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POTATO Growers Controlled Like Soviet Russia

Pennie Patane wants to wash and pack her potatoes but the WA Potato Marketing Corporation won’t let her. Tony Galati was prosecuted for producing more potatoes than his allocated amount. This isn’t communist Russia but the WA Potato Marketing Corporation – the last of its kind in Australia – decides who can grow potatoes, how many hectares can be planted and what varieties are produced. Free WA potato growers and let them decide how to market and sell THEIR potatoes. Read more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/marketer-may-have-had-its-chips-as-spud-war-boils-over/story-e6frg6nf-1226509495552

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How Much Have Global Problems Cost the World?

Where should we focus our effects to do the most good? Air Pollution, Armed Conflicts, Climate Change, Biodiversity, Education, Gender Inequality, Human Health, Malnutrition, Trade Barriers, Water and Sanitation. Bjorn Lomborg shows that some problems have a low return of investment in terms of human health and quality of life. Why do we waste so many resources on climate change when other issues will give us a much high return on investment. There are limited resources but unlimited desires. Questions answered at http://blog.ted.com/2013/11/12/me-help-me-bjorn-lomborg-i-didnt-understand-your-new-ted-talk-bjorn-sure-ama/

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Why the Peak Disasters Never Materialise?

Are human beings smart enough to overcome scarcities? Ron Bailey takes on the doomsayers and argues that it’s much more rational to expect a more prosperous, resource-rich, and ecologically sound future than it is to fear armageddon. Peak population, peak pollution, peak farmland, peak oil, peak minerals, and peak phosphorous all need a better understanding of economics and rationalism to give perspective to doomsayers.

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The Art of War – Use in Agriculture

One of the best books ever written. Sun Tzu book has been used for centuries for military, business and leadership. It is useful if you are at war with weeds or other pests. Makes you think before you even determine if you should act. Detail Assessment and Planning Waging War Strategic Attack Disposition of the Army Forces Weaknesses and Strengths Military Maneuvers Variations and Adaptability Movement and Development of Troops Terrain The Nine Battlegrounds Attacking with Fire Intelligence and Espionage

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How Brazil won the cotton war and US taxpayers lost

American tax pay subsidies to cotton farmers. WTO said these are illegal as affect others like Brazilian cotton farmers but no penalty so the Brazilians decide to boycott US drug companies. This didn’t go down to well in the US congress but they didn’t want to stop subsidies to cotton farmers so now US tax payers pay $147 million of American tax dollars to Brazilian cotton farmers to make up for our illegal subsidies.

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Mycorrhizal Fungi and Their Importance to Agriculture

Introduction

A mycorrhiza mycorrhizae or mycorrhizas is a symbiotic (generally mutualistic) association between a fungus and the roots of a vascular plant. In a mycorrhizal association, the fungus colonizes the host plant’s roots, either intracellularly as in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), or extracellularly as in ectomycorrhizal fungi. They are an important component of soil fertility.

These are the fungi that form a symbiotic relationship with a plant forming a sheath around the root tip of the plant. The fungus then forms a Hartig Net which means that there is an inward growth of hyphae (fungal cell growth form) which penetrates the plant root structure.

The fungus gains carbon and other essential organic substances from the tree and in return helps the trees take up water, mineral salts and metabolites. Indeed, most forest trees are highly dependent on their fungal partners and in areas of poor soil, could possibly not even exist without them.

Types of Mycorrhizal fungi

Mainly two types;

  1. Ectomycorrhizas :- Hyphae of ectomycorrhizal fungi do not penetrate individual cells within the root
  2. Endomycorrhizas :- Hyphae of endomycorrhizal fungi penetrate the cell wall and invaginate the cell membrane

 

Ectomycorrhizas

Hyphae of ectomycorrhizal fungi do not penetrate individual cells within the root. Ectomycorrhizas consist of a hyphal sheath, or mantle, covering the root tip and a hartig net of hyphae surrounding the plant cells within the root cortex. In some cases the hyphae may also penetrate the plant cells, in which case the mycorrhiza is called an ectendomycorrhiza. Outside the root, the fungal mycelium forms an extensive network within the soil and leaf litter. Nutrients can be shown to move between different plants through the fungal network.

 

Funguses belong to the Basidiomycota, Ascomycota, and Zygomycota. Some Ectomycorrhizas fungi, such as many Leccinum and Suillus, are symbiotic with only one particular genus of plant, while other fungi, such as the Amanita, are generalists that form mycorrhizas with many different plants.

The fungal hyphae are extracellular between the cells of the epidermis and the root cortex. The fungal hyphae form a so-called hartig net and a fungal mantle covering the root tip. Outside the root, the fungal mycelium forms an extensive network within the soil and leaf litter. Nutrients move between different plants through the fungal network

 

Endomycorrhizas

Hyphae of endomycorrhizal fungi penetrate the cell wall and invaginate the cell membrane. Hyphae enter into the plant cells, producing structures that are either balloon-like (vesicles) or dichotomously-branching invaginations (arbuscules).

The structure of the arbuscules greatly increases the contact surface area between the hypha and the cell cytoplasm to facilitate the transfer of nutrients between them.

Arbuscular mycorrhizas are formed only by fungi in the division Glomeromycota. Fossil evidence and DNA sequence analysis suggest that this mutualism appeared 400-460 million years ago, when the first plants were colonizing land.

