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Craft Breweries Are Finding Specialty Hops All Tapped Out

In spite of rapid growth in supply, demand is causing headaches

(Newser) - Henry VIII once called hops a "wicked and pernicious weed," but they're crucial to the production of most beers, especially when it comes to "hoppy" India Pale Ales, or IPAs. In fact, more than 4,000 brewers are battling for less than a dozen popular hop... More »

Got Milk? Yep, Way Too Much of It

US dairy farmers have dumped 43M gallons in just the first 8 months of 2016

(Newser) - There's way too much cheese in America, so it's logical there's also too much of the milk used to make it. Now US dairy farmers are remedying this by dumping their excess, to the tune of more than 43 million gallons in just the first eight months... More »

California Is Going After Its Farting Cows

It's all part of Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to fight climate change

(Newser) - California Gov. Jerry Brown kept up his assault on climate change Monday, pushing through a law meant to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from dairy farms and landfills. "You know, when Noah wanted to build his ark, most of the people laughed at him?" Brown said, per the Sacramento Bee , adding... More »

This California Couple Uses Mind-Boggling Amount of Water

Megafarmers Lynda and Stewart Resnick have built a multi-billion dollar empire

(Newser) - While you may not be familiar with California power couple and megafarmers Lynda and Stewart Resnick, it's highly likely you've heard of some of the things they own. There's flower delivery service Teleflora; Fiji Water; Pom Wonderful juices; Halos mandarin oranges; groves upon groves of navels, grapefruits,... More »

Brewers Are Scrambling to Get Pumpkin for Fall Beers

Blame it on the weather

(Newser) - No, the predicted Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2015 didn't actually live up to its name, as Fortune reported last November. But that's in part because the companies that can pumpkins didn't hold onto reserves for the following year's crop—that would, of course, be this year'... More »

Farmers Fight for Right to Repair Own Tractors

It all comes down to the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act

(Newser) - Farmers in Nebraska, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and New York are staging something of a mechanical revolt. They're attempting to get legislation passed in their states that would enable them, for the first time since the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, to repair their own tractors or get an independent mechanic... More »

Father, Son Lose Lives to Manure Pit's Deadly Gases

The son was overcome by the fumes and the father tried to rescue him

(Newser) - An Iowa father and son are dead after tangling with a deadly aspect of hog farming: their manure pit. Typically situated below a barn, the manure's noxious fumes don't escape easily, and the hydrogen sulfide—along with methane, ammonia, and carbon dioxide—can be a deadly mix. Unfortunately... More »

California Farmers Make Historic Water Concession

Some with rights going back a century agree to 25% cuts amid drought

(Newser) - Another sign of the severity of California's drought: Farmers who hold some of the oldest and thus strongest water rights in the state have agreed to voluntarily cut their water use by 25% this season. The move by the farmers in the delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin... More »

Confusion in Wake of Indian Farmer's Suicide at Rally

Supposed suicide note mentions poverty, but some say Gajendra Singh was egged on

(Newser) - A land-reform rally in India's capital went horribly awry yesterday when a farmer took his own life in front of attendees, the Independent reports. Gajendra Singh, said by the Hindustan Times to be a 43-year-old father of three, shocked onlookers at the Aam Aadmi Party gathering by climbing a... More »

How the Immigration Crisis Hurts Heartland Farmers

Farms far from border states struggle to find laborers

(Newser) - Immigration is a hot topic for many Americans—but for US farmers, especially those far from the Mexico border, it's a problem that needs a quick solution, McClatchy reports. "Because we’re not a border state, it’s definitely harder to get people over this far from the... More »

Mugabe: Whites Can't Own Land

ZImbabwe leader wants white farmers out

(Newser) - Robert Mugabe is calling for the removal of white farmers from their land in Zimbabwe. "We say no to whites owning our land and they should go," the country's president told farmers in a small town, as the Christian Science Monitor reports. Whites, he said, "can... More »

Parched Calif. Farmers Turn to 'Water Witches'

Vineyard owners say dowsing works; scientists disagree

(Newser) - With California in the grip of drought, farmers throughout the state are using a mysterious and some say foolhardy tool for locating underground water: dowsers, or water witches. Practitioners of dowsing use rudimentary tools—usually copper sticks or wooden "divining rods" that resemble large wishbones—and what they describe... More »

Your Pee Could Be Fertilizer of the Future

Team collects 3K gallons of nutrient-rich stuff

(Newser) - Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are among plants' key needs—and your urine contains all of them. That's why Vermont's Rich Earth Institute is studying the use of human urine as fertilizer, Modern Farmer reports. There's already plenty of evidence that it works. Yahoo cites one study, earlier... More »

Co-Op Gives Farm Workers Shot at Field of Own Dreams

Field hands get opportunity to start own businesses

(Newser) - Being an itinerant farm worker might be one of the most grueling ways to make a living in the country. But what if these workers could take their experience and turn it into a farm of their own? NPR profiles a cooperative in California's Salinas Valley that offers that... More »

Agriculture's Rising Force: Female Farmers

Women now account for 30% of US farmers

(Newser) - One of the biggest changes in agriculture isn't so much about what type of seeds are being planted as who is planting them: women. Grist expands on a USDA study showing that the number of farms run by women has nearly tripled in the last three decades. Add in... More »

Get Ready for the Biggest Corn Crop Since 1936

2012 drought sent prices soaring

(Newser) - Last year's drought sent corn prices soaring, and this year, US farmers are looking to take advantage of it. They're set to plant the biggest corn crop the country has seen since 1936, USA Today reports, sowing some 97.3 million acres of the commodity. Right now, corn... More »

Protesting EU Farmers Spray Cops With ... Milk?

They're protesting low milk prices

(Newser) - Thousands of enraged dairy farmers converged on the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday, and sprayed the building, and the cops who showed up to contain them, with their stock in trade: milk. The protesters arrived on tractors, blocked traffic along many of the city's main streets, then pulled out... More »

4 Wolves Killed First Wisconsin Hunting Day

State aiming for 116, animal lovers headed for court

(Newser) - At least two male and two female adult wolves were shot dead in the first 24 hours of Wisconsin's first wolf hunt in decades. The controversial hunt is scheduled to run through February, but the state might end it sooner if hunters hit the limit of 116 wolves. Some... More »

In Record Drought, Nation's Farmers Twist in Wind

Depression, lost land, ditched vacations

(Newser) - The worst drought in decades has reached farming families' personal lives, making for a year very different than they might have expected. "You probably can’t print our mood," says a South Dakota rancher. "The wife says she can’t drink enough to dull the pain of... More »

Frackers Battle Farmers for Water Amid Drought

Gas companies scrambling to buy up supplies for drilling

(Newser) - The drought ravaging the heartland has thrown into stark relief an ongoing battle between farmers and energy companies for that most fundamental of resources: water. As the name implies, hydrofracking requires water, and lots of it—one well can use up to 5 million gallons—so gas companies are storming... More »

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