This Weedseeking Airport Tractor Spells Death for Dandelions

Weeds growing up through the cracks in airport tarmacs aren't just unsightly, they can create traction hazards for landing aircraft. But rather than rely on a squad of human herbicide applicators, one French airport is leaving the job to a single computerized spraying system. They call it "The Weedseeker." » 4/07/14 11:40am 4/07/14 11:40am

Tour the Fish Farm Hidden in a Hong Kong High-Rise

In cities as crowded as Hong Kong, there is nowhere to go but up up up—even for fish. So, on the fifteenth floor of a high-rise, is a mini ocean in the sky: 80,000 liters of salt water where young groupers swim under cool, blue light. Could this be the future of urban farming? » 4/04/14 4:20pm 4/04/14 4:20pm

There's No End in Sight for California's Megadrought

California's chief snow surveyor ventured into the Sierras this week to see how much water the state can expect from the spring melt—and he came back with very bad news. The devastating drought that the state's been dealing with the past few months will continue to devastate for the foreseeable future. » 4/03/14 3:20pm 4/03/14 3:20pm

How Mexico's Drug Cartels Are Driving Up the Price of Limes

A lime shortage is threatening the U.S. food and beverage industry, with some bars and restaurants jacking up drink prices, charging extra for a slice—or refusing to serve the citrus at all. But there's another reason to rethink that margarita: The pricey limes you're buying from Mexico might be supporting drug… » 3/31/14 6:40pm 3/31/14 6:40pm

The US Grows the Most Productive Plants in the World, Says NASA

Remember learning about America's "amber waves of grain?" Well, it turns out that the United States' bread basket—a.k.a., the Corn Belt—is even more productive than previously thought. In fact, during its growing season, it's the most productive land on Earth, according to new NASA data. » 3/31/14 4:20pm 3/31/14 4:20pm

Mapping San Francisco's Microclimates With Wine Grown in the City

When you think of wine, you probably don't think of an urban farm wedged between public housing projects. But a pair of devoted viticulturists have upped the game in local winemaking, planting San Francisco's first vineyard since the 1906 earthquake. What will the terroir of a city built on sand and landfill be like? » 3/10/14 6:40pm 3/10/14 6:40pm

Inside a World War II Bunker Turned Massive Underground Farm

Last week, we wrote about a project in London that sounds straight up apocalyptic: A massive underground farm inside a 60-year-old bunker, originally built to protect Londoners from Nazi bombs. Now, we have video—and it's every bit as spooky as you'd think. » 2/17/14 9:40am 2/17/14 9:40am

Brave People Are Building Futuristic Farms on Japan's Radioactive Soil

What does radioactive salad taste like? How about rice sprinkled with nuclear fallout? Well, if you're truly curious, consider taking your next vacation in Fukushima, where some intrepid farmers have begun the daunting task of farming the region's tainted soil. » 1/06/14 2:20pm 1/06/14 2:20pm

Exploding Hog-Manure Foam Is Costing Farmers Millions

Hog farmers across the country are dealing with a pretty shitty problem. A mysterious fecal foam has begun bubbling up from beneath barn floors, down in the darkness where pig manure falls, burping dangerous quantities of methane and hydrogen sulfide. Sometimes, though, it ignites, blowing up not just the barn but all… » 12/02/13 5:30pm 12/02/13 5:30pm

Agricultural Printing: A Rooftop Farm Culled By Autonomous Tractors

The World Expo Milano 2015 is still a few years years off, but details about the pavilions are starting to emerge. Today, we learn that a building sponsored by agricultural machinery company New Holland will feature a sloping rooftop field farmed by two "zero-emission, robotized, self-driving tractors." » 11/27/13 4:30pm 11/27/13 4:30pm

Competitive Dairy Tasting Is A Thing That Exists

So this is the situation. Human tastings are a crucial component in milk safety evaluations and by extension the dairy industry as a whole. So the Future Farmers of America (FFA) have an event called the Milk Quality and Products Career Development. A big part of it is a milk tasting contest for high school students,… » 10/27/13 4:10pm 10/27/13 4:10pm

3 Ways That Big Brother Is Secretly Stuffing You With Vitamins

We might not always realize it, but a lot of the stuff we're putting into our mouths has been meticulously engineered by Big Brother to turn us into robust, super-human specimens. Sure, it kind of sounds like the plot of a corny sci-fi flick—but we'd be nothing more than rickets-stricken piles of rotting teeth without… » 10/08/13 3:20pm 10/08/13 3:20pm

The Next Revolution In Farming Is a Decent Internet Connection

The beeps and clicks of dial-up web service are (mercifully) a long-gone memory for most city-dwellers, but for many rural residents that aural static is still a regular part of the ritual of logging on. The service remains incredibly slow—and that tedious pace is becoming a major problem for farmers bringing their… » 10/03/13 10:00am 10/03/13 10:00am