Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Agriculture, Farming, and Food Reading Picks for this Week

"Cucurbita indica oblonga ucrucata"
(gourd squash from the West Indies)

This Tuesday news thread is a weekly feature here at Big Picture Agriculture.
  1. Iowa farmers face fourth year of possible losses heading into harvest | DesMoines Register
  2. Note: Also see their drone video of a soybean harvest at the link.
  3. Supersized Family Farms Are Gobbling Up American Agriculture - U.S. growers are swallowing up acreage to survive a harsh agricultural downturn, squeezing smaller operations and transforming America’s rural economy | WSJ (paywall)
  4. Transforming the land grant mission: Iowa State’s next 20 years | DesMoines Register
  5. Quote: This work requires a new research agenda prioritizing ecological and public health while cultivating a transition to a regenerative, sustainable agriculture. This new mission will value, honor and celebrate diversity of landscapes and communities, putting diversity into practice and action. This requires strong support of research studying alternatives to the industrial corn, soy and confined animal systems that characterize so much of the Midwest. This research must prioritize mixed livestock and cropping systems that support the livelihoods of midsize family farmers as well as beginning and marginalized farmers.
  6. The firm grip of agrochemical complex extends to the very roots of Iowa, so it should come as no surprise that one of its proprietors appears to be on a fast track to the presidency of Iowa State University.| by Art Cullen of Storm Lake Times
  7. Comment: Art Cullen puts me to shame because he says as a journalist-editor of a small town Iowa paper what I should be saying as a blogger - other than the fact no one else can say it as well as he can. He says what you'll never see said by any of the collaborative media platforms. This week he was awarded the top honor by the Iowa Sierra Club for his environmental writing. It is truly amazing that he can operate, though by his own admission unprofitably, in the heart of Iowa corn country. I'm sorry that it took me so long to discover this voice.
  8. How our federal, state agricultural, and natural resource conservation systems and programs are messed up and why the next farm bill is so crucial. | by Art Cullen of Storm Lake Times
  9. Rural Mainstreet Index Rises for October: Ten Percent Expect Farm Foreclosures to Pose Greatest Banking Threat | Creighton.edu
  10. Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers | Guardian
  11. Important USDA Charts | USDA
  12. Comment: Many have been featured on this site previously, however, the PDF contains many great graphics that help paint the picture of U.S. agriculture today.
  13. Trump Administration Drops Tighter Rules on Meatpackers - USDA reversal is blow to some farmers, advocacy groups; companies say rules would have made meat pricier | WSJ
  14. Trump Tells EPA to Boost Biofuels After Iowa Uproar | Bloomberg
  15. Trump caves on ethanol | MSN
  16. Quote: In 2012 Philadelphia Energy Solutions paid $10 million for RINs. This year, it will spend $300 million, twice the price of payroll. Only crude oil—the refinery’s main input—costs more annually.
  17. EPA Chief Will Keep RFS at Current Level | USAgnet
  18. Growth Energy announced that more than 1,000 fuel stations around the country are offering E15 more than doubling the number of stations from the same time last year. | USAgnet
  19. Ethanol Summit of The Americas Invites Nations to import our ethanol product | Biofuels Journal
  20. New USDA publication promotes ideas to expand ethanol exports | USDA
  21. More than half of EU biodiesel made from imported crops | Euractiv
  22. Role of the Fashion Industry in UN’s Sustainable Development Goals | IPS
  23. Brazil's JBS shuts 7 plants after $230 mln asset freeze | Reuters
  24. Trends in Global Wheat Production | Agricultural Economic Insights
  25. Farming subsidies in Switzerland | Swiss Info
  26. Maryn McKenna's Book Big Chicken Looks at Poultry's Effect on Antibiotic Resist | Scientific American
  27. Which is India’s No. 1 farm crop by value? The answer is milk. | The Indian Express
  28. Meet the women of India who are revolutionizing organic farming | Earth Matters
  29. Using biochar in Norway | Phys.org
  30. Iowa farm sanctuary works to rescue livestock | The Courier
  31. British apple boom brings back hundreds of forgotten varieties | Guardian
  32. Global programme seeks to contain serious threat to the world’s bananas | FAO
  33. The Criollo "sustainable" breed of cattle are more drought tolerant for ranchers in Texas | KRWG
  34. As the holiday season approaches, here is a charity foundation that benefits biodiversity in middle America, the Granary Foundation | Center for Rural Affairs
  35. This fall's honey harvest on homestead farm in Colorado | Homesteading with the Wild
  36. Note: Thank you to long-time reader, John, for contributing this piece featuring his neighbor.

For news updates, be sure to check out my new webpage providing subscription-free and ad-free news from quality sources about agriculture, farming and food systems: Agriculture News Daily. The beauty of it is, whenever you visit the page, it has been refreshed with the latest updated online articles. It's how I found the top WSJ feature story right before I finished gathering this week's news items.

To view last week's LINKS, click here.

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