Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Agriculture, Farming, and Food Reading Picks for this Week

Mahonia glumacea ~ 1840

This Tuesday news thread is a weekly feature here at Big Picture Agriculture. (For your daily up-to-the-minute agriculture news, go to this site's sister webpage, Agriculture News Daily.)
  1. Wendell Berry Discusses Rediscovering Rural America | TIME
  2. Comment: Berry is dismayed that none of his prophecies from 40 years ago in his book, "The Unsettling of America", were heeded and things are still the same, that is, the fabric of farming in rural America continues to erode.
  3. How Much Nitrate Is in Rural America’s Water? | In These Times
  4. The Great Plains lost about 2.5 million acres of previously intact grassland to crop production between 2015 and 2016, according to a new report from World Wildlife Fund. | World Wildlife
  5. EU member states have again put off a decision on renewing the controversial weed killer glyphosate. Could Europe really be close to banning glyphosate — and what would a possible ban mean for farmers and consumers? | DW
  6. Quote: Without glyphosate, farmers would need to manually till their land to remove weeds. That would catapult them back into agricultural methods of the 1970s and 1980s, said Michael Lohse, a spokesman of the German Farming Association. "Glyphosate enabled the revolutionary step to non-plough tillage — which saves time, protects the groundwater and avoids soil erosion," Lohse told DW. "A ban would mean a competitive disadvantage for European farmers compared to farmers in, let's say, South America who are still allowed to use it."
  7. The problem of breaking down cornstalks | DTN
  8. Note: Modifying corn for disease resistance means thicker stalks that don't decay as well, a problem for no-till methods.
  9. War on weeds takes toll on beneficial bacteria in the soil | Phys.org
  10. Farm-state interests just conquered Big Oil in a fight over biofuels, proving that in Donald Trump’s Washington, King Corn still reigns. | Bloomberg
  11. Ethanol Summit of the Americas enlivens discussions of global ethanol use | High Plains Journal
  12. Comment: Ethanol special interest groups are going full-throttle at expanding ethanol for export, along with the USDA publication on the same subject covered here last week.
  13. Our Editorial: End the ethanol mandate | The Detroit News
  14. 12 things U.S. farmers need to know about the world | Successful Farming
  15. Meet the “connected cow”; Dairy herds are being connected to sensors and mobile phones | FT
  16. In the decade after the 1992 Earth Summit, at least $14 billion was devoted to biodiversity conservation around the globe. According to new research published in Nature, it was money well spent, preventing a 29 percent decline in threatened bird and mammal species. | USAgnet
  17. U.S. farmers tighten belts to compete with cheap Latin American grain | Reuters
  18. National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Releases 2018 Farm Bill Platform | NSAC
  19. Europe’s biggest farm: 57,000 hectares, $14.8 million in subsidies | The Western Producer
  20. McDonald's sets new welfare standards for chickens | Reuters
  21. Kansas farmer tries growing popcorn | The Hutchinson News
  22. Comment: Who knew that Nebraska and Indiana are the leading popcorn producing states?
  23. Nebraska sees rising popularity in dry beans | AP
  24. Nebraska's organic farmers pull in big profits, as conventional crop prices try to rebound | Nebraska TV
  25. Growing worries: Tree fruit industry faces challenges from all angles | Capital Press
  26. Organic Valley commits to 100% renewables by 2019 - By adding 29 MW of solar along with more wind resources, the world’s largest farming cooperative will increase Wisconsin’s solar capacity as much as 72%. | PV Magazine
  27. Giant rice plant has potential to boost yields | Black Sea Grain
  28. Why This Cardiologist Is Betting That His Lab-Grown Meat Startup Can Solve the Global Food Crisis | Inc.
  29. American agricultural products have experienced a whopping 250 per cent growth in its exports to India in the last decade | India Times
  30. Organic or starve: can Cuba's new farming model provide food security? Once it grew only sugar and was heavy handed with fertilizers and pesticides, now Cuba is in the grip of a small-scale organic farming revolution | The Guardian
  31. How Aquaculture Is Threatening the Native Fish Species of Africa | Yale e360
  32. Organic Farmers Reject Hydroponics With 16 Protest Rallies | Organic Authority
  33. Local food trend fuels online farmers market models | Supermarket News
  34. CDC: Backyard Chicken Flocks Lead to Disease Infections | Agweb
  35. Vitamin K: Your New Superhero For A Healthy Living | Longevity Live
  36. Comment: Get your Saurkraut and pasture raised/sourced cheeses and eggs.

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