Pioneering New Technology

Dig In: Space Farming, Reinvented Bananas and More

Bananas
It’s time again for our latest collection of farming news, links, and puns. Today’s edition features several glimpses of a pretty wild future. We’ve got farming in space, we’ve got Bananas 2.0 (although if we’re being honest, bananas have evolved more than that), and we’ve got recycled human waste as a key to sustainable agriculture. Hold your nose, if you must, and dive in with us!

Plant Hormone Makes Space Farming a Possibility — ScienceDaily

This newly identified hormone helps plant roots and fungi work together to encourage plants’ growth, sort of like how when peanut butter and jelly team up they make a better sandwich than they ever could alone. (Fight us.) In fact, this teamwork could make plants strong enough to grow in the harsh conditions of space. Would PB&Js be better in space? Questions to ponder.

Let’s Cook! Ep. 1: Food Production in a Modern Age — Crop Protection on YouTube

In this YouTube series, foodie and ECPA Director of Public Affairs Graeme Taylor and farmer/blogger Will Evans show you how to make a healthy, summery barley salad. They also have a frank, intriguing conversation about pesticides, food waste, and good food.

Astronaut
Just a farmer getting ready to plant 2118’s avocado crop.
Cows
As long as the cows and the robots don’t decide to team up against us, we’re all set.

The Cow-Milking Robots Keeping Small Farms in Business — The Atlantic

Dairy farming is a tough business for small farms that may have trouble weathering price changes and other setbacks. Cow-milking robots make it easier for small family farms to stay profitable and avoid having their business go sour.

How Human Waste Could Power Global Agriculture — Geographical

It’s natural. It’s organic. It might be the next big movement in sustainable agriculture.

Africa Bets on Technology to Lure Youth to Farming — Reuters

Like all of us, the next generation of African farmers are psyched about all the ways that technology can make life easier. And in the case of farming, technology can make life a lot easier — for instance, making vital information about crop health available for free. Farming still isn’t quite as easy as those farming games you can play on your phone, but it’s getting closer.

The Banana Is Dying. The Race Is on to Reinvent It Before It's Too Late — Wired

If bananas were to go extinct — as is currently a possibility — a thousand smoothie empires would crumble into dust. But we can rebuild a better, more resilient banana. We have the technology. It won’t even cost $6 million at the supermarket.

African farmer with tablet
Swipe right on a great harvest?
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