Latest Agriculture and the environment News

US vows to work more closely with states to fight wildfires

Aug. 16, 2018 7:08 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — As wildfires choke California and other Western states, the Trump administration pledged Thursday to work more closely with state and local officials to prevent wildfires from ever starting. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the Forest Service and other agencies will step up efforts...

Organic dairy farmers vow to compete in changing industry

Aug. 9, 2018 12:30 PM EDT

FAIRFIELD, Iowa (AP) — Small family operated dairy farms with cows freely grazing on verdant pastures are going out of business as large confined animal operations with thousands of animals lined up in assembly-line fashion are expanding into the organic market. Many traditional small-scale organic farmers...

Beasts unburden: Donkeys at mini ranch help people de-stress

Aug. 9, 2018 1:13 AM EDT

ULSTER PARK, N.Y. (AP) — In most of the world, donkeys are beasts of burden, but the only job of the long-eared denizens of Donkey Park is to nuzzle, bray and beguile the diverse group of people who find comfort in their company. Donkey Park is the creation of Steve Stiert, who sought a new direction after...

Genetics technology could lead to more crops, fresher food

Aug. 6, 2018 1:44 PM EDT

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A multinational agricultural company based in Idaho has acquired gene editing licensing rights that could one day be used to help farmers produce more crops and make grocery store offerings such as strawberries, potatoes and avocados stay fresher longer. J.R. Simplot Company on Monday...

5-year drought raises questions over Israel's water strategy

Aug. 4, 2018 7:31 AM EDT

KFAR YUVAL, Israel (AP) — For years, public service announcements warned Israelis to save water: Take shorter showers. Plant resilient gardens. Conserve. Then Israel invested heavily in desalination technology and professed to have solved the problem by tapping into the abundant waters of the Mediterranean...

Federal agency pauses tree-removal plan to help sage grouse

Aug. 1, 2018 4:34 PM EDT

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The federal government on Wednesday put on hold one of the largest-ever projects to remove juniper trees to help an imperiled species after an appeal by an environmental group seeking to halt the plan. A U.S. Department of the Interior administrative panel granted the U.S. Bureau of...

Video of abuse at pig farm also highlights common practices

Jul. 31, 2018 12:43 PM EDT

DENVER (AP) — Recently released undercover video showing pigs being kicked, hit and punched at a Kentucky supplier for the world's largest meat producer drew prompt condemnation from animal rights groups and the agricultural industry alike. However, the images sandwiched in between — adult pigs in...

Missouri research field celebrates 130 years

Jul. 29, 2018 12:00 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri's College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources has celebrated the 130th anniversary of an agricultural research field. The Sanborn Field has helped create some of farming's best practices, the Columbia Missourian reported . The 3-acre field was...

More than 200 land activists slain last year, watchdog finds

Jul. 24, 2018 8:54 PM EDT

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Killings of land and environmental activists rose in 2017 as Mexico and the Philippines registered worrying increases in such murders and Brazil saw the most ever registered in a single country, a watchdog group said Tuesday. At least 207 people who were protecting land and resources...

The Latest: Desperate Greeks search for missing after fires

Jul. 24, 2018 7:56 PM EDT

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The latest on wildfires raging in Greece (all times local): 2:50 a.m. A Greek father is appealing for help locating his missing twin daughters, who he says he spotted alive in TV news footage showing people getting off a fishing boat that had rescued them as they fled deadly wildfires...