Agriculture

3:29pm

Sun January 20, 2013
Environment

Former Anti-GMO Activist Says Science Changed His Mind

Harvest wheat from a field near Wright, Kan. May 10, 2004.
ORLIN WAGNER ASSOCIATED PRESS

For years, British environmental activist Mark Lynas destroyed genetically modified food (GMO) crops in what he calls a successful campaign to force the business of agriculture to be more holistic and ecological in its practices.

His targets were companies like Monsanto and Syngenta — leaders in developing genetically modified crops.

Earlier this month he went in front of the world to reverse his position on GMOs.

Read more

3:14pm

Fri January 18, 2013
Around the Nation

Stink Bug's Resurfacing May Squash Farmers' Hopes For A Strong 2013

The stink bug population is six times larger this year than last.
Matt Rourke AP

If you live along the East Coast, there's a pretty good chance that stink bugs may be lurking in your attic or even behind your curtains. The invasive insects from Asia, which exude a rubber-like stench when you crush them, are a nuisance for you, but a serious pest for farmers.

Crop producers received a reprieve from the bugs in 2012, but the insects may be coming back and with a greater spread of attack.

Bob Black says he was not in a good place in 2010.

Read more

3:11pm

Wed January 16, 2013
Environment

Could Some Midwest Land Support New Biofuel Refineries?

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:16 am

Vegetation like the kind growing here at Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station could one day be used to feed small biofuel refineries spread throughout the Midwest.
J.E.Doll Michigan State University

Millions of acres of marginal farmland in the Midwest — land that isn't in good enough condition to grow crops — could be used to produce liquid fuels made from plant material, according to a study in Nature. And those biofuels could, in theory, provide about 25 percent of the advanced biofuels required by a 2007 federal law.

But there are many ifs and buts about this study — and, in fact, about the future of advanced biofuels.

Read more

3:21pm

Mon January 14, 2013
Around the Nation

Homeless Seek Shelter, Crops Suffer Amid Southwest Cold Snap

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 4:33 pm

James Truman inspects a grapefruit tree for frost damage on his 21-acre citrus farm northwest of Phoenix.
Peter O'Dowd KJZZ

Cold has descended on an area of the country that is known for its near-perfect weather this time of year.

For several nights in a row, subfreezing temperatures have sent homeless people in Arizona to warming centers, while farmers in Southern California are preparing for a possible crop freeze.

It's Cold Outside

Toni Eskeli tries to keep warm, wrapped in a scarf and a peacoat near downtown Phoenix. She and her boyfriend huddle around a picnic table, rolling cigarettes, doing what they can to stay warm.

Read more

1:52pm

Mon January 14, 2013
Agriculture

Can Small Farms Benefit From Wal-Mart’s Push Into Local Foods?

Produce broker Herman Farris stands in the parking lot of the east-side Wal-Mart in Columbia, Mo., before heading to St. Louis to pick up a shipment of bananas for Wal-Mart.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, is muscling in on one of the fastest growing segments of American agriculture: local food.

Read more

Pages