Eucalyptus trees

For thousands of years, trees and humans have maintained an intimate connection. It’s therefore not surprising that many tree species were moved around the world, following the footprints of human civilisation. Globally, however, more tree species are becoming invasive, with detrimental ecological and socio-economic impacts. Understanding their invasion history and ecology is essential to developing…

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Fruit fly

Collection of data on fruit flies in South Africa will help improve pest management in Europe and contribute to development of technology such as sensors with which to detect infected fruit. Insect experts from the Stellenbosch University Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology are part of a large-scale research project involving experts from 15 countries.…

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Genetic progress in dairy herds is affected by sire selection. However, despite careful selection procedures, female progeny of selected sires produce at higher, similar or lower production levels than their mothers. This is because of the random combination of genes and the varying effect of environmental factors on the production performance of dairy cows. Dairy…

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jet streams

Patterns in the winds of the jet stream that circles the Earth can bring simultaneous heatwaves to breadbasket regions which provide up to a quarter of global crops, scientists have found. Extreme weather on this scale can significantly harm food production, making prices soar and fuelling social unrest. Western North America, western Europe, western Russia,…

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Climate outlook for 2020

The variable and changing climate Climate conditions were in general unfavourable for agricultural production in the recent past seasons. Severe drought over most of South Africa and especially the central, western, south western and south eastern parts of the country already persists since about 2012. In areas where higher rainfall amounts occurred was the distribution…

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