"SAN FRANCISCO -- The use of pesticides and the planting of genetically engineered crops on U.S. national wildlife refuges are illegal and damaging to the environment, say four advocacy groups who have filed a federal lawsuit to halt these practices on national wildlife refuges across the Midwest."
"Desiccated corn and sun-scorched soybeans have been in high supply lately -- and we're paying through the nose for them. The federal government forked out a record-breaking $17.3 billion last year to compensate farmers for weather-related crop losses—more than four times the annual average over the last decade."
"Crop-damaging pests are moving towards the poles at a rate of more than 25 km (16 miles) a decade, aided by global warming and human transport, posing a potential threat to world food security, a study showed on Sunday."
"There's a heated debate over the use of antibiotics in farm animals. Critics say farmers overuse these drugs; farmers say they don't. It's hard to resolve the argument, in part because no one knows exactly how farmers use antibiotics."
"Abnormally dry conditions and pockets of moderate drought have spread over parts of the U.S. Midwest in the past week, including in the key crop state of Iowa, according to a report issued on Thursday."
"DES MOINES, Iowa -- Environmental and animal welfare groups sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday, alleging the federal agency unlawfully scrapped a rule that would have authorized it to collect information from large-scale livestock confinement farms."
"In and around Texas’ vast oil and gas fields, the hydraulic fracturing boom is putting a strain on water supplies already reeling under one of the worst droughts in the state’s history."
"Researchers in the key corn-growing state of Illinois are finding significant damage from rootworms in farm fields planted in a rotation with a genetically modified corn that is supposed to protect the crop from the pests, according to a new report."
"Mark Lynas has done the world a service in providing on-the-ground reporting from the Philippines, digging in on some vital questions related to the destruction of field trials of non-commercial, genetically modified, vitamin-fortified Golden Rice there in early August. ... The same is true for Amy Harmon, who wrote an incisive analysis of the research vandalism that ran in The Times on Sunday. The two pieces powerfully strip away distortions and myths surrounding the latest instance of anti-biotechnology violence and the grain that was the focus of the assault."
"Across the high plains, many farmers depend on underground stores of water, and they worry about wells going dry. A new scientific study of western Kansas lays out a predicted timeline for those fears to become reality. But it also shows an alternative path for farming in Kansas: The moment of reckoning can be delayed, and the impact softened, if farmers start conserving water now."