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CRISPR, microbes and more are joining the war against crop killers

from Nature

The first thing Broc Zoller does every morning is check the weather forecast. For the past five years, California farmers like him have struggled through historic drought. Now they face the opposite problem. In the first months of 2017, it has already rained more than it did all of last year in Kelseyville, where Zoller grows wine grapes and walnuts, and leases out land to pear growers. The muddy conditions have slowed pruning efforts and delayed the application of sprays used to control key insect species over the winter. If the rains continue as spring arrives, the combination of warmth and wetness could spark fungal and bacterial infections. To protect his crops, Zoller suspects he will have to use several conventional pesticides. more


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