Rice is well-equipped with an effective immune system that enables it to detect and fend off disease-causing microbes but sometimes nature needs a hand.

A new study shows that rice immunity gets boosted when the plant receives a receptor protein from a completely different plant species, a result which may help increase health and productivity of rice, the staple food for half of the world's population, at least in countries that don't ban food science.
A new study has recommended against using nitrogen to fertilize radiata pine plantations after analysis of more than 1,500 soil samples gathered in timber woodlands in Bizkaia and the north of Araba-Álava in recent years.  Fertilizing using phosphorus is recommended in virtually the whole area in the study as it may be helpful in obtaining better yields on radiata pine plantations.  

There was an article on the ABC site this morning which gave us this alarming headline “Pesticide banned worldwide still used to grow 70pc of Australian strawberries”.


Except, well, there were a few teeny tiny but important details missing. Like the fact that the rest of the world is still using the “banned” pesticide too.

Lost in all of the hype and hysteria and White House panels on how industry is killing bees is the last indicator species that was being doomed by non-organic pesticides: frogs.
The country of France recently sided with environmental donors and mandated that new buildings must have solar panels or plants on the roof. Though the science is unclear, the belief is that this will naturally cool buildings or, in the case of planets, retain rainwater, reduce problems with runoffs and favor biodiversity.

Since environmentalists also once insisted that coral reefs should be built from tires, and that ending up costing 100X as much as it saved, politicians only agreed to partial coverings and only on new buildings in commercial zones. Time will tell if the plan is helping or if it is just a political placebo, like biofuels and wind energy.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service  of the United States Department of Agriculture has released its honey report for 2014 and found it's boom times for bees.

Hives increased again, another 4 percent, up to a whopping 2.74 million colonies, and honey production is up 19 percent. Yield per colony averaged 65.1 pounds, which is up 15 percent.

If there is a Beepocalypse, the bees have not gotten the memo.
A few years ago, bees suddenly had a sharp decline in numbers. This "Colony Collapse Disorder" as it is called, is a disorder in the sense that it is a recurring phenomenon, detailed for the last 1,000 years even when record-keeping just consisted of sporadic anecdotes. It was noted more frequently as record-keeping became more thorough. so it appeared far more often by the 1800s. By the 1900s, record-keeping had improved enough that there were seven recorded instances of this CCD phenomenon just in the United States.

A National Academy of Sciences panel said that, with proper governance and other safeguards, we should commence more research on geoengineering — technologies that might let humanity deliberately intervene in nature to counter climate change.  With the planet facing potentially severe impacts from global warming in coming decades, drastically reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases was by far the best way to mitigate the effects of a wa

In climate accounting, what is counted and not counted is important. 

Former wetlands that have been drained and which are currently used for forestry and agriculture give off 11.4 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, which is virtual CO2 for climate accounting, but emissions from drained peatland are not visible since they are included with forest growth.

A new report from the Swedish Board of Agriculture, 'Emissions of Greenhouse Gases from Peatland, says that drained peatlands could be restored into wetlands so to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - drained peatlands that are used for forestry production show that nutrient-rich, well-drained areas of land release more greenhouse gases than nutrient-poor, wetter grounds do.