GFM Network News


A spray plane flies over a swarm of desert locusts at Lemasulani village in Kenya’s Samburu County on Jan. 17, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Njeri Mwangi)

Locust swarming pheromone identified in step toward curbing plagues

Reading Time: 2 minutes Washington | Reuters — Scientists have identified a chemical compound released by locusts that causes them to swarm, opening the door to possible new ways to prevent these insects from devouring crops vital to human sustenance as they have for millennia. Researchers said on Wednesday they identified the pheromone — that is, a chemical produced […] Read more

Genetically modified cotton plants with an edible cottonseed trait are seen growing near Belvidere in northeastern North Carolina. (Texas A+M University handout via Reuters)

U.S. regulators allow GM cotton as human food source

Reading Time: 2 minutes Washington | Reuters — U.S. regulators on Friday gave the green light for genetically modified cotton to be used for human consumption, paving the way for a protein-packed new food source — edible cottonseed that tastes a bit like chickpeas — that its developers said could help tackle global malnutrition. The Food and Drug Administration’s […] Read more


The fireplace where the bread was found is in the middle of this stone structure at the Shubayqa 1 site. (Alexis Pantos photo, News.ku.dk)

World’s oldest bread found at prehistoric site in Jordan

Reading Time: 2 minutes Washington | Reuters — Charred remains of a flatbread baked about 14,500 years ago in a stone fireplace at a site in northeastern Jordan have given researchers a delectable surprise: people began making bread, a vital staple food, millennia before they developed agriculture. No matter how you slice it, the discovery detailed on Monday shows […] Read more

(Stephen Ausmus photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Scientists peel back carrot’s genetic secrets

Reading Time: 2 minutes Reuters — Scientists have gotten to the root of the carrot, genetically speaking. Researchers said Monday they have sequenced the genome of the carrot, an increasingly important root crop worldwide, identifying genes responsible for traits including the vegetable’s abundance of vitamin A, an important nutrient for vision. The genome may point to ways to improve […] Read more


(Scott Bauer photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Wild bees seen dwindling in main U.S. crop regions

Reading Time: 2 minutes Washington | Reuters — Wild bees, crucial pollinators for many crops, are on the decline in some of the main agricultural regions of the U.S., according to scientists who produced the first national map of bee populations and identified numerous trouble spots. The researchers on Monday cited 139 counties as especially worrisome, with wild bee […] Read more

Rising CO2 levels may cut nutrient levels in crops: study

Reading Time: 3 minutes Washington | Reuters — Rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere may cut the nutritional quality of some of the world’s most important food crops, researchers reported Wednesday after conducting experiments simulating conditions expected by mid-century. The amounts of two important nutrients, zinc and iron, were found to be lower in wheat, rice, […] Read more


Scientists make ethanol without corn or other crops

Reading Time: 2 minutes Washington | Reuters — Scientists said Wednesday they have developed a new way to make liquid ethanol efficiently without using corn or other crops needed in the conventional method for producing the biofuel. The scientists said their process turns carbon monoxide gas into liquid ethanol with the help of an electrode made of a form […] Read more