In northern Nevada, a place famous for its wide, open spaces and expansive cattle operations, ranchers are in a bind due to the historic drought.
Much of the state is desert, so when people talk about drought, they're really talking about the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. It's at barely 20 percent of average.
This is a huge concern for farmers and ranchers like Julie Wolf, because the mountains store the snow that melts and feeds rivers and reservoirs. These bodies of water then allow the desert to bloom with grass and alfalfa for her cattle.
Economists say strong home sales this spring could drive job creation, as well as boost personal wealth and consumer confidence.
For real estate agents, March Madness has begun.
The rush is on to throw out clutter, paint walls and clean carpets. Historic data show the peak time for selling homes is April through July, and that means this is the month for spring cleaning.
"Freshen up the landscape and add that mulch now," Dallas Realtor Jeff Duffey recommended in a phone interview. "Get your over-sized furniture out of the small bedroom and put more lamps in that dark room."
The economy has a lot riding on how well people obey Duffey's marching orders.
<strong>Apparently Not:</strong> A protester holds a placard Tuesday during a demonstration in front of the offices of Mt. Gox, a Bitcoin exchange in Tokyo. On Friday, Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection.
Credit Toru Hanai / Reuters/Landov
It's time for your weekly look back at technology and culture coverage from NPR and beyond. A quick guide, for first-time readers: Our NPR interviews or stories are in the ICYMI section, links to the broader conversations in tech this week are in "The Big Conversation" and links we loved are in "Curiosities."
Hundreds of visual-effects artists are planning to picket the Academy Awards on Sunday for the second year in a row. They're hoping to bring attention to what's been happening in their industry.
The field is losing jobs and relocating to countries with bigger subsidies for employers. It's the result of a technical revolution that's changed the profession since it kicked off in the 70s with Star Wars creator George Lucas' visual-effects company, Industrial Light and Magic.
Dairy cows feed through a fence at an Idaho farm, in this 2009 file photo. Idaho's Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter enacted a bill Friday that criminalizes the act of secretly filming animal abuse at farms.
Credit Charlie Litchfield / AP
Idaho's Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has signed a bill that criminalizes the act of secretly filming animal abuse at agricultural facilities. The move comes days after the state's legislature approved the measure.
"Otter, a rancher, said the measure promoted by the dairy industry 'is about agriculture producers being secure in their property and their livelihood,'" according to the AP.
Farm-raised Norwegian salmon for sale in Oregon in 2009.
Credit Natalie Maynor / Flickr
Earlier this month, reporters at Bloomberg and the Financial Times suggested that we might be nearing "peak salmon" — a play on peak oil, in which we theoretically reach maximum production, and the only direction left to go is down.
Their logic? The price for a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of Norwegian farmed salmon at the end of 2013 was 50 percent higher than it had been the previous year.
The increasingly successful movement to eliminate GMO crops from food is turning out to be organic's false friend.
Credit Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images
It's easy to think of "organic" and "non-GMO" as the best buddies of food. They sit comfortably beside each other in the same grocery stores — most prominently, in Whole Foods Market. Culturally, they also seem to occupy the same space. Both reject aspects of mainstream industrial agriculture.
In fact, the increasingly successful movement to eliminate genetically modified crops — GMOs — from food is turning out to be organic's false friend. The non-GMO label has become a cheaper alternative to organic.
The U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Friday, as it significantly cut its estimate of how much gross domestic product grew during the last three months of the year.
A bow and an apology: Mark Karpeles, CEO of Mt. Gox, was contrite at the start of a news conference in Tokyo on Friday in which it was announced that the firm has filed for bankruptcy.
Credit Kyodo / Reuters/Landov
The scope of the collapse of what once was the world's largest bitcoin exchange took shape Friday when Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan, saying it had lost track of nearly $480 million worth of the virtual currency.