Farmers in India are hit hard by extreme weather. Some say expanding natural farming is the answer

[ad_1] GUNTUR, India — There’s a pungent odor on Ratna Raju’s farm that he says is protecting his crops from the unpredictable and extreme weather that’s become more frequent with human-caused climate change. The smell comes from a concoction of cow urine, an unrefined sugar known as jaggery, and other organic materials that act as … Read more

Rare human case of bird flu contracted in Texas following contact with dairy cattle

[ad_1] A rare human case of bird flu has been reported in Texas, after a person come into contact with cattle suspected of being infected. The announcement comes days after federal agencies said the virus had spread to dairy cattle across multiple states, including Texas.  The Texas Department of State Health Services said the patient’s … Read more

It’s a bittersweet Easter for chocolate lovers and African cocoa farmers but big brands see profits

[ad_1] ACCRA, Ghana — Shoppers may get a bitter surprise in their Easter baskets this year. Chocolate eggs and bunnies are more expensive than ever as changing climate patterns eat into global cocoa supplies and the earnings of farmers in West Africa. About three-quarters of the world’s cocoa — the main ingredient in chocolate — … Read more

‘Women farmers are invisible’: A West African project helps them claim their rights — and land

[ad_1] ZIGUINCHOR, Senegal — Mariama Sonko’s voice resounded through the circle of 40 women farmers sitting in the shade of a cashew tree. They scribbled notes, brows furrowed in concentration as her lecture was punctuated by the thud of falling fruit. This quiet village in Senegal is the headquarters of a 115,000-strong rural women’s rights … Read more

Bird flu, weather and inflation conspire to keep egg prices near historic highs for Easter

[ad_1] Egg prices are at near-historic highs in many parts of the world as the spring holidays approach, reflecting a market scrambled by disease, high demand and growing costs for farmers. It’s the second year in a row consumers have faced sticker shock ahead of Easter and Passover, both occasions in which eggs play prominent … Read more

UK farmers in tractors head to Parliament to protest rules they say threaten livelihoods

[ad_1] LONDON — Farmers drove dozens of tractors in a slow-motion convoy towards Britain’s Parliament on Monday to protest post- Brexit rules and trade deals that they say are endangering livelihoods and food security. Supporters of the campaign groups Save British Farming and Fairness for Farmers of Kent rolled from southeast England and through southern … Read more

In Uganda, bamboo has government’s backing as a crop with real growth potential

[ad_1] ALONG RIVER RWIZI, Uganda — Along a stretch of bush by a muddy river, laborers dug and slashed in search of bamboo plants buried under dense grass. Here and there a few plants had sprouted tall, but most of the bamboo seedlings planted more than a year ago never grew. Now, environment protection officers … Read more

With organic fields next door, conventional farms dial up the pesticide use, study finds

[ad_1] Champions of organic farming have long portrayed it as friendlier to humans and the earth. But a new study in a California county found a surprising effect as their acreage grew: Nearby conventional farms applied more pesticides, likely to stay on top of an increased insect threat to their crops, the researchers said. Ashley … Read more

An AI robot is spotting sick tulips to slow the spread of disease through Dutch bulb fields

[ad_1] NOORDWIJKERHOUT, Netherlands — Theo works weekdays, weekends and nights and never complains about a sore spine despite performing hour upon hour of what, for a regular farm hand, would be backbreaking labor checking Dutch tulip fields for sick flowers. The boxy robot — named after a retired employee at the WAM Pennings farm near … Read more

Drones and robots could replace some field workers as farming goes high-tech

[ad_1] The fruits and vegetables you eat may soon be cultivated and processed by an army of drones and robots, some powered by artificial intelligence. In fact, it’s already happening on farms across America. Hylio, a Houston-based tech company, was granted an exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration in February for a single pilot to … Read more