ABC News (Australia): Australia needs a soil database to prepare for future fires, scientists say

ABC News (Australia): Australia needs a soil database to prepare for future fires, scientists say. “The academics recently wrote a paper saying last summer’s bushfires had ravaged soils, damaging agricultural and environmental recovery.”

EurekAlert: Smartphones prove to be time-saving analytical tools

EurekAlert: Smartphones prove to be time-saving analytical tools. “Seemingly everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, and we find new uses for them every day. They can help us avoid traffic jams or connect us to family from afar. They can even translate languages on the fly. Now, scientists have figured out a new trick. Using a regular smartphone camera and some 3D-printed tools, they’ve developed an easier way to measure soil density.”

A farmer, ‘little ghosts’ and 18,000 tobacco plants: How COVID-19 upended farming in South Korea (Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times: A farmer, ‘little ghosts’ and 18,000 tobacco plants: How COVID-19 upended farming in South Korea. “He was in his third hour of picking tobacco, beginning shortly after dawn at the foot of a mountain in a sleepy South Korean town. Weaving between rows lining the gentle slope, he stooped to snap off the ripe, yellow-tinged leaves from plants as tall as he. Nearby, Park Jong-bum took a break from heaving bales of tobacco onto a truck bed. He lit a cigarette beneath a cloudy sky. He had quit smoking last year, but the stresses of running a farm had hooked him again. Park and Phonsrikaew were on the second chapters of their lives: Phonsrikaew a 52-year-old Thai army captain-turned-migrant farmworker, and Park, 49, a South Korean businessman who returned to his native farming village after two decades of city life.”

Los Angeles Times: This county knew coronavirus could ravage its farmworkers. Why didn’t officials stop it?

Los Angeles Times: This county knew coronavirus could ravage its farmworkers. Why didn’t officials stop it?. “As coronavirus cases began to grow in San Joaquin County in June, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs proposed requiring citizens to wear a mask in his city in the center of the fertile valley, where agriculture is king and poverty pervasive. The response he received from the county emergency services director, a key figure in coordinating the pandemic response, was disquieting, he said. ‘Stay in your lane,’ wrote Shellie Lima in a June 9 email to Tubbs obtained by The Times, days before the county allowed card rooms, hotels and day camps to open. ‘I am against the proposed mask ordinance for Stockton … Why would our elected officials feel that they have the medical understanding to do so?'”

HempGrower: Universities Partner to Create a Midwestern Hemp Database, Ask for Grower Participation

HempGrower: Universities Partner to Create a Midwestern Hemp Database, Ask for Grower Participation. “The university extensions of Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Purdue (Indiana) are searching for hemp farmers in their respective states who are willing to provide them with precisely taken crop samples and growing data in exchange for discounted cannabinoid testing. The universities will publish the wealth of data they receive from farmers on the Midwestern Hemp Database, an online tool already brimming with data from the project’s nearly 200 different varieties grown by about 70 registered participants so far.”

CNN: What did our food look like hundreds of years ago? Art history may have the answers

CNN: What did our food look like hundreds of years ago? Art history may have the answers. “For a few decades, plant geneticists have studied the historical genetic composition of modern foods in several ways, highlighting certain genetic mutations that were responsible for transformations in appearance. These approaches haven’t offered many answers for what some plant-based foods actually looked like, according to an article published Tuesday in the journal Trends in Plant Science. So worldwide art collections, the old-time equivalents of the modern-day photograph, might serve as a massive historical database of how modern plant foods have fluctuated in their looks. And they’re asking the public to send in what they find.”

Roanoke Times: Farmers cultivate new business models as the pandemic forces them to adapt

Roanoke Times: Farmers cultivate new business models as the pandemic forces them to adapt. “Agriculture is one of countless industries that has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many farmers who can sell directly to consumers are weathering the pandemic well, though it often required a significant reworking of their business model. But others, like beef cattle and dairy farmers, have struggled because of issues on the processing side.”

AI goes underground: root crop growth predicted with drone imagery (Phys .org)

Phys .org: AI goes underground: root crop growth predicted with drone imagery. “Using drone images, the Pheno-i platform can now merge data from thousands of high-resolution images, analyzing them through machine learning to produce a spreadsheet. This shows scientists exactly how plants are responding to stimuli in the field in real-time.”

Farms .com: Highlighting First Nation agriculture

Farms .com: Highlighting First Nation agriculture. “A First Nation community wants to connect with local farmers, food producers and consumers to build an online database. The Anishinabek Nation is looking to compile enough industry information to create an Agricultural Asset Inventory, a directory and an online food map of existing agriculture and food-related businesses.”

‘There Is No Work Here’: Migrants, Some Sick, Move North (New York Times)

New York Times: ‘There Is No Work Here’: Migrants, Some Sick, Move North. “Florida’s agricultural communities have become cradles of infection, fueling a worrying new spike in the state’s daily toll in new infections, which has hit new records in recent days. The implications go far beyond Florida: Case numbers in places like Immokalee are swelling just as many farmworkers are migrating up the Eastern Seaboard for the summer harvest.”

University of California: How has coronavirus pandemic impacted California food, agriculture and environment?

University of California: How has coronavirus pandemic impacted California food, agriculture and environment?. “COVID-19 continues to affect parts of California agriculture in different ways. A new report from agricultural economists at the University of California examines the current and long-term impacts on California’s leading agricultural industries.”

Public News Service: Consumers Can Go Online to Find Missouri Meats

Public News Service: Consumers Can Go Online to Find Missouri Meats. “There’s a new tool to help both Missouri consumers and farmers affected by recent meat shortages. The Missouri Farm Bureau has launched a new database of farmers who sell their meat products directly to consumers.”

USDA: USDA Now Accepting Applications for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

USDA: USDA Now Accepting Applications for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. “You can now apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which provides direct payments to farmers and ranchers to offset impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. Applications will be accepted through August 28, 2020. We now have the application form and a payment calculator available on farmers.gov/cfap. And we have a call center (877-508-8364) set up to help you with your questions.”

RFD TV: Iowa State University releases new tool to track ag economy amid coronavirus pandemic

RFD TV: Iowa State University releases new tool to track ag economy amid coronavirus pandemic. “Iowa State University has created a new webpage to track the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, agriculture and business across local, regional and global economies. The hub includes relevant publications and press releases as well as comprehensive graphs, tables, maps and other visual data to explain the impact. The impact on individual sectors like corn, soybeans, ethanol, pork and beef are explored as well. There are also tools that specifically look at Iowa’s estimated corn, soybean and ethanol losses.”

New Mexico Department of Agriculture: Website Connects Consumers With New Mexico Agriculture Products

New Mexico Department of Agriculture: Website Connects Consumers With New Mexico Agriculture Products. “As part of the emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Agriculture has assisted with identifying sources and securing food in a timely manner, whether it has been for food banks or for New Mexico’s Nations, Tribes and Pueblos. To add to this effort, now consumers can link directly to local producers and agricultural businesses.”