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Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

Posted May 05, 2013 11:06 AM

From Science 2.0:

Madison, WI, March 16, 2009 -- One of the most significant developments in agricultural growth in modern times has been the continuous and substantial increase in corn yield over the past 80 years in the U.S. Corn Belt. This extraordinary yield advance has been associated with both breeding of improved hybrids and the ability to grow them at increased density. In a new study, published in the January-February issue of Crop Science, researchers have investigated the importance of the effects of leaves and roots on this dramatic increase in yield in the U.S. Corn Belt, and have found that the root structure may be the key to understanding how these crops have grown so efficient. One associated change in the traits of these corn crops has been a more erect leaf angle, which is known to create greater efficiency in converting incident light to biomass. Over the years, detailed studies have shown that the increase in total biomass accumulated through sustained photosynthesis is one of the key factors explaining the yield increase.

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#1

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/05/2013 12:46 PM

"Bt Corn Benefits: More Than Rootworm Resistance

Bt corn, which is engineered to produce the bacterial toxin, Bt, that organic farmers spray on foods all of the time, is better than a pesticide because is naturally resists attack by the corn rootworm, a pest that feeds on roots and can cause losses of up to $1 billion annually.

It also resulted in an unexpected benefit; the Bt trait has also boosted corn yields. But why?

Fred Below and Jason Haegele of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign set out to answer that question by determining how Bt corn uses nitrogen in the soil. Nitrogen is an important nutrient for corn, and with better root systems, it's possible that Bt corn uses nitrogen differently than non-resistant strains, the scientists hypothesized, in turn affecting corn production. Their study showed just that - Bt corn had higher yields and used nitrogen more efficiently than non-resistant corn.

With its resistance to corn rootworm, Below explains, Bt corn has healthier and more active roots than corn without the resistance trait. And a better root system can lead to improved function for the plant as a whole."

read all...

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 7:01 AM

It will work wonderfully, until the soil will no longer support crops.

http://www.sott.net/article/242467-Un-Earthed-Is-Monsantos-Glyphosate-Destroying-The-Soil

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#4
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Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 11:43 AM

My post is stating facts, yours is asking a leading question, without any conclusive evidence....may, could be, might, these are the tools of deception....

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#7
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Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 12:49 PM
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#8
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Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 1:08 PM
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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 1:15 PM

So what? You hate the site.

The studies were not conducted by greenmedinfo...the links merely happen to appear on their site. Open the links to the actual research studies.

This insistence that all studies not conducted by Monsanto are invalid, is getting tiring.

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#12
In reply to #9

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 1:35 PM

I don't see any problem....Could you point out what specifically is your concern ? Uh from the studies, not the quack....

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#16
In reply to #12

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 7:00 PM

Well, aside from the fact that it is not working, there is plenty of room for concern. We are changing plant chemistry, soil chemistry, etc., likely for hundreds of years to come. Glyphosate may break down quickly...(not), but we are building up salts in the soil which will eventually make it incompatable with plant life.

http://www.rag.org.au/modifiedfoods/roundup1.htm

The negative impact of ever increasing amounts of glyphosate will become quite evident with time...much like lead, but the time will be shorter.

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 7:18 PM

Good thing we have a seed bank.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seedbank

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#22
In reply to #12

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/07/2013 8:09 AM

You're probably right...we don't need these other species around anyway.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-04/uopm-rhl040105.php

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 7:47 AM

Nitrogen is an important nutrient for corn, and with better root systems, it's possible that Bt corn uses nitrogen differently than non-resistant strains,

Yes it can be important, unless the conditions are dry (Drought), then it becomes toxic within the plant in the form of nitrates.

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 12:06 PM

Link please......or is that just your unqualified opinion?

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 12:30 PM

Only if you promise to actually read the links, ......... this time.

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#10
In reply to #6

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 1:17 PM

I don't see that this has anything to do with BT corn....It's well known that the stalks should not be fed to animals in drought conditions...no matter what type of corn it is....

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#11
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Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 1:33 PM

It was your tangent response about Nitrogen, as far as.

"It's well known that the stalks should not be fed to animals in "

That is B.S. it should be monitored closely in drought conditions that is all, and again, you have to read the links you again reposted my same link. If farmers did not used the stalks as feedstuff, weightwatchers would be nonexistent, the bread lines on the other hand would be long.

And Nitrogen plays a huge part in Bt, heres a reference, #1...... yours

That is why I initially did not post. And requested you actually read the link which is quite evident you did not and reposted just like from the earlier thread.

If one has to have a conversation within a peer group and repeatedly repost references to a recent conversation. The conversation is an excerise in futility.

With a border line of a number of self-referencing Paradox.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 2:29 PM

Wrong, wrong, and wrong....

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#14
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Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 3:11 PM

is that just your unqualified opinion?

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 4:49 PM

Indubitably....

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#18
In reply to #1

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 9:09 PM

"...Bt, that organic farmers spray on foods all of the time"

Can you provide a link for this outrageous assertation?

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 10:18 PM

It's the highlighted link at the bottom of the page you read that on....

