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Sorry, Sriracha Fans, It's Happening Again

Bottles of popular Huy Fong hot sauce are selling for triple digits online amid chile pepper shortage

(Newser) - A hot summer lies ahead , though that heat won't be carrying over to meals usually doused in Sriracha sauce. A shortage of the chile-pepper-based condiment means it's been harder to find on store shelves, though fans can likely stumble upon the hot sauce made by Huy Fong, its...

They'll Soon Be Back, and It's Our Job to 'Eliminate' Them
They'll Soon Be Back, and It's
Our Job to 'Eliminate' Them

They'll Soon Be Back, and It's Our Job to 'Eliminate' Them

Spotted lanternflies are due to start hatching soon; experts say we need to 'smash' invasive species

(Newser) - Since 2014, when they apparently made their way from China to the US in a shipping crate, spotted lanternflies have been the bane of farmers, agricultural officials, and plant lovers throughout the Northeast. Now, it's almost time for the eggs of the invasive species to hatch, and experts are...

Could North Korea See Another 'Arduous March'?

Nation is mired in its worst food shortage since its mid-'90s famine

(Newser) - As North Korea continues to launch ICBMs and lob threats , it's also contending with a familiar problem: a food shortage, though this time experts say it's particularly bad. Per Fox News , South Korea's Unification Ministry says the food situation "seems to have deteriorated" in its northern...

This State Wants Roasted Chiles to Be Its Official Aroma

New Mexico would be first state to have an affiliated scent

(Newser) - Every fall, the air in New Mexico is infused with the sweet, smoky scent of roasted chile peppers, a tradition that follows chile harvesting season. Now, a bunch of fifth-graders have spearheaded a campaign to deem that salivation-inducing bouquet as the scent of the Land of Enchantment, making it the...

1.2M Pigs to Meet Demise Annually in New 'Pig Hotel'

Dozens of similar facilities are planned in coming years

(Newser) - Pigs are big business in China, which consumes about half of the world’s pork, but pig farms require lots of space. They also produce a slurry of toxic biproducts and—above all—are vulnerable to disease outbreaks like African swine fever, which wiped out 100 million pigs between 2018...

As US Dries Up in Drought, Farmers' Hands Are Forced

America's farmers are having to kill off their own crops, sell cattle earlier than usual

(Newser) - In 2021, nearly a quarter of America's farmers said they had to kill their own crops because drought conditions had made the environment so dry that the crops were never going to mature. Things haven't gotten any better since: This year, 37% of the nation's farmers say...

Country Plans First Tax on Cow, Sheep Burps

New Zealand is including agriculture in emissions-trading scheme

(Newser) - New Zealand is looking into slapping a tax on one of the country's main sources of greenhouse-gas emissions: The livestock that outnumber human New Zealanders by more than seven to one. Agriculture accounts for around half the country's emissions, mainly methane produced by the burps of sheep and...

$9M Doomsday Vault Getting $13M Upgrade
After 'Doomsday Vault'
Withdrawal Comes a Deposit

After 'Doomsday Vault' Withdrawal Comes a Deposit

Group formerly in Syria deposits seeds for safeguarding, a milestone for the vault

(Newser) - Updated: The world's "Doomsday Vault" opened its doors Monday to accept more seeds from abroad. The vault in Norway was taking seeds for safeguarding from facilities in Uganda, Sudan, New Zealand, Germany, and Lebanon, reports Reuters . Most notably, the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas, formerly...

Drought Is Hitting Corn, Wheat Production Hard

Inventories expected to fall to lowest level since 2013

(Newser) - This is a tough year for American farmers—severe drought has gripped much of the country and crops planted this spring are failing. The Department of Agriculture has now scaled back its forecasts for 2021 production and inventories of corn, wheat, and soybeans are expected to fall to their lowest...

Atlanta Addresses Food Desert With a Forest

City's free food forest is the nation's largest

(Newser) - Townhouses were once intended for a 7-acre plot in southeast Atlanta. But the project fell through, and the area needs food more anyway. One-third of the Browns Mill neighborhood's residents live below the poverty line, and the nearest grocery store is a half-hour away by bus. For Atlanta overall,...

