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Significant increase in demand for Honey pomelos

Allfresch Group
Significant increase in demand for Honey pomelos

The UK-headquartered Allfresch Group of companies has built a strong reputation in Europe for the Red Dragon brand of Chinese Honey pomelos over the last seven years, and that has in turn helped transform the fruit from a speciality item to a mainstream commodity in the European markets. There has been a significant increase in volumes over the years.

“We are very proud to have been extremely instrumental in creating awareness of this mouth-watering fruit and bringing it to the fore of the European marketplace,” says Commercial Director Ben Reed.

Grown in the mountainous Fujian province, Red Dragon pomelos are tested for pesticide residues prior to export at a certified laboratory in Xiamen, and packed according to the highest possible standards.

“Since the Red Dragon brand was introduced in 2007, many exciting developments have been initiated. Today it is the preferred brand in many countries, primarily based on the consistent product quality,” says the firm’s spokesman.

The Allfresch Group describes Red Dragon pomelos as juicy and sweet with a light fragrant taste. The brand is GlobalGAP, Haccp and ISO-9000 certified, and available from September to February.

In addition to the Honey Pomelo, the Allfresch Group have also become a dominant force in Chinese Chestnuts also in the Red Ragon brand. This fruit is available from October to January in 5 Kg Mesh or Gunny bags and 1Kg Mesh bags.

With the Group’s Chinese operation and Joint Venture partner Intafresh, that is headed up by Andy Chen, they are also able to offer a direct sourcing option for those customers who require it.

Red Dragon Chinese pomelos and chestnuts are distributed across the UK and continental Europe.

For more information:

Europe
Klayton Sands
[email protected]
+44 (0) 1952 460 608

China – Direct Sourcing
Andy Chen
[email protected]

Publication date: 9/19/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Scientists track gene activity when honey bees do and don’t eat honey: Significant differences depending on diet

Many beekeepers feed their honey bees sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup when times are lean inside the hive. This practice has come under scrutiny, however, in response to colony collapse disorder, the massive — and as yet not fully explained — annual die-off of honey bees in the U.S. and Europe. Some suspect that inadequate nutrition plays a role in honey bee declines.

In a new study, described in Scientific Reports, researchers took a broad look at changes in gene activity in response to diet in the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera), and found significant differences occur depending on what the bees eat.

The researchers looked specifically at an energy storage tissue in bees called the fat body, which functions like the liver and fat tissues in humans and other vertebrates.

“We figured that the fat body might be a particularly revealing tissue to examine, and it did turn out to be the case,” said University of Illinois entomology professor and Institute for Genomic Biology director Gene Robinson, who performed the new analysis together with entomology graduate student Marsha Wheeler.

The researchers limited their analysis to foraging bees, which are older, have a higher metabolic rate and less energy reserves (in the form of lipids stored in the fat body) than their hive-bound nest mates — making the foragers much more dependent on a carbohydrate-rich diet, Robinson said.

“We reasoned that the foragers might be more sensitive to the effects of different carbohydrate sources,” he said.

The researchers focused on gene activity in response to feeding with honey, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), or sucrose. They found that those bees fed honey had a very different profile of gene activity in the fat body than those relying on HFCS or sucrose. Hundreds of genes showed differences in activity in honey bees consuming honey compared with those fed HFCS or sucrose. These differences remained even in an experimental hive that the researchers discovered was infected with deformed wing virus, one of the many maladies that afflict honey bees around the world.

“Our results parallel suggestive findings in humans,” Robinson said. “It seems that in both bees and humans, sugar is not sugar — different carbohydrate sources can act differently in the body.”

Some of the genes that were activated differently in the honey-eating bees have been linked to protein metabolism, brain-signaling and immune defense. The latter finding supports a 2013 study led by U. of I. entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum, who reported that some substances in honey increase the activity of genes that help the bees break down potentially toxic substances such as pesticides.

