Deforestation gathers speed in Amazon basin

Nearly 2 million acres — 3,100 square miles — of forested land were cleared for agriculture in the Brazilian Amazon in the year ending July 2016, while Bolivia has cut down 865,000 acres, equal to 1,351 square miles, annually, says The New York Times. "A decade after the 'Save the Rainforest' movement forced changes that dramatically slowed deforestation across the Amazon basin, activity is roaring back in some of the biggest expanses of forests in the world," said the newspaper.

Take one desert, add quinoa. Is it a new California crop?

In the scorching hot Imperial Valley at the southern end of California, Bryce Lundberg stands chest-high in quinoa, "a crop that is thriving in an unexpected place," says the Los Angeles Times in a front-page story. "If the harvest proves profitable here, California could dominate yet another niche crop, as the grain-like seed graduates from health-craze fad to a popular ingredient in energy bars, cereals and even drinks."

Ag giants Australia and United States eye quinoa

Two of the world's leading grain exporters "are racing to become mass producers" of gluten-free quinoa, native to South America and the world's newest super food, says Reuters.

Who owns quinoa, the Andean grain?

Quinoa, a resilient and nutritious grain, is gaining popularity worldwide. It is a complete protein and contains significant amounts of iron, calcium, fiber and fatty acids.