Nibbles: Cannabis, Brachiaria, Grasslands, Oryza, Taxonomy resources, Artocarpus, Quercus, Zea, MAS, GBIF

  • “Something researchers are looking at is which cultivars, or strains, of hemp are best for the various uses — fiber, oil, nutrition, etc.” Love that etc.
  • Speaking about grass: Brachiaria goes home, to wild acclaim.
  • Did someone say wild? Wild grass needs help!
  • Rice is a grass. Oh my yes.
  • How to keep up to date with taxonomic research online.
  • Pacific Regional Breadfruit Initiative gets an award.
  • You can also make flour from acorns.
  • And maize: what’s a grit?
  • Greenpeace touts MAS.
  • Next thing you know they’ll be singing the praises of Big Data. Yeah, maybe not.

3 Replies to “Nibbles: Cannabis, Brachiaria, Grasslands, Oryza, Taxonomy resources, Artocarpus, Quercus, Zea, MAS, GBIF”

  1. “Greenpeace touts MAS” eh? Well this is certainly good news, but will they soon be publishing a guidance document on ‘CRISP R’ genome editing technology? – No foreign genes involved but definitely genetic engineering with huge potential.

  2. Brian: In a comment on the MAS report Dr Janet Cotter, a Senior Scientist at the Greenpeace International Science Unit, claims that: “MAS can be directed to develop qualities that can assist with ecological farming”. She further claims that MAS could be, and should be, orientated towards developing varieties that assist this shift to ecological farming (=diverse, complex, knowledge intensive and low in external inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers, and fossil fuels).
    As the examples of MAS in the report are from developing countries (often assisted by the CGIAR) one must assume that Cotter wants developing countries to heed her call. But as most agricultural innovation starts in and proceeds from North America, then surely Greenpeace should first try to reform their homeland in North America: activism should begin at home. Surely, if farmers in North America adopt ecological agriculture then others will follow. Buy the almost certainty is that this will not happen: farmers elsewhere – notably in South America – are copying the GM monocultures that allow North America to be a global powerhouse of crops exports (and as India is now doing for cotton). Greenpeace seem to be talking to the wrong target group.

    Let’s not tell Greenpeace about CRISP R.

  3. Brachiaria goes home : “Similar reports about insect and disease pressures have come from the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. One researcher has called this a “re-encounter phenomenon,” which typically happens when plants selected for conditions different from those in their center of origin are eventually taken home.” The author – from CIAT – should read the 1977 Jennings and Cock paper (from CIAT) on the biotic problems of growing crops in their Centres of Origin.

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