Mobile Operator Tata Teleservices is testing technology that allows farmers to use their mobile phones to remotely monitor and switch on irrigation pump sets in far flung locations.
Cartasense is monitoring animals at home and on the range
It won’t help this time around alleviating the swine flu outbreak, but the Israeli company CartaSense has invented a chip to monitor swine health to nab potential viral outbreaks early.
Scientists working to develop wheat varieties resistant to a strain of “stem rust”
The Ug99 fungus, called stem rust, could wipe out more than 80% of the world’s wheat as it spreads from Africa, scientists fear. The race is on to breed resistant plants before it reaches the U.S.
Rainwater harvesting chain
With the news that the US State of Colorado has decided to make it legal for small farmers to collect rainwater – holding out the possibility that city dwellers, too, may one day be offered legal means to harvest rain – a tipping point approaches.
Bees vs Elephant
A simple fence made from wood, wire and beehives can deter elephants from raiding farmers’ crops. A pilot study in Kenya has shown that such fences reduce the number of raids by elephants by almost half.
The work is the culmination of previous research which showed elephants are naturally scared of African honey bees.
A much larger trial is now underway in the hope the fences will provide an elegant solution to years of conflict between elephants and farmers.
Robots can be trained to spot disease and estimate yield
From plows to seed drills to tractors, evolving technology has brought about radical changes to agriculture over the years. Now the sector is poised for another shift as robotic farmhands gear up to make agriculture greener and more efficient.
A group of Amazonian ants have evolved an extremely unusual social system: They are all female and reproduce via cloning. Though their sexual organs have virtually disappeared, they have also gained some extraordinary abilities.
Bizarre it may seem, but a new study has suggested that cows with names can produce more milk than those who are not named.
Small, unmanned aerial vehicles, such as this 18-kilogram Boeing ScanEagle, could provide more precise data about weather systems.
Weather forecasters may not have the best reputation for accuracy, but with today’s computational modeling, it’s possible to make pretty reliable weather predictions up to 48 hours in advance. Researchers at MIT, however, believe that autonomous aircraft running smart storm-chasing algorithms could get that figure up to four days. Better weather forecasting could help farmers and transportation authorities with planning and even save lives by providing earlier warnings about storms and severe weather, says Jonathan How, principal investigator at MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Technicians at UOP examine equipment used to convert jatropha oil into jet fuel.
On December 3, a Boeing 747 belonging to Air New Zealand is scheduled to take off from Auckland, New Zealand, powered in part by a new type of jet fuel made from a weed. A mixture of equal parts biofuel and conventional fuel will run one of the plane’s engines. The biofuel, which could help reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, was developed by UOP, a major supplier of technology for petroleum refining.
Researchers have found that plants stressed out from conditions such as drought may produce an aspirin-like chemical.