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This research seeks to determine effects of rising interest in gluten-free foods on U.S. retail food demand and, ultimately, producer and consumer welfare. Increased gluten-free interest led to a modest reduction in cereals and bakery demand and increases in meat, alcoholic beverages, and food away from home demand. Combining estimated effects with an equilibrium displacement model suggests the reduction in cereal and bakery demand decreases wheat and barley producer profits by US$7.2 million/year. After accounting for positive demand impacts on other products, results indicate wheat and barley supply is redistributed away from food production into animal production, increasing wheat producer welfare.
The introduction of agriculture is a key defining element of the Neolithic, yet considerable debate persists concerning the nature and significance of early farming practices in north-west Europe. This paper reviews archaeobotanical evidence from 95 Neolithic sites (c. 4000–2200 cal bc) in Wales, focusing on wild plant exploitation, the range of crops present, and the significance of cereals in subsistence practices. Cereal cultivation practices in Early Neolithic Wales are also examined using cereal grain stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope analysis. The Early Neolithic period witnessed the widespread uptake of cereals alongside considerable evidence for continued wild plant exploitation, notably hazelnuts and wild fruits. The possibility that wild plants and woodlands were deliberately managed or altered to promote the growth of certain plants is outlined. Small cereal grain assemblages, with little evidence for chaff and weed seeds, are common in the Early Neolithic, whereas cereal-rich sites are rare. Emmer wheat was the dominant crop in the Early Neolithic, while other cereal types were recorded in small quantities. Cereal nitrogen isotope (δ15N) values from Early Neolithic sites provided little evidence for intensive manuring. We suggest that cultivation conditions may have been less intensive when compared to other areas of Britain and Europe. In the later Neolithic period, there is evidence for a decline in the importance of cereals. Finally, the archaeobotanical and crop isotope data from this study are considered within a wider European context.
The results of numerous studies suggest that front-of-package (FOP) labels enhance consumers’ ability to assess the healthiness of food products. However, most of the studies lack ecological validity. We selected fourteen breakfast cereals stocked by a major Swiss retailer. The participants from an Internet panel (n 780), with a somewhat higher educational level than that of the Swiss population, were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: control (picture of the FOP presented), table (plus the nutrition table with information on the energy and the main nutrients per 100 g), label (plus the healthy choice label for the healthier product) and combined (plus both the nutrition table and the healthy choice label). The participants were asked to select the healthier cereals from all possible ninety-one pair comparisons. The nutrient profile score was used as a ‘gold standard’. For the thirty-three cereal pairs, one of the cereals had a label and the other had none, the median accuracy was only marginally lower in the control condition (91 %) compared with the table (94 %), the label (94 %) and the combined conditions (97 %). Similar results were observed when the incorrect decisions were weighted by the difference in the nutrient profile scores of the two cereals (for all ninety-one product pairs). These findings suggest that a healthy choice label has a limited effect on helping consumers select healthier cereals. In the control condition, the median of the correct choices was about 78 %. Consumers’ perception of the healthiness of foods could be improved.
This study aimed to examine in vivo starch digestion kinetics and to unravel the mechanisms of starch hydrolysing enzymes. Ninety pigs (23 (sd 2·1) kg body weight) were assigned to one of nine treatments in a 3×3 factorial arrangement, with starch source (barley, maize, high-amylose (HA) maize) and form (isolated, within cereal matrix, extruded) as factors. We determined starch digestion coefficients (DC), starch breakdown products and digesta retention times in four small-intestinal segments (SI1–4). Starch digestion in SI2 of pigs fed barley and maize, exceeded starch digestion of pigs fed HA maize by 0·20–0·33 DC units (P<0·01). In SI3–4, barley starch were completely digested, whereas the cereal matrix of maize hampered digestion and generated 16 % resistant starch in the small intestine (P<0·001). Extrusion increased the DC of maize and HA maize starch throughout the small intestine but not that of barley (P<0·05). Up to 25 % of starch residuals in the proximal small intestine of pigs was present as glucose and soluble α(1–4) maltodextrins. The high abundance of glucose, maltose and maltotriose in the proximal small intestine indicates activity of brush-border enzymes in the intestinal lumen, which is exceeded by α-amylase activity. Furthermore, we found that in vivo starch digestion exceeded our in vitro predictions for rapidly digested starch, which indicates that the role of the stomach on starch digestion is currently underestimated. Consequently, in vivo glucose release of slowly digestible starch is less gradual than expected, which challenges the prediction quality of the in vitro assay.
