Wouldn’t it be nice if your plants could email you when they’re thirsty? Thanks to a NASA spinoff, they can! »
Citrus greening is a disease that turns oranges sour and half-green, and it’s been ravaging orange groves in Florida for years. A novel strategy for controlling its spread may be found by mimicking the mating call of a tiny aphid-like brown insect called the Asian citrus psyllid.
Promises of rain to come withstanding, California is still smack in the middle of a long, punishing drought. So what does it look like when a top agricultural state undergoes years of drought? Not good, friends. »
Farming emus means breeding emus. And Irek Malecki of the University of Western Australia thinks that the results could be improved with a bit of artificial insemination. But it’s easier said than done, as detailed in this amusing video. »
Deep in the arctic, inside over 400 feet of rock, a huge cache of seeds is stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, in case of some global emergency. Today, the first of the seeds from that supply have arrived to replenish a collection sent away for safe keeping during Syria’s Civil War.
Something odd is happening to the seasons. Spring has been showing up progressively earlier, and a new model shows that by the end of the century, it will likely be showing up a full 23 days earlier—but it may not look quite like the Spring we’re used to. »
In developing countries, an unbelievable 45% of food goes bad because of a lack of cold storage. It’s an especially big problem during transportation from farms to outdoor markets, where food sits in the scorching sun for hours on end. But one startup has a solution: solar-powered refrigeration stations that could… »
It sounds like a bizarre video game mashup, but farmers have reported “zombie” plants since the early 1600s: plants that took on a sickly yellow look and grew strange leaf-like structures or bushy growths instead of flowering and reproducing. »
There’s something mysterious afoot on the world’s farms: For 50 years, the amount of food we’re growing has steadily risen, and with it so has the amount of farmland used—until two decades ago, when food production started rising independently of new land. But how?
Last Tuesday, the Humboldt County Courthouse in Eureka, California was swarming with potheads. A pro-cannabis rally had been organized by State Assemblymember Jim Wood, who knows how to grab headlines: In July, Wood walked onto the State Capitol floor carrying a live marijuana plant and asked his colleagues to… »
Our plates are quite well-traveled these days, with foods from our backyards mingling with foods grown easily halfway around the world. Just how connected the food world has become is much clearer in these charts showing where every place in the world is getting (and sending) their food. »
It may be possible to grow better, healthier crops with just a syringe and some careful observation. That’s all you need to breed better soil microbes, which can have a big effect on how well plants grow, according to new research. »
Imagine the Central Valley of California not as a patchwork of drought-vulnerable crops but as a network of farms that use almost no water. Not only that, these farms can also filter existing water while providing acres of food for Californians. Imagine that thirsty alfalfa no longer reigns: Cactus is king.
Scientists, politicians and the Pope are not the only ones calling for action on climate change these days. Farmers are observing changes in rainfall, temperature and other patterns in weather that have spurred them into shifting their farming methods. In fact, while climate change is not a source of scientific… »
Another day, another story about what we should consume when confronted with a water-scarce future. On today’s chopping block: Lettuce, should you eat it? Let us begin with this provocative statement: A head of iceberg contains the same amount of water as a bottle of Evian, it’s wrapped in lots of plastic, and… »
Conner Griffith combined images from Google Earth, Wikipedia, the Rhode Island School of Design’s Picture and Materials collections, and his own photography to create “Ripple,” a concise, top-down overview of the shapes we use to organize the world. »