“Our results further show honey induces gene expression changes on a more global scale, and it now becomes important to investigate whether these changes can affect bee health,” Robinson said.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

New Zealand Fruit Tree Company has significant national variety share

New Zealand Fruit Tree Company has significant national variety share

With 17 years under its belt, the New Zealand Fruit Tree Company (NZFTC), operating out of Hawkes Bay and Central Otago, is the nation’s largest private importer of commercial fruit varieties. According to John Morton, NZFTC company executive officer, it now represents many of the major breeding programs both within New Zealand and overseas. NCFTC is responsible for the administration, introduction, development and commercialization of the varieties it represents.

Operating its own level-two quarantine facility and research orchards, the NZFTC can efficiently and quickly establish the development of new varieties, maintaining control and security throughout the process. “As the nation’s horticultural industry develops and becomes more sophisticated, the NZFTC has forged strategic partnerships with leading nurserymen and marketing organizations,” Morton says. “These strategic partnerships allow the company to develop market strategies for new variety releases and the flexibility to operate a tree or production-based royalty system. The company is now operating several managed programs.”

The companies that John Morton Limited currently represents include New Zealand Fruit Tree Company and Shennong Variety Management Limited (SVM). SVM develops new concepts and appreciation of intellectual property in China.

Morton has also been appointed as global manager of the Papple® pear brand, an exciting new pear variety launched in 2011. The Papple has gained international recognition as a new brand of pear – www.papplepear.com

In 2000 New Zealand Fruit Tree Company was accepted as a member of the Associated International Group of Nurseries (AIGN®). Morton is now an AIGN® director.
   
For more information:
Cristy Warnock
Brands Fruit Trees
Tel: +64 509-307-1947
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 10/11/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Safeway Cites ‘Significant Interest’ in Dominick’s

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway here said several parties have expressed interest in its Dominick’s stores as the company seeks to exit the Chicago market by early next year.

Speaking with analysts, Robert Edwards, president and chief executive officer, said the decision to dispose of the 72 Dominick’s locations was made only recently, “but we have begun the process of marketing assets and have received significant interest, so we’re continuing to work on that in earnest with a number of parties, and we’re pleased with what we’re seeing.  We hope to sell as many of the stores as quickly as we can.”


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He said the decision to exit Chicago came “after we looked at our sales, losses, market share and the resources we were allocating to support the business there and realized we were just not able to make as much progress as we would have liked, and we decided that reallocating our assets would provide better value to shareholders. “The disposition of assets in the Chicago market will eliminate a noticeable drag on our financial results and a significant gain on our resources.”

In prepared remarks, Edwards said, “The decision to sell Canada Safeway and to exit the Chicago market is consistent with Safeway’s priority of maximizing shareholder value. These actions will allow us to focus on improving and strengthening our core grocery business. We are continuing to review all of our businesses to optimize our allocation of resources, improve sales and grow operating profits.”

Read more: Activist Investor Pushes for More Asset Sales at Safeway

Asked by an analyst to define what Safeway regarded as core markets, Edwards demurred.  

“In deciding to exit Chicago, we took action in our lowest-performing division, but past that, I’m not willing to offer any detail,” he said. “Everything we do is designed to maximize shareholder value, and the sale of Canada, the partial IPO of Blackhawk and now the decision to leave Chicago demonstrates that commitment.

“We believe our strategy will work in our core business, and we are continuing to invest in that business, but we will continue to review our assets.”

Edwards made his remarks during a conference call to discuss financial results for the third quarter, which ended Sept. 7 — a period that excluded Safeway Canada, which the company lists as a discontinued asset, but that included Dominick’s, which will become a discontinued asset in the fourth quarter.

Overall net income for the 12-week quarter fell 58.1% to $ 65.8 million, while sales for the quarter increased 1.1% to $ 8.6 billion and identical store sales, excluding fuel, rose 1.9%.