Here's another one for good measure.....

"WHAT MAKES PRODUCE "ORGANIC"?

Contrary to what most people believe, "organic" does not automatically mean "pesticide-free" or "chemical-free". In fact, under the laws of most states, organic farmers are allowed to use a wide variety of chemical sprays and powders on their crops.

So what does organic mean? It means that these pesticides, if used, must be derived from natural sources, not synthetically manufactured. Also, these pesticides must be applied using equipment that has not been used to apply any synthetic materials for the past three years, and the land being planted cannot have been treated with synthetic materials for that period either.

Most organic farmers (and even some conventional farmers, too) employ mechanical and cultural tools to help control pests. These include insect traps, careful crop selection (there are a growing number of disease-resistant varieties), and biological controls (such as predator insects and beneficial microorganisms).

ORGANIC PRODUCE AND PERSONAL HEALTH

When you test synthetic chemicals for their ability to cause cancer, you find that about half of them are carcinogenic.

Until recently, nobody bothered to look at natural chemicals (such as organic pesticides), because it was assumed that they posed little risk. But when the studies were done, the results were somewhat shocking: you find that about half of the natural chemicals studied are carcinogenic as well.

This is a case where everyone (consumers, farmers, researchers) made the same, dangerous mistake. We assumed that "natural" chemicals were automatically better and safer than synthetic materials, and we were wrong. It's important that we be more prudent in our acceptance of "natural" as being innocuous and harmless.

ORGANIC PESTICIDES VERSUS SYNTHETIC PESTICIDES

Clearly, the less we impact our environment, the better off we all are. Organic farming practices have greatly advanced the use of non-chemical means to control pests, as mentioned earlier.

Unfortunately, these non-chemical methods do not always provide enough protection, and it's necessary to use chemical pesticides. How do organic pesticides compare with conventional pesticides?

A recent study compared the effectiveness of a rotenone-pyrethrin mixture versus a synthetic pesticide, imidan. Rotenone and pyrethrin are two common organic pesticides; imidan is considered a "soft" synthetic pesticide (i.e., designed to have a brief lifetime after application, and other traits that minimize unwanted effects). It was found that up to 7 applications of the rotenone- pyrethrin mixture were required to obtain the level of protection provided by 2 applications of imidan.

It seems unlikely that 7 applications of rotenone and pyrethrin are really better for the environment than 2 applications of imidan, especially when rotenone is extremely toxic to fish and other aquatic life.

It should be noted, however, that we don't know for certain which system is more harmful. This is because we do not look at organic pesticides the same way that we look at conventional pesticides. We don't know how long these organic pesticides persist in the environment, or the full extent of their effects.

When you look at lists of pesticides allowed in organic agriculture, you find warnings such as, "Use with caution. The toxicological effects of [organic pesticide X] are largely unknown," or "Its persistence in the soil is unknown." Again, researchers haven't bothered to study the effects of organic pesticides because it is assumed that "natural" chemicals are automatically safe."

http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~lhom/organictext.html

Here's a good one....

" Actually, organic farmers also use pesticides. The difference is that "organic" pesticides are so dangerous that they have been "grandfathered" with current regulations and do not have to pass stringent modern safety tests.

For example, organic farmers can treat fungal diseases with copper solutions. Unlike modern, biodegradable, pesticides copper stays toxic in the soil for ever. The organic insecticide rotenone (in derris) is highly neurotoxic to humans - exposure can cause Parkinson's disease. "

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/the-great-organic-myths-why-organic-foods-are-an-indulgence-the-world-cant-afford-818585.html

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/06/2013 10:37 PM

"organic farmers apply Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin (a small insecticidal protein from soil bacteria) unabashedly across their crops every year, as they have for decades. It's one of the most widely used organic pesticides by organic farmers. Yet when genetic engineering is used to place the gene encoding the Bt toxin into a plant's genome, the resulting GM plants are vilified by the very people willing to liberally spray the exact same toxin that the gene encodes for over the exact same species of plant. Ecologically, the GMO is a far better solution, as it reduces the amount of toxin being used and thus leeching into the surrounding landscape and waterways. "

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/2011/07/18/mythbusting-101-organic-farming-conventional-agriculture/

"The five main pesticides used in organic farming are Bt (a bacterial toxin), pyrethrum, rotenone,[128] copper and sulphur.[129]

The weight of the available scientific evidence has not shown a consistent and significant difference between organic and more conventionally grown food in terms of safety,[134][135][136][137][138] or nutritional value.[134][136][138][139] "

Yet it costs on average 3 times as much...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_farming#Pesticides

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#21
In reply to #19

Re: Historical Increase In Corn Yield -- It's In The Roots

05/07/2013 12:21 AM

Groaaan, things aren't as bad as I thought -- they are worse! I heard on TV a few weeks ago that organic foods have 18% less pesticides than non-organic. I was thinking it should be 100%, not 18%. Now it seems that the organic could be worse for you than the other because the pesticides may be more toxic. At least I haven't wasted a lot of money on the organic foods.

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