A calf outside of Scottsbluff Nebraska, an area that is seeing a cattle boom.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC
California ranchers, despite near-record beef prices, are shrinking their cattle herds in response to one of the most severe droughts the state has ever faced, and many Colorado ranchers are taking advantage.
On the Vulgamore farm near Scott City, Kan., each combine can harvest up to 25 acres of wheat an hour—as well as real-time data on crop yields. Most of the food Americans eat is now produced on such large-scale, mechanized farms, which grow row after row of a single crop, allowing farmers to cover more ground with less labor.
With the world’s population exploding, we’ll have many more mouths to feed in the near future. But agriculture already uses up tons of resources and land. So how can we grow more food and how can we limit its damage to the environment?
Rural pockets of the country still lack internet connectivity, the agricultural census shows.
Remember that scene from the 1979 movie The Jerk where Steve Martin’s character leaps with glee over the delivery of new phone books? That same sequence plays out every five years when the U.S. Department of Agriculture drops its agricultural census and ag data nerds everywhere rejoice.
Industrial hemp can grow more than ten feet tall. The plant, which can resemble marijuana grown for medical or recreational use, usually lacks THC, the chemical that gives users a high.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media
An historic planting of Colorado’s first state regulated industrial hemp crop is underway. More than 70 applications to grow the towering cousin of marijuana have come in to the Colorado Department of Agriculture.