Agriculture

4:00pm

Mon May 13, 2013
The Salt

Why Humans Took Up Farming: They Like To Own Stuff

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 9:06 am

Prehistoric "pantries": This illustration is based on archaeological findings in Jordan of structures built to store extra grain some 11,000-12,000 years ago.
Illustration by E. Carlson Courtesy of Dr. Ian Kuijt/University of Notre Dame

For decades, scientists have believed our ancestors took up farming some 12,000 years ago because it was a more efficient way of getting food. But a growing body of research suggests that wasn't the case at all.

"We know that the first farmers were shorter, they were more prone to disease than the hunter-gatherers," says Samuel Bowles, the director of the Behavioral Sciences Program at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, describing recent archaeological research.

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8:41am

Mon May 13, 2013
The Two-Way

Supreme Court Rules For Monsanto In Case Against Farmer

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 8:50 am

Vernon Hugh Bowman, who took his case to the Supreme Court, lives outside the small town of Sandborn, Ind.
Dan Charles NPR

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Monday that an Indiana farmer infringed on Monsanto's patent when he planted soybeans that had been genetically modified by Monsanto without buying them from the agribusiness giant.

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2:27pm

Sun May 12, 2013
The Salt

Is It Safe To Use Compost Made From Treated Human Waste?

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 9:46 am

Any gardener will tell you that compost is "black gold," essential to cultivating vigorous, flavorful crops. But it always feels like there's never enough, and its weight and bulk make it tough stuff to cart around.

I belong to a community garden in Washington, D.C., that can't get its hands on enough compost. So you can imagine my delight when I learned that the U.S. Composting Council was connecting community gardeners with free material from local facilities through its Million Tomato Compost Campaign.

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11:47am

Sun May 12, 2013
Around the Nation

For Year-Round Buzz, Beekeepers 'Fast-Forward Darwinism'

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 4:51 pm

The Plymouth County Beekeepers Association distributed more than 500 crates of honeybees this spring.
Katherine Perry for NPR

Beekeepers In Massachusetts are taking the mission to save the bees into their own hands.

There has been a dramatic disappearance of honeybees across the U.S. since 2006. A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report blamed a combination of problems, including mites, disease, poor nutrition and pesticides.

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5:00am

Fri May 10, 2013
Agriculture

Conservation Acres Harder to Come By

Iowa farmer John Berdo stands atop one of the terraces that helps control water flow on his crop fields. Terraces are one of many conservation measures Berdo employs.
Amy Mayer Harvest Public Media

For 27 years the popular Conservation Reserve Program has transformed small parcels of land, contributing to cleaner water, more habitat for migrating birds and less soil erosion.

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