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Agriculture

Delaware preserves another 3000 acres of farmland

More than 124,000 acres of Delaware farmland are now permanently preserved for future generations, with 3,039 acres of easements selected into the state’s preservation program in the 21st year of selections made by the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation. The farms in this round would not have been preserved without matching funds from multiple sources, including the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, New Castle County and Kent County Levy Court.

Beekeepers build high-tech storage to improve hive survival

Idaho beekeepers are building modern storage facilities to protect their bees during the winter to so they can take full advantage of strong demand for their pollination services. French, with Cox’s Honey, explained he wants as many hives as possible to survive the winter so he can take full advantage of increasing demand for pollination services in California’s almond orchards.

Why did hunter-gatherers first begin farming?

The beginnings of agriculture changed human history and has fascinated scientists for centuries. Researchers have now shed light on how hunter-gatherers first began farming and how crops were domesticated to depend on humans. The University of Sheffield researchers gathered seed size data from a range of crops and found strong evidence for a general enlargement of seeds due to domestication.They discovered domesticated maize seeds are 15 times bigger than the wild form, soybean seeds are seven times bigger.

3-D printed ovaries produce healthy offspring

3-D printed bioprosthetic mouse ovaries restored fertility in infertile mice and produced healthy mouse pups. The mothers also were able to nurse their pups. The research is targeted to women whose cancer treatments impaired their fertility and hormone production. The ovaries are constructed of 3-D printed scaffolds that house immature eggs and were successful in boosting hormone production and restoring fertility.

3-D-printed, soft, four legged robot can walk on sand and stone

The breakthrough was possible thanks to a high-end printer that allowed researchers to print soft and rigid materials together within the same components. This made it possible for researchers to design more complex shapes for the robot's legs. The legs are made up of three parallel, connected sealed inflatable chambers, or actuators, 3-D-printed from a rubber-like material. The chambers are hollow on the inside, so they can be inflated. On the outside, the chambers are bellowed, which allows engineers to better control the legs' movements.

Feds: Arizona farm kept workers in squalor, didn't fully pay

The federal government says an Arizona farm has kept temporary Mexican workers in squalid conditions and paid some of them only a fraction of what they are owed. The Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against G Farms in El Mirage, located just northwest of Phoenix, last week. A judge was scheduled to hear arguments on Tuesday.The department says that G Farms housed about 70 workers here on a visa in a dangerous and unsanitary encampment composed of school buses, semitrailers, a cargo container and an open-air shed.

For Poor Nations, Productivity Begins on the Farm

hen discussing countries that have undergone astonishing economic transformations -- as, most notably, China has over the past few decades -- observers usually credit success to industrialization. After all, that’s the visible consequence of rapid growth: Where sleepy fishing villages once lay, ports and factories and high-speed rail networks spring up. The people who lived in those villages are in turn far more productive, working in those factories and shipping goods to the rest of the world through those ports.

Geneticists Enlist Engineered Virus and CRISPR to Battle Citrus Disease

The agricultural company Southern Gardens Citrus in Clewiston, Florida, applied to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in February for permission to use an engineered version of the citrus tristeza virus (CTV) to attack the bacterium behind citrus greening. This disease has slashed US orange production in half over the past decade, and threatens to destroy the US$3.3-billion industry entirely.

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