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Growing Technology

RSS By: Ben Potter,

Technology editor Ben Potter brings you the latest in technology news, and how you can apply it to farming.


If You Can't Beat It, Eat It

Mar 31, 2014

 One of the things I’ve kept watch on the past few years are the emergence of various invasive pests. Go to USDA’s Hungry Pests website sometime and look at the virtual hall of horrors. Feral pigs have stormed the south, as has the citrus greening disease that threatens our nation’s orange groves. Further north, Asian carp could devastate the entire Great Lakes ecosystem. And in Florida, we have to worry about giant snails that can eat houses. (Seriously, they have developed a taste for stucco.) You could probably even count resistant weeds as invasive pests, as they have been "imported" to new areas and wreak havoc in their new homes.

We’ve looked at various solutions over the years, from hunting feral pigs to developing new herbicide programs and practices to control the weeds. But Grazing The Net found a website called Invasivore devoted to a different philosophy when it comes to invasive pests – if you can’t beat them, eat them.

Not that I’m ready to dive into some python pizza just yet, but I applaud the idea. Problems often have unconventional solutions. Another great idea I’ve heard is some researchers are looking into the possibility of turning weeds into ethanol. Why not!

As one farmer told me earlier this week, the agriculture industry is full of MacGyvers who seem to be just a paperclip and some baling twine away from the next big on-farm innovation. As we enter into an era of unprecedented connectivity and precision capability on the farm, it will be exciting to see so many more unconventional solutions spill out of those technologies.

In the meantime, I’m kind of hungry – can someone order a pepperoni and python pizza?

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