In California, fires devastate wine industry: The deadly firestorms raging across California’s wine country have burned hotels, small lodges, winery buildings and even some vineyards, officials in the region said. But the worst damage is likely to be to the residents who toil in the wine and tourism industry, particularly in Santa Rosa, in Sonoma County, where the Fountaingrove fire devastated neighborhoods in the north end of the city. The wine industry contributed $57 billion to the state’s economy in 2015 and is responsible for 325,000 jobs, according to the Wine Institute and California Association of Winegrape Growers. READ MORE

Meanwhile, in Europe: Hail, frost and droughts have hit Europe’s grape harvest hard, making it the smallest in 36 years. The European Union’s Copa-Cogeca farm union said Tuesday that the extreme weather means the harvest is expected to be down 14 percent, with some areas seeing a drop of as much as one third. That will cut wine production to a level not seen since 1981 at 145 million hectoliters. READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

Major discrepancies in fisheries reports: Conservation of dwindling fish stocks is being severely hampered by poor controls on global trade, according to a study carried out by the Ecosystems and Environment Research Center at the University of Salford in the U.K. The study, which looked at global production and trade statistics of the popular “snapper” fishes, uncovered wide inconsistencies in records which suggest that the officially reported snapper trade may be underestimated by more than 70 percent. Major discrepancies were found between imports reported by the U.S. (the world’s largest consumer of snapper) and exports declared by its chief suppliers, which are Mexico, Panama and Brazil. READ MORE

Hurricane season tying record set in 19th century: The feverish 2017 hurricane season doesn’t seem to be letting up: on Monday, Tropical Storm Ophelia formed in the central Atlantic and is expected to become a hurricane this week. While the storm poses no threat to land, it could become the 10th consecutive storm to grow to hurricane strength — a streak of intense systems that will tie a record last set in the late 1800s. READ MORE

CYBER SECURITY

Hackers steal classified military documents: North Korean computer hackers have stolen hundreds of classified military documents from South Korea including detailed wartime operational plans involving its US ally, a report said Tuesday. The report comes amid heightened fears of conflict on the Korean peninsula, fueled by President Donald Trump’s continued threats of military action against Pyongyang to tame its weapons ambitions. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Mislabeled chicken investigation expands: The U.K.’s Food Standards Agency has widened its investigation into poultry processor 2 Sisters Food Group to encompass 13 plants. A joint undercover investigation by The Guardian newspaper and ITV News aired on television late in September showed workers apparently tampering with slaughter date labels on fresh chickens at the firm’s West Bromwich plant, posing a potential health hazard to consumers over use-by dates. READ MORE

THE FUTURE

The end of a truck-driving era? Google, Uber, Tesla and the major truck manufacturers are looking to a future in which American truck drivers will be replaced—or at the very least downgraded to co-pilots—by automated vehicles that will save billions but will cost millions of jobs. It will be one of the biggest changes to the jobs market since the invention of the automated loom, challenging the livelihoods of millions across the world. READ MORE

No point in honking: In California, where companies like Cruise Automation Inc. and Waymo LLC are ramping up testing of self-driving cars, human drivers keep running into them in low-speed fender benders. The run-ins highlight an emerging culture clash between humans who often treat traffic laws as guidelines and autonomous cars that refuse to roll through a stop sign or exceed the speed limit. READ MORE

Not just trucks and cars: It’s not just trucks and automobiles that are being automated. Vermeer has introduced a self-propelled baler, which it says will target to owners of multiple balers—those putting up at least 5,000 bales a year. READ MORE

Is this the future? In fact, a farm in the United Kingdom is the first in the world to successfully plant, tend and harvest a crop without a single person ever setting foot in the field, according to researchers and developers involved in the project. From sowing the seeds to picking the grain, human workers were replaced with automated machines operated from a control room. The project, called Hands Free Hectare, was completed last month with a yield of 4 1/2 tons of barley, according to news releases. READ MORE