The effect of 38 µg (1500 IU) daily vitamin D3 supplementation, consumed with an Fe-fortified breakfast cereal for 8 weeks, on haematological indicators in Fe-deficient female subjects was investigated. Fifty Fe-deficient subjects (plasma ferritin concentration <20 µg/l; mean age: 27·4 (sd 9·4) years) were randomised to consume an Fe-fortified breakfast cereal containing 9 mg of Fe daily, with either a vitamin D3 supplement or placebo. Blood samples were collected at baseline, interim (4 weeks) and post-intervention (8 weeks) for measurement of Fe and vitamin D status biomarkers. The effect of intervention was analysed using mixed-model repeated-measures ANOVA. Significant increases were observed in two main haematological indices: Hb concentration and haematocrit level from baseline to post-intervention in the vitamin D group but not in the placebo group. The increase from baseline to post-intervention in Hb concentration in the vitamin D group (135 (sd 11) to 138 (sd 10) g/l) was significantly higher compared with the placebo group (131 (sd 15) to 128 (sd 13) g/l) (P=0·037). The increase in haematocrit level from baseline to post-intervention was also significantly higher in the vitamin D group (42·0 (sd 3·0) to 43·8 (sd 3·4) %) compared with the placebo group (41·2 (sd 4·3) to 40·7 (sd 3·6) %) (P=0·032). Despite the non-significant changes in plasma ferritin concentration, this study demonstrates that 38 µg supplemental vitamin D, consumed daily, with Fe-fortified breakfast cereal led to improvement in Hb concentration and haematocrit levels in women with low Fe stores. These findings may have therapeutic implications in the recovery of Fe status in Fe-deficient populations at a healthcare level.
The NOVA food categorisation recommends ‘avoiding processed foods (PF), especially ultra-processed foods (UPF)’ and selecting minimally PF to address obesity and chronic disease. However, NOVA categories are drawn using non-traditional views of food processing with additional criteria including a number of ingredients, added sugars, and additives. Comparison of NOVA's definition and categorisation of PF with codified and published ones shows limited congruence with respect to either definition or food placement into categories. While NOVA studies associate PF with decreased nutrient density, other classifications find nutrient-dense foods at all levels of processing. Analyses of food intake data using NOVA show UPF provide much added sugars. Since added sugars are one criterion for designation as UPF, such a proof demonstrates a tautology. Avoidance of foods deemed as UPF, such as wholegrain/enriched bread and cereals or flavoured milk, may not address obesity but could decrease intakes of folate, calcium and dietary fibre. Consumer understanding and implementation of NOVA have not been tested. Neither have outcomes been compared with vetted patterns, such as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, which base food selection on food groups and nutrient contribution. NOVA fails to demonstrate the criteria required for dietary guidance: understandability, affordability, workability and practicality. Consumers’ confusion about definitions and food categorisations, inadequate cooking and meal planning skills and scarcity of resources (time, money), may impede adoption and success of NOVA. Research documenting that NOVA can be implemented by consumers and has nutrition and health outcomes equal to vetted patterns is needed.
Diuraphis noxia (Kurdjumov), Russian wheat aphid, is one of the world's most invasive and economically important agricultural pests of wheat and barley. In May 2016, it was found for the first time in Australia, with further sampling confirming it was widespread throughout south-eastern regions. Russian wheat aphid is not yet present in New Zealand. The impacts of this pest if it establishes in New Zealand, could result in serious control problems in wheat- and barley-growing regions. To evaluate whether D. noxia could establish populations in New Zealand we used the climate modelling software CLIMEX to locate where potential viable populations might occur. We re-parameterised the existing CLIMEX model by Hughes and Maywald (1990) by improving the model fit using currently known distribution records of D. noxia, and we also considered the role of irrigation into the potential spread of this invasive insect. The updated model now fits the current known distribution better than the previous Hughes and Maywald CLIMEX model, particularly in temperate and Mediterranean areas in Australia and Europe; and in more semi-arid areas in north-western China and Middle Eastern countries. Our model also highlights new climatically suitable areas for the establishment of D. noxia, not previously reported, including parts of France, the UK and New Zealand. Our results suggest that, when suitable host plants are present, Russian wheat aphid could establish in these regions. The new CLIMEX projections in the present study are useful tools to inform risk assessments and target surveillance and monitoring efforts for identifying susceptible areas to invasion by Russian wheat aphid.