For the 36-week, year-to-date period, net income declined 45.2% to $ 193.1 million, while sales fell 0.2% to $ 25.8 billion and IDs rose 1.6%. Non-fuel IDs during the first four weeks of the fourth quarter are running at 2.2%, Edwards noted.

The company said Dominick’s incurred a loss of $ 8.4 million for the quarter, compared with a loss of $ 6.2 million a year ago; and a loss of $ 21.5 million for the year to date, compared with a loss of $ 16.8 million for the 36-week period a year ago. For fiscal 2012 Dominick’s had a net loss of $ 31.5 million.

Safeway said its exit from Chicago will result in a cash-tax benefit of between $ 400 million and $ 450 million that it will use to offset cash tax expenses from the sale of its Canadian assets. Any other cash proceeds will be used to buy back stock and invest in growth opportunities, the company said.

The sale of Safeway’s Canadian assets to Empire Co., corporate parent of Sobeys, was announced in June and is expected to close during the fourth quarter.

Read more: Safeway Cashes Out of Canada

In other remarks during the call with analysts, Edwards said Safeway will seek to increase sales and enhance profitability by focusing on meaningful differentiation strategies to better serve its diverse shopper base, including efforts already underway to cluster center-store assortments to appeal to different demographics, including premium and Hispanic customers, “and [at stores where those changes have been made] we’re seeing sales increases significantly above the company’s average non-fuel IDs.”

He also acknowledged that a new strategy implemented in the third quarter — designed to focus on improving sales with less emphasis on controlling shrink — resulted in an unplanned increase in shrink levels in certain divisions.

“We have modified our shrink targets to support stronger core sales growth and to support improvements in merchandising assortment,” Edwards said, “and we believe excess shrink is no longer going to be an issue. Shrink results in the first four weeks of the fourth quarter have improved and are back in line with the targets we have established.”

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Australia: Significant rise in exports to Asia and Middle East

Ben O’Brien, Alfred E Chave
Australia: Significant rise in exports to Asia and Middle East

Alfred Edward Chave opened a fruit and vegetable stall at Brisbane’s busy Roma street market over 100 years ago, today the company has become one of Australia’s leading wholesale fruit and vegetable companies and works closely with some of Australia’s best growers ensuring the highest standards in quality and flavour.

Whilst Alfred E Chave has a long history of exporting fresh produce, recent years have seen significant growth in the export side of the business owing to enduring customer relationships, major investments in state of the art storage and packing facilities at their Brisbane base. Building an experienced operations team to handle the increased exports has been a focus of management.

As Ben O’Brien, International Trader at Alfred E Chave explains, fresh produce exports have increased significantly in the last three years. “We have invested heavily in building a sustainable export business that has allowed us to meet the growing demand from our customers across Asia, the Middle East and New Zealand. Consistency and quality of produce has been crucial to our success as it is highly valued by our customers.”

Alfred E Chave have built upon their domestic expertise in the handling and marketing of mangoes as a core focus for export markets by partnering with some of the finest mango growers in the Northern Territory and Queensland. Expectations ahead of this year’s mango season are very positive.

The company has enjoyed a twenty year relationship with the Jurgen family who grow Veejays tomatoes, one of Australia’s premier tomato brands.

The main exports are fruit – mango, grapes, mandarins, oranges and stone fruit which go to Asia Pacific, Dubai and New Zealand.

Ben explains that Dubai has been a great market for the business, despite a few years of financial turbulence in the region. “This market is on the increase again and is the hub for other Middle Eastern and North African countries. We have been fortunate in building strong relationships with the right customers. Vietnam, the Philippines and the rest of South East Asia are also growing markets for our business. We go to great lengths to understand the requirements of our international customers and then work closely with our growers to ensure that together we satisfy these customers and build value in the relationship.”

