"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."
"Maryland officials pulled back a proposed regulation Monday aimed at reducing farm runoff polluting the Chesapeake Bay after chicken growers warned it could cripple the state's lucrative poultry industry if imposed now."
"Ronald Gertson usually plants about 3,000 acres of rice each year on his family farm in Wharton County, Texas. But because of emergency water regulations set in 2012 due to central Texas' painfully persistent drought, Gertson could plant about 40 percent of that land."
"U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co said on Friday it is suspending sales of its Zilmax animal feed additive in the United States and Canada following concerns about animals showing signs of distress after use of the product, which is given to cattle to increase their weight before slaughter."
"WASHINGTON, DC -- To protect bees and other pollinators, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed new pesticide labels that prohibit use of some neonicotinoid pesticide products where bees are present. Environmentalists want the agency to take these pesticides off the market."
"WASHINGTON — A troubled new computer system used by inspectors at the nation’s 6,500 meatpacking and processing plants shut down for two days this month, putting at risk millions of pounds of beef, poultry, pork and lamb that had left the plants before workers could collect samples to check for E. coli bacteria and other contaminants."