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agriculture



  • Verónica Martínez-Matsuda on Her New Book, Migrant Citizenship

    "[Farm Security Administration officials and migrant farm laborers] argued that real democracy resulted not only from migrants’ full enfranchisement but also from their daily participation as citizens (regardless of formal status) in a political and social community characterized by collective responsibility and behavior."



  • The Pandemic Is Not a Natural Disaster

    by Kate Brown

    Zoonotic diseases can seem like earthquakes; they appear to be random acts of nature. In fact, they are more like hurricanes—they can occur more frequently, and become more powerful, if human beings alter the environment in the wrong ways.


  • Pandemic Exposes Vulnerabilities of Workers on Farms

    by Verónica Martínez-Matsuda

    Defying the broader conservative political forces of the time, the Farm Security Administration extended health care to tens of thousands of migratory agricultural workers because it understood that farmworkers’ health was vital to the nation’s wellbeing.



  • The Great Land Robbery

    by Vann R. Newkirk II

    A war waged by deed of title has dispossessed 98 percent of black agricultural landowners in America.



  • Europe's first farmers used manure 8,000 years ago

    A new study says Europe's first farmers used far more sophisticated practices than was previously thought. A research team led by the University of Oxford has found that Neolithic farmers manured and watered their crops as early as 6,000 BC.It had always been assumed that manure wasn't used as a fertiliser until Iron Age and Roman times. However, this new research shows that enriched levels of nitrogen-15, a stable isotope abundant in manure, have been found in the charred cereal grains and pulse seeds taken from 13 Neolithic sites around Europe. The findings are published in the early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study suggests that Neolithic farmers used the dung from their herds of cattle, sheep, goats and pigs as a slow release fertiliser for crops....



  • Origins of agriculture in China pushed back by 12,000 years

    The first evidence of agriculture appears in the archaeological record some 10,000 years ago. But the skills needed to cultivate and harvest crops weren't learned overnight. Scientists have traced these roots back to 23,000-year-old tools used to grind seeds, found mostly in the Middle East.Now, research lead by Li Liu, a professor of Chinese archaeology at Stanford, reveals that the same types of tools were used to process seeds and tubers in northern China, setting China's agricultural clock back about 12,000 years and putting it on par with activity in the Middle East. Liu believes that the practices evolved independently, possibly as a global response to a changing climate. The earliest grinding stones have been found in Upper Paleolithic archaeological sites around the world. These consisted of a pair of stones, typically a handheld stone that would be rubbed against a larger, flat stone set on the ground, to process wild seeds and tubers into flour-like powder....