For more information:
Ben O’Brien
Alfred E. Chave
Tel: +61 408 450 420
Email: [email protected]
www.alfredechave.com.au

Publication date: 9/27/2013
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Genetic study pushes back timeline for first significant human population expansion

Sep. 24, 2013 — About 10,000 years ago, the Neolithic age ushered in one of the most dramatic periods of human cultural and technological transition, where independently, different world populations developed the domestication of plants and animals. The hunter-gatherers gave rise to herders and farmers. Changes to a more sedentary lifestyle and larger settlements are widely thought to have contributed to a worldwide human population explosion, from an estimated 4-6 million people to 60-70 million by 4,000 B.C.

Now, researchers Aiméa, et al., have challenged this assumption using a large set of populations from diverse geographical regions (20 different genomic regions and mitochondrial DNA of individuals from 66 African and Eurasian populations), and compared their genetic results with archaeological findings. The dispersal and expansion of Neolithic culture from the Middle East has recently been associated with the distribution of human genetic markers.

They conclude that the first significant expansion of human populations appears to be much older than the emergence of farming and herding, dating back to the Paleolithic (60,000-80,000 years ago) rather than Neolithic age. Therefore, hunter-gatherer populations were able to thrive with cultural and social advances that allowed for the expansion. The authors also speculate that this Paleolithic human population expansion may be linked to the emergence of newer, more advanced hunting technologies or a rapid environmental change to dryer climates.

Finally, they also suggest that strong Paleolithic expansions may have favored the emergence of sedentary farming in some populations during the Neolithic. Indeed, the authors also demonstrate that the populations who adopted a sedentary farming lifestyle during the Neolithic had previously experienced the strongest Paleolithic expansions. Conversely, contemporary nomadic herder populations in Eurasia experienced moderate Paleolithic expansions, and no expansions were detected for nomadic hunter-gatherers in Africa. “Human populations could have started to increase in Paleolithic times, and strong Paleolithic expansions in some populations may have ultimately favored their shift toward agriculture during the Neolithic,” said Aiméa.

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Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press), via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

Genetic study pushes back timeline for first significant human population expansion

Sep. 24, 2013 — About 10,000 years ago, the Neolithic age ushered in one of the most dramatic periods of human cultural and technological transition, where independently, different world populations developed the domestication of plants and animals. The hunter-gatherers gave rise to herders and farmers. Changes to a more sedentary lifestyle and larger settlements are widely thought to have contributed to a worldwide human population explosion, from an estimated 4-6 million people to 60-70 million by 4,000 B.C.

Now, researchers Aiméa, et al., have challenged this assumption using a large set of populations from diverse geographical regions (20 different genomic regions and mitochondrial DNA of individuals from 66 African and Eurasian populations), and compared their genetic results with archaeological findings. The dispersal and expansion of Neolithic culture from the Middle East has recently been associated with the distribution of human genetic markers.

They conclude that the first significant expansion of human populations appears to be much older than the emergence of farming and herding, dating back to the Paleolithic (60,000-80,000 years ago) rather than Neolithic age. Therefore, hunter-gatherer populations were able to thrive with cultural and social advances that allowed for the expansion. The authors also speculate that this Paleolithic human population expansion may be linked to the emergence of newer, more advanced hunting technologies or a rapid environmental change to dryer climates.

Finally, they also suggest that strong Paleolithic expansions may have favored the emergence of sedentary farming in some populations during the Neolithic. Indeed, the authors also demonstrate that the populations who adopted a sedentary farming lifestyle during the Neolithic had previously experienced the strongest Paleolithic expansions. Conversely, contemporary nomadic herder populations in Eurasia experienced moderate Paleolithic expansions, and no expansions were detected for nomadic hunter-gatherers in Africa. “Human populations could have started to increase in Paleolithic times, and strong Paleolithic expansions in some populations may have ultimately favored their shift toward agriculture during the Neolithic,” said Aiméa.

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Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press), via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

Genetic study pushes back timeline for first significant human population expansion

Sep. 24, 2013 — About 10,000 years ago, the Neolithic age ushered in one of the most dramatic periods of human cultural and technological transition, where independently, different world populations developed the domestication of plants and animals. The hunter-gatherers gave rise to herders and farmers. Changes to a more sedentary lifestyle and larger settlements are widely thought to have contributed to a worldwide human population explosion, from an estimated 4-6 million people to 60-70 million by 4,000 B.C.

