Agriculture

2:10pm

Thu November 29, 2012
The Salt

Tastier Winter Tomatoes, Thanks To A Boom In Greenhouse Growing

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 6:36 am

The taste of Mock's tomatoes starts with the seed. He uses only organic varieties, including cherry and several heirloom varieties.
Allison Aubrey NPR

It may sound like an oxymoron: a delicious local, winter tomato — especially if you happen to live in a cold climate.

But increasingly, farmers from West Virginia to Maine and through the Midwest are going indoors to produce tomatoes and other veggies in demand during the winter months. "There's a huge increase in greenhouse operations," Harry Klee of the University of Florida tells us.

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10:33am

Thu November 29, 2012
The Salt

Quinoa Craze Inspires North America To Start Growing Its Own

The seeds of this goosefoot plant are known as quinoa, a superfood now in high demand and grown almost exclusively in South America. But some growers think they have the formula to grow it up north.
Janet Matanguihan courtesy Kevin Murphy

The explosion in world popularity of quinoa in the past six years has quadrupled prices at retail outlets. But for all the demand from upscale grocery stores in America to keep their bulk bins filled with the ancient grain-like seed, almost no farmers outside of the arid mountains and coastal valleys of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Chile grow it.

But plant breeders and scientists who study the biology and economics of quinoa say that is about to change.

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12:40pm

Tue November 20, 2012
The Salt

Coconut Conservationist Seeks Pacific Islands For Fun And Palm Preservation

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:59 am

The diversity of coconut trees like these planted along the beach in the northern Philippines is in danger, but a French scientist has a plan.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images

French adventurer-scientist Roland Bourdeix has a grand, almost surreal, vision for how to preserve a thousand or more genetic varieties of coconut trees. Imagine, as he does, turning dozens or hundreds of remote Pacific islands into coconut sanctuaries. Each island would contain just a few varieties of these trees. No others would be allowed, because the whole point of this exercise is to prevent uncontrolled mixing of genes from different varieties.

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3:23am

Tue November 20, 2012
Around the Nation

Drought Hurts U.S. Grain Exporters, Market Share

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now for today's business bottom line. Last summer's drought has brought bad news this fall - low crop yields, especially of corn; plus higher prices, and a prediction from the Department of Agriculture that corn exports will be at a 40-year low. The U.S. still is the world's biggest supplier of corn. But this year, American exporters won't be quite as dominant as usual, in the global corn market. From Missouri, Abbie Fentress Swanson reports on the impact this is having.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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3:06pm

Fri November 16, 2012
The Salt

EPA Says Its Ethanol Rules Aren't Driving Up Food Prices

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 1:47 pm

A sign on the pump advertises the ethanol content of the gasoline as a motorist reaches for the gas pump in his truck at a filling station in Bellmead, Texas.
LM Otero AP

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