A honeybee approaches a sunflower at Wards Berry Farm in Sharon, Mass.
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Inert ingredients are added for purposes other than killing pests and are not required under federal law to be tested for safety or identified on pesticide labels.
Chick peas intercropped with flax on a farm in Stanford, Mont.
USDA NRCS Montana
Conventional agriculture offers farmers few choices about which crops to grow or how to raise them. A new approach uses computing to construct better strategies with lower environmental impacts.
Mexican migrant workers harvest parsley on a farm in Wellington, Colo.
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Agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries in the US, with workers exposed to vehicles, chemicals and heavy equipment. Women working on farms face another risk: sexual assault.
The Peach Drop celebration marks the new year in Atlanta on Jan. 1, 2023.
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A 90% crop loss in the Peach State may sound like a disaster, but Georgia isn’t actually the Big Apple of peach production that it claims to be.
Vaccines help protect farm animals from various diseases.
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While mRNA vaccines are designed to last longer in the body than mRNA molecules typically would, they are also tested to ensure they are eliminated from livestock long before milking or slaughter.
Small-scale farmers, organic producers and local markets receive a tiny fraction of farm bill funding.
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Even if you don’t live near farm country, you’ve got a stake in the upcoming farm bill – including what kind of farms your tax dollars support.
Waiting for repairs can cost farmers time and money.
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Corporations restrict what farmers can do with their own seeds, as well as their farm equipment when it breaks down.
A cotton field in Lubbock, Texas.
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Plant breeding, informed by genetic analysis, could be critical to the future of one of the world’s oldest crops.
A farmer spreads fertilizer on a field in Berks County, Pa.
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Farmers are contending with huge spikes in fertilizer prices. The Biden administration is paying US companies to boost synthetic fertilizer production, but there are other, more sustainable options.
Native grasses, long overlooked, have been shown to benefit cattle and diverse native animals.
Growing native grasses as cattle forage is an example of working lands conservation – balancing human use of the land with conservation goals.
Bees feeding in monoculture fields of single crops such as sunflowers crowd together and pass parasites to one another at high rates.
Lauren Ponisio/University of Oregon
Huge single-crop fields attract bees in such numbers that they spread parasites to one another. Planting diverse mixes of flowers around fields helps spread out pollinators and keep them healthy.
Planting corn near Dwight, Ill., April 23, 2020. Virtually all corn seeds planted in the U.S. are coated with neonicotinoid insecticides.
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Studies suggest that seeds coated with neonicotinoid insecticides may harm nontarget insects, mammals and birds. In response, states are starting to restrict use of these products.
Surplus corn piled outside a farmer’s co-op storage facility in Paoli, Colorado.
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The US has required motor fuels to contain 10% biofuels since 2005. As this program nears a key milestone in 2022, farm advocates want to expand it while critics want to pare it back or repeal it.
An organic food market in Berlin.
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An expert on organic agriculture argues that the US is missing an economic and environmental opportunity by not working to scale up organic production.
Organic vegetables at the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens, Goleta, Calif.
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Four out of five Americans regularly buy some kind of organic food. An expert on the industry says more federal support could greatly expand organic farming and its environmental benefits.
Handouts from food banks are no substitute for self-sufficiency.
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Indigenous people in the US have high rates of food insecurity and dietary-related health problems. Any attempts to address the problem must start with land justice, argues a scholar of Native health and food.
The California Aqueduct, which carries water more than 400 miles south from the Sierra Nevada, splits as it enters Southern California at the border of Kern and Los Angeles counties.
Installing solar panels over California’s 4,000 miles of canals could generate less expensive, renewable energy, save water, fight climate change – and offer a solution for the thirsty American West.
A prairie strip filled with flowers and wild rye grass between soybean fields on Tim Smith’s farm near Eagle Grove, Iowa, reduces greenhouse gases and stores carbon in the soil.
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Farmers can help slow climate change by mixing native grasses into croplands, restoring wetlands and raising perennial crops. These strategies also conserve soil and water and build new markets.
A center-pivot sprinkler with precision application drop nozzles irrigates cotton in Texas.
An invisible crisis is brewing in US farm country as the overpumped Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer drains. The key drivers are federal farm subsidies and the tax code.