Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Agriculture, Farming, and Food Reading Picks for this Week

Time of harvesting (Mowers). Grigoriy Myasoyedov. 1887.

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. All about pigs in Iowa, what drives their growth numbers, where they're headed | by Art Cullen, Storm Lake Times
  2. Depression era rural Midwestern shelter belts are being removed from farms, focus on Nebraska | weather.com
  3. Comment: I've witnessed this over and over, particularly since 2008, along with the plowing of the northern U.S. prairies in response to high corn prices following the ethanol mandate. Higher resulting farmland prices (also related to investor desperation following the financial crisis) have led to higher agricultural land property taxes which motivate farmers to try to generate income off of every single acre of farmland they own. Investing in high priced machinery also requires using that machinery on every square inch possible (including roadside ditches and next to waterways) to pay for it. It's a vicious cycle.
  4. Lawmakers face many hurdles in managing farm bill gantlet | Omaha World-Herald
  5. Finding Fault With the Farm Bill | Bloomberg
  6. DowDuPont shutters Nevada, Iowa cellulosic ethanol plant | DesMoines Register
  7. Comment: DowDuPont received millions in government subsidies to set up this plant and the surrounding farmers were expecting to harvest corn stover for the plant indefinitely. And... just recently Grassley fought for reinstatement of the cellulosic ethanol clauses in the ethanol mandates, though the production of cellulosic ethanol has proven over and over it's pie in the sky hype because of logistics. Engineers know this. politicians won't admit it.
  8. More Iowa farmers grow organic corn and soybeans | DesMoines Register
  9. FAO food prices lower in October | FAO
  10. Monsanto, BASF weed killers strain U.S. states with damage complaints | Reuters
  11. Chinese ethanol drive to boost imports of the biofuel - and corn too | Agrimoney
  12. Comment: I've been wondering if this rather unexpected policy move by China has anything to do with Iowa's recent involvement in China's agricultural vision.
  13. China's war on pollution roils world's top pig farming sector as they favor large producers | Reuters
  14. The Bulk Of U.S. Grain Trade Relies On A Handful Of Ports | Agweb
  15. The wheat genome is finally complete. A giant international consortium of academics and companies has been trying to finish the challenging DNA sequence for more than a decade, but in the end, it was a small US-led team that scooped the prize. | Nature
  16. Global ethanol production chart by country 2001-2016 | USDA
  17. Tests show heavy tillage is your enemy by damaging water infiltration and soil health | Corn and Soybean Digest
  18. Where lies the hope in sustainable food systems? | Washington Post
  19. How Farmers Are Using Less Water, Avoiding Pesticides, and Building Healthy Soil While Maintaining or Increasing Yields | H2O Radio
  20. Living mulch is the best thing since sliced bread | Science Daily
  21. Following a $200 million investment this summer — the largest agriculture-tech funding round in history — vertical farming startup Plenty is expanding beyond its Bay Area roots into Seattle | Business Insider
  22. 40-foot shipping container farm can grow 5 acres of food with 97% less water | Inhabitat
  23. It once took online grocer Ocado two hours to put together a box of 50 food items. Now machines can do it in five minutes. | Bloomberg
  24. Kimbal Musk Defends His Container Farming Accelerator | Fast Company
  25. Japan’s Spread to expand vertical farming concept to Middle East | Food Bev Media
  26. Food-Loving French Are Bereft of Their Butter | Bloomberg
  27. Pollan Examines Environmental Effects of Food Systems | The Heights, Boston College
  28. Colon cancer breakthrough could lead to prevention – and the foods that can help | Medical Xpress
  29. (Beneficial foods listed are fruits and vegetables like pomegranates, red grapes, pears, mushrooms, lentils, soybeans and green peas.)

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