Category Archives: Earth

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The solution in the US/abroad? Increasingly worse chemicals being dumped on our soil and ending up in our rain/waterways/drinking sources. If you only care about your wallet, it’ll mean that water treatment plants will have to upgrade their facilities to treat these chemicals (Blanchester OH just had to spend $6mil) and that cost will come out of your wallet as a rate payer. In the meantime, it’s slowly affecting your health because you’re drinking these chemicals on a daily basis….

 

Brazil farmers say GMO corn no longer resistant to pests

SAO PAULO Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:59pm EDT

(Reuters) – Genetically modified corn seeds are no longer protecting Brazilian farmers from voracious tropical bugs, increasing costs as producers turn to pesticides, a farm group said on Monday.

Producers want four major manufacturers of so-called BT corn seeds to reimburse them for the cost of spraying up to three coats of pesticides this year, said Ricardo Tomczyk, president of Aprosoja farm lobby in Mato Grosso state.

“The caterpillars should die if they eat the corn, but since they didn’t die this year producers had to spend on average 120 reais ($54) per hectare … at a time that corn prices are terrible,” he said.

Large-scale farming in the bug-ridden tropics has always been a challenge, and now Brazil’s government is concerned that planting the same crops repeatedly with the same seed technologies has left the agricultural superpower vulnerable to pest outbreaks and dependent on toxic chemicals.

Experts in the United States have also warned about corn production prospects because of a growing bug resistance to genetically modified corn. Researchers in Iowa found significant damage from rootworms in corn fields last year.

In Brazil, the main corn culprit is Spodoptera frugiperda, also known as the corn leafworm or southern grassworm.

Seed companies say they warned Brazilian farmers to plant part of their corn fields with conventional seeds to prevent bugs from mutating and developing resistance to GMO seeds.

Dow Agrosciences, a division of Dow Chemical Co, has programs in Brazil to help corn farmers develop “an integrated pest management system that includes, among other things, the cultivation of refuge areas,” it said in an email.

Another company, DuPont, said it had not received any formal notification from Aprosoja. The company’s Pioneer brand has been working with producers to extend the durability of its seed technology and improve efficiency since Spodoptera worms were found to have developed resistance to the Cry1F protein, it said in a statement.

Monsanto Co also said in a statement that it has not been formally notified by the group. The other company, Syngenta AG, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tomczyk, who also spoke for Brazilian farmers during a dispute over seed royalty payments to Monsanto that ended last year, said Aprosoja encouraged the planting of refuge areas. But he said the seed companies have not given clear instructions.

“There are barely any non-GMO seeds available … it is very uncomfortable that the companies are blaming the farmers,” he said. Aprosoja hopes to reach a negotiated agreement with the seed companies, but if all else fails farmers may sue to get reparations for pesticide costs, he added.

Brazil is harvesting its second of two annual corn crops and expects to produce 78 million tonnes this crop year, slightly less than last season’s record. Domestic prices recently fell to their lowest in four years because of abundant supplies.

($1 = 2.223 reais)

(Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Steve Orlofsky)

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More Evidence That Plants Get Their Energy Through Quantum Entanglement

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More Evidence That Plants Get Their Energy Through Quantum Entanglement

By on January 20, 2014 in News

fern plant

As top human scientists dream of someday creating a quantum computer, are we lagging far behind plants? io9 reports:

Biophysicists theorize that plants tap into the eerie world of quantum entanglement during photosynthesis. Evidence to date has been purely circumstantial, but now, scientists have discovered a feature of plants that cannot be explained by classical physics.

In a way, they’re like mini-quantum computers capable of scanning all possible options in order to choose the most efficient paths or solutions. For plants, this means the ability to make the most of the energy they receive and then deliver that energy from leaves with near perfect efficiency.

The going theory is that plants have light-gathering macromolecules in their cells that can transfer energy via molecular vibrations — vibrations that have no equivalents in classical physics.

In the new study, UCL researchers identified a specific feature in biological systems that can only be predicted by quantum physics. The team learned that the energy transfer in the light-harvesting macromolecules is facilitated by specific vibrational motions of the chromophores. Quantum effects improve the efficiency of plant photosynthesis in a way that classical physics cannot allow.

Clever Tunnel System Makes Chickens Do The Gardening (Video)

Video

Sami Grover
Living / Green Food
September 20, 2011

Image credit: Ecofilms Australia

We’ve already seen how one farmer trains her chickens to eat slugs, and the internet is full of examples of chicken tractors—portable coops that can be moved to allow hens to till, fertilize, and weed a plot while providing pest control in the process. (see also this overview of chicken tractors at Planet Green.) But one Australian permaculturist has taken this idea to the next level—designing an intricate system of “chook tunnels” that let him funnel his ladies into any part of his garden. The amount of work that these creatures can do is actually quite amazing.

