Garlic – China’s Hottest New Asset

garlic
Farmers select garlic for packaging
Shao Mingqing was a jobless young man from Shandong province with only a junior high school diploma when his luck turned around a few months ago with the skyrocketing price of garlic.  The 22-year-old Shao now drives an 180,000-yuan Toyota he bought with the money he made on the garlic market.
 
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CartaSense Helps Monitor Swine Health For Potential Viral Outbreaks

cartasense-chip-swine-flu

CartaSense chip

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.

 

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Race Is On To Stop Fungus That Could Wipe Out 80% Of World’s Wheat

Race Is On To Stop Fungus That Could Wipe Out 80% Of World’s Wheat

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.

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Rainwater Harvesting Could Grow In The Western States

Rainwater Harvesting Could Grow In The Western States

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.

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‘Beehive Fence’ Deters Elephants

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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.

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Agricultural Robots A Real Possibility In The Near Future

Agricultural Robots A Real Possibility In The Near Future

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.

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Robotic Weather Planes Could Improve Weather Forecasts

Robotic Weather Planes Could Improve Weather Forecasts 

 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.

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Passenger Jet Powered By Jet Fuel Made From A Weed

Passenger Jet Powered By Jet Fuel Made From A Weed 

 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.

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