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Shrinking Colorado River could trigger an ultimatum for alfalfa

By Jennifer Yachnin Photo: Mario Tama, Getty Images

At an Arizona forum, water managers said the time is ripe to reexamine the water consumption of the thirsty crop.


Vermont’s dairy farms recede, giving way to shrimp, saffron and new ideas

By Laura Reiley and Zoeann Murphy Photo: Zoeann Murphy/The Washington Post

There was a time when Vermont’s landscape was dotted with weathered red barns full of dairy cows, and every country store was chockablock with local maple syrup and candies. The barns are there still, as are their fading illustrations of cows, and the sugar maples still draw leaf peepers in the fall. But because of industry shifts and climate change, many of the cows are gone and the state’s biggest agricultural products are imperiled.


Analysis: U.S. House Republican farm bill approach may test Biden hunger, climate goals

By Leah Douglas Photo: Dane Rhys, Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden's pledges to slash emissions from farming and to end American hunger by 2030 may be harder to realize now that Republicans flipped the House of Representatives with a thin majority.
Biden's Democrats, who retain control of the Senate, will start negotiating in the coming months with Republican House leaders over a massive farm spending bill passed every five years that funds U.S. public food benefits and farm commodity programs.


Waterlogged wheat, rotting oranges: five crops devastated by a year of extreme weather

By Cecilia Nowell Photo: Nathan Frandino, Reuters

From Hurricanes Fiona and Ian, to flooding in eastern Kentucky and a record dry summer as the western US entered its 22nd year of a once-in-a-millennium megadrought, the US has already seen more than two dozen major climate disasters with losses exceeding $1bn (£864m).


Will Agrivoltaic Farming Have a Role in Our Food and Energy Future?

By Jane Marsh

Many people in the agriculture sector and elsewhere balk at opportunities to do things differently unless they have strong assurances those changes will bring benefits. An Oregon State University team investigated the effects of co-developing land for farming and solar energy — the results of their study were undoubtedly impressive. They found this approach could generate 20% of the electricity in the United States while only requiring an investment equaling less than 1% of the annual budget.


Changing This One Thing Would Make Solar Power Perfect

By Will Lockett Photo: Anders J, Unsplash

Solar power is fantastic. It is by far the cheapest energy we have ever had at only $0.06 per kWh and has one of the lowest carbon footprints of any energy source at only 6g/kWh. It makes sense why governments and private companies are scrambling to adopt solar power as fast as they can, given that specs like these could save the planet and make a lot of money in the process. But solar power has a problem.


Throwing Shade Is Solar Energy’s New Superpower

By Adam Minter Photo: Toru Hanai, Bloomberg

In rural America, the shoulder-high corn is increasingly competing with a new cash crop: solar power. Acres of solar panels shine brightly in fields along interstates and rural byways, signaling a change in how America’s farming country generates income. The need for a happy marriage between these old and new industries has inspired a burst of innovation and a new word to describe the combination: Agrivoltaics.


Gotham Greens just raised $310M to expand its greenhouses nationwide

By Brian Heater Photo: Gotham Greens

That’s not a typo. $310 million, with a zero at the end. This latest round brings Gotham Greens’ total funding up to $440 million since its 2009 launch. The nine-digit raise was led by BMO Impact Investment Fund and Ares Management, with participation from Commonfund, RockCreek, Kimco Realty Corporation, Manna Tree Partners and The Silverman Group.


California Drought Leaving Rice Farmers Dry

By Jesse Newman and Others Photo: Andri Tambunan

Rick Richter has spent the past 43 years flying biplanes over California’s Sacramento Valley, dropping rice seeds into vast, flooded fields that churn out grain for consumers across the globe.
In a typical year, Mr. Richter’s company seeds 42,000 acres of rice, earning more than $3 million in revenue. This year, as a worsening drought prompts unprecedented cuts in water allocations to rice farms, he has seeded just 7,000 acres and expects sales of $550,000.


U.S. Farmers Struggle Through Drought To Bring Food To The Table But Face More Challenges Ahead

By Chloe Sorvino Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Lack of summer rain forced Nebraska farmer Kevin Fulton to go underground to find water for his crops. Not a perfect solution: the Ogallala Aquifer, where Fulton tapped in, has pumping restrictions in some areas, just not where Fulton is located. That’s because the aquifer is running dry.