Government-Subsidized Cotton Farms Are Sucking the Colorado River Dry

Not too many drought stories have focused on cotton. As one of the thirstiest crops, it was long abandoned by many farmers in the regions hardest hit by unprecedented water scarcity. Except for one part of Arizona, where cotton blooms defiantly, even today. Because here, the more cotton fails, the more the US pays… » 5/27/15 8:20pm Yesterday 8:20pm

Learning From Australia's Drought Lessons to Avoid a Mad Max Future

The drought is no longer a California problem. The Colorado River, which supplies water to one-eighth of the country’s population, is reporting record low water levels due to overallocation. The US needs a little perspective when it comes to how bad this is going to get. Luckily we have one: Australia. » 5/15/15 12:00pm 5/15/15 12:00pm

California's Drought Is Making Its Dying Inland Sea Even More Toxic

Most of the narratives about California’s drought focus on the state’s Central Valley, where the nonexistent snowpack from the Sierras is threatening the economic vitality of the region. But the other, lesser told story is playing out in the southeast corner of the state, where the lack of water is actually poisoning… » 5/01/15 6:20pm 5/01/15 6:20pm

California Farmers Without Water Are Installing Solar Panels Instead

Due to the unprecedented drought, many of California’s farmers won’t be allocated any water this year, thanks to the way that the state’s water rights work. But what actually happens to the farms that don’t get water? Some of the farmers are ditching produce altogether for a more profitable alternative to… » 4/27/15 6:49pm 4/27/15 6:49pm

Seriously, Stop Demonizing Almonds

We have seen the real cause of the California drought, and it’s one crunchy inch tall. One gallon of water to grow a single nut? BAN THEM ALL, writes everyone. But almond outrage is misplaced. We shouldn’t stop eating any fruit or vegetable due to how much water it takes to grow it. Especially when there actually is » 4/08/15 11:00am 4/08/15 11:00am

Should We Freak Out That a Common Herbicide Is "Probably Carcinogenic?"

Glyphosate, better known as Roundup, is widely used to kill weeds, especially along with genetically modified crops engineered to be glyphosate-resistant. The World Health Organization today released an assessment calling the weedkiller "probably carcinogenic." But it's not as scary as it sounds. » 3/25/15 3:11pm 3/25/15 3:11pm

The High Tech Farms Where Our Future Food Will Grow in Nothing But Air

If our planet is going to support an extra four billion people by the end of the century, we'll need to find some creative new ways to feed ourselves. One option would be to turn buildings into farms and grow our crops in the air. Another: To install networked food computers in everybody's home. I'm not even kidding. » 3/05/15 11:00am 3/05/15 11:00am

The U.S. Just Approved Its First GMO Apple, Which Doesn't Turn Brown 

For years, a small Canadian company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, has been touting its Arctic apple, which doesn't turn an unsightly brown after being sliced. The U.S. Department of Agriculture finally approved it for planting this week. But before you see any Arctic apples at the grocery store, get ready for a big… » 2/14/15 12:00pm 2/14/15 12:00pm

All the World's Cows on Treadmills Could Power Six Percent of Earth

When roaming open pastures, cattle can walk up to eight hours a day while grazing but they can't always get as much exercise when confined to a barnyard. One enterprising farmer, however, has invented an ingenious means of getting his herd mooving—and generate a bit of free electricity on the side. » 1/16/15 11:40am 1/16/15 11:40am

The World's Most Badass Combine Harvester Just Set a World Record

A bushel's as good as a peck to most folks outside the agricultural industry but that doesn't make the New Holland CR10.90's wheat-picking feat any less impressive. It was able to harvest nearly 800 tons of the grain from 198 acres of English farmland in a single workday—all while setting a Guinness world record. » 10/16/14 11:43am 10/16/14 11:43am

This Machine Destroys Seeds of Nasty Mutant Weeds In the Combine

Combines are a modern farming miracle, separating grain from chaff in a matter of seconds. But that chaff—often full of seeds from herbicide-resistant weeds—gets blown right back onto the field. Enter the clever Harrington Seed Destructor, which grinds the pesky and unwanted seeds into oblivion. » 8/21/14 2:37pm 8/21/14 2:37pm

1931's Remote-Controlled Farm of the Future

The March 1931 issue of The Country Gentleman magazine included this advertisement for Timken bearings. With the bold headline "100 YEARS AHEAD" the ad promises that the farmer of the future may be unrecognizable — thanks to Timken bearings, of course. Our farmer of tomorrow wears a suit to work and sits at a desk… » 8/14/14 11:21am 8/14/14 11:21am