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Climate change demands near perfect weed control in soybean

URBANA, Ill. – Growing crops in a changing climate is tough enough, but when weeds factor in, soybean yields take a massive hit. That’s according to new research from the University of Illinois and the USDA Agricultural Research Service, and it means farmers will need to achieve greater weed control than ever to avoid yield loss.

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New estimation strategy improves soil carbon sampling in agricultural fields

There is much more carbon stored in Earth’s soil than in its atmosphere. A significant portion of this soil carbon is in organic form (carbon bound to carbon), called soil organic carbon (SOC). Notably, unlike the inorganic carbon in soils, the amount of SOC, and how quickly it is built up or lost, can be influenced by humans. Since its advent about 10,000 years ago, agriculture has caused a significant amount of SOC to be released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change. 

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Illinois professor brings science to life with popcorn

URBANA, Ill. – In Kirsten Wyatt’s agriculture science classroom in Paxton, an unusual piece of equipment helps high school students learn genomics. Not a microscope or a PCR machine, but a popcorn popper.

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Hyperspectral sensing and AI pave new path for monitoring soil carbon

URBANA, Ill. – Just how much carbon is in the soil? That’s a tough question to answer at large spatial scales, but understanding soil organic carbon at regional, national, or global scales could help scientists predict overall soil health, crop productivity, and even worldwide carbon cycles. 

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Science writer, one team she spotlights earn national acclaim

URBANA, Ill. – A tight-knit team of University of Illinois experts collected kudos this week from the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA). One of them helped make sure a colleague who promotes their work received attention, as well.

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Grounded in experience, Bowman leads Extension's ag technology education

URBANA, Ill. – Agriculture’s one big thing, according to Dennis Bowman, is this: feeding the world sustainably in the face of climate change. 

Ag has always been a complicated business, a mix of biology, geology, and weather influenced by ever-changing economics, politics, and public opinion.

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CROPSR: A new tool to accelerate genetic discoveries

URBANA, Ill. -- Commercially viable biofuel crops are vital to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and a new tool developed by ACES scientists and the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI) should accelerate their development — and genetic editing advances overall.

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Gene important in soybean protein content found after 30-year search

URBANA, Ill. – Soybeans outmatch all other legumes as the protein powerhouses of the plant kingdom, providing a key protein source for humans and livestock around the world. And now, after 30 years, University of Illinois scientists have identified the gene with the largest impact on seed protein in soybean.

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5 questions: Wheat breeder's mission? To sustain people and the environment

This week’s 5 Questions Friday features a faculty member in the Department of Crop Sciences. As a small grains breeder, Dr. Jessica Rutkoski goes against the corn-and-beans norm in Illinois to improve important staple crops for societies around the world. 

What motivates you in your work?

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Illinois research reveals cadmium's route into chocolate

URBANA, Ill. – Committed chocoholics, be warned. A health-robbing heavy metal, cadmium, lurks in the velvety recesses of your favorite indulgence.

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