Agricultural Essay

From cloned animals to herbicide-resistant seed, science-based technologies have never had a larger influence on agriculture than they are today and will likely continue to have in the future.

The technological advancements in agriculture between 1960 and 1990 are often referred to as the Green Revolution. These innovations included the development and commercialization of high-yield seeds, the increased application of chemical pesticides and herbicides, and the widespread use of modern fertilizers and irrigation techniques.

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Soil Science is the natural resource science devoted to the thin layer of the earth’s lithosphere (crust) responsible for supporting life.

Soil Science includes the basic biological, chemical geological and physical characteristics of the soils of the world, as well as the management of soils to produce food and protect the environment.

Hydroponics from the Latin ‘water working’, is simply growing plants without soil.

Hydroponics is as old as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Today this technology is widely used to grow lush, healthy indoor plants and premium grade vegetables, fruits and herbs.

The physiological requirements of plants can be met without the use of soil or natural sunlight. Plants are rooted (and thus supported) in an inert medium and nutrition is provided by water soluble mineral elements. The corn borer is devastating for the farmer, costing growers more than $1 billion annually in the United States. Bt stands for Bacillus thuringiensis, which is a naturally occurring soil organism. Bacillus thuringiensis produces a powerful toxin protein that kills the European corn borer when ingested. In response to this observance, researchers modified the Bt gene that produces the protein in the organism. Then, they inserted the modified gene into corn germplasm. Scientists can even choose which part of the corn plant they want to display the Bt trait: in green tissue and pollen, or even corn leaves, sheath, stalk, ear shank, kernels and silks. As a result, the Bt gene-enhanced corn germplasm is able to kill the corn borer just as the Bacillus thuringiensis organism can.

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