farming

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3M Years Before Humans, Ants Were Farmers

Fijian ants have long built farming cities to plant and harvest fruit crops

(Newser) - If the emergence of agrarian practices is seen as a mark of intelligence in humans, then ants can boast some serious smarts. Not only have researchers discovered a highly organized type of farming in Fiji ants—who plant the seeds of fruit trees, fertilize and protect them, harvest the resulting... More »

A Very Different Kind of Farm Grows in Newark

AeroFarms employs aeroponics technology to grow greens in vertical stacks of beds without soil or water

(Newser) - The proposal might sound unlikely: Take an abandoned steel mill in Newark, NJ, and build a so-called vertical farm, the world's largest. In so doing, revive a rundown area, produce more crops in less space far faster than in a field, use fewer resources, and pack in more nutrients... 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 »

3 Young Sisters Killed in Freak Farming Accident

The girls were buried in canola seed on family farm

(Newser) - Three young sisters died Tuesday in a freak accident on a family farm in rural Canada, the Edmonton Journal reports. The girls—11-year-old twins Dara and Jana and 13-year-old Catie—were smothered by canola seed in the back of a truck, though the details of their deaths remain hazy. A... More »

A Tiny Fly Is Wreaking Havoc on Florida's Fruit

85 square miles quarantined over Oriental fruit fly

(Newser) - A $1.6 billion agriculture industry in Florida's Miami-Dade County is essentially at a standstill thanks to a swarm of hungry insects. About 159 Oriental fruit flies have been caught in the area in the last few weeks and agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam tells the Miami Herald it's... More »

Filthy Air Kills 3.3M a Year—and That May Double

Farming is surprise culprit of smog and soot in industrial nations

(Newser) - Air pollution is killing 3.3 million people a year worldwide, according to a new study that includes this surprise: Farming plays a large role in smog and soot deaths in industrial nations. Scientists from Harvard and in Germany, Cyprus, and Saudi Arabia used health statistics and computer models for... More »

Texas Commune Sues After SWAT Raid Gone Very Wrong

You know the old lyric: You say tomato, police say illegal marijuana grow-op

(Newser) - A commune in Arlington, Texas, is suing the city two years after a no-knock SWAT raid resulted in handcuffed residents, an eight-hour search, and absolutely nothing illegal, specifically the guns and marijuana police believed were there, the Houston Chronicle reports. The lawsuit , filed by Garden of Eden residents last month,... More »

This Methane-Run Tractor Could Be a Gamechanger

New Holland T6 could significantly cut costs and pollution

(Newser) - Luca Remmert's dream of running a self-sustainable farm is within sight. He produces energy from corn and grain near the northern Italian city of Turin and hopes in the not too distant future to run all of his eight tractors on methane generated at the farm. Remmert's 1,... 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 »

200-Pound Drone Gets OK to Spray Pesticides

FAA approves Yamaha's RMAX

(Newser) - A drone large enough to carry tanks of fertilizers and pesticides has won rare approval from federal authorities to spray crops in the US, officials say. The drone, called the RMAX, is a remotely piloted helicopter that weighs 207 pounds, according to Steve Markofski of Yamaha, which developed the aircraft.... More »

Sad Truth of Small Farming: No One's Making Any Money

90% of US farmers depend on outside funds: Jaclyn Moyer

(Newser) - Running a small farm: an idyllic pursuit, surrounded by natural beauty and immersed in a sense of satisfaction. Right? Well, sometimes, writes Jaclyn Moyer at Salon . But that's just a tiny part of a grueling job in which there's a very good chance you won't be able... More »

Farmers' Creepy New Gig: Collecting Tarantulas

They provide the animals to pet breeders

(Newser) - After a drought this summer, some Nicaraguan farmers have struggled to make ends meet. But some have found a new way to make money: by collecting members of the local tarantula population, AFP reports. Over a two-week period, one family was able to collect 400 of the creatures. "We... More »

Why on Earth Is SpaceX Hiring a Farmer?

Maybe for potatoes on Mars, or maybe for the tax breaks

(Newser) - As a company that hopes to rocket passengers into space and colonize other planets, you might expect SpaceX to run some unusual help-wanted ads from time to time. But a new one is definitely raising eyebrows: Elon Musk's company is looking for an experienced farmer in Texas. Applicants should... More »

The World Is Running Out of Chocolate

Two chocolate makers warn of huge annual deficit

(Newser) - Like grabbing a Snickers on the run or savoring a little dark chocolate in the evening? Then brace yourself, because chocolate production is failing to keep up with worldwide consumption and could fall behind by 2 million metric tons annually by 2030, two big chocolate makers tell the Washington Post... More »

Bill Gates' Hunger Fight Is Deeply Flawed: Report

Hardly any money goes directly to African groups

(Newser) - Though the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent $3 billion to fight hunger in poor countries, most of that money has gone to groups based in wealthy countries, a new report finds. Just 10% of the money has gone to African organizations, while more than 80% has headed to... More »

This May Be the World's Most Vexing, Profitable Plant

Wasabi grows naturally in Japan ... and with difficulty elsewhere

(Newser) - One of the toughest plants in the world to grow is one that you may have think you've eaten—but probably haven't. That plant is wasabi, and the BBC reports on one man's quest to do what so many others in North America have failed at: effectively... 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 »

Missouri to Vote on New 'Right to Farm'

Farmers seek protection from various laws

(Newser) - Constitutional amendments typically enshrine rights like free speech and freedom of religion. Now Missouri is weighing a new one: "the right to farm," the New York Times reports. The state will vote Tuesday on Amendment 1, which says that the right "to engage in agricultural production and... More »

Pig Virus Mysteriously Returns to Indiana Farm

More herd loss and soaring pork prices expected

(Newser) - Bad news for America’s hog belt: Reuters has reported confirmation of a second outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus , or PEDv, at an unnamed Indiana farm, dashing previous hopes that afflicted pigs develop immunity and are safe from being re-infected for at least a few years. This confirmed outbreak... More »

100 Feet Under London, a Farm Sprouts

Carbon-neutral operation housed in WWII air-raid shelter

(Newser) - A pair of Londoners have taken up farming in the city—about 100 feet underground. Their business, supported by TV chef Michel Roux Jr., uses a former air raid shelter from World War II as a place to grow vegetables and herbs. The project, called Growing Underground , spreads across about... More »

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