Agriculture

New cash crop for farmers could be carbon trade
January 5, 2009 08:43 AM - www.fredericknewspost.com

Carbon emissions are increasingly at the forefront of policy issues, and experts say agricultural practices could play a role in decreasing emissions while providing farmers with a new cash crop. "You can't go to a newsstand today without seeing major publications with sustainability, climate change or energy on the cover," said Jim Mulhern, a founding partner of Watson/Mulhern and veteran policy strategist and communicator with 20 years experience in Washington public policy issues.

Food needs 'fundamental rethink'
January 2, 2009 09:05 AM - BBC

A sustainable global food system in the 21st Century needs to be built on a series of "new fundamentals", according to a leading food expert. Tim Lang warned that the current system, designed in the 1940s, was showing "structural failures", such as "astronomic" environmental costs. The new approach needed to address key fundamentals like biodiversity, energy, water and urbanisation, he added.

Official figures mask true state of environment
January 1, 2009 10:00 AM - The Sydney Morning Herald

THE rate of land clearing is much higher than Australia's environmental accounting methods may suggest, a study by researchers at the University of Queensland shows. It says traditional bookkeeping methods are misleading because they usually record positive and negative environmental outcomes separately, and that lack of context means big net losses of forested land can be wrongly reported as a win for conservation.

Group says program benefits industrial farms
January 1, 2009 09:54 AM - AP

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A federal conservation program originally designed to help small farmers is now disproportionately benefiting industrial livestock operations, according to a new report by a family farm advocacy group. The Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment examined five years worth of payments through the federal Environmental Quality Incentives Program, known as EQIP.

'Eat local' movement takes root
December 27, 2008 09:55 AM - Mercury News

SAN FRANCISCO—Here's something you might not know about being a locavore, the new-fangled term for the old-school tradition of eating food grown close to home: Coffee is almost always negotiable. Here's another: The people practicing this new-old (and currently quite hot) trend may surprise you. Suburban moms? Check. Artisanal-cheese sniffing foodies? Double check. And how about denizens of the decidely un-hippie halls of Wal-Mart?

Will Obama Integrate Food, Farming & Health Policies?
December 22, 2008 11:41 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

As Tom Vilsack and Tom Daschle assume their cabinet positions in the Obama administration as Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, respectively, they inherit mammoth challenges. Working together will be key to their success, because their work has a common denominator - food. The connection is simple - the health of America's eaters depends on the health of the food and agriculture system.

Idaho energy czar aims to harness cow pie power
December 22, 2008 09:35 AM - Seattle PI

BOISE, Idaho -- Idaho is hoping to capitalize on more than just the milk emerging from its cows. The state's mountains of manure are fueling dreams of pipelines linking waste treatment facilities at dairies large and small to central refineries that produce natural gas pure enough for homes or cars.

African ministers say share water to combat hunger
December 18, 2008 10:57 AM - Reuters

SIRTE, Libya (Reuters) - African states lack the resources to deal alone with climate change and must share water better to feed growing populations, government ministers said at a water conference in Libya on Wednesday. The world's poorest continent has failed to feed a fast-growing population due to under-investment, bad farm management and more frequent droughts and floods, leaving it hooked on food imports.

Study: Global warming could boost crop pests
December 17, 2008 09:25 AM - AP

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The milder winters and longer growing seasons predicted under global warming forecasts could boost populations of crop-munching insects in the Midwest's corn country over the coming decades, new research suggests. Purdue University scientists said their findings could mean lower yields for corn and other crops -- and higher pest control costs for farmers -- as the climate warms up.

In "eat local" movement, Cuba is years ahead
December 16, 2008 09:17 AM - Reuters

HAVANA (Reuters) - After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Cuba planted thousands of urban cooperative gardens to offset reduced rations of imported food. Now, in the wake of three hurricanes that wiped out 30 percent of Cuba's farm crops, the communist country is again turning to its urban gardens to keep its people properly fed.

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