by Rebecca Silbermanfigures by Aparna Nathan It only took a few weeks of the coronavirus pandemic to send the American farm industry reeling. The supply chains that connect soy fields and chicken coops and greenhouses with American tables were not built for a world that lacks steady restaurant traffic or school lunches, where instead consumers are emptying supermarket shelves. There is at once a surplus … Continue reading Solace and Warnings From Our Planet’s Most Successful Non-Human Farmers
by Andrew McAllister Plants are terrible listeners. I’ve told the plants on my windowsill, “Grow taller, grow faster! Make more delicious leaves for me to put in my food!”, but they just grow in the same slow way they’ve been doing since I bought them. Farmers and florists share my pain, but on a larger scale. Sometimes, no matter what you do the squash isn’t … Continue reading How to Talk to Your Plants: Using LEDs to grow better crops
In order to feed every human being on the planet by 2050, the world will need to produce far more food. One difficulty farmers face is finding enough fresh water. A group of scientists led by Katarzyna Glowacka, from the University of Illinois, Urbana, may have found a potential way to save farmers water. The group’s technique hinges on the stomata of plants. Stomata are … Continue reading Thirsty Plants: Can plants be genetically modified to need less water?