Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tuesday Links +

Gottfried Lindauer, “Digging with the Ko” (1907)

This Tuesday news thread is a weekly feature here at Big Picture Agriculture.

Climate Note:
Last week, my region broke a record high temperature on February 10th of 80 degrees in Denver. Also, someone who has lived in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming for more than 30 years reported that he'd never seen high altitude rains in early February before this year.

Also, if you missed my piece, "The End of Scarcity in Agricultural Commodities Means Failing Farms in the U.S.", be sure to read it now.

Lastly, Happy Valentine's Day to all!

  1. Will bioplastics repeat the biofuels saga? | EurActive
  2. k.m.: This has been on my radar screen, and is Important! Thanks to EurActive for this article. Have you ever put a bioplastic drink cup into your compost pile and wondered why it never degraded? There are numerous concerns about bioplastics and they are touched upon here. "With the production of bioplastics expected to more than triple in the next three years, a global land area greater than the size of Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark combined will be required by 2019." Bioplastics are being embraced because of their name, but people are ignorant about what they are feeling good about consuming.
  3. Inside the race to invent fish-free fish food | Wired
  4. k.m.: This is another important subject. Does this explain why I haven't been able to find U.S. sourced mackerel for the past few years?
  5. Panasonic sees indoor agriculture as a profitable extension of its business | Business Insider
  6. The US is making a big shift away from factory farming | Business Insider
  7. Growing Organic Demand Provides High-Value Opportunities for Many Types of Producers | USDA Amber Waves
  8. Health Insurance Woes Add Another Challenge To The Risky Business Of Farming | Vermont Public Radio
  9. Agriculture Traders Feel Pain as Plentiful Harvests Persist | Bloomberg
  10. Quote: "In just four years, global wheat stockpiles have increased 42 percent to a record 253 million metric tons, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Over the same period, corn inventories surged 66 percent. Prices for both grains have dropped for four straight years."
  11. Grain in Reserve | Agweb
  12. Quotes: "On-farm and off-farm storage of wheat is up significantly from 2015—a 21% total boost; Sunflower stocks have shot up 74% from this past year, while grain sorghum stocks have risen 99%."
  13. Big Meat Braces for a Refugee Shortage | Bloomberg
  14. k.m.: I know first-hand that Midwestern towns with meat packing industries are very ethnically diverse as compared to other small Midwestern towns. Refugee programs (often the Lutheran or Catholic churches) have driven this niche employment opportunity.
  15. Vietnam plans to expand the area it devotes to shrimp farming to push exports to $10 billion a year from $3 billion as it continues adapting to rising sea levels and other effects of climate change. | WSJ (paywall)
  16. UGA ornamental plant breeder aims to bring a new brew to the U.S. – locally grown tea | Univ. of Georgia
  17. After garlic crush, China farmers singed by red-hot chilli market | Reuters
  18. 3 circular principles for healthy agriculture | GreenBiz
  19. k.m.: I met with the author of this article, Hunter Lovins, a couple of years ago. She was wearing her cowboy hat and I bought her a $20 glass of locally produced Tincup Whiskey in exchange for the privilege of our bar room visit. I found too little material in it to make a post here, so I never reported on our meeting, but I do like her big picture view of natural capital and holistic farming using ruminants.
  20. Why Whole Foods is now struggling | Wash-Post Wonkblog
  21. Coriander leaf farming gets popular in Rangpur| The Daily Star
  22. Oregon olive oil ripe with potential | Oregon Dept. of Agriculture News
  23. A 'new generation' of environmentally friendly pesticides is a step closer as researchers make an important breakthrough in pest control efficiency thanks to an insect-killing fungus. | Phys.org
  24. Agriculture around the world: A traveler’s tale | RICS
  25. A new science explains the features of living beings in productive new ways that DNA-centric, genetic determinist, biology has not, and cannot. DNA is not the language of God. It is not even the language of biology. | Independent Science News
  26. k.m.: I found this article very thought-provoking, and somewhat convincing. It may be an important beginning to framing this issue.
  27. A startup founder worth $15 million explains why entrepreneurs should think like farmers, not suits | Quartz
  28. k.m.: I loved reading this because I was able to relate to so very much of what the author said, especially the part about being responsible for moving large cattle when you are only a child is a scary job to do but sometimes requires every member of the family to get the job done. How I remember! Needless to say, also the work ethic, the practical efficient lifestyle choices, and the independent thinking are all things a Midwestern farm child learns while growing up.


From the BBC Milk Man Series... One Dairy Farm adds value by selling lavender honey ice cream...

I can't get BBC's video player to work here, so just a link to it today.

To view last week's LINKS, click here.

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  1. https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/genetics-is-giving-way-to-a-new-science-of-life/ >>

    "Instead, science overwhelmingly shows that life is self-organised and thus the pieces are in place for biology to undergo the ultimate paradigm shift."

    This is my personal drum I bang on. To whit:

    Consciousness leads, the body follows." - Tom Campbell

    See Bruce Lipton's work, for some insight:

    "Bruce Harold Lipton, is an American developmental biologist best known for promoting the idea that genes and DNA can be manipulated by a person's beliefs."

    1. I think you know that I'm with you on these subjects. Lately I've been reading about Kahuna anthropology. I recommend it, too.

      The question I have for you is does this affect the ethical decisions of genetic engineering and manipulation. If we are non dual co-creators, then I'd see it as appropriate that we continue to advance our science with genetics. It may be primitive now but it may prove its worth later.