the benefits of urban agriculture

Agriculture has been a part of urban spaces since man began establishing towns and cities. However, as populations grew, agriculture needed to be outsourced to rural or urban spaces to meet the growing demand of urban citizens. While it may still be necessary to produce more calorie-dense and space-intensive crops, e.g. grains and trees, growing …

buffer zones & buffer strips – what they are and why we need them

Buffer zones and buffer strips are the areas between aquatic and terrestrial zones.  The best-known buffer strips are wetlands and riparian zones.  They can consist of natural or planted vegetation and serve as a place for water and matter storage.   The two types of limitations that impact buffer zones are internal limitations and external …

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.  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 her sleeves that we Homo …

the greenhouse effect

The term greenhouse effect has some pretty negative connotations.  On the one side, there are those who hate all the tree-hugging hippies who are against progress and technology, and think that global warming is a giant scam developed by Al Gore in order to ruin the United States' economy and turn the country into a …

precipitation

There have increasing reports of severe weather conditions throughout the world. Certain areas are facing record-breaking water shortages while others are faced with unprecedented flooding. There are a myriad of circumstances that are leading to these conditions. However, the amount of precipitation an area receives is a dominating factor. Precipitation is part of the atmosphere …