Agriculture

Cloning-for-food growth seen slow if FDA approves
January 10, 2008 12:30 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Regulatory approval could catalyze the nascent U.S. cloning industry, but leading firms say growth would come slowly as they battle to win consumers over to the concept of food from cloned animals.

Brazil sees sharp farm growth, despite environment
January 10, 2008 06:35 AM - Reuters

Brazil's farm sector will grow rapidly over the next decade and double some of its leading exports despite concerns over Amazon destruction and farmers' debt, the government said on Wednesday. Critics say Brazil's rapidly expanding agricultural frontier has helped push farmers and loggers deeper into the world's largest rain forest, increasing destruction.

French farmers say government playing GMO games
January 9, 2008 09:42 AM - Reuters

Speaking to reporters, FNSEA President Jean-Michel Lemetayer decried what he described as government foot-dragging on talks over a new GMO law and said planned legal steps to extend a GMO ban could fail.

Forget Oil, the New Global Crisis is Food
January 8, 2008 04:49 PM - , Organic Consumers Association

A new crisis is emerging, a global food catastrophe that will reach further and be more crippling than anything the world has ever seen. The credit crunch and the reverberations of soaring oil prices around the world will pale in comparison to what is about to transpire, Donald Coxe, global portfolio strategist at BMO Financial Group said at the Empire Club's 14th annual investment outlook in Toronto on Thursday. "It's not a matter of if, but when," he warned investors. "It's going to hit this year hard."

Cornell patents a pink lily look-alike that blooms all summer long
January 8, 2008 04:32 PM - Cornell University Communications

Mauve Majesty is one cool lily look-alike. This new pinkish-purple ornamental flower, just patented by Cornell, can last for two weeks in a vase, but when left in the garden, it blooms all summer long in the cooler, northern states until the first hard freeze in the fall. The new hybrid of the Inca lily (Alstroemeria), which was developed by a Cornell professor, is a non-fragrant perennial that is set apart by its lavender-lilac flower color (which is adorned with dark speckling and a creamy yellow throat), its strong, upright flower stems and its winter hardiness. In greenhouses, the new hybrid never goes dormant and grows year-round.

Overgrazing Accelerating Soil Erosion In Northern Mexico

As part of field studies conducted from 1993 to 2000 on the mountain crests of the western Sierra Madre and in the more arid regions in the south of the Chihuahua Desert, the scientific team established a soil classification according to climatic and topographic characteristics. They used a rainfall index type hydrological model which gives real-time simulation of the humidity state of soil on the basis of a range of parameters including soil humidity, runoff rate, water storage capacity. This measurement method also takes into account the volume of rain collected at a given moment and the time lapsed since it fell.

Corn... fuel... fire! U.S. corn subsidies promote Amazon deforestation
January 8, 2008 09:35 AM - Smithsonian Tropial Research Institute

Amazon deforestation and fires are being aggravated by US farm subsidies, claims STRI’s staff scientist William Laurance. According to Laurance, whose findings are reported this week in Science (December 14), a recent spike in Amazonian fires is being promoted by massive US subsidies that promote American corn production for ethanol. The ethanol is being blended with gasoline as an automobile fuel.

Carbon Credits to be Used to Fund GM Food Crops
January 8, 2008 09:03 AM - , Environmental Graffiti

US biotech firm Arcadia Biosciences has announced a plan to help fund the planting of genetically modified rice with carbon credits. The company will work with the Chinese government to give farmers who plant their crops carbon credits, which they can then sell on the global carbon trading market.

Nepal "health food joint" boosts vulture numbers
January 7, 2008 05:37 AM - Reuters

The number of rare vultures in one of Nepal's few conservation sites has nearly doubled after a special feeding facility started serving drug-free, safe carcasses to the birds, a leading conservation group said. Scientists say the survival of vultures eating dead cattle treated with the anti-inflammatory drug, diclofenac, was threatened in South Asia because the drug poisoned the scavenging birds.

High oil a blessing and a curse for farmers
January 5, 2008 02:25 AM - Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Sky-high crude oil prices are both a blessing and a curse for U.S. farmers, who have seen a sharp jump in their energy-based input costs but also higher revenues from crops used for renewable fuel production.

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