Monday, August 1, 2016

Tuesday Links +

Rural America confronts a new class divide - Farms that once generated wealth for entire communities are now creating a new class of superfarms, which are concentrating wealth and income at the top. | Christian Science Monitor

More than a decade after conservationists helped persuade Congress to require adding corn-based ethanol and other biofuels to gasoline, some groups regret the resulting agricultural runoff in waterways and conversion of prairies to cropland -- improving the odds that lawmakers might seek changes to the program next year. | Bloomberg (Let's hope Congress has the will, but I doubt it. We need look no further than this current Presidential race and VP pool candidate picks. Though I'm glad to see how widely this Bloomberg piece was distributed this past week, I disagree with its premise that environmental groups drove current ethanol policy from the start. The banning of MTBE helped it gain foothold, and respective industry lobbyists took it from there. ... How to make a difference? Write your respective political representative and let him or her know what you think!)

According to the World Bank, during the past decade, biofuels constituted the largest source of growth in demand for grains and oilseeds... 49% of the global biofuel production comes from maize-based ethanol in the U.S. | Biofuels News

Environmental safety of corn ethanol up for debate | LaCrosse Tribune

From Kellogg's to Unilever, a quiet revolution in sustainable farming. | GreenBiz (This has been going on long enough to call it an important trend. Since government isn't much help these days, expect positive developments to come from corporate actions responding to consumer sentiments.)

All signs point to the largest-ever corn crop in history this fall and the third year in a row of plunging farm incomes. Even so, many corn growers could trigger 2016 crop insurance payouts with no yield loss. | DTN (Policy always protects corn, since it is a crop requiring expensive inputs, rewarding multiple industries.)

World grains production will be just 1m tonnes from its record high, the International Grains Council said, lifting in particular its forecast for output of corn, coming largely from the U.S. | Agrimoney

Iowa livestock producer Ryan Collins used USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to help his 170-acre farm near Harpers Ferry, Iowa transition to a prescribed rotational grazing system. | USDA Blog

In her new book, author Judith Schwartz argues that fixing land management problems and restoring native wildlife species are, in reality, water supply projects. | News Deeply

Will collaborative farming take off? It's a phrase to describe a new form of farm partnerships designed to help midsize operators grow. | DTN

Pacific Northwest farmers will be able to get their hands on a Washington State University variety of quinoa in about three years, the university’s breeder says. | Capital Press

Iowa dairy farmers glad they transitioned to joining Organic Valley Cooperative. | THonline

Bangladesh's genetically modified eggplants - Can genetically modified crops improve the lives of the world's poorest farmers? | Aljazeera Interactive (If you haven't seen a highly interactive article, yet, on the 'net, you might take a look at this rather elaborate presentation melding large images, audio, text, and video. I'm gradually seeing more of this style online. In some ways I like it, in other ways I don't. Perhaps it is largely for the mobile device experience, something I don't participate in.)

This years bin-buster harvest associated with high freight costs. | DTN (Interesting numbers included about current levels of overproduction.)

Despite the popularity of local food, the average farmer is not thriving... there are also plenty of businesses exploiting the popularity of the local food movement. | Aeon

Here's how this South Dakota farmer rebuilt his soil organic matter with no-till, cover crops and crop rotation. | Farm Progress

In Wisconsin, goat farming up ‘by leaps and bounds’ - The state famed for cows' milk and cheese is now home to the most dairy goats in the nation and about to get more. | AP

About the book, Grass-Fed Nation | Resilience

Red Tape Slows Bloom of Seaweed Farming's Green Revolution | NBC News

Western Kansas farmers try new irrigation system aimed at saving water | Harvest Public Media

Displacement for populations due to erratic and extreme weather, a fallout of climate change, has become a scary reality for millions of people across swathes of India. | IPS

Monsanto's seeds make up 23% of the global vegetable-seed market. The company's non-GMO crop research happens on a California campus that's filled with greenhouses, test vegetable plots, and lab equipment. | Business Insider

13m cows, one app: the city slickers selling cattle via 'crowd-farming' | The Guardian

Cambridge start-up Indigo is using microbes to make healthy, hardy crops. |

Unapproved genetically modified wheat found in Washington |

Depressed, Butter-Covered Tom Vilsack Enters Sixth Day Of Corn Bender After Losing VP Spot | The Onion

Obama signs bill requiring labeling of GMO foods | AP

A group of developers has plans to make ethanol from the stalks and leaves of North Dakota corn plants and wheat straw. | Grand Forks Herald

The human footprint on the environment may have affected one of the Earth's most precious resources – our drinking water – in a major way throughout the last century. | The Sacramento Bee

Tech development: underground "dog fence" for cattle. | The Gazette

Meet the farmers growing bananas in Ontario | CTV News

Soylent: Proudly Made with GMOs | Food Navigator

Immigration and Brexit | by Jeremy Grantham (For economic wonks - this gets into something seldom addressed, global population demographic trends - so important, as it relates to food security and global stability.)

Guebert: Political birds sing dull tune | Pantagraph

Benefits of urban gardening in a marginalized region of Minneapolis. | TCDaily Planet

A 10-year follow-up study breaks down the beneficial aspects of the Mediterranean Diet. | Food Navigator (There are many interesting points revealed in this article, including one that suggests a plant based diet is not a health advantage in certain populations.)

▬ To follow is a very interesting hour-long discussion and compilation of TED talks regarding the subject of longevity. | NPR TED Radio Hour (This is an important subject as the science is zeroing in on longevity discoveries and some of the advances are within reach. The societal impacts of longevity-promoting science would be huge, what about that?)

To view last week's LINKS, click here.

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