Coffee farming “can be a win-win for birds and farmers”, paper finds

It will keep you civil on a Monday morning and keep some bird species happy — it’s coffee!

Europe’s first farmers mingled with the locals, slowly mixing the communities together

Until now, we didn’t know if the two greeted with a handshake or a bloodbath.

Mixed legume and cereal crops don’t need fertilizer to yield a lot of food

Farm smart not hard.

Fiji ants were the first plant farmers some three million years ago

Most ants scavenge your picnic, but these ones don’t need anything.

Farmer ants still struggle with undomesticated crops, study finds

Starving your crops might seem counterintuitive, but these ants have a pretty good reason for it.

Is the impact of climate change on agriculture underestimated?

A new paper suggests that we’ve been overlooking how two key human responses to climate — the total area farmed and the number of crops planted — will impact food production in the future.

How climate change is driving Australian farmers mad

Everybody has to eat, but for all their efforts farmers can easily lose a year’s worth of crops due to a dry season or some other freak weather event.

How feeding pigs with leftovers can save the rainforest

In 2001 a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in the United Kingdom was traced back to a farmer that illegally fed uncooked waste to his pigs. It left the country’s agricultural industry in tatters — over 10 million sheep and cattle were killed in an effort to contain the disease. Later that year EU legislators banned the use of human food waste (or swill) as pig feed, a decision that is now coming under a lot of fire from disgruntled livestock farmers and the scientific community.

Bacterial infections turns amoebae into the world’s tiniest farmers

In 2011 the Queller-Strassmann lab, then at Rice University, made a surprising announcement in Nature Letters.
They had been collecting single-celled amoebae of the species Dictyostelium discoideum from the soil in Virginia and Minnesota. While laboratory grown strain of Dicty happily fed on the bacteria provided for it by its keepers, roughly one third of the wild strains showed a green (or maybe bacterial) thumb. When food was short, they gathered up bacteria, carried them to new sites and seeded the soil with them.

Extra salted: California’s almond industry is being crippled by salty ground water

Almonds use a lot of water — about one gallon per nut. As their surface water has been cut off, most growers are relying on groundwater even more than usual. But that brings a different problem all together: too much salt.

And then I threw it on the ground: first signs of farming come from the middle east, some 23,000 years ago

Who, where and when “invented” farming? A new study pushes back the advent of farming by a couple of thousand years.

Biggest indoor farm is 100 times more productive than conventional agriculture

An inspired entrepreneur, Shigeharu Shimamura, took an old semiconductor factory that was abandoned following the 2011 Japan disaster and turned it into the largest indoor farm in the world. Using state of the art growing technology, his company manages to make some 10,000 heads of lettuce per day out of the 25,000 square feet facility. This makes it 100 times more productive per square foot than traditional agriculture, all with 40% less power, 80% less food waste and 99% less water usage than outdoor fields.

Headless chicken solution envisions Matrix-style farming

Each year, billions of chickens are raised all over the world with the sole purpose of providing meat at the end of their couple of weeks-long lives. The animals are  forced to live in precarious conditions, thousands lined up next to each other, and are stuffed with nutrients designed to make them grow a lot faster than they can handle,