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Hopkins Center for a Livable Future at it again

The “they” are six researchers at The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, based at the Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences.  The “it” is another attempt to alarm citizens with false and misleading information in an attempt to block another new chicken farm in Maryland.  The “it” is contained in a letter to one Jennifer Feindt, a Farm Loan Specialist with the USDA Farm Service Agency. But this time around they really have “egg” all over their collective faces.

More unresolved GMO issues

Most of the debate about GMOs has focused on transgenic crops in which a gene from one species is inserted into the DNA of another species. With herbicide-tolerant crops, a gene from a plant that is resistant to the desired herbicide is inserted into the genome of a crop like corn or cotton that normally is killed when sprayed with the given herbicide. Similarly, scientists have inserted a gene that induces the production of the toxin produced by the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into a corn plant.

OECD outlook signals 'era of high prices is likely over'

The decline in prices for food and feed crops, livestock and fish products in 2015 signals that “an era of high prices is quite likely over for all sub-sectors,” economists at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) say.  Developed jointly with analysts at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, the Paris-based OECD projected in its Agricultural Outlook 2016-2025 that most agricultural prices wo

Looming bubble in the ag tech industry?

The demands of agriculture and the price tag for new technology have some developers questioning if there is a looming bubble in the ag tech industry.  Aaron Magenheim, CEO of AgTech Insight of Salinas, California says there is a disconnect between developers and farmers. Magenheim says their clients in the Midwest, far removed from Silicon Valley, need to be involved in the creation process so developers can better understand what real, on the ground needs of farmers are.

3 ways animal rights activists have been targeting you this summer

PETA members dress as nuns at RNC and propose a sin tax on meat. “At the convention, campaigners from PETA donned nun’s attire and stilts. Armed with placards emblazoned with polemical slogans like ‘Meat is a Bad Habit. Tax It!’ and ‘Slap a Sin Tax on Meat!’ the nuns quickly drew attention to themselves.  PETA attacks New Mexico FFA members. The campaign casts a shadow on Future Farmers of America, the popular agriculture club for high school students.

More Proof Cover Crops Boost Yields

Insight from 2,020 farmers from across the country reflected enthusiasm for cover crops and—for the fourth year in a row—found a yield boost in corn and soybeans following cover crops. Multi-year data from the survey shows the yield boost increases as cover crops are planted year after year, a revelation that points to an appealing long-term benefit of the conservation practice.

North American Farmers Increasing Rye Plantings on Higher Whiskey Sales

Farmers in North America are turning back to a neglected crop, sowing fields with the largest rye crop in years as consumers satisfy a growing thirst for whiskey. Rye, planted in autumn and harvested in mid-summer, fell in popularity during the past decade as other crops produced bigger profits. However, with whiskey demand high and new varieties of rye on the market, farmers have regained interest.

Ecology may reconsider cost of Washington dairy rules

Dairy farmers and environmentalists criticized new manure-control rules the state Department of Ecology plans to finalize early next year, accusing state regulators of being too meddlesome or too lax.  At the first of two public hearings on the proposal, farmers said dairies already are heavily regulated and that Ecology’s new layer of mandates would be unnecessary, expensive and even dispiriting.  Ecology estimates that complying with the permit will cost a dairy between $11,000 and $25,000 over five years.

Portland students to learn about ag, rangeland at rural school

urnt River School’s invitation to Portland students paid off, and the rural Eastern Oregon school will host up to eight urban kids when classes begin next fall, and eight more in the spring. “It’s happening,” Superintendent Lorrie Andrews said. The district is arranging places for the students to stay while in school.  The school, which had a total of 34 students in 2015-16, offers the Burnt River Integrated Agriculture/Science Research Ranch program, or BRIARR, a dip into the ag and natural resource issues common to the area.


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