biological control via entomophatogenic viruses: baculovirus

Entomopathogenic viruses are those that infect and kill insects.  They are superior to regular pesticides because they are not harmful to humans or other vertebrates. Furthermore, each viral strain attacks only a limited number of insect species which helps to mitigate unpredicted damage. There are two types of entomopathogenic viruses: Baculoviridae (ds DNA) Nucleopolyhedrovirus Granulovirus …

an introduction to integrated pest management (IPM)

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a long-term pest prevention program that focuses on ecosystem-based strategies for the control of pest-related issues. This is accomplished through a combination of techniques including biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices and the use of resistant cultivars. The use of chemical pesticides is then restricted to applications only after …

crop wild relatives – what they are and why we need them

Nature has been doing her thing for billions of years (maybe longer, I'm not sure).  It is only since about 200,000 years ago that humans entered the picture and it is only since about 15,000 years that humans have figured out agricultural production.  It is safe to say that nature may have a few tricks up …

question: what is the difference between intensive and extensive agricultural systems as they relate to livestock production?

Intensive livestock production systems are those that use higher amounts of labor and capital relative to the land area.  The best-known examples are animal feeding operations [AFOs] and concentrated animal feeding operations [CAFOs] which house large numbers of animals in small spaces. This method of production is an integral part of industrialized agriculture. AFOs and …

8 essential questions to ask before installing an irrigation system

Irrigation systems offer a variety of benefits.  They allow for the growth of a wider variety of crops.  They can be timed so that the hands-on portion of crop production is a little less cumbersome.  They protect crops from irregular and dry weather conditions.  They support leaching, which can remove harmful, crop-damaging salts within in …

the purpose of agricultural irrigation and the advantages and disadvantages of mainstream methods

Irrigation is defined as the artificial application of water to the soil through various systems of tubes, pumps, and sprayers.  Approximately 20% of the world’s agricultural land is irrigated, yet 40% of the world food supply comes from irrigated lands with 70% of the world’s freshwater reserves being used for irrigation purposes.   The main …

reasons for and benefits of agricultural drainage

Agricultural drainage serves two purposes. The first is for the removal of excess surface and subsurface water.  The second is to remove excess soluble salts with the (excess) water from the drained soil profile.  There are two options for drainage systems. The first is a surface drainage system. A surface drain removes excess water from …