Exposing plants to an unusual chemical early on may bolster their growth and help feed the world
"Priming" plants by exposing them to certain chemicals while they’re seeds can affect their growth later in life.
Adding spider DNA to silkworms creates silk stronger than Kevlar
Spider silk is strong and tough, but hard to farm. Silkworm silk is easy to farm, but not that strong. What if we could combine the two?
Detailed images from space offer clearer picture of drought effects on plants
Researchers are using remote sensing observations to build high-resolution systems to monitor drought from space.
Supermarket uses hydroponic farm to grow veggies onsite
By installing a hydroponic farm inside a grocery store, an Egyptian company is combating climate change while delivering a fresher product.
The challenges of wireless farming technologies – like transmitting data through mud
The Agricultural Internet of Things involves technologies such as wireless underground communications and antennas in soil.
Feeding insects to cattle could make meat and milk production more sustainable
Most U.S. adults aren’t ready to put insects on their plates but are much more willing to consume meat from livestock that are fed bugs.
Artificial photosynthesis lets us grow plants in total darkness
A new artificial photosynthesis technique could boost crop yields on existing farms or allow us to grow plants in new locations — like space.
Gene-edited wheat less likely to produce “probable carcinogen” acrylamide
A new gene-edited wheat contains 90% less of a compound that can turn into acrylamide — a likely carcinogen — when the crop is cooked.
This starchy wondercrop could help alleviate food insecurity
Enset, a perennial banana-like fruit cultivated in southwestern Ethiopia, is an underexploited starch crop with significant potential.
New harvesting robots are gentle enough to pick this fruit
A pair of harvesting robots are picking raspberries in Portugal, demonstrating the ability of tech to help combat seasonal labor shortages.
MIT grads demonstrate first ammonia-powered tractor
Amogy, a startup founded by four MIT grads, has transformed a John Deere into the world’s first zero-emission, ammonia-powered tractor.
Smart sensor tells you exactly when fruit will ripen — or spoil
Inside vast warehouses, millions of fruits sit and slowly ripen. To help packers know when fruit has got to go, a biotech startup is turning to small sensors.
One breed of honey bee can survive its deadliest threat
A line of honey bees bred to resist the Varroa mite parasite has proven itself in a large-scale trial involving more than 350 bee colonies.
The West Coast wants to tap into the maple sugar market
Over 75% of the world’s maple syrup production is in Quebec. But with climate change threatening their seasons, West Coast producers are looking to tap in.
Combining crops and solar panels is allowing Kenya to “harvest the sun twice”
The panels are mounted high enough for crops to be grown underneath, sheltering them from the sun and allowing rainwater harvesting.
Californian wineries turn to owls as answer for growing pest problem
Rather than turning to rodenticides to deter pests, a new study is testing the effectiveness of owls to manage the problem.
First solar canal project is a win for water, energy, air and climate in California
California’s aging power infrastructure has contributed to catastrophic wildfires and multiday outages. Solar canals can help.
The world’s largest vertical farm is opening in Pennsylvania
Upward Farms plans to build what will be the world’s largest vertical farm in Pennsylvania — and fish are going to fertilize its crops.
Gene editing could spare countless animals by creating single-sex litters
Scientists have created single-sex litters of mice using gene editing. This work could spare countless animals from needless death, improving animal wellbeing in both scientific research and agriculture.
This machine can turn agricultural waste into fuel
Dumping and burning agricultural waste causes pollution and contributes to climate change. An India-based startup called Takachar promises to turn the problem into profits.
New startup takes vertical farming underground — literally
GreenForges is building an underground farm it thinks will deliver the benefits of vertical farming without two of its major shortcomings.
Series| Make It CountHow vertical farming can save the planet and feed the world
In partnership with Million Stories
Vertical farming is a radical new way to feed our growing population sustainably. But can it replace traditional farming?
These farmers want to salt the earth — and grow crops in it
As salt encroaches on productive agricultural land, a handful of startups are finding ways to make crops grow in seawater with genetic modification and transforming solar saltwork.
Cholera vaccine made from GM rice passes first human trial
An oral cholera vaccine that’s grown in genetically modified rice and can be stored at room temperature has passed its first human trial.
New CRISPR tech could help us create superior crops of the future
A new CRISPR technology that focuses on gene activation rather than deactivation could help us create the superior crops of the future.
A robot could save farmers from being buried alive in grain
The Grain Weevil robot helps farmers manage stored grain, keeping them out of bins where they might lose their lives to grain entrapment.
"Hands-free" smart farm will replace laborers with robots
At a smart farm in Australia, robots and AI will do all the manual labor, potentially foreshadowing agriculture’s "hands-free" future.
Microfarm startup brings fresh produce to food desert
California startup Crop Swap LA has planted a “microfarm” in an LA resident’s front yard and is now distributing the crops throughout the local community.
“Phytomining” trees can extract metal from the Earth
Phytomining, a technique that uses trees to soak the metals out of contaminated soil, could offer new ways to mine for metals that are more sustainable than the existing, environmentally destructive methods.
We don’t have to eat insects. But feeding them to animals could save the planet
Edible insects could more than make up for the world's protein deficiency while cleaning up waste and using fewer resources. But we don't have to eat them. We can use them in animal feed instead.
Ex-Walmart employee aims to solve America’s food waste problem with AI
In partnership with Ford
Food waste makes up nearly a quarter of landfill material. A new startup aims to change that by automating the process of trucking produce with artificial intelligence.
Space bacteria could help astronauts grow plants on Mars
A brand new species of bacteria has been discovered on the International Space Station — and it could one day help astronauts grow plants on Mars.
This insect swiped a gene from plants to help itself survive
A plant gene has been discovered in whiteflies, marking the first known example of horizontal gene transfer of a functional gene between plants and insects.
Plants make their own mini weapon launchers to fight off fungus
Scientists engineered plants to stop fungus that causes grey mold. This could lead to natural fungicides that protect food crops without toxins.
The world’s fastest-growing plant could help solve food scarcity and climate change
Scientists have uncovered the genetic underpinnings of the duckweed, the fastest growing plant, and it could help optimize future crops.
A French company is building the world’s biggest insect factory farm
Ÿnsect is building the world’s largest insect farming facility in Amiens, France. The mealworms grown there may end up feeding your pets and the salmon on your plate.