Researchers from the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Nevada are monitoring approximately 1,200 acres of an ancient grain that originated in Ethiopia called teff. It needs a quarter of the water that alfalfa takes, and has a shorter growing season, plus, teff is gluten-free with more iron and fiber and livestock fodder, making it doubly attractive to farmers. Grains like teff, fonio, pearl and finger millet originated in sub-Saharan Africa, West Africa and North Africa. But as the focus of the modern agriculture industry shifted to mass production and standardization, governments and companies emphasized the cultivation of higher-yield, genetically modified wheat, corn and rice, relegating ancient grains to the margins.
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