America's wetlands and prairies are being lost and our drinking water and food supplies are contaminated with toxic pesticides, fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics. The productivity of our farmland is being depleted, threatening future generations of farmers.
Many farmers are producing food in ways that protect family farms and the environment. But farm policies are doing too little to reward good stewardship and too much to underwrite unsustainable crop and animal production by the largest and most successful farm businesses.
After years of debate, the Environmental Protection Agency is finally poised to revoke all uses of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which first came on line as a pest control technology in 1965. That action, which could come this year, follows years of accumulating evidence that the organophosphate pesticide poses significant risks to people’s health and the environment. But Big Ag isn’t giving up on chlorpyrifos yet.Read More
If you care about the environment, human health or helping small growers, you should support reform of the federal crop insurance program.Read More
Pollution in Minnesota’s drinking water has gotten worse in recent years, but no one wants to call out the industry responsible. It’s been the primary source of water pollution for decades, making water in some areas of the country dangerous to drink and costing local taxpayers millions of dollars to clean it up.
It’s bad enough that farm subsidy rates are driven by politics, not good policy, as legendary agricultural economist Carl Zulauf noted last week. But it turns out, Zulauf says, that subsidies also drive growers to plow up wetlands and grasslands to grow corn and soybeans, increasing farm pollution.Read More
Americans might think that there’s a formula to determine the amount of premium subsidies growers get through the federal crop insurance program. They’d be wrong. The subsidies are based on what politicians think taxpayers are willing to pay.
The European Union just banned two agricultural weed killers linked to infertility, reproductive problems and fetal development – the first-ever EU ban on endocrine-disrupting pesticides. That’s good news for Europeans. But as in Europe, many endocrine-disrupting weed killers remain widely used on American crops, and from farm fields make their way into drinking water and food.
Today (April 19) the House Appropriations Committee will mark up the $21 billion agriculture spending bill for fiscal year 2017, which proposes to slash a number of vital conservation programs. To understand what’s at stake in the bill, keep in mind a couple of key points.Read More
The cotton industry and its supporters in Congress have not been coy about asking for what they want: a new $10 billion farm subsidy.
Think federal farm subsidies only help out struggling family farmers? Think again.
Crop insurance hikes up the cost of cropland -- bad news for small farmers who own their own land and growers, large and small, who rent acreage from landlords.
The recent Porter Ranch methane spill in Los Angeles County spewed about 66 tons of methane into the air every hour for four months. After the leak was finally sealed in February, scientists estimated it had discharged a total of 106,000 tons of methane into the air, making it the worst such leak in U.S. history.
Genetically modified corn and soybeans were supposed to reduce chemical use on farms, but instead they’ve done the exact opposite by creating herbicide-resistant "superweeds" and increasing the use of Monsanto’s toxic weed killer Roundup. Now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's internal watchdog wants to know how this chemical war on weeds is affecting human health and the environment.Read More
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said this week (March 23) it will allow farmers to plant a new strain of genetically modified (GMO) corn created by Monsanto to be tolerant of the week killers dicamba and glufosinate without government oversight, a step likely to expand the use of these chemical herbicides.Read More
Production of corn ethanol has led growers to plow up of millions of acres of prairie grassland and wetlands to plant more corn. By the Environmental Protection Agency’s own definition, this means that corn ethanol is not a renewable fuel.
Federal crop insurance encourages growers to plant crops on land that is vulnerable to soil erosion and discourages landowners from adopting good conservation practices.Read More