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Feeding your mind, saving the planet >>

The Latest from AgMag

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Six former chiefs of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service today (May 7) urged the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to once again require farmers to adopt basic conservation practices in exchange for crop insurance subsidies.

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Monday, May 6, 2013

A smart man learns from his mistakes, Terry Ingram likes to say, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Federally subsidized crop insurance is now the most expensive program supporting farm income, so it’s no surprise that it will be at the center of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s deliberations on the 2013 farm bill, starting later this month. And as it happens, last year’s epic drought, which decimated crops across a wide swath of America, afforded a unique opportunity to assess the effectiveness of a program whose costs have ballooned to $9 billion a year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

As Congress gets to work again in 2013 on renewing the farm bill, it has the opportunity to do more to support family farmers, protect the environment and encourage healthy diets, while ending wasteful and unnecessary subsidy payments that flow to profitable growers and the crop insurance industry. Here is the farm bill platform EWG announced early in 2013.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Every American should be angry over the false claims being made against a fund designed to help black farmers who were the victims of long-standing discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which were reported last week by The New York Times.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Largely out of the public view, government officials, environmental groups and agricultural interests have been battling over public access to data about the workings of the crowded animal feedlots known as CAFOs, or concentrated animal feeding operations.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

We’ve all heard of pink slime. Now, there’s green slime too.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Our report struck at nerve at FDA.  The agency issued a statement calling it “misleading” and “alarmist.”  You can read our full response here.  Essentially, the FDA argued that antibiotic-resistance to only one drug is not that big of a deal because there are still some other antibiotics that could treat bacterial infections – for now.

The FDA glossed over the reality that scientists know well: antibiotic-resistance traits can spread like wildfire as genes pass freely from one microbe to another. Microbes that have adapted to defeat antibiotics designed to kill them can share this ability -- and create more superbugs. 

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Could the Farm Bill be an opportunity to promote better bug killers?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Minnesota Congressman Colin Peterson (D-Minn.) struck a nerve this month when he said that “there is five times as much fraud” in the federal crop insurance program as there is the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

For EWG and its legion of supporters, last week was all about food on Capitol Hill.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

EWG argues for reform of farm programs to reduce the misuse of antibiotics in livestock production after analysis of recent government tests reveal more and more supermarket meat harbors antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

March 26 report by the Environmental Protection Agency has found that 55 percent of the nation’s stream and river miles are in poor condition, mainly because of industrial agriculture.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mother Nature has good news for people who love bad news.


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Thursday, March 14, 2013

For years the federal government wrongly sent millions in taxpayer-funded farm subsidies to dead farmers – a black eye for subsidy defenders and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Now it seems farmers are paying the dead back for all that bad publicity by bulldozing historic prairie cemeteries.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It’s time to face facts: the biofuels mandate Congress established in 2005 is creating too much bad biofuel and not enough good biofuel. This year, that mandate requires American refiners to use 13.8 billion gallons of corn ethanol – more than they can actually blend into their gasoline. By contrast, fuel makers are expected to generate only a little more than 5 million gallons of non-food-based biofuels that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many doubt whether the industry can hit this target.

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

In recent years, millions of acres of America’s native grasslands have been plowed under to grow corn for ethanol to blend into gasoline. And new research is clearly pointing to the federal ethanol mandate as a main driver of this tsunami of land conversion in the Midwest.

Friday, March 1, 2013

If you’ve ever wondered how hunger and obesity manage to exist side by side, go see A Place at the Table, a powerful new documentary that unwinds the knotty problem of hunger in America. It opens nationwide today (March 1).

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Monday, February 25, 2013

The South Dakota researchers, Christopher K. Wright and Michael C. Wimberley, focused on grassland conversion in areas close to wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region – a critical Midwest flyway for migratory birds. They wrote that, “in South Dakota... 80% of grassland conversion is occurring within 500 m [meters] of neighboring wetlands.”

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

One of the better tools that conventional row crop farmers can use to increase the environmental health of their land is to plant “cover crops” of legumes and grasses. These help control erosion, sequester carbon, improve soil health, fight weeds, add nitrogen to the soil and make soil nutrients more available, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.

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