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How India’s rice production can adapt to climate change challenges

URBANA, Ill. ­– As the global population grows, the demand for food increases while arable land shrinks. A new University of Illinois study investigates how rice production in India can meet future needs by adapting to changing climate conditions and water availability. 

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New research identifies the most important global supply chain linkages

URBANA, Ill. ­– In today’s global economy, production of goods depends on inputs from many trade partners around the world. Companies and governments need a deeper understanding of the global value chain to reduce costs, maintain a profitable production system, and anticipate ripple effects of disruptions in the supply chain.

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Tanzania farmers distrust fertilizer quality, are less willing to pay for it

URBANA, Ill.  – Smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa use fertilizer well below recommended rates, contributing to consistently low agricultural productivity. Farmers in Tanzania and Kenya, for example, apply just 13 kilograms of fertilizer per hectare, compared with 165 to 175 kilograms in India and Brazil. Low use directly affects cereal yields, which average 1.2 to 1.7 metric tons per hectare, compared to 4 to 4.5 metric tons in South America and Asia.

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U.S. agricultural water use declining for most crops and livestock production

URBANA, Ill. – Climate change and a growing world population require efficient use of natural resources. Water is a crucial component in food production, and water management strategies are needed to support worldwide changes in food consumption and dietary patterns.

Agricultural production and food manufacturing account for a third of water usage in the U.S. Water use fluctuates with weather patterns but is also affected by shifts in production technology, supply-chain linkages, and domestic and foreign consumer demand. 

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U of I ASMC extends research projects in four developing countries

URBANA, Ill. ­– The Appropriate Scale Mechanization Consortium (ASMC) at the University of Illinois received a $2.25 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to continue work on empowering smallholder farmers in West Africa and Asia through sustainable mechanization solutions.

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Richard Cooke receives Fulbright grant for rice productivity research in Sierra Leone

URBANA, Ill. ­­– Richard Cooke, professor of agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Illinois, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award for the 2020-2021 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

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Soybean Innovation Lab releases new guide to African soybean seedborne diseases and pests

URBANA, Ill. – The Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) developed a new Guide to African Soybean Seedborne Diseases and Pests for use by African seed companies, seed multipliers, research institutions, and soybean processors, whose operations demand high-quality seed. Identifying the causes of decreased seed health, which translates to poor germination, low yields, and decreased profitability, is key to building a successful soybean industry in Africa.

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State-of-the-art extruder amps up companion animal research, education

Unless you’re a companion animal lover, a vegan foodie, or a science geek, the word “extrusion” might not hold much meaning. However, extrusion is an everyday term that describes a process crucial to the food and feed industries.

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Turned-down temperatures boost crops’ penchant for production

URBANA, Ill. – Drought and heat put stress on plants and reduce grain yield. For some farmers, irrigation is the answer. Many of us assume the practice boosts crop yields by delivering soil water, but it turns out irrigation’s cooling effect on crops is important in its own right.

In a recent U.S.-based study, a research team led by University of Illinois scientists discovered 16% of the yield increase from irrigation is attributable to cooling alone.

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