Proving if a precision technology works starts with remembering trial basics – and taking the time to scrutinise results. Methods of generating value from farm data might differ based on adoption level, but there are some universal truths – namely the need to employ proper comparison trials and analysis techniques. Indeed, some experts in Ontario, Canada, see the failure of many growers and tech-advocates to conduct proper field trials of precision-ag technologies as a notable barrier to wider adoption. Take the time to learn “Are you actually going to analyse the data in a timely fashion? Make sure you take the time to learn,” says Dale Cowan, senior agronomist and sales manager with AGRIS and Wanstead Cooperatives – a grain marketing and farm-input supply company based in the province’s Southwest region. As an agronomist specialising in 4R nutrient management and precision-ag technologies (AGRIS and Wanstead Cooperatives operate a wide variety of precision data services for farm clients), Mr Cowan says the first hurdle any successful data-generator must jump is determining what they’re trying to do, what data needs to be collected to do it, and from where. Good agronomy should take top priority This, he says, applies universally – from the most entrenched analogue to the most tech-driven producers. Indeed, Mr Cowan emphasises good agronomy should always take top priority in any field crop management system. Data generated in this context will inherently have more value. It’s also important to get help interpreting data, if required, and to keep all raw data. This latter point is particularly important in preventing data loss as it is transferred through different formats and platforms. Record keeping crucial for any tech improvement Nicole Rabe, land resource specialist with Ontario’s provincial ministry of agriculture (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs), shares Cowan’s view that ag-tech should be driven by agronomy rather than “shiny” pieces of equipment – many of which she says do not fundamentally fix basic agronomic issues, referring to them as “solutions searching for a problem.” Poor record keeping in the first place, by extension, means improvements brought by precision technologies cannot be accurately quantified or realised. “Before you jump in, ask yourself, what shape is my farm in? What are my basic issues and can I fix those first? Then what input do I find the most risky and has a need for better management?” says Ms Rabe. “You need to have a basic understanding of your bottom line.”
The global vertical farming market generated $ 2.23 billion in 2018, and is estimated to generate $ 12.77 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 24.6% from 2019 to 2026. Optimum usage of vertical space & energy utilisation, ease in monitoring and harvesting of crops, and limited availability of arable land for carrying out traditional agriculture drive the growth of the global vertical farming market, according to a report by Allied Market Research. High investments However, high investments and technologies in development phase restrain the market growth. On the other hand, rise in urban population and surge in prominence of organic foods create new opportunities in the industry. On the basis of structure, the building based vertical farms segment held the largest market share in the global vertical farming market in 2018, contributing for nearly three-fifths of the total market share, and is estimated to maintain its dominance during the forecast period. Shortage of arable land This is attributed to surge in urban population, shortage of arable land, and increase in the adoption of techniques of novel food production. However, the shipping container based vertical farms segment is estimated to register the highest growth rate with a CAGR of 28.1% from 2019 to 2026, owing to reduced costs and time taken for construction in comparison to conventional agriculture. Hydroponics and aquaponics Based on growth mechanism, the hydroponics and aquaponics segment together constituted nearly three-fourths of the total share of the global vertical farming market in 2018, and is estimated to maintain its lead position during the forecast period. On the other hand, the aeroponics segment is projected to grow at the largest CAGR of 25.6% from 2019 to 2026, owing to lowered waste generation, reduction in labor cost, and less water requirement to produce fruits and vegetables. Based on regions, Asia-Pacific and North America together accounted for the dominant share in 2018, accounting for nearly three-fourths of the total market share of the global vertical farming market, and will continue its lead during the forecast period. Highest growth rate in Europe However, Europe is expected to grow at the highest growth rate, with a CAGR of 26.0% from 2019 to 2026, due to rise in the concerns related to availability of water in various regions, which presents vertical farming as a viable solution for its consumption of 90% less water as compared to traditional farming.
Plants have big genomes; a rare flower from Japan has a genome that is 50 times the size of a human's. These huge genomes, and associated large genes, can make it challenging for plant scientists to introduce precise genetic changes to provide resistance to a new pest or study the fundamentals of how plants grow. One way to introduce genetic changes to large segments of DNA is called recombineering; however, recombineering isn't commonly used by plant scientists. NC State researchers have produced a new set of genetic tools to make recombineering of plant genes faster and easier. They shared their methods in a recent paper published in the journal Plant Cell. They have also made the toolset available through the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center.
植物表皮蜡质对于减少水分蒸腾、提高耐旱性、减弱紫外光伤害以及抵抗病虫害等具有重要作用。蜡质主要由超长链脂肪酸及其衍生物（醛、醇、烷烃、酮和酯类等）组成。超长链脂肪酸分别进入酰基还原途径生成偶数碳链的伯醇和酯类，脱羰途径生成偶数碳链的醛和奇数碳链的烷烃。在拟南芥茎表皮中烷烃进一步转化为仲醇和酮，而水稻等单子叶植物的叶表皮蜡质中却不含仲醇和酮。因此，烷烃被认为是单子叶植物脱羰途径的最终产物。与此同时，奇数碳链伯醇是蜡质的组成成分，但其合成途径尚不清晰。 中国科学院植物研究所曲乐庆课题组从水稻MNU诱变突变体库中筛选获得一个叶片呈沾水表型的wax crystal-sparse leaf 5（wsl5）突变体。突变体叶片表皮蜡质中烷烃异常累积，而C29伯醇含量显著降低。通过图位克隆的方法，分离出控制该性状的WSL5基因，编码一个功能未知的细胞色素P450家族蛋白CYP96B5。研究发现，CYP96B5定位于内质网，其过量表达的转基因水稻叶表皮蜡质中烷烃含量显著降低，C29伯醇含量增加；而功能敲除突变体则呈相反表型。进一步研究发现，WSL5/CYP96B5以烷烃为底物催化产生伯醇。异源表达的WSL5与拟南芥内源烷烃链中羟化酶MAH1共同竞争烷烃底物，导致前者产物C29伯醇含量增加，后者产物仲醇和酮含量降低。WSL5与饱和烷烃共同注射烟草叶片试验进一步证明其功能。该研究首次在植物中发现烷烃末端羟化酶，阐明植物中超长奇数碳链伯醇合成的机理。 该研究结果在线发表于国际学术期刊New Phytologist。曲乐庆课题组已毕业博士研究生张犊为论文的第一作者，曲乐庆为通讯作者。该研究得到国家科技部重点研发计划和自然科学基金委项目的资助。