How a seed bank, almost lost in Syria's war, could help feed a warming planet.

A plant conservationist from Syria and his colleagues are safeguarding seeds that might be crucial when more parts of the world become as hot and arid as the Middle East.

TERBOL, Lebanon — Ali Shehadeh, a seed hunter, opened the folders with the greatest of care. Inside each was a carefully dried and pressed seed pod: a sweet clover from Egypt, a wild wheat found only in northern Syria, an ancient variety of bread wheat. He had thousands of these folders stacked neatly in a windowless office, a precious herbarium, containing seeds foraged from across the hot, arid and increasingly inhospitable region known as the Fertile Crescent, the birthplace of farming.

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Toxics

BASF to harvest seeds, herbicide businesses from Bayer for $7 billion.

businesses from Bayer for $7 billion

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Toxics

Did Monsanto ignore evidence linking its weed killer to cancer?

This could be the company’s “Big Tobacco” moment.

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Climate

Fall armyworm arrives in Africa on the heels of climate change.

Tobias Okwara is a farmer in Kayoro Parish in southeastern Uganda. In the midst of a long drought that began in May 2016, he and his neighbors got together to discuss what to do. Food was becoming scarce, and they hoped to recover quickly once the rains started again. They decided they would pool their meagre resources and plant a large communal field of maize. By spring 2017, the rains had finally returned, and their maize was thriving.

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Food

On superior farmlands, limited appetite for local food.

In hyper-fertile Central Illinois, sustainable farmers seek local support, but end up trekking their wares to Chicago.

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Toxics

Scientists found a gnarly pesticide in 75 percent of global honey samples.

The last taste of honey you enjoyed likely came from bees exposes to neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely used class of insecticides.

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Iowa Farm Bureau
Water

Report: Iowa drainage districts key to reducing nitrate pollution.

Drainage districts, one of the lowest tiers of Iowa government, could play a big role in addressing nitrate pollution that threatens water quality, according to a new report from an Iowa think tank.

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Water

In the mountains of Puerto Rico, hurricane recovery is slower.

TRUJILLO ALTO, Puerto Rico (Reuters) - In the lowlands of Trujillo Alto, a sprawling suburb of San Juan, clean water once again flows in the homes of most residents. But in the mountainous part of the city, which is largely poor and semi-rural, finding clean water remains a daily struggle.

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Island Press
Originals

Weed killer for breakfast.

For many people, a toasted bagel topped with honey might sound like a healthy breakfast choice. Others might prefer a bowl of oatmeal or cornflakes or a hot plate of scrambled eggs. Few would likely welcome a dose of weed killer that has been linked to cancer in their morning meal.

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Opinion

How the coffee industry is about to get roasted by climate change.

Fall is always a good time to create new habits, and coffee chains know it.

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Water

Clean water vs. farm profits at heart of fertilizer-rule debate.

By Josephine Marcotty Star Tribune OCTOBER 9, 2017 — 10:24PM

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Toxics

Complaints surge about weed killer dicamba’s damage to oak trees.

As soybean and cotton farmers across the Midwest and South continue to see their crops ravaged from the weed killer dicamba, new complaints have pointed to the herbicide as a factor in widespread damage to oak trees.

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Food

School food hero Betti Wiggins takes on Houston’s public schools.

Betti Wiggins has been working to feed urban children—consistently, systematically, and healthfully—for going on 30 years. She’s credited most recently with turning around Detroit’s inefficient public school food program as director of the district’s office of school nutrition. About four month before Hurricane Harvey wrought unprecedented destruction on the Gulf Coast, Wiggins started a position as the Houston school district’s officer of nutrition services, where she planned to continue her decades-long mission.

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Food

It takes a village to improve a community’s health.

By Taylor Knopf

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Food

A wayward weedkiller divides farm communities, harms wildlife.

A Wayward Weedkiller Divides Farm Communities, Harms Wildlife

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