Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Agriculture, Farming, and Food Reading Picks for this Week

Gottlieb Tobias Wilhelm ~ Butterfly Copper Engravings ~ 1810

This Tuesday news thread is a weekly feature here at Big Picture Agriculture.
  1. Exemplary: some Iowans have called him “nuts” for sowing grass where he could plant more corn | DesMoines Register
  2. Foreign investment in U.S. farmland on the rise | DesMoines Register
  3. Quote: The database shows that between 2004 and 2014, the amount of agricultural land held by foreign investors doubled from 13.7 million acres to 27.3 million acres — an area roughly the size of Tennessee.
  4. Global demand for food and agriculture products is projected to slow "considerably" over the next decade, mainly due to weakening consumption in China | Phys.org
  5. Quote: The FAO added that the use of biofuels—which "was heavily policy-driven" ... over the past decade—will experience a similar production slowdown... This slowdown will allow farmers to use land that was previously earmarked for biofuels to grow food instead. The report also predicted that consumption growth in developing countries will decrease the number of undernourished individuals from 11 percent to eight percent over the coming decade, bringing the total down from over 788 million to 650 million people.
  6. Dicamba drift is a problem this year | NPR
  7. Two states ban dicamba weed killer after drift complaints | Reuters
  8. Zapping Noxious Weeds On Organic Farms Is Harder Than You Think | NPR
  9. Quote: "We use a lot of steel and diesel to control weeds," Hunton says. "It's not easy being a farmer, but it's easier being a conventional farmer."
  10. Russia and the great land giveaway in the Far East | Asia Times
  11. From the UK comes one of the best documents I’ve ever seen about food system policy: A People’s Food Policy | Food Politics
  12. Kansas farmers are in debt. | The Hutchinson News
  13. Amish farmers square off against Big Organic in milk battle | Chicago Tribune
  14. Comment: Many have been convinced to buy organic milk, but does their label mean much?
  15. Kelly Whitaker’s Heritage Grain Crusade; With his new nonprofit, the Noble Grain Alliance, the Basta chef is bringing heritage grains back to Colorado farms and restaurants. | 5280
  16. Comment: Very interesting story from my backyard.
  17. Ceres Launches New Investor Guide to Engage Food Sector on Sustainability Risks | CERES
  18. Food Prices Near 2-Year High Thanks to a Record Surge in Butter and Wheat | Bloomberg
  19. Progress on World Hunger Has Reversed | IPS
  20. Quote: FAO has identified 19 countries facing severe food crises due to a combination of conflict and climate change including South Sudan, Northeast Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen where nearly 20 million are affected.
  21. Rural hospitals often trade independence for better care | Denver Post
  22. Mexico Is No Longer No. 1 U.S. Corn-Buyer After Trade Tensions, now it's Japan | Bloomberg
  23. How A Vermont Family Dairy Farm Makes Ends Meet | VPR
  24. The EPA proposed to keep the 2018 target for conventional ethanol at 15 billion gallons, unchanged from 2017, helping corn farmers | Bloomberg
  25. Yet another anti-ethanol newspaper opinion piece. | Waco Tribune Herald
  26. The enzymes tapped to help turn switchgrass, corn stover (corn stalks, leaves and other leftovers) and poplar into biofuels amount to about 20 percent of production costs | EurekAlert
  27. Comment: A policy gift to Danish owned Novazymes plant, located on Iowa-Nebraska border.
  28. California Almond Crop Projected to Increase 5 Percent | USAgnet
  29. Bankers turn positive on land prices in US cotton, cattle heartland | Agrimoney
  30. Irrigation equipment maker, Lindsay Corp continues to grow | Omaha W-H
  31. USDA spends 10 Million to purchase surplus Maine blueberries | Kansas City
  32. Japan-EU trade deal good for European dairies, bad for ours | USA Today
  33. Ukraine land reform to unlock $40-50 billion for agribusiness lending | Reuters
  34. ‘Farming powerhouse’ Thailand is Asia’s top milk exporter | Royal Thai Embassy, Washington D.C.
  35. Egypt aims to double its high-quality cotton production and export | Reuters
  36. Fresh sweet cherries expected to be plentiful this summer | USDA (chart)
  37. Yield of Dreams: How Precision Agriculture Will Help Feed the Planet | Trend.pewtrusts
  38. CWT Assists with 1.9 Million Pounds of Cheese Exports | USAgnet
  39. How Group Organic Farming Empowered Tribal Farmers in Tamil Nadu. Organic farming has doubled the crop yield and increased tribal farmers’ profit margins, helping relieve their previous debts. | The Wire
  40. Mideast: Water Use Innovations ‘Crucial’ to Face Climate Change | IPS
  41. Grapes shrivel as Spanish farmers lament a relentless drought | The Guardian
  42. Climate change could make Sahel wet | Phys.org
  43. Millions of pigs will soon live better lives in China | CSM
  44. Despite the Myth, Sustainable Farming Methods Can Lead to High-Yield Agriculture | The Wire
  45. International Bison Conference announces goal of 1 million bison | Missoulian
  46. How a crop-destroying fungus mutated to infect wheat | ScienceNews
  47. A record-setting siege of deadly heat gives Southwest a taste of its future | MinnPost
  48. Big food is in trouble. Firms including General Mills and Conagra were slow to address the twin threats of fresher, more modern fare and inexpensive store brands. | WSJ (paywall)
  49. Shopping for sunscreen: Are all brands equal? | Harvard Health
  50. 7-Eleven is now stocking Soylent | Business Insider
  51. 9 Can’t-Miss Events at Slow Food Nations; What to do at Denver's most anticipated foodie event of the year. | 5280

AND, FINALLY, a big thanks to @AgScienceWriter for this tweet:

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