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Ag News

“Agrivoltaics” Allows Food Growth and Solar Energy Production on the Same Piece of Land

Rural America has been a magnet for solar energy companies for the same reasons that farmers seek out the wide open spaces. The mostly flat, well-draining soils and unobstructed sunshine that make the US an agricultural powerhouse are also ideal for large installations of solar panels. This has raised much debate and concern about solar farms taking farmland out of ...
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“Row 7” Changing the System by Changing the Seed… Breeding for Flavor

Just 50 years ago, some 1,000 small and family-owned seed companies were producing and distributing seeds in the United States but by 2009, there were fewer than 100. From the Big Bang of agriculture around 10,000 B.C. until a hundred or so years ago, farmers saved their seeds to plant for the next season, meaning thousands of varieties evolved across ...
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Illinois Startup “Sabanto” Wants Autonomous Technology to be More Accessible and Affordable

Autonomy continues to be a key focus for farm equipment manufacturers as increasingly tech-savvy farmers seek solutions to any number of issues that plague the agriculture industry. Among the still small but growing list of options is Illinois-based farm autonomy startup "Sabanto." The company's technology automates small farming equipment such as tractors with between 60 and 90 horsepower. Sabanto also ...
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700 Years Later… The Process Hasn’t Changed for the King of Cheese

Roquefort cheese could be bundled with any other blue cheese as its moldy appearance and strong smell is certainly a giveaway, but Roquefort isn’t just any French blue cheese. According to legend, a young shepherd, perched on the Combalou plateau, spied a beautiful shepherdess in the distance and determined to woo her, he hastily left his flock, but not before ...
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America’s Rural Workforce Continues to Shrink as Small Towns Get More Grey

This year’s “Rural America at a Glance” places a heavy emphasis on the shrinking rural workforce as small-town America's population continues to age at a faster clip than its urban counterparts. That's despite the fact that nonmetropolitan areas grew at a faster rate than metropolitan areas during 2020–21 due to a sharp turnaround in migration flows occurring in the first ...
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How Charles Pillsbury Transformed the Wheat Industry

Most Americans are very familiar with the Pillsbury Company which has given us a host of iconic products, including the company's Classic Yellow Cake Mix, every flavor of pre-made frosting, and those addictive Crescent Rolls. Pillsbury's marketing efforts for its various brands also generated iconic characters like the Doughboy and Jolly Green Giant. The company itself is no longer around ...
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Could Year-Round Bird Flu Dramatically Change the Chicken and Egg Business?

Poultry farmers across the globe remain under threat from an unusually long and lethal bird flu outbreak that has led to the loss of nearly 53 million birds in the US and at least 50 million in Europe. The outbreaks involve a Eurasian H5N1 strain that experts say is behaving differently than anything they've seen in the past. Most concerning ...
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Why Rural Americans Should Weigh In on New FCC Broadband Maps

It has been over two decades since broadband started replacing dial-up internet connections. While broadband has since become a virtual necessity in our modern age, wide swaths of the US still don't have access to high-speed internet. Until recently, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has collected limited information on broadband coverage from internet providers, which can obscure the true ...
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What You Need to Know About New Zealand’s Cow Burp Tax

Most have probably heard by now that New Zealand is planning a so-called "cow burp tax" that would charge the country's livestock farmers for the greenhouse gasses that their animals emit. The belch tax, which would be the world’s first, is controversial to say the least, and could have implications for livestock farmers across the world as other countries consider ...
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FDA Approves Lab-Grown Meat but Will US Consumers Bite?

The US Food and Drug Administration earlier in November approved the first cultivated meat product for human consumption. That means just one final stamp of approval from the US Department of Agriculture is needed before Upside Food's lab-grown chicken can be sold to consumers. Most believe the odds of that happening are high, though the company (formerly Memphis Meats) plans ...
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