Drones are everywhere: If you haven’t noticed that Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), otherwise known as drones, have been impacting the agriculture industry lately, it may be time to crawl out of your winter hibernation, says Dairy Herd Management magazine. Drones are everywhere in the agricultural landscape and are being used to determine plant health, inventory plants, collect farm asset information, assess crop damage and even determine areas of low soil moisture. This information is proving useful to agricultural professionals in the context of precision agriculture and farm management. READ MORE


Pet food recall expanded: The FDA has expanded a consumer advisory about Evanger’s and Against the Grain dog foods, some of which have been found to be contaminated with an animal euthanasia drug. Food Safety News reports that apparently the agency has been waiting for a week for the company to make public an expansion of its existing recall, which came after illnesses in at least five dogs, including one death. Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food has  notified its distributors and retailers of a new recall for lots of Evanger’s Braised Beef Chunks with Gravy as well as expanding the previous recall for Evanger’s canned Hunk of Beef and Against the Grain’s Grain Free Pulled Beef with Gravy. The supplier of the beef that was used in Evanger’s Hunk of Beef and Against the Grain Pulled Beef canned dog foods displayed a “USDA-APHIS number” on its bills of lading, invoices and shipping pallets, according to the manufacturer of the dog food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) has no regulatory responsibility for pet food inspection. However, APHIS does provide a voluntary certification service to companies seeking to export animal or plant products. The USDA-APHIS number displayed on the document was found to be an export certification number that had expired in the mid-2000s, according to Food Safety News. READ MORE


More on IoT: A data tracking program that utilizes the Internet of Things, otherwise known as IoT technology, has revolutionized the way a global produce company, Robinson Fresh, tracks essential food safety and business management metrics by efficiently connecting the complex web of channels within the company, reports Food Safety News. While integrating IoT into a food company is a complex and resource consuming process, the payouts can be significant. For Robinson Fresh, the ability to pinpoint and fix a problem immediately though data tracking while maintaining a connected global supply chain has made IoT indispensable. READ MORE

Wendy’s going digital, getting kiosks: Fast food giant Wendy’s says it plans to install self-ordering kiosks at about 1,000 locations by the end of the year, following competitor McDonald’s lead. The kiosks are intended to appeal to younger customers and reduce labor costs and also will allow Wendy’s customers to circumvent long lines during peak dining hours while increasing kitchen production. Wendy’s digital transformation also will include the introduction of a mobile app, like the kiosks a production of  the company’s 90 Degrees Lab, located near Ohio State University. READ MORE


The future of space travel? Research at the University of Hawaii at Manoa could play a major role in NASA’s goal to travel to Mars in the 2030s, including what the astronauts could eat during that historic mission. A trip to Mars and back is estimated to take about two and half years, and ideally, their diet would be healthy while requiring minimal effort and energy. UH Manoa mechanical engineering student Aleca Borsuk may have the solution. Working with an ancient grain called amaranth, she determined she could increase the edible parts by changing the lighting. Thanks to Borsuk’s work with lighting, plants could play an important role in the future of space travel. READ MORE

What will a population boom mean in terms of food? When populations move from a lower class to the middle class, a domino effect happens. The Farm Journal’s AgWeb reports that currently a population boom is happening in areas such as Africa and India that also have fast-growing economies, says Vikram Mansharamani, lecturer at Harvard and Yale universities. Mansharamani says that when people have more money, they tend to eat more meat, drink more wine, get more education, travel more and buy more cars and smart phones. This will have direct outcomes to farming and agriculture, because a little more protein demand equals a lot more grain demand, Mansharamani says. READ MORE