Category Archives: Health

Cover Crops Increase Yield and Soil Fertility in Winter Wheat

attachmentBy Swahili Scientist

A study published in the Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment journal found that the use of cover crops, also called green manure, help alleviate the disadvantages of not tilling soil.

Cover crops are crops that are sown around the crops of interest in order to protect them, a farming technique that has been employed for thousands of years. Soil tilling refers to the cultivation of the soil using a harrow, plow, or other farm implements in order to prepare the field for crop production.

Research has shown that reducing soil tillage while utilizing cover crops at the same time increased soil fertility. Cover crops also eliminate the disadvantages of reduced soil tillage, which include yield reduction and problems with weeds.

The researchers conducted a three-year experiment in Switzerland. They set up eight cover crop treatments, which were cultivated for a short two-month period between two types of winter wheat. They obtained the highest wheat yield with minimum tillage when field peas were used as cover crops.

Meanwhile, with the crops that were not tilled, wheat yield was significantly low, except in the field pea treatments, where wheat yield was the same as those with minimum tillage. The researchers found that crop cultivation could increase soil organic carbon and total nitrogen, especially with reduced tilling.

Therefore, it was determined that using a well-developed cover crop for just two months can support wheat yield and boost the fertility of the soil in the long run, even if the soil is not tilled. Lastly, this technique has been used with many crops other than wheat since antiquity.

How Diet Affects Migraines: Foods to Avoid, Foods to Enjoy

By MCNS Staff

Research has shown that certain foods can either help or hurt people who suffer from migraines.

Research has shown that certain foods can either help or hurt people who suffer from migraines.

Millions of people worldwide suffer from migraine headaches on an ongoing basis. Debates have taken place over the cause(s) of these headaches, however several studies have suggested that particular foods may trigger migraines in some people.

Staples such as coffee, cheese, and even less healthy options such as alcohol and Monosodium Glutumate have been linked to migraines. For a list of these and other foods that can trigger and possibly reduce the frequency and symptoms of migraine headaches, click here.

Canola Oil May Harm Human Brain


Canola oil could be harmful to the brain, according to a new study.

Researchers at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine linked the consumption of canola oil to poorer memory, learning ability and weight gain in mice in their research report.

These effects are very much like those that are noted with Alzheimer’s disease.

Further research will try to identify the minimum amount of canola oil that can be safely consumed. For more on the study, click here.

Mexico Revokes Monsanto’s Permit to Market Soy

The headquarters of Monsanto, near St. Louis, Mo. Monsanto is the world's largest seed supplier.

The headquarters of Monsanto, near St. Louis, Mo. Monsanto is the world’s largest seed supplier.

By MCNS Staff

Mexico’s agriculture sanitation authority SENASICA revoked Monsanto’s permit to commercialize genetically modified soy in seven Mexican states this past month, according to Reuters.

The Mexican newspaper Reforma referenced a document stating that the permit was withdrawn as a result of the detection of transgenic Monsanto soya in areas where its growth was not authorized.

Monsanto responded to the document by stating that authorities did not perform analysis on how the soy was sown.

The revocation applies to the states of Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, Veracruz, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo and it follows a 2016 legal suspension of the permit.

Monsanto has been highly successful in taking legal action against individual farmers in the US when Monsanto GMO seeds were carried by the wind and as a result, ended up growing on the land of other farmers. According to its website, they have taken farmers to court 147 times in the US since 1997. Only nine of these cases went to court and Monsanto won all of them. However, the tables are turning against the GMO giant in Mexico as well as in the US where individual farmers are organizing.

For more information, click here: