Saliva from moth larva increases potato crop yields in Colombia

Many farmers throughout Latin America and around the world rely on pesticides to control pest invasions; in the case of Andean potato crops, this method is not only costly but has been shown to cause adverse health effects as well. Due to the risks involved in pesticide usage, and the ever-increasing demand for high-yield crops, new methods of controlling pest invasions are being explored by researchers regularly. And as counterintuitive as these new findings sound, ecological scientists have discovered that, in the case of Colombian potato farms in the Andes, the pests themselves could actually increase productivity.

Read More

Pollutants melting out of glaciers, into lakes

A mountain lake in Glacier National Park, Montana. Organic pollutants have been on the decline in most natural areas in recent years, due to stricter regulations and improvements to products including the contaminants, such as certain pesticides. But a new study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology shows that these pollutants are showing a spike in some natural lakes, regardless of their tighter restrictions in the...

Read More

Plant hormone helps metabolize pesticides

A new study out in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests a natural remedy to the negative effects of pesticides to plants.  A group of plant hormones called brassinosteroids have been shown to reduce the toxicity of crops, if they’re doused with it before pesticide application. Jing Quan Yu of Zhejiang University and his colleagues treated cucumber plants with one type of brassinosteroid, then sprayed them with...

Read More