To compare the nutritional quality of New Zealand breakfast cereals in 2013 and 2017.
Nutrition Information Panel data were collected from all cereals available from two large supermarket chains in 2017 and compared with earlier published data collected in 2013.
Urban New Zealand supermarkets.
The nutritional content of breakfast cereals (‘biscuits and bites’, ‘brans’, ‘bubbles, flakes and puffs’, ‘children’s cereals’, ‘muesli’ and ‘oats’) was analysed for total energy, protein, fat (total and saturated), carbohydrate, sugar, fibre and Na. The Nutrient Profile Scoring Criterion (NPSC) for each cereal was calculated to determine the proportion of ‘less healthy’ cereals (NPSC≥4) in each product category.
The energy and fat content of bubbles, flakes and puffs, muesli and oats were significantly higher in 2017 compared with 2013 (all P≤0·01). However, there was a small reduction in Na overall in 2017 (P<0·05). There was no change between 2013 and 2017 in the proportion of ‘healthy’ or ‘less healthy’ breakfast cereals available.
The nutrient profile of breakfast cereals has not improved since 2013, suggesting that industry self-regulation of the nutritional composition of cereals in New Zealand is not working and needs urgent reconsideration.
Better management of synthetic nitrogen (N) fertilizers in conventional agricultural systems laid the foundation for feeding the increasing world's population since the Green Revolution. However, excessive reliance on inorganic fertilizer has resulted in environmental degradation issues. Difficulties in soil nutrition management in organic cropping systems often results in lower and variable yields, also raising questions of sustainability. Improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is thus of key importance to overcome environmental concerns in conventional systems and production limitations in organic systems. The differences in the two farming systems have impacts on crop traits and N cycles, making it difficult to enhance NUE with a single strategy. Different approaches need to be adopted to improve NUE in each system. Extensive efforts have been made to better understand mechanisms to potentially improve NUE in cereal crops under both systems. This review suggests that NUE may be improved through a combination of management practices and breeding strategies specific to the management system. Diversified crop rotations with legumes are effective practices to optimize the N cycle in both conventional and organic systems. Best Management Practices coupled with nitrification inhibitors, controlled release products and split-application practices can reduce N loss in conventional systems. In organic systems, we need to take advantage of available N sources and adapt practices such as no-tillage, cover crops, and catch crops. Utilization of beneficial soil microorganisms is fundamental to optimizing availability of soil N. Estimation of soil organic matter mineralization using prediction models may be useful to enhance NUE if models are calibrated for target environments. Cereal crops are often bred under optimum N conditions and may not perform well under low N conditions. Thus, breeders can integrate genetic and phenotypic information to develop cultivars adapted to specific environments and cultivation practices. The proper choice and integration of strategies can synchronize N demand and supply within a system, resulting in reduced risk of N loss while improving NUE in both conventional and organic systems.
We examine the relationship of product characteristics of ready-to-eat breakfast cereal and targeted television advertising to specific consumer segments. We compile a unique data set that includes brand-packaging characteristics, including on-box games, nutrition information, and cobranding. We find that the relationship of television advertising and a cereal's brand-packaging characteristics varies by target audience. Our results provide insight into understanding how manufacturers strategically utilize branding, packaging, and television advertising. This can help industry and policy makers develop food product advertising policy. This analysis extends to other product markets where extensive product differentiation and promotion are present as well.
To study the salt and sugars content of breakfast cereals sold in the UK between 1992 and 2015.
Cross-sectional surveys on salt and sugars content collected from the nutrition information panel of breakfast cereals in 1992, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015.
All major UK retailers operating at that moment in time (approximately ten).
The salt and sugars content was collected from product packaging and the nutrition information panels.
Cereals consistently surveyed across all five years (n22) showed a significant reduction in salt content of 47 % (P<0·001). Sugars content of breakfast cereals (n 15), however, did not show a significant change; 25·65 g/100 g in 1992 and 22·45 g/100 g in 2015 (P=0·170). There was a large variation in salt and sugars content between different categories and within the same type of category.
