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AgMag BLOG

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The Latest from AgMag

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

DTN Progressive Farmer political correspondent Jerry Hagstrom is reporting that black farmers' claims against the US Department of Agriculture  "could be settled today if the House, as expected, takes up a $4.5 billion bill the Senate passed just before Thanksgiving to settle the Pigford II black farmers’ discrimination case against USDA."

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Tea party backers, environmental groups, faith-based organizations, and the bulk of the U.S. meat and dairy industry joined forces today, calling on Congressional leaders to eliminate a wasteful taxpayer-funded subsidy that largely lines the pockets of companies that blend ethanol with fuel, including BP, Shell and Chevron. Go here to read the letter asking Congress to roll back support for corn ethanol from 59 groups.

Monday, November 22, 2010

 

The cut-spending, small government posse that rode the Tea Party wave into Congress -- but just happens to cash in on federal farm subsidies -- is now using national defense as a shield for  its contradictory stance. Vicky Hartzler, recently elected to Congress from Missouri and recipient of $774,000 in farm subsidies since 1995, played the national defense card when confronted over her haul of taxpayer dollars: "Everything should be on the table," she says. While she says some agriculture programs represent a "national defense issue" because they help guarantee that "we have a safety net to make sure we have food security in our country."

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Yesterday (Nov 19) it was announced that the $1.15 billion awarded black farmers in the Pigford settlement that arose from decades of discriminatory practices at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has finally been approved by the Senate.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Everyone agrees: Chesapeake Bay is heavily polluted. Thirty years of promises, compromises, plans, schemes and a whole lot of taxpayer dollars have done little to clean up one of America's most storied watersheds. There’s plenty of blame to go around, and waste from urban sprawl is one factor. But the biggest threat to water quality in the Chesapeake is pollution from agriculture.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Eight years ago, there were 61 plants producing ethanol to blend with gasoline in the United States; today there are about 200. Eight years ago, 13 percent of those plants used a feedstock other than corn; today, just 5 percent rely on alternatives like wood waste, sugar cane or cheese whey.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Welcome to Kernel Watch, a time-to-time AgMag series looking at the follies, excesses and outright distortions spouted by agribusiness and its PR and lobby arms. Their goal is to keep consumers in the dark about what’s in the food they eat, to fight needed reforms that would protect America's land and water, and to preserve the flow of taxpayer dollars to the largest commodity crop producers.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

House Democrats’ devastating losses in Tuesday’s mid-term election swept away a number of members from hotly contested rural districts whose full-throated support for keeping the taxpayer-funded farm subsidy spigot wide open was supposed to inoculate them against challengers and help Democrats maintain control of the House.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

In a fall season rife with bad news for the corn ethanol industry, its lobby has been hyping a new partnership with NASCAR. According to USA Today, NASCAR CEO and chairman Brian France announced the sponsorship before the Oct. 16 Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In 1982, scientists observed record numbers of migratory birds at California’s Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge hatching with massive deformities. Baby birds had grossly misshapen beaks, twisted legs, missing wings and malformed skulls. More than 1,000 waterfowl eventually died.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Cutting back on the amount of meat in the American diet is one of the best ways people can shrink their carbon footprint – and at the same time slim their waistlines and improve overall health.

Friday, October 22, 2010

If you like your fruits and vegetables with pesticides, then you’ll be glad to know the conventional produce industry is boasting of a big win with the Obama administration.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Even as it announced several initiatives to promote development of advanced biofuels, the Obama Administration made clear Thursday (Oct. 21) that it’s not prepared to let go of corn ethanol and other first-generation fuels whose existence relies heavily on expensive tax breaks and tariffs.

Monday, October 11, 2010

With Congress in recess, talks on reshaping the federal Farm Bill, due for action in 2012, have been set aside while nervous lawmakers focus on the November elections.

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Friday, October 1, 2010

On Sept 23rd, Jimmy Kimmel Live hosted "Science Bob" Pflugfelder. Watch below as the acclaimed science educator and Jimmy conduct an experiment to see which has more calories, a piece of celery -- or a gummy bear.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF), a California trade association, wants you to have less information about pesticide residues on the fruits and vegetables you buy. That’s not too surprising; since the Alliance represents more than 50 large produce growers and marketers and the suppliers who sell them pesticides and fertilizer.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mexico and the United States have a lot more in common than a border. Their agricultural and rural policies have strikingly similar flaws–and present parallel opportunities for reform and revitalization.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

A big reason that food products derived from corn are so pervasive in America’s diet today is that for decades taxpayers have given corn growers incentives to grow as much as possible through the skewed federal farm subsidy system.

Friday, September 17, 2010

It’s now a done deal. After Congress in July rebuffed several attempts by Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) to win funding for an agriculture disaster aid package that would send generous checks to large Arkansas farms for minimal losses, the White House quickly offered to finance the payments administratively.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We're all used to hearing Big Food and Big Ag brag about America having "the safest food supply in the world," usually as a warm-up for complaining that EWG and other critics of our food system are, well, out to lunch. But the facts about food safety - food poisoning in particular - are nothing for the richest country in the world to crow about.

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