Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday Links +

"Plowing" ~ Antonio Ligabue ~ 1948

This Tuesday news thread is a weekly feature here at Big Picture Agriculture.
  1. Will superweeds choke GMO to a timely death in USA? | NEO
  2. Farms and Land in Farms 2016 Summary February 2017 | USDA (PDF)
  3. k.m.: According to this new USDA report, there were 8,000 fewer farms in the U.S. in 2016 as compared to 2015. There were 500 fewer farms in Iowa and 300 fewer in Nebraska. The average farm size went up and the average age of the farmer also went up.
  4. US upgrades South America as rival in corn, wheat exports | Agrimoney
  5. Why Oroville is a big deal - look at the places that need its water. | Wired
  6. E-Commerce for Farmers: Shopping Online for $26,000 of Herbicides | WSJ
  7. Should Farmers Fear Trump? Protectionism can mean famine, even war. | Bloomberg
  8. k.m.: This is all about how important agricultural commodity exports are to USA farmers because we have a subsidy system that encourages surplus production. It appears to have been written for Donald Trump's reading pleasure.
  9. Is the Chicken Industry Rigged? Inside Agri Stats, the poultry business’s secretive info-sharing service. | Bloomberg
  10. Le Pen Lures French Farmers Angered by Worst Crisis in Decades | Bloomberg
  11. Chart: Marine Catches Have Stagnated While Fish Farming has Grown | World Bank
  12. Lower quality of same food brands in Eastern Europe raises eyebrows | EurActiv
  13. k.m.: This is nothing new, as lower quality fruits and vegetables and foods have been sent to the Midwest and Central USA for years, too.
  14. The USDA awarded the Nebraska company Bugeater $100,000 to find new ways to turn insects into safe, healthful staple food products that taste good. | Capital Press
  15. Chart: Energy used by the U.S. food system declined with rising energy prices from 2002 to 2012 | USDA
  16. A small city in Iowa is devoting 1,000 acres of land to America's vanishing bees | Popular Science
  17. Iowa farmers getting squeezed out by land preservation tax credits, Farm Bureau says | DesMoines Register
  18. It's Time To Put Food Policy Back On The Table; One that benefits farmers, and not Monsanto. | Alternet
  19. Earthworm numbers dwindle, threatening soil health | DW
  20. How a rural Mississippi town created a new local economy to build its main street | Fast Coexist
  21. k.m.: This goes along with the possible fixes for revitalizing rural America which was included in my recent writing. The driver? Cheap real estate prices. Every so often I do hear of someone living in a high cost community moving to the Midwest because they haven't saved enough to retire in their expensive town or city. For more, the WSJ had a story about this just this past week.
  22. Conventional Farming Ruined The Soil On Our Farm—Here's How We Saved It | Rodale's Organic Life
  23. Vitamin D 'proved to cut risk of colds and flu'; Move would also save NHS money, argue authors of major study that shows vitamin D can reduce risk of respiratory infections | The Guardian
  24. k.m.: This is news, a new study? I thought everyone already knew it. I reported on this back in 2009 when I began blogging, the studies were well documented online back when there were global pandemic influenza scares, so I presented the info as useful then. Any readers here remember that?
  25. Mayo Clinic Q and A: Considering switching to a vegetarian diet | Mayo Clinic
  26. Tips on pruning fruit trees | At Home Colorado
  27. k.m.: I pruned our peach tree last week.


This week, let's take a look at "Amazon Fresh". What is your reaction? What do you think? Is this a growing future for food distribution?

To view last week's LINKS, click here.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Global Food and Agriculture Photos February 19, 2017

This roundup of global food, farming, and agricultural photos appears every Sunday on Big Picture Agriculture.

'Left behind' child Luo Hongniu, 8, laughs as she sits in an animal feeder on December 18, 2016 in Anshun, China. Like millions of Chinese children, the four Luo siblings are being raised by their grandparents in rural China as their parents left to find work in urban areas. While there are no official figures, a recent government report puts the number of 'left behind' children at nearly 10 million, though child welfare experts estimate the number to be closer to 60 million. In the case of the Luo grandparents, who are elderly and poor, they do what they can to meet the basic needs of four children between the ages of 5 and 11. Local schools, educators and community charities often try to the fill the gaps. Still, many children feel the absence of interaction with their mother and/or father, creating a generation of lonely kids who experts worry may be prone to anxiety, poor school performance, and depression. Joining parents in the city is not usually an option, as China's hukou documentation system dictates that education and health care are accessible only in the district where a child is born and registered. China's government says it is making child welfare a national priority, and will work to improve support to 'left behind' children after launching its first-ever national census to assess the problem. Photo credit: Kevin Frayer / Getty Images.

A labour worker drives a tractor at a celery field near the US/Mexico border on the outskirts Los Algodones, on February 15, 2017, northwestern Mexico. this image is part of an ongoing AFP photo project documenting the life on the two sides of the US/Mexico border simultaneously by two photographers travelling for ten days from California to Texas on the US side and from Baja California to Tamaulipas on the Mexican side between February 13 and 22, 2017. Photo credit: AFP / GUILLERMO ARIAS / Getty Images.

Temporary agricultural workers walk through farm land in the early morning in Weldon, Arizona, on February 16, 2017, near the US/Mexico border. Photo credit: AFP / JIM WATSON / Getty Images.

