farming

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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...

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...

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...

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...

This May Be the World&#39;s Most Vexing, Profitable Plant
This May Be the World's
Most Vexing, Profitable Plant
in case you missed it

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

How We Get Maple Syrup May Change in a Huge Way

Think farms, not forests, and much bigger yields

(Newser) - Maple syrup has traditionally been a product of forests, not farms—but a new discovery could change that. Researchers found to their surprise that mature maple trees weren't necessary to generate large volumes of sap. Instead, the stuff can come from saplings with their tops removed, the University of...

Trending: This Little Piggie, Who Had a Happy Life

Consumers starting to seek out pasture-raised pigs

(Newser) - A rising number of consumers are beginning to demand pork from pigs that had a tolerable life before they ended up on a plate, the New York Times finds. Big businesses including McDonald's are taking steps to improve pig welfare, including the slow phasing-out of crate-raised pork, but animal...

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...

8M Acres of China Farmland Too Polluted to Farm

That's 2% of its arable land

(Newser) - More than 8 million acres of China's farmland are too polluted with heavy metals and other chemicals to use for growing food, a Cabinet official said yesterday—that's about 2% of China's 337 million acres of arable land. The threat from pollution to China's food supply...

We Don&#39;t Need a Farm Bill Anymore
We Don't Need
a Farm Bill Anymore
OPINION

We Don't Need a Farm Bill Anymore

Charles Lane: It's an out-of-date and expensive 'monstrosity'

(Newser) - In what is being hailed by many as a sign of progress in DC, House and Senate negotiators are finally poised to pass a farm bill next month. But at the Washington Post , Charles Lane has a fundamental question: Why does the US even need a farm bill? The answer,...

Sustainable Farm Fuels the Left's Sheldon Adelson

Hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer pushes environmental issues

(Newser) - A hedge-fund billionaire and his wife, a community bank CEO, originally aimed to use their 1,800-acre California ranch to show off soil conservation techniques—but today, it's become a model sustainable farm, and apparently a highly profitable one. At TomKat Ranch, Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor raise grass-fed...

Argentines Say Agrochemicals Causing Birth Defects, Cancer

In one town, 80% of kids have pesticides in their blood

(Newser) - Argentina is the third-largest soybean producer in the world, and also grows a lot of cotton and corn. Nearly all of it is now genetically modified, since Monsanto convinced farmers to switch to its seeds and chemicals in 1996. But the agrochemicals the country's farmers use to keep up...

To Rebuild Company, Sharp Turns to ... Strawberries

Will grow the fruit indoors in Dubai, sell it to rich Middle Easterners

(Newser) - Remember Sharp? Perhaps you owned one of the Japanese company's TVs many years ago. Perhaps you still do—though that's less likely, given, as Reuters reports, the company had to get bailed out by banks last year after posting a $5.5 billion loss. So to address its...

New Virus Decimating US Pig Farms
New Virus Decimating
US Pig Farms

New Virus Decimating US Pig Farms

Epidemic has killed off untold thousands of piglets

(Newser) - A plague from overseas is devastating American pig farmers already reeling from soaring feed prices. The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, which first surfaced in Ohio last spring, has spread to 16 states this year and wiped out thousands of piglets, the New York Times reports. Farmers are scrambling to sanitize...

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...

Rising From the Farm Bill's Ashes: Hemp

Amendment to legalize it for research purposes passed, and it will be raised again

(Newser) - It's looking more and more likely that US farmers will be getting back into the hemp-growing business. The latest hopeful sign for advocates came when the House passed an amendment that would make it legal for universities to grow hemp for research purposes—an important step if farmers ever...

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