Agriculture

4:44am

Sun March 11, 2012
The Salt

Why Monsanto Thought Weeds Would Never Defeat Roundup

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 8:06 am

A farmer sprays the weed killer glyphosate across his cornfield in Auburn, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Since it seems to be Pest Resistance Week here at The Salt, with stories on weeds and insects, we might as well just pull out all the stops. So, next up: Why didn't Monsanto's scientists foresee that weeds would become resistant to glyphosate, the weed-killing chemical in their blockbuster herbicide Roundup?

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10:45am

Sat March 10, 2012
Media

Ag-Gag Law Blows Animal Activists' Cover

Originally published on Sat March 10, 2012 4:12 pm

Struthers raises about 4,500 pigs for meat every year.
Kathleen Masterson Iowa Public Radio

After a series of videos revealing apparent cruel treatment of farm animals went viral, Iowa has made it a crime for people to misrepresent themselves to gain access to a farm. The so-called "Ag-Gag" law targets undercover animal rights activists who secretly take videos. Farmers say they need the legal protection to block those trying to take down agriculture, but critics ask what the industry may be hiding.

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7:45am

Fri March 9, 2012

10:01pm

Thu March 8, 2012
Planet Money

Meet Claudia, The High-Tech Cow

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 9:09 am

Technology at rest.
Adam Davidson NPR

Here's the secret of the modern dairy farm: The essential high-tech advances aren't in machinery. They're inside the cow.

Take a cow like Claudia. She lives at Fulper Farms, a dairy farm in upstate New Jersey. Claudia is to a cow from the 1930s as a modern Ferrari is to a Model T.

In the 1930s, dairy farmers could get 30 pounds of milk per day from a cow. Claudia produces 75 pounds a day.

To appreciate a cow like Claudia, you have to know where to look.

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10:01pm

Tue March 6, 2012
The Salt

Farmers Face Tough Choice On Ways To Fight New Strains Of Weeds

Adam Cole NPR

OK, so this story is about weeds and weedkillers, neither of which is ever the hero of a story, but stay with me for a second: It's also about plants with superpowers.

Unless you grow cotton, corn or soybeans for a living, it's hard to appreciate just how amazing and wonderful it seemed, 15 years ago, when Roundup-tolerant crops hit the market. I've seen crusty farmers turn giddy just talking about it.

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