Introducing… Laura’s Links: Ensuring Your Ag-Tech Literacy

Twice monthly, Agriculture Advancement and Promotion Program Manager Laura Buck will provide a series of links that touch upon emerging technologies and innovations in agriculture. Topics will range from robotics to genetic engineering and everything in between. If it involves agriculture and technology, we want you to know about it (and sound smart when talking to your friends). For questions or comments, contact Laura Buck at


Canola field in Temora, New South Wales

Canola field in Temora, New South Wales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Could Self-Fertilizing Canola Be Coming Soon?”

English scientists have already developed self-fertilizing sugar cane, and canola may be the next addition. If plants could sufficiently fertilize themselves through atmospheric nitrogen, the need for land-applied nitrogen-based fertilizers would be reduced. In turn, the environmental burden of nutrient overloading could be lessened.

“Transformational Robotics and Its Application to Agriculture”

This article discusses the vast potential of agricultural robotics and some challenges this emerging technology will face.

“New Grass Developed to Curb Greenhouse Gas Emission”

International scientists have developed a tropical grass that may reduce agricultural emissions of both methane and nitrous oxide. For example, cattle that eat the grass are reported to produce less methane while also showing improved nutrition.

“USDA Grant Aims to Convert Beetle-Killed Trees into Biofuel”

Colorado is hoping to create opportunity out of a common insect problem. Bark beetles can kill off millions of acres of trees, and the dead trees that remain increase the risk of devastating forest fires. With the support of a USDA grant, the state will be researching the conversion of trees killed by bark beetles to a high-octane biofuel.

“Genetics Might Lead to Better Apples, Other Types of Food”

Canadian Okanagan Specialty Fruits is hoping their Arctic Apple will be approved for human consumption in the U.S. within the next two years. The Arctic Apple has been engineered to not turn brown when cut or bitten.  Researchers hope this trait will reduce food waste and increase the use of fresh apples.

AgriRover Brings Mars Technology to the Farm”

The AgriRover is a tool of precision agriculture, based off the Mars Rover. The AgriRover can easily maneuver in the muddiest conditions and provide farmers with data about animal waste and weeds in the pasture (called paddock in this New Zealand article).

Categories: Farming in the 21st Century | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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