Now, researchers Aiméa, et al., have challenged this assumption using a large set of populations from diverse geographical regions (20 different genomic regions and mitochondrial DNA of individuals from 66 African and Eurasian populations), and compared their genetic results with archaeological findings. The dispersal and expansion of Neolithic culture from the Middle East has recently been associated with the distribution of human genetic markers.

They conclude that the first significant expansion of human populations appears to be much older than the emergence of farming and herding, dating back to the Paleolithic (60,000-80,000 years ago) rather than Neolithic age. Therefore, hunter-gatherer populations were able to thrive with cultural and social advances that allowed for the expansion. The authors also speculate that this Paleolithic human population expansion may be linked to the emergence of newer, more advanced hunting technologies or a rapid environmental change to dryer climates.

Finally, they also suggest that strong Paleolithic expansions may have favored the emergence of sedentary farming in some populations during the Neolithic. Indeed, the authors also demonstrate that the populations who adopted a sedentary farming lifestyle during the Neolithic had previously experienced the strongest Paleolithic expansions. Conversely, contemporary nomadic herder populations in Eurasia experienced moderate Paleolithic expansions, and no expansions were detected for nomadic hunter-gatherers in Africa. “Human populations could have started to increase in Paleolithic times, and strong Paleolithic expansions in some populations may have ultimately favored their shift toward agriculture during the Neolithic,” said Aiméa.

Share this story on Facebook, Twitter, and Google:

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Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press), via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

Genetic study pushes back timeline for first significant human population expansion

Sep. 24, 2013 — About 10,000 years ago, the Neolithic age ushered in one of the most dramatic periods of human cultural and technological transition, where independently, different world populations developed the domestication of plants and animals. The hunter-gatherers gave rise to herders and farmers. Changes to a more sedentary lifestyle and larger settlements are widely thought to have contributed to a worldwide human population explosion, from an estimated 4-6 million people to 60-70 million by 4,000 B.C.

Now, researchers Aiméa, et al., have challenged this assumption using a large set of populations from diverse geographical regions (20 different genomic regions and mitochondrial DNA of individuals from 66 African and Eurasian populations), and compared their genetic results with archaeological findings. The dispersal and expansion of Neolithic culture from the Middle East has recently been associated with the distribution of human genetic markers.

They conclude that the first significant expansion of human populations appears to be much older than the emergence of farming and herding, dating back to the Paleolithic (60,000-80,000 years ago) rather than Neolithic age. Therefore, hunter-gatherer populations were able to thrive with cultural and social advances that allowed for the expansion. The authors also speculate that this Paleolithic human population expansion may be linked to the emergence of newer, more advanced hunting technologies or a rapid environmental change to dryer climates.

Finally, they also suggest that strong Paleolithic expansions may have favored the emergence of sedentary farming in some populations during the Neolithic. Indeed, the authors also demonstrate that the populations who adopted a sedentary farming lifestyle during the Neolithic had previously experienced the strongest Paleolithic expansions. Conversely, contemporary nomadic herder populations in Eurasia experienced moderate Paleolithic expansions, and no expansions were detected for nomadic hunter-gatherers in Africa. “Human populations could have started to increase in Paleolithic times, and strong Paleolithic expansions in some populations may have ultimately favored their shift toward agriculture during the Neolithic,” said Aiméa.

Share this story on Facebook, Twitter, and Google:

Other social bookmarking and sharing tools:


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press), via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

Genetic study pushes back timeline for first significant human population expansion

Sep. 24, 2013 — About 10,000 years ago, the Neolithic age ushered in one of the most dramatic periods of human cultural and technological transition, where independently, different world populations developed the domestication of plants and animals. The hunter-gatherers gave rise to herders and farmers. Changes to a more sedentary lifestyle and larger settlements are widely thought to have contributed to a worldwide human population explosion, from an estimated 4-6 million people to 60-70 million by 4,000 B.C.

