September 6, 2009 |
The mechanization of farming, which has been chugging along for about 200 years, continues in its slow and irregular way. A few crops -- blueberries, olives, pomegranates -- have recently been added to the list of those that can be harvested by a machine instead of by human hand. A few tractors have been rigged with steering that is guided by satellites. But for the most part, the technological revolution that has affected so many other professions has bypassed farming. This is not because there aren't clever people working on farming technology or because farmers are too conservative to adopt new devices.
December 6, 2010 |
Yoshikatsu Mochida strolls between the long, green rows of his field, pausing occasionally to inspect the mustard spinach and garland chrysanthemums that have grown shin-high. They are ready to be harvested. But the 66-year-old Japanese farmer won't pick them. That's because the field is his, but the crops aren't. For more than a year, Mochida has divided some of his farmland on the outskirts of Yokohama into 8 feet by 40 feet plots, renting 70 of them to urbanites who come once a week to tend their crops.
September 5, 2011 |
Bouncing down a dirt road, past emerald fields thick with sweet potato plants, farmer Robert Garcia hunched over the steering wheel of his pickup truck and grinned with glee. It's the beginning of harvest season and, once again, his bounty of orange- and yellow-fleshed roots is looking promising. "You used to see cotton fields and grapevines out here," said Garcia, 54, whose family grows and packs sweet potatoes out of their Central California farm operations. "Now the talk is sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes, how can I get more sweet potatoes?"
April 27, 2012 |
Analyzing DNA from four ancient skeletons and comparing it with thousands of genetic samples from living humans, a group of Scandinavian scientists reported that agriculture initially spread through Europe because farmers expanded their territory northward, not because the more primitive foragers already living there adopted it on their own. The genetic profiles of three Neolithic hunter-gatherers and one farmer who lived in the same region of...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 1999
Re "Pesticides and Public Health," letters, March 7. I find myself thoroughly confused. People vote for Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources (SOAR) laws to preserve open space and farmland, then want to shut down the agriculture business to "protect" themselves from farming, because farmers use pesticides too close to residential communities. Non-farmers know pesticides are unnecessary because they have read papers on organic farming and are now experts in agriculture. I'm sure farming is difficult enough considering the vagaries of weather, irrigation concerns, maintaining arable soil (plus a host of other things to which I plead ignorance)
May 19, 1989 |
The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday proposed a bold plan that aims to make farming less harmful to the environment by halving the use of pesticides and insecticides within 10 years. Agriculture Minister Gerrit Braks said he wanted to steer Dutch farming away from the use of chemical fertilizers toward organic, ecologically friendly techniques. He said the use of some chemicals will be taxed, and the more toxic ones will be banned. The government plans to double spending on ecologically safe agriculture to $215 million a year in the next five years.