Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tuesday Links +

New FAO report explores how wood products add to forests’ role in carbon storage; Using Trees to shrink carbon footprints. | FAO

NASA and NOAA have put the planet on track to surpass 2015 as the hottest on record. | Sci-Am

About 836 million gallons of ethanol were exported in 2015, which matched the 2014 exports. The industry produced about 14 billion gallons nationally in 2015. That amounts to about 6 percent of ethanol production with the export market expected to increase to 8 percent this year. | Jamestown Sun

There is an emerging concern that some enthusiastic CRISPR-ers are ignoring growing evidence that CRISPR might inadvertently alter regions of the genome other than the intended ones. | Stat News

'Corn sweat' adding to heat misery in Midwest | USA Today

SuperMeat, an Israeli startup, creates ‘meat’ in a laboratory. | J Weekly

A steady but gradual decline in farmland values continued into the first half of 2016 across the states served by Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica). Iowa has experienced the greatest decline in average farm values – about 20 percent since the market’s 2013 peak. Nebraska and South Dakota farmland has declined by a more modest 12.5 and 4.8 percent respectively during the same period. | The Prairie Star

World Fertilizer prices continue to fall | DTN

Many farmers believe that buying seed from different seed companies means they’re diversifying their genetics, but this is probably not be the case. | Agweb

Agronomist Mark Bernards, Western Illinois University, warns that even with a group of cover crops such as legumes or brassicas, some will be more or less sensitive to different herbicides. He recommends relying on advisors as well as knowing the product. | Corn and Soybean Digest

Over the last ten years, U.S. corn acres grew by 7.2 million acres. However, changes in acres across the United States were not even. High growth areas included North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Minnesota. Growth occurred near and around the western corn-belt while acres in the eastern corn-belt remained relatively stable. | Farm Doc Daily (Includes good map)

The world’s water wars, underground water pumping, aquifer depletion | National Geographic

Global and regional pulse economies: Current trends and outlook Report | IFPRI

In 2015, the Shepherd’s Grain farmers produced a total of 673,000 bushels of wheat, a growth of about 720% since 2005. | Agcocorp

The Italian Region Where Co-ops produce a third of its GDP | Truth-out

John Patterson, a carpenter-turned-hempster, teaches classes on home-building with hemp in Fort Collins, Colorado. Hempcrete — a mixture of hemp stalk, water and lime — could pave the way toward a sustainable future, rattling off the material's key eco-friendly properties: It's naturally temperature regulating; biodegradable; lightweight; antibacterial; antimicrobial; and it's a carbon sequester (meaning it absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere rather than letting it keep warming the planet). | CSIndy

Understanding the USDA Organic Label | USDA Blog

A USDA research lab near Palisade, Colorado develops biocontrol insects. It is the oldest of its kind in the country. | Harvest Public Media

Wyoming to Sell Two 640-Acre Parcels to National Park Service for $46 Million Apiece | The Land Report

Mergers and acquisitions in the dairy sector are continuing apace, as major players fight for a share of a shrinking pie according to Rabobank. | Agrimoney

An Iowan is raising crickets for human consumption | Charlotte Observer

How to control Japanese beetles. Which plants do they like, not like? | Farm and Dairy (Note that we are battling these at our house here on the front range of Colorado. They especially like the plum tree, but are also on roses and the cherry tree.)

Open source tools for small tractors and small scale farming. | No Tech Mag

Schmacon is Taking Off as Bacon Alternative | Agweb

Potato researcher warns of new disease threat. | Capital Press

“Another” source of superbugs: Travelers to India. | Science Daily

***Note on Vilsack losing out as VP pick... One headline stated it well, from Politico, “Sanders supporters on Vilsack: No to Mr. Monsanto." (As usual, Sanders & fans stood for something quite different from HC.) What I noticed immediately, was how Vilsack was being groomed by media in the 2 weeks leading up to the pick. Nice photos being used (younger and thinner)... speaking about eating local in DesMoines and other wonderful noncontroversial topics... that sort of thing. An article by NY Mag reported that there were 40 Wikipedia edits to Vilsack’s page since the beginning of July. (Kaine’s had 100 edits in the final week, and half were on the Friday of the announcement.)


Ask This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook travels to an Idaho farm to learn about the process of growing potatoes.

To view last week's LINKS, click here.


  1. i have to disagree with what the potato man said about cutting the potato vine so "the energy will go into the tuber" (about @ 1:00 in the video)

    the energy (carbohydrate) comes from photosynthesis, and once you cut the vine, that stops...let the vine die naturally, and all the energy remaining in it will be drawn into the tuber as the vine dries...

    1. I know that if you have the wrong fertilizer balance the energy can go to leaves instead of fruit, so I suppose that is also possible with potatoes.

    2. sure, if you apply too much nitrogen to peppers, for instance, you'll get a big green bush with few peppers...but if you cut the pepper plants off at the soil level, you've got nothing...

      i understand why they cut the foliage; it's to enable mechanical harvesting...what i think has happened after years of doing that, potato growers have convinced themselves it's beneficial to tuber growth as well...still, without the plant, the roots by themselves cannot produce additional carbohydrates...

    3. Ok, I agree - it was an odd comment taken in context. I defer to any mechanized potato growers to add their 2 cents.

      Here's another possibility from googling - to help control late blight fungus:

      "Late blight is caused by fungus that infects potatoes, tomatoes, and other potato family members. It favors high humidity and temperatures around 68°F. Keep the garden free of all plant debris and avoid overhead irrigation. Remove volunteer potatoes before planting. Plant certified seed potatoes and resistant varieties such as Kennebec, Cherokee, and Plymouth. Keep tubers covered with soil. Cut vines 1 inch below the soil surface and remove vines 10 to 14 days before harvest. Do not harvest under wet conditions."