Agriculture

Ciao FAO: Another "Failure as Usual" Food Summit
June 27, 2008 09:33 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Contrary to the opinion of many, June's Food Summit actually did something. It signaled the beginning of the end for the multilateral system as we know it. Over the next six months the food emergency - and the international institutions designed to address it - could get worse.

Abandoned farmlands are key to sustainable bioenergy
June 24, 2008 10:29 AM - Carnegie Institution

Stanford, CA—Biofuels can be a sustainable part of the world's energy future, especially if bioenergy agriculture is developed on currently abandoned or degraded agricultural lands, report scientists from the Carnegie Institution and Stanford University.

Iowa: Agricultural Methods Exacerbate Flooding
June 24, 2008 09:28 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

In all of our reading about the floods and rebuilding Iowa, there is no mention of the role of agriculture in these recent events. Out of this catastrophe needs to come some understanding that industrial agriculture has caused many of the issues that happen downriver from cultivated land. A deterioration of good conservation and resource-management practices over the last 50 years has helped make these "rain events" even more catastrophic.

The Great Pesticide Debate
June 23, 2008 09:03 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

It's a battle that's been raging in this country for more than 15 years, with skirmishes fought in town council rooms, the House of Commons, the Supreme Court of Canada and on the letters pages of this newspaper. But the use of pesticides for purely esthetic purposes -- such as killing dandelions -- has likely never been a hotter topic than it is today.

U.N. calls on Asian nations to end deforestation
June 20, 2008 10:54 AM - Reuters

The United Nations has called on more Asian leaders to agree to a plan to end deforestation by 2020 to slow down the destruction of plants and animals, a top official said on Friday. About 80 percent of the world's known biodiversity could be found in forests, where about 1.6 billion people also depend for their survival, Ahmed Djoghlaf, executive director of U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), told a news conference in Manila.

In Midwest Floods, a Broad Threat to Crops
June 19, 2008 09:58 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

NEWHALL, Iowa - Here, in some of the best soil in the world, the stunted stalks of Dave Timmerman's newly planted corn are wilting in what sometimes look more like rice paddies than the plains, the sunshine glinting off of pools of collected water. Although time is running out, he has yet to plant all of his soybean crop because the waterlogged soil cannot support his footsteps, much less heavy machinery.

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.

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