Arbuscular mycorrhizas are found in 85% of all plant families, and occur in many crop species. The hyphae of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi produce the glycoprotein glomalin, which may be one of the major stores of carbon in the soil. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi have (possibly) been asexual for many millions of years.

Endomycorrhizas are variable and have been further classified as arbuscular, ericoid, arbutoid, monotropoid, and orchid mycorrhizas.
myco-cell-wall

 

 

Comparison between Ectomycorrhizas and Endomycorrhizas (Arbuscular)

myco-root

 

 

What are effects of Mycorrhizal Symbiosis on plant-soil system?

1/ Increased efficacy of nutrient acquisition, plant growth, flower formation and crop yield.
2/ Enhanced resistance to drought, environmental stress and some microbes.
3/ Reduced plant mortality after transplantation.
4/ Improved plant fitness in stressed environment.
5/ Positive effects on soil aggregation and stability and soil water retention
 

What are Advantages of Introducing Mycorrhiza?

1/ A single treatment lasts for the whole plant’s life.
2/ Reduces fertiliser use, watering costs and plantation management costs.
3/ It is compatible with commonly used herbicides and insecticides.
4/ Mycorrhizal plants exploit sources of nutrients in soils at maximum making it a sustainable approach of cultivation and production systems when using a minimum of agrochemicals.
 

What is a commercial value of established Mycorrhiza?

1/ Mycorrhizas are natural for healthy plants and are rare in disturbed, desertified and stressed environments. Thus, artificial inoculation with mycorrhizal fungi brings mycorrhiza to new planted plants and trees in such environments to help them in their establishment, growth and survival rate.
2/ A plant or tree with mycorrhiza has higher capability to survive long-term.
3/ This is a plant health insurance – one-time treatment that will grow with the plant.
 

What is erosion control mediated by functional mycorrhiza?

•  Mycelium of mycorrhizal fungi causes soil aggregation and stabilization

Reasons for reducing Mycorrhizal fungi 

•  Mycorrhizal fungi are found in undisturbed soils with other beneficial soil organisms.
•  Today’s common practices such as tillage, site preparation, road and home construction, mining and removal of topsoil can degrade the mycorrhizal forming potential of soil. The fungi improve the ability of plants to utilize the soil resources by ten to hundreds of times

 

What can we do to replenish Mycorrhizal Fungi?

Mycorrihiza is ideal for any landscape planting situation, establishment of grass seed or sod and will enhance all soil aerification practices. An extensive amount of Mycorrhizae fungi will help to promote extensive root growth, reduce heat and drought stress, improves water and nutrient uptake and can eliminate transplant shock.

The word “mycorrhizae” literally means “fungus-roots” and defines the close mutually beneficial relationship between specialized soil fungi (mycorrhizal fungi) and plant roots. About 95% of the world’s land plants form the mycorrhizal relationship in their native habitats. It is estimated that mycorrhizal fungi filaments explore hundreds to thousands more soil volume compare to roots alone.

 

Mycorrhizal Products

Benefits

•  Improves soil and plant ecosystem
•  Increases plant growth and establishment
•  Reduces transplanting stress and plant loss
•  Increases nutrient and water uptake
•  Improves soil structure and porosity
•  Reduces fertilisers

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Introduction to Trichoderma

This type of fungi is usually present in most soil types and generally known as being the most established of the culturable types of fungi; these are very fast growing fungi growths and are very active in the temperature range of 25-30°C but they do not thrive in temperatures above the 35°C mark. These colonies are very much opaque in nature and give off a coconut aroma or typically sweet odour. They are one of the most prevalent of all fungal species in the soil and do have some very useful properties and do colonize very readily and have a long effect on the root zone of the plant. As for other helpful species of fungi, Trichoderma is very prolific in the root zone and further enhancement of your crops is available by promoting the growth of these fungi.

In a produced formula type application Trichoderma are especially useful in providing relief after the pruning grapevines to act as a natural barrier and absorption is actively taken up by the plant following use of the product in a spray type formulation. This type of plant dressing is particularly good in that Trichoderma does have a lasting effect on helping the healing process in the viticultural system, given that it has a natural bio-activity against a wide range of problems. This is active and promotes the plants natural healing abilities. This is largely due to the properties available through the use of Trichoderma fungal applications and the penetrability of the solution.

Trichoderma also has properties of assisting in the germination of seeds and has a natural ability to promote effectual germination and good sustainability in young seedlings. 

In its survivability Trichoderma is highly adaptable in its nature to flourish in many differing situations and from this adaptability it can produce a wide collection of useful enzymes. The further culturization of these enzymes can be affected by the processing of suspension and from this process many industrial quantities of enzymes are produced. For example T.reesei is produced and is cellulase in nature and is utilized in the drying of coffee beans and is also used extensively in the textile industry, paper manufacturing and some pharmaceuticals.

Trichoderma can go to great depths to help the growth of the plant root and some have been found one metre below the surface and they have a great method for stimulating the better production of root development. And most strains are recognizably resistance to agricultural herbicides adding to the benefit that can be established by furthering the growth of these types of available fungi and their natural defence mechanisms. 

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Inside Saudi Arabia (BBC Documentary)

With Western Australia’s biggest grain grower, John Nicoletti thinking of selling his 81,000 hectare properties to Qatar based company, Hassad Food I thought it would be good to understand a bit more on the Arab world. Hassad Food how has about 200,000 hectares ($500 million) of Australian land. Agriculture needs more capital investment so what are they looking for and how can we benefit with mutual cooperation? The below documentary helped me understand a bit about their world.