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XiteBio / 25.03.2013

Farmers never want to hear that their crops have been infected with a virus or fungus, but it may not be long before that attitude begins to change. Scientists are discovering that some viruses have the ability to help infected plants better tolerate different stresses. Dr. Marilyn Roossinck is a professor at Penn State University and recently reported on some of these discoveries. They have found examples of viruses that are able to help plants tolerate drought. They have found others that help plants better tolerate cold temperatures. At...

XiteBio / 26.02.2013

For farmers, the impact of a drought is not only felt while it is happening, but also for several years after. According to Randall Miles at the University of Missouri, dry soil can take at least two years to recover to normal conditions. Randall found that soil in the Midwest was dry as deep as 5 feet in 2012. In some cases, plants had to send roots 8 feet into the soil to find moisture. The deeper the dry soil reaches, the longer it will take to recharge....

XiteBio / 15.01.2013

The arrival of winter snow generally brings a halt to field work until spring. However, if you are growing winter wheat, that does not mean that nothing is happening in the field. The presence of snow is essential for the survival of a winter wheat crop when growing in cold weather regions. An adequate layer of snow delivers two key benefits to winter wheat: it provides moisture, and it provides cold weather protection. Moisture Every 10" of snow is thought to equal roughly 1" of rainfall. The more snow there is on...

XiteBio / 31.10.2012

Many Midwest farmers choose not to use an inoculant for their soybeans. They feel, due to the high number of nitrogen fixing bacteria already in the soil, that inoculating offers little benefit. However, after the record-setting drought of 2012, they may want to reconsider. Jim Beuerlein and Harold Watters, agronomists with the Ohio State University, explain that rhizobia bacteria, the nitrogen fixers responsible for forming root nodules, prefer moist conditions with a soil temperature range of 40-80°F (4-27°C). When soils get too hot or too dry, as many...