Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Agriculture, Farming, and Food Reading Picks for this Week

"Le Jardinier" by Gustave de Smet 1929

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

I must say that over the past few months it has been a challenge trying to navigate through the multitudes of bizarre, confusing, ego-infused headlines and tweets when gathering news. While recognizing that politics and agriculture are forever intertwined, my aim here is to present real news, non-regurgitated news, and non-politically-motivated news. Philosophically, I try to come at this from the Taoist state of "wu wei", trying to notice and observe trends and important stories rather than judge, though with a moral obligation to defend our environment when viewing the world holistically and the Earth as Gaia. Only if I had a crystal ball about the future and knew everything would I be qualified to say more. As for the tit for tat headlines, my personal antidote is to listen to classical music and tune out.


  1. Higher yields, better technology, fewer farmers: In Washington’s apple country, small and midsize farmers must adapt to changing economics, consumer tastes and technology | The Spokesman-Review
  2. Quotes: "About a decade ago, there were 4,000 independent apple growers in Washington. Today there’s 1,450." and "You can be the best farmer in the world and still go broke." and "It’s never been like it is right now, never."
  3. 14 poisoned by Wild Death Cap Mushrooms in California | Huff-Post
  4. Quote: "A woman who was given the mushrooms by a forager cooked them for herself, her husband, her 18-month-old daughter, her sister and a friend. They all became ill, and the toddler and the woman’s sister needed liver transplants."
  5. Executive chairman of DTN 
says ag info provider can be an industry leader | Omaha World-Herald
  6. Comment: This story is very interesting. The leading agricultural news company, DTN out of Omaha, has changed hands again, this time to a Swiss owner who has visions of making it bigger.
  7. Farmed fish on course to overtake wild catch in 2019 | FT
  8. On top of the Cornhusker, a hotel honey farm | Lincoln Journal Star
  9. Perdue Offers Tough Love on Crop Insurance | DTN
  10. On reducing neonicotinoid dust while planting | NPR
  11. Rural America Is the New ‘Inner City’; A Wall Street Journal analysis shows that since the 1990s, sparsely populated counties have replaced large cities as America’s most troubled areas by key measures of socioeconomic well-being—a decline that’s accelerating | WSJ
  12. Effective this week, federal regulators say E15 must be labeled as a “Flex Fuel” in most areas of the country. | USA Today
  13. ‘Pink slime’ defamation trial set to start in South Dakota | AP
  14. Georgia peach crop faces nearly 80 percent loss this year | AP
  15. Deere to buy German road construction firm for about $5 billion | Reuters
  16. Herbicide-tolerant sugarbeets accounted for 98 percent of sugarbeet acreage by 2013 (with graph) | USDA
  17. Couple starts organic farm in Nebraska | Ledger-Enquirer
  18. The economics of soil health | AgPro
  19. Farm conservation leaders describe trials and solutions | Illinois Farmer Today
  20. How this ninth-generation Californian got his start in organic farming | LA Times
  21. New Approach Needed for Small Town Housing | Center for Rural Affairs
  22. Monitoring devices on farm animals | Wired
  23. Robots wielding water knives are the future of farming | Wired
  24. VIDEO: The Growing Trend of Vertical Farming - TruLeaf | Bloomberg
  25. Leader of Iowa school meals group embezzled for years | AP
  26. Another Central Valley dairy going solar | Central Valley Business Times
  27. Global Beef Prices Rise as India’s Supply Under Threat; India’s decision to ban the slaughter of its cattle would cut supply from the world’s biggest exporter of the meat by volume | WSJ
  28. India’s new cattle laws threaten a $5.6 billion industry that supplies to Armani and M&S | Quartz
  29. Eco-label in exchange for less chemicals on rice fields | Phys.org
  30. The Eco guide to tinned tuna | The Guardian
  31. Dairy products a good dietary source of some types of vitamin K | EurekAlert
  32. What's in your bread (or vodka)? Chicago's appetite for interesting grains is growing | Chicago Tribune
  33. Wineries Branch into Legal Marijuana | Market to Market
  34. Obesity figures shoot up around the world | Media India Group
  35. Prepared Food Should Come With Calorie Counts; The FDA is wrong to delay mandatory nutrition labeling. | Bloomberg View
  36. People are drinking fewer alcoholic drinks, according to a new industry report tracking consumption worldwide. | BBC
  37. Brits wasting money on new 'superfoods' when eggs contain most vitamins, nutritionist says | Farming UK News

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  1. True food security is of global concern even in Africa we are facing the challenge of feeding the ever increasing population. Thanks.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I wondered if the effort required to sort through the media misinformation haystack was getting a bit much to shovel through ? Some tools seem to just need more tools, eh ?

      As a Meyers-Briggs (INTJ), my 'J'(Judgement) is always getting me in a bad space and creating challenges that I thought I understood - but didn't really.

      Thanks for your efforts though, Kay