Mosquitoes, Agriculture and Malaria

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Innovations that go into improving one aspect of agriculture can have a huge impact on another.

April Frake is a PhD student in the Department of Geography at Michigan State University. She is studying how the rate of malaria in Malawi may be increasing because local farmlands are becoming more irrigated.

listen to the podcast here.

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Aquaculture: Weighing economic potential, environmental risk

Recreational anglers fish near a cage site in Ontario. Image: Sea Grant.

Great Lakes aquaculture could become a $1 billion industry in Canada and the U.S., according to a 2014 paper.

One key for reaching that potential is for the Great Lakes states to follow Canada and legalize offshore aquaculture, reports the paper that was sponsored by Michigan Sea Grant, NOAA, Michigan State University and the state of Michigan.

Offshore aquaculture involves farm-raising up to several million fish in cages along the coasts of natural bodies of water instead of the inland practice of using large landlocked tanks. This allows fish to remain in their natural environment, and provides a more efficient way of harvesting them.

Continue reading Aquaculture: Weighing economic potential, environmental risk

Student-built photobioreactor cleans water of livestock waste

Pat Sheridan
Pat Sheridan

The World Health Organization predicts that the worldwide consumption of animal products will increase by 72 percent in the next 15 years. But many developing nations lack the right climates or infrastructure to produce adequate meat, eggs and dairy.

One way that farmers can get lots of bang for their buck in meat production is a Confined Animal Feeding Operation. Farmers use them to raise more animals in less time and for less cost.  Animals and their food, manure and urine are handled under one roof.

But that animal waste leaves a different mess behind: water filled with so many extra nutrients that it’s considered contaminated.

Patrick Sheridan, a graduate student in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Michigan State University, built something called a photobioreactor that uses algae to clean contaminated water and turn extra nutrients into animal feed.

He explains in this podcast here.