10 agriculture stories you should read today, July 16

10 agriculture stories you should read today, July 16

Grapes of wrath. Old machinery harvests high prices. Powdered water? The end is always nigh. Farmer's terror conviction tossed. Graying growers of America. Farmer and tractor vs. fire. The great bee-pocalypse. And more.

1. Who Will Work the Land Next? The American farmer is graying in the center. The average age of a farmer is 57, and the fastest growing age group includes those over age 65. That demographic shift puts the agriculture industry on the precipice of a transition. (Kansas City Star)

2. Old Farm Machinery Harvesting High Prices: Farm income and land prices aren't the only signs of a booming agricultural economy. There's so much demand for old tractors that many sell for more today than what they cost when they rolled off the assembly line. (Minnesota Public Radio)

3. A Grower’s Grapes of Wrath: In the world of dried fruit, America has no greater outlaw than Marvin Horne, 68. Horne, a raisin farmer, has been breaking the law for 11 solid years. He now owes the U.S. government at least $650,000 in unpaid fines. And 1.2 million pounds of unpaid raisins, roughly equal to his entire harvest for four years. (Washington Post)

4. Agriculture Apocalypse Around Bend, Again: For some, the end is always nigh. (Western Farm Press)

5. Farmer's Terrorism Threat Conviction Tossed: The Iowa Court of Appeals overturned a farmer's threat of terrorism conviction, ruling that there isn't enough evidence to show he would imminently act on his threat to "blow away" a county FSA director. (Omaha World Herald)

6. Farmer and Tractor vs. Fire: A Colorado farmer risked his life to stop a wildfire that broke out in a Weld County hayfield, using his tractor to dig a fire line just a few feet from the blaze. (RT USA)

7. What About the Bee-pocalypse? Is a second “silent spring” really coming? (Quartz)

8. Can Powdered Water Cure Droughts? A highly absorbent polymer called potassium polyacrylate soaks in water up to 500 times its original size. A whole liter of water can be absorbed in just 10 grams. Water is then retained for up to a year — a powdered reservoir. (Modern Farmer)

9. Ever Ate a Feral Hog or Snakehead? What to do with invasive species? Eat’em. (The Atlantic)

10. The Next Great Smartphone Battery Tech — Rice: Twenty percent of the weight of rice is made up of inedible husks, and a group of researchers wants to make use of this waste product by turning it into silicon.  Finding a cheaper source for silicon — such as rice husks — would be a major boon to the smartphone industry. (Wired)


Twitter: @CBennett71

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