Grass on the other side is now greener

Researchers from Japan and Colombia have an inhibitor called brachialactone, released from the roots of a tropical grass, thatcan minimise greenhouse gas emissions from soil caused by use of chemical fertilisers.

The inhibitor prevents conversion of the fertiliser components into greenhouse gases, some of which are believed to cause soiland groundwater contamination, according to the study results.

The project was conducted by researchers at Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) based in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, known as CIAT, based in Cali, Colombia.

CIAT is an acronym for its Spanish name, Centro Internacionalde Agricultura Tropical. The scientists expect that introductionof the new grass will help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from the agriculture sector, estimated at more than 10 percent of such emissions.

The results of an experiment conducted with the use of the new type of grass have shown that not only was the nitrous oxide emission suppressed, but production of milk and beef also improved.

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