.S. National Science Foundation to establish the NSF Science and Technology Center for Quantitative Cell Biology. The center will develop whole-cell models to transform our understanding of how cells function and share that knowledge with diverse communities through the popular computer game Minecraft.

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Do artificial roosts help bats? Illinois experts say more research needed

URBANA, Ill. — Artificial roosts for bats come in many forms — bat boxes, condos, bark mimics, clay roosts, and cinder block structures, to name a few — but a new conservation practice and policy article from researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign<

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Soil microbes help plants cope with drought, but not how scientists thought

URBANA, Ill. — There’s a complex world beneath our feet, teeming with diverse and interdependent life. Plants call out with chemical signals in times of stress, summoning microbes that can unlock bound nutrients and find water in soil pores too small for the finest roots. In return, microbes get a safe place to live or a sugary drink. 

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Voices of ACES Blog

How much nitrogen does corn get from fertilizer? Less than farmers think

URBANA, Ill. — Corn growers seeking to increase the amount of nitrogen taken up by their crop can adjust many aspects of fertilizer application, but recent studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign show those tweaks don’t do much to improve uptake

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Poor soils lose carbon regardless of crop residue and nitrogen inputs

URBANA, Ill. — Let’s say you’re a corn grower farming on low-fertility soil. How do you go about making that soil healthier and more fertile? Many farmers think if they add plenty of nitrogen fertilizer, that nutrient, along with carbon, will be stored in the soil as organic matter when microbes decompose crop residue.

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Cover crop management: Trade-off between carbon benefits, crop yield

A study led by researchers at the Agroecosystem Sustainability Center (ASC) and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign quantifies the soil organic carbon (SOC) benefits from cover crops in maize-soybean rotations in Midwestern U.S. agroecosystems.

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