Rare Storm Causes Heartbreak for Iowa Corn Farmers

Hopes of a record crop have been wrecked

(Newser) - Farmers across a wide swath of Iowa are dealing with the heartbreaking aftermath of a rare wind storm that turned what was looking like a record corn crop into deep losses for many. The storm, known as a derecho, slammed the Midwest with straight line winds of up to 100...

Those Strange Seeds You Got in the Mail? Don't Plant Them

Officials in several states warn unsolicited packets may be from China, other overseas locations

(Newser) - "Do not plant seeds from unknown origins." That's the warning issued by Mike Strain, Louisiana's agriculture commissioner, after people in his state and several others say they've received unasked-for packages of seeds in the mail, which officials say may have come from China or other...

As Meat Plants Shut Down, an Ominous Warning

Food supply chain is 'breaking' amid pandemic, says John Tyson, chair for Tyson Foods

(Newser) - Smithfield Foods and JBS have closed meat-processing sites , while Tyson Foods shut down pork plants in Iowa and Indiana last week after they were found to be hot spots for coronavirus outbreaks. Now Tyson is issuing a dire warning on the state of the industry as a result of the...

Locust Plague Swoops Down Upon 2 Nations

Somalia, Ethiopia seeing worst invasion of desert locusts in 25 years: UN food agency

(Newser) - Crops on nearly 173,000 acres of land have been destroyed in Somalia and parts of eastern Ethiopia in what the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization is deeming the region's worst desert locust invasion in a quarter century. The FAO notes the insect plague is imperiling farmers' livelihoods...

Farmers Drown Their Sorrows in Beer and Fried Chicken

Illinois farmers gather for a 'Prevent Plant Party'

(Newser) - Illinois farmers gathered to tell their tales of woe Thursday at—of all places—The Happy Spot. With heavy rains and record floods forcing them to leave millions of acres unseeded, corn farmers gathered with sellers of equipment, chemicals, and seed at the Deer Grove restaurant to swap stories over...

Researchers Find Trick to Growing Tastier Basil

24-hour light is the key, say MIT researchers

(Newser) - Researchers at MIT say they've figured out how to grow the tastiest basil: Expose the plant to light 24 hours a day. The nugget comes out of a project in which scientists grew the herb in a shipping container, a controlled environment that allowed them to precisely monitor every...

Farm Debt Hits Levels Not Seen Since 1980s Crisis

Perdue says demand for loans is at a high

(Newser) - American farmers are in debt to the tune of $409 billion, up from $385 billion last year and reaching levels of the 1980s agriculture crisis, the agriculture secretary told Congress Wednesday. And loan demand among farmers is "historically high," Sonny Perdue added, per Reuters . Low interest rates and...

Insects Could Disappear Within a Century
Insects Could Disappear
Within a Century
new study

Insects Could Disappear Within a Century

New global survey provides doomsday warning to world's ecosystem

(Newser) - Insects could completely disappear within the next 100 years, dragging global ecosystems into a catastrophic collapse. The world is embarking on its sixth mass extinction , and the first global scientific review points to a grim outlook for the planet's insects, reports the Guardian . Massive declines have already been seen...

Trump Launches 2nd Round of Payments to Farmers

He cites 'unjustified trade retaliation'

(Newser) - President Trump has authorized the Agriculture Department to launch the second and final round of $11 billion in trade mitigation payments to farmers hard hit by tariffs. In a tweet on Monday, Trump said he is fulfilling a promise to protect farmers against "unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations....

Farmers Worried as Death Rates Surge for Female Pigs

Agriculture industry trying to get a handle on problem with sows

(Newser) - Operators of farms with a large number of female pigs are seeing a worrying trend—death rates are surging among the sows. One industry group, Swine Management Services, says the death rate increased from 5.8% to 10.2% from 2013 to 2016, per National Hog Farmer . "This makes...

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