The study shows the progressive reduction in salt content of breakfast cereals in the UK since 2004 as a result of the successful salt reduction programme, particularly the setting of incremental salt targets. Further reductions in salt content need to be made as cereals remain a major contributor to salt intake. Sugars content, however, has been consistently high due to the lack of a sugar reduction strategy. The research demonstrates that the sugars content of breakfast cereals in the UK is of concern, particularly in children’s breakfast cereals, with a typical serving (30 g) containing a third of a 4–6-year-old’s maximum daily recommendation (19 g/d) for free sugars intake in the UK. More can and should be done to reformulate, with an urgent need to set incremental sugar reduction targets.
Determinants of the use of cereal and pulse residue for livestock feeding and soil mulching among smallholder farmers in the mixed farming system were analyzed. Crop residue (CR) is dual purpose resources in the mixed crop–livestock systems of the Ethiopian highlands. They serve as livestock feed and inputs for soil and water conservation. They are generated predominantly from cereals and pulses. However, in view of the allocation of CR, soil conservation and livestock are two competing enterprises. Identifying the determinants of the intensity of use of cereal and pulse residue may help in designing strategies for more efficient CR utilization. Data on CR were generated and its utilization was collected in two highland regions in Ethiopia from 160 households using a structured questionnaire. The data were analyzed using the multivariate Tobit model. Results of the study showed that farmers prefer using CR from pulses over CR from cereals for livestock feeding purposes. The proportion of CR from pulses that was used as feed was positively affected by education level of the farmer, livestock extension service, number of small ruminants and CR production from the previous season. Distance of farm plots from residences of the farm households negatively affected the proportions of cereal and pulse residue used for feed. The use of pulse residue increased significantly when the women participated in decision making on CR utilization. The proportion of cereal and pulse residue used for soil mulch was positively affected by the education level of the farmer, the distance between the homestead and the cultivated land, extension service, awareness about soil mulch, the slope of cultivated land, participation in farmer-to-farmer extension and CR generated in the preceding season. In view that pulse CR have better nutritive value compared with cereal CR, better utilization of CR could be achieved by maximizing the use of pulse residue as livestock feed and optimizing the use of cereal residue as soil mulch. More livestock extension on the nutritive value of pulse residue should be provided to the farmers who cultivate sloppy plots. Encouraging the culture of labor exchange among the farmers could result in increased labor availability in the farms that would facilitate the transport and storage of pulse residue and increase its use as livestock feed. Increasing the awareness among farmers about the superiority of the pulse residue over cereal residue as feed and encouraging use of cereal residue as soil mulch could optimize the utilization of CR in the household.
Plant macrofossils from the sites of Khao Sam Kaeo and Phu Khao Thong on the
Thai-Malay Peninsula show evidence of cross-cultural interactions,
particularly between India to the west and Southeast Asia to the east.
Archaeobotanical analysis of various cereals, beans and other crops from
these assemblages sheds light on the spread and adoption of these species
for local agriculture. There is also early evidence for the trade of key
commodities such as cotton. The plant remains illustrate a variety of
influences and networks of contact across South and Southeast Asia during
the late first millennium BC.
A number of socio-economic, biological and lifestyle characteristics change with advancing age and place very old adults at increased risk of micronutrient deficiencies. The aim of this study was to assess vitamin and mineral intakes and respective food sources in 793 75-year-olds (302 men and 491 women) in the North-East of England, participating in the Newcastle 85+ Study. Micronutrient intakes were estimated using a multiple-pass recall tool (2×24 h recalls). Determinants of micronutrient intake were assessed with multinomial logistic regression. Median vitamin D, Ca and Mg intakes were 2·0 (interquartile range (IQR) 1·2–6·5) µg/d, 731 (IQR 554–916) mg/d and 215 (IQR 166–266) mg/d, respectively. Fe intake was 8·7 (IQR 6·7–11·6) mg/d, and Se intake was 39·0 (IQR 27·3–55·5) µg/d. Cereals and cereal products were the top contributors to intakes of folate (31·5 %), Fe (49·2 %) and Se (46·7 %) and the second highest contributors to intakes of vitamin D (23·8 %), Ca (27·5 %) and K (15·8 %). More than 95 % (n 756) of the participants had vitamin D intakes below the UK’s Reference Nutrient Intake (10 µg/d). In all, >20 % of the participants were below the Lower Reference Nutrient Intake for Mg (n 175), K (n 238) and Se (n 418) (comparisons with dietary reference values (DRV) do not include supplements). As most DRV are not age specific and have been extrapolated from younger populations, results should be interpreted with caution. Participants with higher education, from higher social class and who were more physically active had more nutrient-dense diets. More studies are needed to inform the development of age-specific DRV for micronutrients for the very old.
