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Agriculture

The global food crisis deepens
June 18, 2008 10:49 AM - Tehran Times

The list of countries on the brink of disaster because of the global food crisis is growing by the week. Terrorism and security experts predict widespread social and political unrest and violent conflict in the second and third world. Last week the United Nations’ World Food Program announced it is to provide U.S. $1.2 billion (£600 million) in additional food aid in the 62 countries hit hardest by the food and fuel crisis.

Sustainable Agriculture: The Food Revolution That Starts With Rice
June 18, 2008 10:15 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Many a professor dreams of revolution. But Norman T. Uphoff, working in a leafy corner of the Cornell University campus, is leading an inconspicuous one centered on solving the global food crisis. The secret, he says, is a new way of growing rice. Rejecting old customs as well as the modern reliance on genetic engineering, Dr. Uphoff, 67, an emeritus professor of government and international agriculture with a trim white beard and a tidy office, advocates a management revolt.

Sustainable agriculture will help stop desertification, UN agency says
June 17, 2008 09:20 AM - IFAD

Poor farmers and herders in countries bearing the brunt of desertification and land degradation can help stop or reverse those processes by engaging in sustainable agriculture, the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) says.

Midwest flooding spurs record corn prices
June 17, 2008 09:15 AM - Reuters

The worst flooding in the U.S. Midwest in 15 years sent fresh shocks to global markets and consumers as corn prices hit record highs on devastating crop losses in the heart of the world's top grain exporter. The price of corn at the Chicago Board of Trade soared above $8 a bushel for the first time as relentless rains and overflowing rivers raised fears that Midwest farmers will not be able to grow much of anything on as many as 5 million acres.

Aurora's Heifer Supplier, 'Promiseland', Busted by the USDA
June 16, 2008 10:04 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

The National Organic Program (NOP) of the US Department of Agriculture said today that Promiseland Livestock, L.L.C., could have its organic certification suspended for two years. In a formal administrative complaint, Promiseland, a Falcon, Missouri crops and livestock producer (which sold Aurora Organic Dairy more than 13,000 cattle between 2004 and 2006) was charged by the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) with "willful violation" of the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) and with failure to provide access to records regarding its operations.

Despite Economic Dip, Organic Food Sales Soar
June 16, 2008 09:26 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

If there's a recession, organic food doesn't know it. Even in a down economy, green consumers have shown a willingness to pay more for organic, natural or environmentally-friendly products, per a study released last week by the Natural Marketing Institute and The Nielsen Co. (which is parent to Brandweek).

UK Government Offers Cash For Biomass For Heat And Energy Generation
June 13, 2008 10:26 AM - , Triple Pundit

UK farmers and businesses producing biomass that can be used for fuel and electricity creation can apply for government grants of up to GBP200,000. By paying farmers for various types of wood, grass, straw and dead forest wood, the UK government hopes to raise electricity derived from biomass supply to 6% by 2020, up from 3.5% now. Demand for renewable heat is expected to increase to 6% by 2020, up from 0.6% currently.

Calif. gov declares water emergency in farm area
June 13, 2008 08:50 AM - Reuters

Following his declaration last week of a drought in California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proclaimed on Thursday a state of emergency in nine counties in the state's farm-rich Central Valley. "Just last week, I said we would announce regional emergencies wherever the state's drought situation warrants them, and in the Central Valley an emergency proclamation is necessary to protect our economy and way of life," the Republican governor said in a statement.

USDA Refuses to Admit What 50 Million Organic Consumers Know: Organic Food is Healthier
June 12, 2008 09:08 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Mum's the word among federal officials about the health benefits of eating organic foods. The Department of Health and Human Services defers questions about organic foods to the Food and Drug Administration. But the FDA has no policy on organics because it says they're the domain of the Department of Agriculture, which will admit to using the "o-word," but says its mandate is simply to regulate use of the certified organic label, not to judge the relative benefits of organic versus conventional foods.

Farmers who plant, or replant , after June 20 may see yields drop by half
June 10, 2008 10:40 AM - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A costly deadline looms for many growers in the Midwest, as every day of waiting for the weather to cooperate to plant corn and soybeans reduces potential yields. Illinois growers who plant corn or soybeans near the end of June can expect a 50 percent reduction in crop yield, according to a University of Illinois agriculture expert.

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