Could we feed an extra 3 billion people right now? A new study takes a comprehensive look at where our agricultural resources go and concludes that by changing some global farming practices, including raising fewer cattle and cutting crop waste, we could be feeding billions more a year. » 7/22/14 11:52am 7/22/14 11:52am

The Remarkable Early 20th Century Plan to Farm Hippopotamuses in the US

It may seem like a ludicrous idea today, but if this early 20th century food movement had been successful, the swamps of Louisiana might be filled with hippos, who would feast on the region's invasive water hyacinths and provide meat for America's tables. » 1/02/14 1:00pm 1/02/14 1:00pm

Bad science led people to settle in the Great Plains

Some people have heard the line, "rain follows the plow." It's become a poetic way to say that the world will provide, given a person puts in the work. Once upon a time, it was actual climate science. It did not prove correct. » 11/28/13 6:20am 11/28/13 6:20am

Satellite images show how factory farms alter our landscape

What impact do factory farms have on the spaces of land they occupy? For his startling series Feedlots, Mishka Henner stitched together satellite images captured over sprawling factory farming operations. » 8/24/13 7:30am 8/24/13 7:30am

How genetically modified crops are helping poor farmers in India

The debate about widespread use of genetically modified crops is still contentious. On one hand, you have the strong-arm tactics from the likes of the Monsanto corporation. On the other, there are stories like this. By using a special form of genetically modified cotton, smallhold farmers in India have been able to… » 7/06/12 6:45am 7/06/12 6:45am

This 1910 brochure explained how to farm with dynamite

In the early 20th century, Du Pont released a series of pamphlets touting what it claimed to be the greatest agricultural innovation since the plow: dynamite. These pamphlets explain how explosives could help with everything from clearing tree stumps to regenerating soil. » 6/03/12 8:15am 6/03/12 8:15am

1,000-year-old farming secrets could save the Amazon rainforest

The Amazon covers over 2.5 million square miles. But that number is shrinking all the time, and the widespread deforestation could doom our hopes for averting catastrophic global climate change. That's why some ancient farming secrets could make a huge difference. » 4/09/12 4:00pm 4/09/12 4:00pm

Happy little mushroom farm takes urban agriculture indoors

What's fabulous about this urban mushroom farm isn't just that it produces 200 pounds of mushrooms in just a few weeks using recycled coffee grounds. It's also that it's small enough and attractive enough to sit in a lobby, a storefront, or any other public indoor space. » 2/26/12 3:30pm 2/26/12 3:30pm

Holy crap, it's The Matrix for chickens

During the short six-to-seven-week life of a factory-raised broiler chicken, the bird is crammed into close quarters with thousands of other chickens selectively bred to mature at an unhealthily fast rate. » 2/15/12 3:20pm 2/15/12 3:20pm

The 10 Most Bizarre Farm Animals, and Why We Need Them

Of course cows, pigs, and chickens belong on farms, and nobody looks askance at a farm full of llamas or buffalos. But there are some farm animals you might not expect. And when I say "not expect," I mean holy crap WTF - why are these animals being farmed? » 2/02/12 10:00am 2/02/12 10:00am

In Holland, they're building computer games for adorable, edible pigs

While waiting around in their pens, swine can get ornery and restless. To placate the porkers, a group of Dutch designers are devising a basic video game that allows humans to square off against pigs (and vice versa). It's an extremely cute idea until you realize your porcine opponents are bacon-bound. » 1/11/12 2:10pm 1/11/12 2:10pm

Welcome to Farmland World, a livestock Disneyland where robo-cows roam

One of the runners-up for the recent Animal Architecture Awards is also one of my favorites from the competition: "Farmland World" by Allison Newmeyer and Stewart Hicks of the Chicago-based Design With Company. » 8/27/11 8:00am 8/27/11 8:00am

10 Agribusiness Methods That Could Fail in the Next 20 years

A generation ago, most farms were still relatively small and independent, but the past 20-30 years have seen factory farms become a quasi-monopoly. What will farms look like a generation from now? » 2/24/11 10:00am 2/24/11 10:00am

An amoeba who raises bacteria crops is the world's tiniest farmer

Humans like to think we invented agriculture, but a single-celled organism might have us beaten by several million years. An amoeba species known as "Dicty" finds bacteria, moves them to the best location, and harvests them like crops. » 1/19/11 4:40pm 1/19/11 4:40pm

Creepy dairy robot allows cows to milk themselves

Meet the Astronaut A4 milking system, a robotic milking contraption that allows cows to decided when they want to be milked. Here's a flat-out bizarre video of the A4 in action, complete with an emotionless voice and porno soundtrack. » 11/16/10 1:30pm 11/16/10 1:30pm

Europeans learned to farm by marrying Eastern farmers 8,000 years ago

Anthropologists have long debated how farming spread from parts of Asia to Europe. Was it cultural transmission, or did farmers immigrate and settle down with European hunter-gatherers? A new study of ancient DNA reveals that intermarriage created agrarian Europe. » 11/09/10 8:08pm 11/09/10 8:08pm

Friendly fungi could revolutionize rice farming

By engineering a strain of symbiotic fungus, researchers have massively increased the growth rate of rice, and may help stave off the specter of global shortages of phosphates, which are essential minerals for plants. » 6/12/10 1:34pm 6/12/10 1:34pm

Supreme Court Hearing Its First Case About Genetically Modified Crops

The U.S. Supreme Court has been hearing arguments on whether a genetically engineered pesticide-resistant alfalfa violates the National Environmental Policy Act. The case pits organic farmers against Monsanto, whose genetically altered alfalfa could spread its genes to neighboring crops, via cross-pollination and… » 4/23/10 11:00am 4/23/10 11:00am

Nanofarm Your Body for Fun and Profit

If you've ever thought that selling your kidney, ova, or sperm sounded like a handy way to make some cash, it's time to consider body farming. Michael Burton's photographs show how advances in biotech will change the way humans treat and relate to their bodies. After all, if we can sell our organs, gametes, and hair,… » 10/22/08 12:00pm 10/22/08 12:00pm

Kibera's "Instant Farm" System Is the Future of Urban Agriculture

Click to view » 9/04/08 11:00am 9/04/08 11:00am Kibera, a dense, 2.5 square km shantytown outside Nairobi, is the largest slum in Kenya. It's estimated that possibly a million people live its maze of houses and outdoor markets. Now a group there has figured out a fast, efficient way to convert piles of trash into compost — and to convert areas that…