Food and nutrient intake data are scarce in very old adults (85 years and older) – one of the fastest growing age segments of Western societies, including the UK. Our primary objective was to assess energy and macronutrient intakes and respective food sources in 793 85-year-olds (302 men and 491 women) living in North-East England and participating in the Newcastle 85+ cohort Study. Dietary information was collected using a repeated multiple-pass recall (2×24 h recalls). Energy, macronutrient and NSP intakes were estimated, and the contribution (%) of food groups to nutrient intake was calculated. The median energy intake was 6·65 (interquartile ranges (IQR) 5·49–8·16) MJ/d – 46·8 % was from carbohydrates, 36·8 % from fats and 15·7 % from proteins. NSP intake was 10·2 g/d (IQR 7·3–13·7). NSP intake was higher in non-institutionalised, more educated, from higher social class and more physically active 85-year-olds. Cereals and cereal products were the top contributors to intakes of energy and most macronutrients (carbohydrates, non-milk extrinsic sugars, NSP and fat), followed by meat and meat products. The median intakes of energy and NSP were much lower than the estimated average requirement for energy (9·6 MJ/d for men and 7·7 MJ/d for women) and the dietary reference value (DRV) for NSP (≥18 g/d). The median SFA intake was higher than the DRV (≤11 % of dietary energy). This study highlights the paucity of data on dietary intake and the uncertainties about DRV for this age group.
Plant lignans are diphenolic compounds ingested with whole grains and seeds and converted to enterolignans by the colonic microbiota. In the present study, we investigated absorption and metabolism of plant lignans and enterolignans in vivo after consumption of cereal-based diets. Six pigs fitted with catheters in the mesenteric artery and portal vein and with a flow probe attached to the portal vein along with twenty pigs for quantitative collection of urine were used for this study. The animals were fed bread based on wheat flour low in plant lignans and three lignan-rich breads based on whole-wheat grain, wheat aleurone flour or rye aleurone flour. Plant lignans and enterolignans in plasma were monitored daily at fast after 0–3 d of lignan-rich intake, and on the 4th day of lignan-rich intake a 10-h profile was completed. Urine samples were collected after 11 d of lignan-rich diet consumption. The concentrations of plant lignans were low at fast, and was 1·2–2·6 nmol/l after switching from the low-lignan diet to the lignan-rich diets. However, on the profile day, the concentration and quantitative absorption of plant lignans increased significantly from 33 nmol/h at fast to 310 nmol/h 0–2·5 h after ingestion with a gradual increase in the following periods. Quantitatively, the absorption of plant lignans across diets amounted to 7 % of ingested plant lignans, whereas the urinary excretion of plant lignans was 3 % across diets. In conclusion, there is a substantial postprandial uptake of plant lignans from cereals, suggesting that plant lignans are absorbed from the small intestine.
As in other cultivated species, dormancy can be seen as a problem in cereal production, either due to its short duration or to its long persistence. Indeed, cereal crops lacking enough dormancy at harvest can be exposed to pre-harvest sprouting damage, while a long-lasting dormancy can interfere with processes that rely on rapid germination, such as malting or the emergence of a uniform crop. Because the ancestors of cereal species evolved under very diverse environments worldwide, different mechanisms have arisen as a way of sensing an appropriate germination environment (a crucial factor for winter or summer annuals such as cereals). In addition, different species (and even different varieties within the same species) display diverse grain morphology, allowing some structures to impose dormancy in some cereals but not in others. As in seeds from many other species, the antagonism between the plant hormones abscisic acid and gibberellins is instrumental in cereal grains for the inception, expression, release and re-induction of dormancy. However, the way in which this antagonism operates is different for the various species and involves different molecular steps as regulatory sites. Environmental signals (i.e. temperature, light quality and quantity, oxygen levels) can modulate this hormonal control of dormancy differently, depending on the species. The practical implications of knowledge accumulated in this field are discussed.