Now, researchers Aiméa, et al., have challenged this assumption using a large set of populations from diverse geographical regions (20 different genomic regions and mitochondrial DNA of individuals from 66 African and Eurasian populations), and compared their genetic results with archaeological findings. The dispersal and expansion of Neolithic culture from the Middle East has recently been associated with the distribution of human genetic markers.

They conclude that the first significant expansion of human populations appears to be much older than the emergence of farming and herding, dating back to the Paleolithic (60,000-80,000 years ago) rather than Neolithic age. Therefore, hunter-gatherer populations were able to thrive with cultural and social advances that allowed for the expansion. The authors also speculate that this Paleolithic human population expansion may be linked to the emergence of newer, more advanced hunting technologies or a rapid environmental change to dryer climates.

Finally, they also suggest that strong Paleolithic expansions may have favored the emergence of sedentary farming in some populations during the Neolithic. Indeed, the authors also demonstrate that the populations who adopted a sedentary farming lifestyle during the Neolithic had previously experienced the strongest Paleolithic expansions. Conversely, contemporary nomadic herder populations in Eurasia experienced moderate Paleolithic expansions, and no expansions were detected for nomadic hunter-gatherers in Africa. “Human populations could have started to increase in Paleolithic times, and strong Paleolithic expansions in some populations may have ultimately favored their shift toward agriculture during the Neolithic,” said Aiméa.

Share this story on Facebook, Twitter, and Google:

Other social bookmarking and sharing tools:


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press), via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

Genetic study pushes back timeline for first significant human population expansion

Sep. 24, 2013 — About 10,000 years ago, the Neolithic age ushered in one of the most dramatic periods of human cultural and technological transition, where independently, different world populations developed the domestication of plants and animals. The hunter-gatherers gave rise to herders and farmers. Changes to a more sedentary lifestyle and larger settlements are widely thought to have contributed to a worldwide human population explosion, from an estimated 4-6 million people to 60-70 million by 4,000 B.C.

Now, researchers Aiméa, et al., have challenged this assumption using a large set of populations from diverse geographical regions (20 different genomic regions and mitochondrial DNA of individuals from 66 African and Eurasian populations), and compared their genetic results with archaeological findings. The dispersal and expansion of Neolithic culture from the Middle East has recently been associated with the distribution of human genetic markers.

They conclude that the first significant expansion of human populations appears to be much older than the emergence of farming and herding, dating back to the Paleolithic (60,000-80,000 years ago) rather than Neolithic age. Therefore, hunter-gatherer populations were able to thrive with cultural and social advances that allowed for the expansion. The authors also speculate that this Paleolithic human population expansion may be linked to the emergence of newer, more advanced hunting technologies or a rapid environmental change to dryer climates.

Finally, they also suggest that strong Paleolithic expansions may have favored the emergence of sedentary farming in some populations during the Neolithic. Indeed, the authors also demonstrate that the populations who adopted a sedentary farming lifestyle during the Neolithic had previously experienced the strongest Paleolithic expansions. Conversely, contemporary nomadic herder populations in Eurasia experienced moderate Paleolithic expansions, and no expansions were detected for nomadic hunter-gatherers in Africa. “Human populations could have started to increase in Paleolithic times, and strong Paleolithic expansions in some populations may have ultimately favored their shift toward agriculture during the Neolithic,” said Aiméa.

Share this story on Facebook, Twitter, and Google:

Other social bookmarking and sharing tools:


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press), via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

Genetic study pushes back timeline for first significant human population expansion

Sep. 24, 2013 — About 10,000 years ago, the Neolithic age ushered in one of the most dramatic periods of human cultural and technological transition, where independently, different world populations developed the domestication of plants and animals. The hunter-gatherers gave rise to herders and farmers. Changes to a more sedentary lifestyle and larger settlements are widely thought to have contributed to a worldwide human population explosion, from an estimated 4-6 million people to 60-70 million by 4,000 B.C.

