Study unveils crop protection link to Canada's prosperity
Posted: October 21, 2011
Farmers understand the value of crop protection and plant biotechnology tools. But what do those benefits mean to the average Canadian and the prosperity of the country as a whole?
A new study commissioned by CropLife Canada aimed to put some numbers to the impact on Canada's prosperity and has yielded some eye-opening results. Among the highlights:
Keeping grocery bills low. Canadian families save 58 percent on their weekly grocery bills thanks to modern crop protection and plant biotechnology tools.
Yield and quality value. The annual value of crop quality and yield increases resulting from crop protection products and plant biotechnology is $7.9 billion.
Spin-off benefits. Plant science technologies also contribute an additional $6.4 billion annually in off-farm value through activities such as processing, shipping and manufacturing.
Maximizing land productivity. Without plant science technologies, Canada would need to turn 37 million more acres into agricultural land to maintain production levels. That's equal to the total cropped acreage in Saskatchewan or four times the cropped acreage in Ontario.
More information on the study is available on the CropLife Canada website.
Weed seeds hitch rides on cars, trucks, ATVs
Posted: October 21, 2011
A new study by Montana State University has pulled back the curtain on the role vehicles play in the spread of invasive weed species.
These "unlikely stowaways" are in fact routinely transported by cars, trucks, ATVs and other vehicles, the researchers found.
Seeds can stow away on tires, bumpers, wheel wells or the underside of a vehicle and sometimes travel great distances before falling off in a new locale. As weed seeds sprout and grow, they can crowd out native plants, disrupt native ecosystems and wildlife habitats and reduce crop yields when they spread to nearby fields.
"Take a look at the many types of weeds growing along most any roadside and you'll get a big clue about the role vehicles play," says Lisa Rew, Ph.D., a member of the Weed Science Society of America and an assistant professor at Montana State University. "With an estimated 4 million miles of roads crisscrossing the U.S. and an estimated 256 million registered vehicles, even a few weed seeds per car can make a significant impact on the spread of weeds."
The study results were highlighted in a release from the Weed Science Society of America. Get more information on the WSSA website.