agriculture
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ISS Astronauts Grew Space Lettuce, And Then Ate It

Forget freeze-dried gravy in a bag. Humans in space have just consumed real, leafy greens they grew in microgravity.


You Can Still Find Groundwater In California, But It Will Cost You

So your taps have run dry in the drought and you desperately need more water for your family. Why not just dig another well? For starters, the cost of digging a well might be more than you paid for your house. And then there’s another issue: No matter how deep you dig, someone with more money is going to dig one deeper than yours.


The World's Largest Indoor Vertical Farm Is Being Built In The US

This week, a former steel factory in Newark, New Jersey began its transformation into a new life as a vertical farm that will feed millions of people — it will grow up to 907 tonnes of kale, arugula and romaine lettuce per year when it’s finished.


The Plan To Feed The World By Hacking Photosynthesis

With the world population projected to soar past the 11 billion mark by 2100, we’re going to need to find some creative new ways of putting food on the table. The latest science-powered plan to feed the world? Hacking photosynthesis.


Swarms Of Soil Sensors May Help Farmers Water Smarter During The Drought

We’ve extensively covered California’s drought, in which farming is playing a key role. While there’s no easy answer about how to restrict agricultural water use, a new startup wants to help farmers all over the country conserve valuable H20 using smart sensors that dictate where — and when — to water their crops.


Farmers Are Pumping So Much Groundwater It's Making California Sink

What happens when your water supply runs dry? You go underground. In some parts of California, drought-plagued farmers are digging groundwater wells that plunge deeper and deeper into the earth, siphoning away the water of their neighbours, and causing the ground to collapse — potentially destroying the soil for good.


Government-Subsidised Cotton Farms Are Sucking The Colorado River Dry

Not too many drought stories have focused on cotton. As one of the thirstiest crops, it was long abandoned by many farmers in the regions hardest hit by unprecedented water scarcity. Except for one part of Arizona, where cotton blooms defiantly, even today. Because here, the more cotton fails, the more the US pays farmers to keep growing it.


Scientists Discover The Genes For Supersizing Fruit

Consider the beefsteak, a naturally bred giant among tomatoes. It grows as big as two pounds. Scientist have now identified a set of genes that gives beefsteaks their size, and it could lead the way to supersizing more fruits.


The Problem With The Doomsday Seed Vault

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is undeniably fascinating: This concrete slab that juts out of the barren snowscape may represent humanity’s last hope in an apocalypse. But recently, plant scientists have questioned its mission.


What The US Can Learn From Australia To Avoid A Mad Max Future

The drought is no longer a California problem. The Colorado River, which supplies water to one-eighth of the population of the United States, is now reporting record low water levels. The US needs a little perspective when it comes to how bad this is going to get. Luckily it has one: Australia.


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