Now, researchers Aiméa, et al., have challenged this assumption using a large set of populations from diverse geographical regions (20 different genomic regions and mitochondrial DNA of individuals from 66 African and Eurasian populations), and compared their genetic results with archaeological findings. The dispersal and expansion of Neolithic culture from the Middle East has recently been associated with the distribution of human genetic markers.

They conclude that the first significant expansion of human populations appears to be much older than the emergence of farming and herding, dating back to the Paleolithic (60,000-80,000 years ago) rather than Neolithic age. Therefore, hunter-gatherer populations were able to thrive with cultural and social advances that allowed for the expansion. The authors also speculate that this Paleolithic human population expansion may be linked to the emergence of newer, more advanced hunting technologies or a rapid environmental change to dryer climates.

Finally, they also suggest that strong Paleolithic expansions may have favored the emergence of sedentary farming in some populations during the Neolithic. Indeed, the authors also demonstrate that the populations who adopted a sedentary farming lifestyle during the Neolithic had previously experienced the strongest Paleolithic expansions. Conversely, contemporary nomadic herder populations in Eurasia experienced moderate Paleolithic expansions, and no expansions were detected for nomadic hunter-gatherers in Africa. “Human populations could have started to increase in Paleolithic times, and strong Paleolithic expansions in some populations may have ultimately favored their shift toward agriculture during the Neolithic,” said Aiméa.

Share this story on Facebook, Twitter, and Google:

Other social bookmarking and sharing tools:


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press), via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

Genetic study pushes back timeline for first significant human population expansion

Sep. 24, 2013 — About 10,000 years ago, the Neolithic age ushered in one of the most dramatic periods of human cultural and technological transition, where independently, different world populations developed the domestication of plants and animals. The hunter-gatherers gave rise to herders and farmers. Changes to a more sedentary lifestyle and larger settlements are widely thought to have contributed to a worldwide human population explosion, from an estimated 4-6 million people to 60-70 million by 4,000 B.C.

Now, researchers Aiméa, et al., have challenged this assumption using a large set of populations from diverse geographical regions (20 different genomic regions and mitochondrial DNA of individuals from 66 African and Eurasian populations), and compared their genetic results with archaeological findings. The dispersal and expansion of Neolithic culture from the Middle East has recently been associated with the distribution of human genetic markers.

They conclude that the first significant expansion of human populations appears to be much older than the emergence of farming and herding, dating back to the Paleolithic (60,000-80,000 years ago) rather than Neolithic age. Therefore, hunter-gatherer populations were able to thrive with cultural and social advances that allowed for the expansion. The authors also speculate that this Paleolithic human population expansion may be linked to the emergence of newer, more advanced hunting technologies or a rapid environmental change to dryer climates.

Finally, they also suggest that strong Paleolithic expansions may have favored the emergence of sedentary farming in some populations during the Neolithic. Indeed, the authors also demonstrate that the populations who adopted a sedentary farming lifestyle during the Neolithic had previously experienced the strongest Paleolithic expansions. Conversely, contemporary nomadic herder populations in Eurasia experienced moderate Paleolithic expansions, and no expansions were detected for nomadic hunter-gatherers in Africa. “Human populations could have started to increase in Paleolithic times, and strong Paleolithic expansions in some populations may have ultimately favored their shift toward agriculture during the Neolithic,” said Aiméa.

Share this story on Facebook, Twitter, and Google:

Other social bookmarking and sharing tools:


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press), via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

Genetic study pushes back timeline for first significant human population expansion

Sep. 24, 2013 — About 10,000 years ago, the Neolithic age ushered in one of the most dramatic periods of human cultural and technological transition, where independently, different world populations developed the domestication of plants and animals. The hunter-gatherers gave rise to herders and farmers. Changes to a more sedentary lifestyle and larger settlements are widely thought to have contributed to a worldwide human population explosion, from an estimated 4-6 million people to 60-70 million by 4,000 B.C.

