Agriculture

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.

Prices Leap for Corn and Crude Oil
June 10, 2008 09:25 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Chris Flood, writing on Friday at the Financial Times Online, reported that, "Torrential rain across parts of the Midwest pushed US corn prices to record levels on Friday, prompting concerns about the outlook for this year's harvest. "In Chicago, CBOT July corn jumped 20¾ cents to a record $6.63¼ a bushel, taking gains for this year so far to 45.6 per cent."

The end of abundance: Food panic brings calls for a second 'green revolution'
June 9, 2008 08:53 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

By 1968 the jump in farm productivity was so clear - India, for example, harvested a record wheat crop, as did the Philippines for rice - that William Gaud, administrator of the US Agency for International Development, said the world was witnessing the "makings of a new revolution". "It is not a violent red revolution like that of the Soviets, nor is it a white revolution like that of the Shah of Iran," Gaud said in a speech 40 years ago. "I call it the green revolution," he added, coining a term that has long survived him.

Food Is Gold, and Investors Pour Billions into Farming
June 7, 2008 12:32 PM - , Organic Consumers Association

Huge investment funds have already poured hundreds of billions of dollars into booming financial markets for commodities like wheat, corn and soybeans. But a few big private investors are starting to make bolder and longer-term bets that the world's need for food will greatly increase - by buying farmland, fertilizer, grain elevators and shipping equipment.

Monsanto & USDA's Latest Propaganda: We'll Solve the World Food Crisis with GMOs, Patented Seeds, & Chemicals
June 6, 2008 09:44 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Monsanto, the leader in agricultural biotechnology, pledged Wednesday to develop seeds that would double the yields of corn, soybeans and cotton by 2030 and would require 30 percent less water, land and energy to grow. The announcement, coming as world leaders are meeting in Rome to discuss rising food prices and growing food shortages, appears to be aimed at least in part at winning acceptance of genetically modified crops by showing that they can play a major role in feeding the world.

Brazil Clashes With the World on Biofuels and the Global Food Crisis
June 6, 2008 09:36 AM - , Triple Pundit

At the UN Food and Agriculture Food Organization (FAO) summit that concluded today in Rome, Brazilian President Lula da Silva said the US is full of bad cholesterol. Defending his nation’s ethanol production against arguments that biofuels are causing deforestation and worsening the global food crisis, Lula said that the real problems are agro-subsidies and food crop-based biofuels. He compared ethanol to cholesterol in a speech last night to the FAO Committee, saying, “There is good ethanol and bad ethanol. Good ethanol helps clean up the planet and is competitive. Bad ethanol comes with the fat of subsidies.”

Wealthy Financiers Looking to Agriculture for Major Investment
June 6, 2008 09:06 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Huge investment funds have already poured hundreds of billions of dollars into booming financial markets for commodities like wheat, corn and soybeans. But a few big private investors are starting to make bolder and longer-term bets that the world's need for food will greatly increase - by buying farmland, fertilizer, grain elevators and shipping equipment.

GMOs Will Only Make the Global Food Crisis Worse
June 5, 2008 09:30 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

In 1994, I met some of the most remarkable leaders in the Third World: Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher (Institute of Sustainable Development, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Martin Khor (Third World Network, Penang, Malaysia), and Vandana Shiva (Navdanya, New Delhi, India), who persuaded me to look into genetically modified organisms (GMOs), especially GM crops, which they rightly saw as a special threat to small family farmers.

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