Of course many vegans will object to the idea of animals being used as “slave labor”, but a system like this does go a large way toward answering the accusations of inefficiency so often leveled against animal husbandry. As soon as we stop thinking about chickens, or any other domesticated creature for that matter, as meat or egg production “machines”, but rather as a productive, integrated member of a broader ecosystem, the efficiency equation starts to look a little different.

From processing weeds and food scraps into eggs and fertilizer, to replacing the need for human and/or mechanized labor in tilling, this really is yet another example of farming with animals the right way.

Methuselah – The World’s Oldest Tree

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Methuselah – The World’s Oldest Tree

 

Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Bernd das Brot Team
N 37° 22.724 W 118° 09.942
11S E 396795 N 4137524
Quick Description: Earth’s oldest living inhabitant “Methuselah” has reached the age of 4,768 years.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 9/14/2006 3:20:05 PM
Waymark Code: WMQDF
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member jcak1979
Views: 1068
Long Description:

Of the many scenic wonders found within the Inyo National Forest, one of the most amazing is the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, located between 10,000 and 11,000 ft. in the White Mountains, east of the Sierra Nevada. These trees are the oldest known living trees on earth. Here in the White Mountains, the ancient trees have survived more than 40 centuries, exceeding the age of the oldest Giant Sequoia by 1,500 years.For trees that old, one would expect giants, but Bristlecone pines look more like weathered dwarfs than like old giants. They add no more than an inch per century to their girth. The harsh climate above 10,000 ft elevation and very poor soil conditions don’t let things grow too big. As a matter of fact, Bristlecone pines are the only trees to have adapted to these conditions. That gives them a competitive edge allowing for a long and undisturbed life. For more on their survival skills, read
A Tree’s Secret to Living Long.

The above coordinates refer to “point 15” of the self-guided tour of the Methuselah Loop Trail. This point is called
The Ancient Forest. Each Bristlecone pine, from young seedling to ancient relic, has an individual character. And in the Ancient Forest, where trees had more than four and a half millennia to develop their character, each tree is a true individual. Every single tree in the Ancient Forest is at least 4,000 years old, many reach 4,500 years and the oldest one – Methuselah – has a confirmed age of 4,768 years which secured its place in the Guinness Book of World Records. In order to protect Methuselah from souvenir hunters and people who would just “love it to death,” the forest service does not disclose its location. It only hints that Methuselah is on of the trees right along the trail in the Ancient Forest. So, we took pictures of the most magnificent trees along that trail. Rest assured that each and every one of them is older than any other tree you have ever seen and that one of them is Methuselah.
(Click on the thumbnails to get larger pictures).

It could be any one of theese truly old guys . . . . . . but we think this one is the most likely candidate.

If these trees could talk they would tell us what it means to be 4,600 years old:

“The oldest of us started growing at around the time when the Great Pyramid of Giza was completed (2600 BC). We were 600 years old when Stonehenge was completed (2000 BC) and 800 years at the beginning of the Bronze Age (1800 BC). When we were 1,100 years old (1500 BC) the Maya Civilization rose in Central America and when we were 1,300 years old (1300 BC), Moses lead the Hebrews from Eygpt to the land of Israel. Most of us were already 1,400 years old when the ancient Pueblo civilization rose in North America while at the same time, at the other end of the world, the Greeks fought in the Trojan War (1194 BC). We were 1,800 years old at the beginning of the Iron Age (800 BC) and some of us reached already 1,900 years when the city of Rome was founded (753 BC). We were close to 2,100 years old when Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment and founded Buddhism in India. When we were 2,100 years old, China’s first emperor built the Great Wall of China (528 BC) and when we were 2,500 years old, Julius Caesar was born. We were 2,600 years old when Jesus Christ was born and 3,200 years old when Muhammad founded Islam (610). King William conquered England when we were 3,760 years old (1066) and Christoph Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean when we were 4,370 years old (1492). We were almost 4,400 years old when the United States declared independence and had reached the age of 4,450 when California joined the Union. And we keep getting older still!

To see the largest Bristlecone Pine tree, visit Patriarch Grove, 12 miles down the road.

There are also two geocaches in the area. Check here and here.

Date the Record Happened: Ongoing

Where did this record happen: White Mountains, California

Who Broke this record: pinus longaeva

Is there something to see here?: Yes

What is there to see here: The oldest trees in the world

Website that Shows record happening or area now: [Web Link]
Visit Instructions:
To record this as a waymark you must take a picture of yourself or your GPS in front of the location where the record happened and give a short description of your visit to this location