Environment
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A green farming movement

Science | Agroecology: Sensible idea or costly green initiative?
by Julie Borg
Posted 7/19/18, 03:13 pm

Agroecology, a back-to-nature farming approach based on ecological science, is growing into a movement proponents hope will transform the way we grow food. “Farming the land as if nature doesn’t matter has been the model for much of the Western world’s food production system,” wrote agroecology advocates Daniel Moss and Mark Bittman in The New York Times recently. “The results haven’t been pretty: depleted soil, chemically fouled waters, … a worsening of public health and more.”

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Denis Balibouse/Reuters/Newscom

Robots against weeds

Technology | Weed-killing bots may transform herbicide practices
by Michael Cochrane
Posted 7/05/18, 01:27 am

Autonomous farming robots that target weeds directly are poised to disrupt the current practice of mass spraying of herbicides.

Swiss company ecoRobotix is one of several newcomers in the emerging field of digital agriculture. Its solar-powered robot, which looks something like a pingpong table on wheels, can identify and spray weeds for 12 hours straight without an operator. Its developers believe it will use 20 times less herbicide than traditional methods that involve spraying entire fields.

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Associated Press/Photo by Caleb Jones

Kilauea erupts with anticlimactic ash column

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 5/17/18, 01:12 pm

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted from its summit early Thursday, shooting a plume of ash about 30,000 feet into the sky. The explosion happened at about 6 a.m. HST after two weeks of volcanic activity. More than a dozen fissures east of the crater already spewed lava into neighborhoods, destroying at least 26 homes and 10 other structures. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park closed May 11 in anticipation of a possible eruption, and officials said they didn’t expect the explosion to be deadly as long as people stayed out of the park.

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