Like many beginning farmers, Grant Curtis wants to invest in his operation, but expectations of low prices are tying his hands. Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media hide caption

itoggle caption Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

A global positioning receiver on the top of a combine harvester at a farm in Warwick, Md., in June. The equipment uses sensors and computers to help drive the combine along the route where the crops were planted, judge the composition of a crop and generate crop yield reports. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

California sheep rancher Dan Macon had to sell almost half of his herd because the drought left him without enough feed. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Kirk Siegler/NPR

Pinatas are among the new generation of club apples — varieties that are not just patented, but also trademarked and controlled in such a way that only a select "club" of farmers can sell them. Stemilt Growers LLC hide caption

itoggle caption Stemilt Growers LLC

Sunlight streams into a corn storage building at a Michlig Grain storage facility in Sheffield, Illinois, U.S., on Oct. 31, 2014. The price of corn has been falling for months. Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Farms outside Baghdad as seen from a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter. Much of Iraq's soil has a high salt content because of flooding and poor drainage. Jim Gordon/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Gordon/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Flickr

The Illinois State Corn Husking Competition is one of nine competitions happening during harvest season all across the Midwest. Abby Wendle /NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Abby Wendle /NPR

Jeff Jones and his daughters feed grain to their foraging cattle once a day in Callaway County, Mo. They're concerned about the health and environmental effects a potential hog farm next door might have. Kristofor Husted/KBIA hide caption

itoggle caption Kristofor Husted/KBIA

Sam Van Aken's grafted fruit trees are still quite young, but this artist rendering shows what he expects the "Tree of 40 Fruit" to look like in springtime in a few years. Courtesy of Sam Van Aken hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Sam Van Aken

More than 170 volunteers in the Brattleboro, Vt., area have contributed urine to the Rich Earth Institute field trials. Mike Earley/Courtesy of Rich Earth Institute hide caption

itoggle caption Mike Earley/Courtesy of Rich Earth Institute

The U.S. Geological Survey found that neonicotinoids are leaching into streams and rivers in the Midwest, including the Missouri River, shown here in Leavenworth, Kan. Dean Bergmann/iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption Dean Bergmann/iStockphoto

Throwing out a pound of boneless beef effectively wastes 24 times more calories than throwing out a pound of vegetables or grains. Egg and dairy products fall somewhere between the two extremes. Morgan Walker/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Morgan Walker/NPR

The decline of honeybees has been attributed to a variety of causes, from nasty parasites to the stress of being transported from state to state to feed on various crops in need of pollination. iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto