The Latest on Farming
Michael Pollan made an appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart Monday night to promote his latest book, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual. He came out swinging at Big Ag and the subsidies doled out to commodity crops such as corn and soybeans that are artificially cheap and have "a very high cost in terms of health and terms of the environment."Read More
A flurry of blog postings in the last two days have pointed out that the conservative Minnesota congresswoman, who has regularly attacked President Obama’s health care and foreclosure relief proposals as “socialism,” takes full advantage of taxpayer dollars through the dysfunctional federal farm subsidy program – to the tune of $259,332 paid to a family farm between 1995 and 2008.Read More
In October, EWG released a report that questioned the misguided claims made by farm lobby organizations and their patrons in Congress who are arguing that climate change legislation would cause devastating increases in the costs of production. Crying Wolf clearly demonstrated that any increases in farmers' production costs would be minimal and would be lost in the background noise of annual swings in income caused by yield variation, crop prices and the cost of seed and chemicals -- a small price to pay to protect agriculture from the crippling droughts, volatile weather and increased pest and disease outbreaks expected as the planet warms.Read More
Taking steps to confront the threat of a warming planet would have the huge added payoff of making people healthier around the globe, a group of scientists have concluded in a unique package of new research papers.
The health “co-benefits” of cutting greenhouse gas emissions include significantly cutting rates of heart and artery disease, respiratory infections, strokes, various cancers, lung disease and dementia, the scientists found. They argue that the financial savings from these health gains could offset a significant portion of the economic cost of reducing emissions.Read More
Last night, Stephen Stock -- lead investigative reporter for Florida's CBS-TV 4's I-Team -- aired a report on people collecting taxpayer-funded farm subsidies for years after they've died. Stephen's story is a timely follow-up to a Government Accountability Office report two years ago that showed how $1.1 billion in those federal subsidies went to the estates or companies of dead farmers over the course of 7 years.Read More
Brazil announces retaliatory trade sanctions on U.S. products after World Trade Organization targets U.S. cotton subsidies. Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Freedman writes that: "The WTO gave Brazil permission in August to impose $294.7 million in sanctions against U.S. goods -- the second-highest amount ever permitted by the Geneva-based trade arbiter -- and Brazil’s government earlier this month released a list of 222 products that may be subject to increased duties."Read More
The dedicated folks at The Organic Center released a hard hitting report today, Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use: The First Thirteen Years.Read More
A Prairie Home Companion, the long-running radio variety show, Robert Altman movie and purveyor of powdermilk biscuits,usually broadcasts from St. Paul, Minnesota. Last week's performance originated from Des Moines. During the show's the Lives of the Cowboys segment, the following exchange transpired.Read More
The Agriculture Research Service (ARS) of the US Department of Agriculture released a surprising bit of climate change-related research on Tuesday, work that suggests that getting big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from simple changes in common farming practices may not be as easy as many hope.Read More
All corn, all the time. Good Magazine's YouTube channel has had this punchy, short video up since January, illustrating how corn permeates American life. EWG's work tracking the billions of dollars in taxpayer funded subsides to corn and corn ethanol laid the foundation for artful stuff like this.Read More
Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico watershed informational slides.Read More
“Frito-Lay traveling nachos with cornbread, served with a corn cobbette” – that’s what’s for lunch today in my old elementary school cafeteria in Richmond, VA.Read More
When we talk about California and climate change, agriculture matters. California's agriculture sector faces two major challenges:
- Reduce its contribution to climate change.
- Arm itself against the threats a warming planet poses to agricultural production.