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Photo: Creative Touch Imaging/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Advanced Farm Technologies, a California developer of strawberry-harvesting robots, today announced $7.5 million in venture capital funding led by Yamaha Motor Ventures & Lab.

Why it matters: Automation is the future of fields, particularly as immigration crackdowns and an array of socio-economic factors have made it much harder for farms to find seasonal workers.

But agricultural robots have struggled to pick ripe berries, given the fragility of the berries and their tendency to hide beneath leaves.

What they're saying: "Berries in winter were a luxury item back [in the mid-1970s]. And that’s where we’re headed again, unless we can solve our labor problems." said Gary Wishnatzki of Wish Farms, which is working on its own strawberry-picking technology.

Go deeper

Journalism enters dangerous new era

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Capitol attack on Jan. 6 resulted in at least nine physical assaults against journalists and at least five arrests, per the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker's top editor.

Why it matters: President Trump's harsh rhetoric towards the press has empowered leaders abroad and locally in the U.S. to continue to attack press that they don't like.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The beginning of the beginning for Biden's climate push

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Biden's inflation danger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.