Precision agriculture moves farmers into the high tech age

 A variable rate irrigation system installed to water crops saves hundreds of thousands of gallons of water.

The U.S. has seen record-setting drought in recent years. The drought has pushed everyone to look for new ways to save water. So, the The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has joined forces with America’s beer brewers to change how farmer irrigate their crops. For the non-profit, conserving America’s rivers meant growing America’s barley, one of the primary ingredients in one of our favorite cold beverages, with less water.



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Three myths about genetically modified crops

GM crop technologies have seen dramatic uptake in the past 20 years.

It can be hard to see where scientific evidence ends and dogma and speculation begin in the debate over genetically modified (GM) foods and crops. In the almost 20 years since they were first commercialized, GM crop technologies have seen dramatic uptake. Advocates say that they have increased agricultural production by more than US$98 billion and saved an estimated 473 million kilograms of pesticides from being sprayed. But critics question their environmental, social and economic impacts.



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China’s dead pig dumping scandal

Over 16,000 dead pigs have been found in China’s rivers.

The “dead animals in Chinese rivers” toll seems to have stabilized.  According to recent reports, over 16,000 dead pigs have been joined by 1,000 dead ducks and, rather ominously, 13 dead black swans in China’s rivers. The discovery of so many carcasses has elicited no small amount of public concern in China, as well as mockery elsewhere — even Jay Leno got into the act.



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Tribine – agriculture’s latest breakthrough innovation


Grain harvesters have been called combines since the 1930’s.  They were called combines because they combined the harvesting machines, the binder and the stationary threshing machine. The Tribine takes it one step further as it combines the two historic harvest functions with a third – the grain cart, according to Ben Dillon, the developer of the machine.



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What vertical farms will look like in the future

The Dragonfly vertical farm

We are reducing the amount of agricultural areas and forests as the population around the world continues to grow.  Some architects are working on concepts for sustainable skyscrapers and vertical agricultural buildings. Here are some of the most interesting plans for the merging of the city and the farm.



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30 to 50 percent of food produced in the world is thrown away

food waste

Two women collect food waste beside an industrial dumpster at the main food market in Madrid.

Today, cleaning your plate may not help feed starving children, but the time-worn advice of mothers everywhere may help reduce food waste from the farm to the fork, help the environment and make it easier to feed the world’s growing population.

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Food crops harmed by air pollution crossing continents: study


Ozone pollution generated in each of the Northern Hemisphere’s major industrialized regions damages six important agricultural crops.

Europe loses 1.2 million tons of wheat a year due to man-made pollution from North America, an new study has found.

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PodPonics – shipping containers transformed into miniature hydroponic farms



PodPonics is new hope for urban agriculture. The startup, based in Atlanta, is pursuing a new kind of recycling.  They are transforming old shipping containers into miniature hydroponic farms that can be used to grow food anywhere. Matt Liotta started PodPonics in 2010 and it is already supplying about 200 pounds of leafy greens a week using six converted containers.  About one acre’s worth of produce can be produced in each “pod” which is in only 320 square feet. PodPonics crops use 90% less water than traditional farms, no pesticides, less fertilizer, and go from harvest to your plate in just a matter of hours! (Pics)


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