Russia has extended its ban on imports of Western food to the end of 2017.
On the farm our tools range from the typical tractor and seeds to tablets and satellites. While some are more important than others, each tool has its place and without the others would not be as effective or efficient. Probably the most important tool we use is human capital. Our rural community is full of experts in their field. Our neighbor knows our tractors inside and out. Friends from high school now sell seed and fertilizer, recommending combinations that might work well in our fields. Agronomists, crop specialists, grain marketers . . .
Without genetically-modified foods, we might have to give up oranges and resign ourselves to living with avian flu and more malnutrition. It was hailed as a radical move when more than 100 Nobel laureates sent a letter to Greenpeace, urging the environmental group to stop blocking genetically modified foods like golden rice from reaching those who need it. The debate over whether GMOs are good or bad has been stuck in neutral for years.
Price Chopper has learned that manufacturers will no longer ship 3,000 products to Vermont because they will not have a GMO label. The grocery store stopped receiving shipments of many food items beginning last Friday when Vermont’s GMO labeling law went into effect.
Vermont, as it happens, is one of the few states that tracks herbicide usage. “And so we figured, well shoot, we’ve got the data, let’s take a look at it,” says Will Allen, an organic farmer and activist. “When we did we were shocked, really.” llen says herbicide use has nearly doubled from 2002 to 2012. And he says it’s no coincidence that the increase came during a time period when almost all the state’s corn growers switched from conventional seeds to GMOs.
Recalls of organic foods amounted to 7% of all food units recalled in 2015, even though organic farms account for only about 1% of agricultural acreage. Now a favorite snack of those same protesters, the sacred granola bar, has been found to pose an actual health risk. In early June, several types of Clif Bars were recalled from stores because they contained organic sunflower kernels potentially contaminated with a bacterium called listeria.
Soybeans are very sensitive to dicamba and this summer is showing it. Damage complaints have been filed in several Southern states because of what appears to be off-target movement of dicamba herbicide onto sensitive crops.
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit from groups that challenged Wyoming laws prohibiting trespassing on private lands to collect data. Groups including the Western Watersheds Project, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Press Photographers Association sued Wyoming last year. The groups claimed state laws prohibiting trespassing to collect data were unconstitutional.
man who smuggled Guatemalan teenagers into the U.S. and forced them to work on an Ohio egg farm was sentenced in Toledo last week to 15 years in prison. Aroldo Castillo-Serrano and associate Conrado Salgado Soto had previously pleaded guilty to labor-trafficking and immigration offences, according to a report in The Marion Star. Ana Angelica Pedro-Juan, who ran the operation for Castillo-Serrano, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Another individual, Pablo Duran Jr., pleaded guilty to immigration offenses.
A global glut of milk is now in the market, but dairy producers worry immigration and farm labor issues could dry up milk supply. “It’s a competitive pay. I think we’re just having trouble finding enough people to do it,” says Kendra Lamb, a dairy farmer in Oakfield, N.Y. That’s especially true for dairy farms in New York. Farms which hire seasonal workers to harvest fruits and vegetables can use the H-2A Visa program. But dairy is not seasonal. It’s 24 hours, seven days a week.