Maria Isabel Luna, 75, wears an American towel for warmth over her traditional Mayan dress while working at a vegetable market on February 11, 2017 in Almolonga, Guatemala. She said that two of her family members work as immigrant laborers in Los Angeles. The Mayan town in the western highlands district of Quetzaltenango has surged in prosperity in recent years with high-productivity vegetable farming, exporting much of its excess crops to neighborning El Salvador. The town has been called the 'Vegetable Basket of the Americas.' Many locals attribute the town's change in fortunes to the rapid growth of the Evangelical Christian faith in the area, while others credit the increased use of pesticide farming. Regardless, the strong local economy will be key maintaining the town's prosperity if the Trump Administration follows through on curtailing remittance money sent back from undocumented immigrants in the U.S. to their families in Guatemala. Photo credit: John Moore / Getty Images.

Indigenous Mayan weaver Delfina Perez, who's husband has worked in the U.S. as an immigrant for 20 years, makes traditional fabric on a foot loom at the Grupo Cajola weaving cooperative on February 11, 2017 in Cajola, Guatemala. Women are especially effected by emigration from Guatemala, where some 70 percent of the men have left to work as undocumented immigrants in the United States, many of them leaving behind wives and children who only know their fathers online, if at all. Grupo Cajola, an NGO funded by American donations, is attempting to make the town's economy prosper locally to help reduce the need for emigration. With U.S. President Donald Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration, the spectre of increased deportations back to Guatemala and reduced remittances has made the need to educate both children and adults and transform the local economy more urgent than ever. Remitances from undocumented Guatemalan laborers are the main source of income of Guatemala, and while increasing wealth and driving a housing boom in towns like Cajola, they have also had the negative effect tearing the social fabric of local communites. Grupo Cajola has set up a weaving center, an egg farm, carpentry shop, internet cafe, library and education programs for pre-schoolers and their parents, while providing scholarships for more than 20 young residents to learn local trades. Textiles they produce are now exported for sale to the U.S. The NGO was founded in 2000 by Eduardo Jimenez, who lived as an undocumented immigrant for 10 years in the U.S. before returning to Guatemala. He coordinates locally with the group's American director Caryn Maxim, who organizes funding and product sales in New Jersey. Photo credit: John Moore / Getty Images.

A woman sells flowers on a street corner in the Jackson Heights neighborhood with a large Latino immigrant population on February 14, 2017 in the Queens borough of New York City. A series of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids throughout the New York City area last week has sent fears of deportations throughout New York's heavily immigrant communities. According to a 2013 study by the City Planning Commission, nearly 40% of the city's population of 8.2 million is foreign-born. During his campaign President Donald Trump stated that he would deport those with a criminal conviction and in America illegally. Photo credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Images.

A street vendor carries cotton candy on February 16, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted Wednesday to decriminalize street vending in an effort to reduce chances of illegal immigrants being deported for criminal convictions. Photo credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images.

The crew of the Nautical Aliya provides relief to Rohingya refugees on February 15, 2017 in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The Rohingya aid ship, Nautical Aliya, carrying 2,200 tons of rice, emergency supplies and aid-workers, docked at Chittagong Port, about 140km from Cox's Bazar where thousands of Rohingya Muslims have taken refuge. Around 70,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since October last year after the Burmese army launched a campaign it calls 'clearance operations' in response to an attack on border police. According to reports, Bangladesh plans to proceed with a controversial plan to relocate tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to a remote island in Bay of Bengal, despite warnings it is uninhabitable and prone to flooding. The Rohingya, a mostly stateless Muslim group numbering about 1.1 million, are the majority in Rakhine state and smaller communities in Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia. Photo credit: Allison Joyce / Getty Images.

People are busy with trade of flower in Shahbag flower market in Dhaka, Bangladesh on February 11, 2017. Thousand of people come this market at early morning to buy flowers as vendors bring their bloom from the southern region of the country. Shahbag is famous for the flower market. It is the largest flower market of Bangladesh. Here flower are sold at whole-sale and retail prices. These flowers come from different districts in Bangladesh. Photo credit: NurPhoto / Getty Images.

A farmer uses a water buffalo to prepare his plot of land for the transplanting of rice in a paddy field on the outskirts of Hanoi on February 16, 2017. Photo credit: AFP / HOANG DINH Nam / Getty Images.

French farmer Cedric Briand talks to visitors about his French Pie Noir dairy cow, Fine, which is the brand ambassador of the 54th edition of the Salon de l'Agriculture (Agriculture fair), on February 14, 2017 in his dairy organic farm in Plesse, western France. Photo credit: AFP / LOIC VENANCE / Getty Images.

This picture taken on February 14, 2017, shows the irrigation systems used to dispense pesticides to combat the armyworm infestation in Onderstepoort, north of Pretoria. Photo credit: AFP / GULSHAN Khan / Getty Images.

An Indian nomadic shepherd from Rajasthan carries a sheep with his herd on the outskirts of New Delhi on February 13, 2017. The shepherds cling to a pastoral nomadic life, trekking long distances often through modern Indian urban environments in search of pasture for their sheep. Photo credit: AFP / Prakash SINGH / Getty Images.

In this photograph on February 15, 2017, Indian farm workers move bundles of tobacco leaves at a workshop on the outskirts of Sanand town some 30 kms from Ahmedabad on February 15, 2017. Photo credit: AFP / SAM PANTHAKY / Getty Images.