Soil & Groundwater Newsletter
August 28, 2008

This Week�s Featured News Stories
A new biopesticide for the organic food boom
With the boom in consumption of organic foods creating a pressing need for natural insecticides and herbicides that can be used on crops certified as `organic,` biopesticide pioneer Pam G. Marrone, Ph.D., is reporting development of a new `green` pesticide obtained from an extract of the giant knotweed in a report scheduled for presentation at the 236th national meeting of the American Chemical Society. That 12-foot-high Goliath, named for the jointed swollen nodes on its stem, invaded the U.S. from Japan years ago and grows along the East Coast and other areas. `The product is safe to humans, ...
Getting to the root of plants
A diverse team of researchers from Europe, Asia and the USA have unearthed new information on how roots grow and develop. Specifically, how roots are able to move out sideways out of the central root and into the soil. Their discovery has opened the way to further research that may eventually lead to the creation of new crops with improved root structure, improving their chances of survival in difficult soils. Roots provide the crops we eat with water and nutrients. They serve as a firm anchor, keeping them in place against violent winds, and as a place to store food against leaner times. All ...
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