Research and Technology Briefs

Research & Technology Briefs


U.S. Commerce Department establishes NOAA Climate Service
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has launched the NOAA Climate Service at www.climate.gov.

Individuals and decision-makers across widely diverse sectors – from agriculture to energy to transportation – increasingly rely on NOAA for information about climate change. To meet these requests, the NOAA Climate Service office has been established to bring together the agency’s climate science and service delivery capabilities.

For the full story, visit www.noaa.gov/climate.html.
Crop Rotation on Organic Farms: A Planning Manual
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Outreach announces a new planning resource for farmers seeking sound, science-based guidelines for managing crop rotations in organic farming.

Crop Rotation on Organic Farms: A Planning Manual helps farmers use rotations to build better soil; control pests, weeds and diseases; and develop profitable farms. Consulting with expert organic farmers, the authors share rotation strategies that can be applied under various field conditions and with a wide range of crops.

To learn more, or to download or purchase a copy of this manual, visit www.sare.org/publications/croprotation.htm.
Farmers can take steps to reduce manure pathogens in runoff
Scientists with The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center say farmers who apply manure as a fertilizer to their no-till field can decrease the chance that pathogens end up in runoff, which can pose environmental and health hazards.

These researchers studied the transport of Cryptosporidium – a parasite present in animal waste – through no-till and tilled fields. They found that a greater amount of the parasite moved along with excess water through no-till fields and into tile drains than in tilled fields, especially during a rain event.

However, they say, by following a few simple recommendations, pathogens in runoff can be reduced.

For the full story, visit www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/newsitem.asp?id=5501.
New report outlines trade-offs of biofuel production
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) recently released an Energy Foundation-funded report, “Beyond the Corn Field: Balancing Fuel, Food and Biodiversity.”

In the report, scientists review the current research on biofuel production and its potential effects on ecosystems. They also analyze the social, economic and ecological challenges of biofuel production and the most effective routes to developing sustainable, renewable fuel alternatives.

For more information, or to download a copy of the report, visit http://esa.org/biofuelsreports/.