1. Photos: High school cotton choppers hit Delta rows — In an agricultural age of herbicide-resistant weeds, Delta cotton chopping crews walk the rows of thousands of acres on the hunt for pigweed and marestail — including a group of high schoolers that brave the smothering heat from June to July. (Delta Farm Press)

2. Marijuana Crops in California Threaten Forests and Wildlife — The idea that the counterculture’s crop of choice is bad for the environment has gone down hard in Humboldt County. (New York Times)

3. In Orange Trade, Success Never Tasted So Sweet — California farmers such as Kevin Severns have made a new discovery: Consumers prefer sweeter oranges. The notion, obvious to some fruit connoisseurs, is driving radical changes in the nearly $1.5 billion U.S. market for fresh oranges. (Wall Street Journal)

4. Fracking fuels water fights in nation's dry spots — Fracking's new frontier is expanding to the same lands where crops have shriveled and waterways have dried up due to severe drought. (Contra Costa Times)

5. Wineries working to conserve water — Richard Sauret never studied viticulture at a university, but after decades of working on vineyards in his native Paso Robles, he said it doesn’t take a college degree to understand that grapes do not need tons of water to produce quality wine. (The Tribune)

6. Why the Tomato Was Feared in Europe for More Than 200 Years — Tomatoes were once associated with lead poisoning and death. It was a gamble to bite into a “poisoned apple.” (Smithsonian)

7. Oregon GMO mystery wheat is a whodunit — The discovery of unapproved Roundup Ready soft white wheat in eastern Oregon has been called a “mystery.” It is no mystery. Someone planted it. (Western Farm Press)

8. Wild dog plague crushing livestock industry — A bullet to the head or heart brings $500 per dog, but it doesn’t matter, the wild dog hunters can't keep up. Feral dog numbers have reached epidemic proportions, leaving a livestock industry under siege. (Western Farm Press)

9. 10 Spectacular Bees Native To The U.S. — Honeybees aren't native to U.S., but these other amazing bees are. And they contribute to pollinating American crops such as pumpkins, blueberries and tomatoes. (Popular Science)

10. US farmland price rally in 'clear' slowdown — The rally in US farmland prices is in a "clear" slowdown which has already seen prices fall in some leading agricultural states, a leading farm economist said. (Agrimoney)

 

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