Agriculture

Read the latest news about Washington state's top crops: apples and pears; wheat and hay; milk and dairy; potatoes and vegetables; cherries, grapes and hops. Topics also include Washington state wines and viticulture, beef cattle and other livestock; aquaculture; international trade in farm commodities; organic foods, pesticides, herbicides and the debate over genetically modified crops (GMO).

Robotic milkers and an automated greenhouse: Inside a high-tech small farm

Cows eat as a feed robot returns to its station at Rivendale Farms in Bulger, Pa., near Pittsburgh, Dec. 5, 2018. The venture offers a glimpse of the technology becoming available for smaller farms — like robotic milkers and automated greenhouses. (Ross Mantle/The New York Times)

Technology can eliminate a lot of tedious, routine labor — a lifestyle payoff that can help persuade a younger generation to stay put on family farms rather than sell out.

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