In sheep production systems based on extensive grazing, neonatal mortality often reaches 15% to 20% of lambs born, and the mortality rate can be doubled in the case of multiple births. An important contributing factor is the nutrition of the mother because it affects the amount of colostrum available at birth. Ewes carrying multiple lambs have higher energy requirements than ewes carrying a single lamb and this problem is compounded by limitations to voluntary feed intake as the gravid uterus compresses the rumen. This combination of factors means that the nutritional requirements of the ewe carrying multiple lambs can rarely be met by the supply of pasture alone. This problem can overcome by supplementation with energy during the last week of pregnancy, a treatment that increases colostrum production and also reduces colostrum viscosity, making it easier for the neonatal lamb to suck. In addition, litter size and nutrition both accelerate the decline in concentration of circulating progesterone that, in turn, triggers the onsets of both birth and lactogenesis, and thus ensures the synchrony of these two events. Furthermore, the presence of colostrum in the gut of the lamb increases its ability to recognize its mother, and thus improves mother–young bonding. Most cereal grains that are rich in energy in the form of starch, when used as supplements in late pregnancy will increase colostrum production by 90% to 185% above control (unsupplemented) values. Variation among types of cereal grain in the response they induce may be due to differences in the amount of starch digested post-ruminally. As a percentage of grain dry matter intake, the amount of starch entering the lower digestive tract is 14% for maize, 8.5% for barley and 2% for oats. Supplements of high quality protein from legumes and oleiferous seeds can also increase colostrum production but they are less effective than cereal grains. In conclusion, short-term supplementation before parturition, particularly with energy-rich concentrates, can improve colostrum production, help meet the energy and immunological requirements for new-born lambs, and improve lamb survival.
Oats are undervalued in comparison with wheat, rice and barley, despite their unique composition that includes many of the nutrients required for health and a reduced risk of degenerative disease incidence. Furthermore, oats as whole grain and some of their associated products also contain β-glucan, a complex polysaccharide that has an approved health claim to reduce blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of CHD incidence if consumed at ≥ 3 g/d. At the agronomic level, oats exhibit optimal growth in regions of moderate temperature and long day length. In addition, they can tolerate wet weather and acidic soils more effectively than other cereals, such as wheat. Studies have shown that there is diversity in the content and composition of nutrients and health-beneficial components within the available wild and cultivated germplasm and that these are amenable to be enhanced by different agronomic practices as well as are susceptible to climatic variation. The advances in modern plant genetics, developed in sister cereals such as wheat, rice and barley, mean that oat development and exploitation should see an acceleration in the coming decade as they are adopted and applied. These advances include approaches such as genome sequencing, genotyping by sequencing and the allied next-level analytical approaches of RNA sequencing, transcriptome profiling and metabolomics. The collation and coordination of these approaches should lead to the generation of new, tailored oat varieties that are nutritionally enhanced and contain a greater proportion of health-beneficial components that can be translated through into a wide(r) range of consumer products with the ultimate hope of associated benefits to human health and nutrition.
The environment in which a plant grows (maternal environment) can affect seed viability, germination, and dormancy. We assessed the effects of maternal environment on wild oat seed viability, germination, dormancy, and pathogen infection by collecting and analyzing wild oat seed from above and below a barley canopy at three field sites in Montana. The viability of wild oat seed collected below a crop canopy was consistently less than it was for seed from the overstory but varied among sites and years. Reductions in viability because of relative canopy position ranged from 10% to 30%. Effects of position relative to crop canopy on weed seed germination/dormancy rates varied by site and suggest that the direction and magnitude of the effects of maternal environment on dormancy depend on environmental conditions. These effects may be driven by crop competition or by changes in seed pathogen pressure or both. Seven species each of fungi and bacteria were isolated from wild oat seeds. The only fungi causing reductions in seed viability (15%) was isolated from understory seeds, and several bacteria from both overstory and understory sources reduced seed germination. Results suggest that, in addition to the known weed-suppressive effects of using taller or earlier emerging varieties of crops, such crops can reduce weed spread through effects on weed seed demography because weeds growing beneath the crop canopy produce a reduced amount of viable seed that is less likely to germinate in the following year.