Now, researchers Aiméa, et al., have challenged this assumption using a large set of populations from diverse geographical regions (20 different genomic regions and mitochondrial DNA of individuals from 66 African and Eurasian populations), and compared their genetic results with archaeological findings. The dispersal and expansion of Neolithic culture from the Middle East has recently been associated with the distribution of human genetic markers.

They conclude that the first significant expansion of human populations appears to be much older than the emergence of farming and herding, dating back to the Paleolithic (60,000-80,000 years ago) rather than Neolithic age. Therefore, hunter-gatherer populations were able to thrive with cultural and social advances that allowed for the expansion. The authors also speculate that this Paleolithic human population expansion may be linked to the emergence of newer, more advanced hunting technologies or a rapid environmental change to dryer climates.

Finally, they also suggest that strong Paleolithic expansions may have favored the emergence of sedentary farming in some populations during the Neolithic. Indeed, the authors also demonstrate that the populations who adopted a sedentary farming lifestyle during the Neolithic had previously experienced the strongest Paleolithic expansions. Conversely, contemporary nomadic herder populations in Eurasia experienced moderate Paleolithic expansions, and no expansions were detected for nomadic hunter-gatherers in Africa. “Human populations could have started to increase in Paleolithic times, and strong Paleolithic expansions in some populations may have ultimately favored their shift toward agriculture during the Neolithic,” said Aiméa.

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Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press), via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

Pacific Northwest moves significant onion volumes into national pipeline

Onion production continues to be a thriving industry in the Pacific Northwest. Several publications issued by the states of Oregon and Washington provided a snapshot of regional production for the 2011 crop year.

Oregon Agriculture: Facts and Figures was released by the Oregon Department of Agriculture in July, 2012. Looking at the 2011 crop year, onions ranked 11th in the state’s top 40 commodities list at a value of approximately $ 92 million. Oregon was ranked first nationally for storage onion production, accounting for 27 percent of total supplies. CropOverviewThe Pacific Northwest provides the nation with strong volumes of storage and non-storage onions. Oregon ranked first and Washington ranked second nationally for onion production during 2011 according to the states’ respective departments of Agriculture. (Photo by Lora Abcarian)A total of 174.5 million hundredweight of storage onions were produced in 2011.

Onions produced in Malheur County are part of the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion growing region and represent significant volume for the state. According to the 2012 Agripedia, published by the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Malheur County accounted for 56 percent of Oregon’s total production.

The Pride of Washington State was released this past October. Washington ranked number two nationally for its production of all summer onions in 2011, accounting for 21.2 percent of national supplies. The commodity ranked number 16 among the state’s top 40 commodities during 2011, with an approximate value of production of $ 121.6 million.

The report set per-acre production for non-storage onions at 33,000 pounds per acre in 2011, with a value of $ 7,980 per acre. The per-acre production for storage onions was 65,000 pounds per acre, with a value of $ 5,206 per acre.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture provided detailed data for both Washington and Oregon in its Vegetables 2012 Summary, issued this past January. According to NASS, a total of 23,500 acres of summer storage onions were harvested in Washington in 2012. Yield per acre were set at 590 hundredweight, and production was set at 13.8 million hundredweight. The value of production in 2012 was $ 147.6 million.

In 2012, Washington harvested a total of 3,100 acres of summer non-storage onions, which includes Walla Walla sweets and other non-storage varieties. Per-acre yield was 370,000 hundredweight, and production was set at 1.147 million hundredweight. The value of production was $ 36.4 million.

NASS also provided data on Oregon onions outside Malheur County during 2012. According to the report, a total of 8,700 acres of summer storage onions were harvested. Yield per acre were set at 590,000 hundredweight, and production was set at 5.1 million hundredweight. The value production was $ 43.7 million.

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