Agriculture

More Christians Embrace Organic Farming
September 17, 2007 07:59 AM - Ed Stoddard and Jessica Rinaldi, Reuters

COMMERCE, Texas (Reuters) - The Hale family has embraced organic farming because it is healthy, good for the environment and less cruel to animals. But do not mistake them for nature-worshiping New Agers or back-to-basics hippies.

They are part of a small movement of conservative Christians who believe the Bible demands an organic or natural approach to agriculture.

Floods in Africa kill dozens and wipe out crops
September 15, 2007 08:49 AM - Jeremy Clarke -Reuters

Floods from torrential rains have caused the deaths of at least 80 more people, displaced thousands, and devastated crops and livestock across sub-Saharan Africa, officials said on Friday.

Watchdog Group Files New Complaints Against Aurora Organic Dairy And Certifier QAI
September 14, 2007 04:43 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Cornucopia, WI - A Wisconsin watchdog group has filed new legal complaints with the USDA, and threatening civil lawsuits against an organic dairy and its certifiers.The complaints, filed by the Cornucopia Institute criticized the USDA for not penalizing the industry's largest organic milk producer after their government regulators found that the dairy may have perpetrated consumer fraud by violating the federal organic labeling law.

Greenpeace blockades wood pulp shipment
September 14, 2007 10:53 AM - Reuters

Quebec - Greenpeace's 50-metre ship Arctic Sunrise blocked the Jaeger Arrow from leaving the port of St-Fulgence on the Saguenay River near Chicoutimi, Quebec, about 460 kilometers (288 miles) northeast of Montreal, said Richard Brooks, forest campaign coordinator for Greenpeace Canada. The Jaeger Arrow was carrying about 6,500 tones of pulp from the Saint-Felicien, Quebec, mill of SFK Pulp Fund destined for forest-products company Stora Enso's Kabel facility in Germany, Greenpeace said.

FACTBOX - Foot and mouth disease
September 13, 2007 08:32 AM - Reuters

Following are facts about foot and mouth disease after an outbreak was confirmed in southern England on Wednesday, around 30 miles (50 km) from the scene of the last confirmed outbreak in August. Britain suffered a major outbreak of the disease in 2001 which cost the economy an estimated 8.5 billion pounds with more than six million animals culled.

Proposed Law Says Switch To Organic Farming, Receive $80,000
September 12, 2007 05:19 PM - Organic Consumers Association

Washington - U.S. Senator, and organic farmer, Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Wednesday introduced legislation calling for assistance to American farmers, who want to begin farming without fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. Tester said the legislation is aimed at helping farmers voluntarily make the switch from traditional farming techniques to certified-organic farming by providing up to four $20,000 annual payments to farmers whose land has not been previously certified as organic. "Making the switch to organics shouldn't be a make-or-break decision for family farmers," Tester said. "It should be a decision that ultimately saves them time and money while increasing the value of the stuff they grow."

New British Foot And Mouth Case Confirmed
September 12, 2007 12:00 PM - Toby Melville, Reuters

EGHAM (Reuters) - Foot and mouth disease has struck a new cattle farm in southern England, the government said on Wednesday, prompting the European Union to suspend a decision to lift its ban on British meat exports. The agriculture ministry said a surveillance zone of more than 10 km (6 miles) had been placed around the farm in Egham, Surrey, about 30 miles from the scene of the last confirmed outbreak in August. Veterinary authorities ordered an immediate cull of the herd in question.

Survey: Consumers Trust Food Grown Locally, But Not Foreign Grown
September 11, 2007 06:42 PM - Leopold Center News

AMES, Iowa -- A recent survey shows that American consumers trust local foods, but are skeptical about the safety of the global food system. A new survey also found that consumers feel local foods are safer and better for their health than foods from afar.

Researchers To Study Ecological Genomics
September 11, 2007 05:03 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

MANHATTAN -- A research geneticist at Kansas State University, will be taking a much closer look at the complex relationship between genes in a microscopic worm and a changing environment. "Global change" says Dr Michael Herman,"is making the environment sick, and we're using genomics to understand exactly what's going wrong." A big federal grant will allow him to continue his research on soil nematodes, a nearly microscopic organism, in the emerging field of ecological genomics. The money comes from a National Science Foundation grant, $622,000. With it, Dr Herman will further his research on soil nematodes, a nearly microscopic type of worm, in the emerging field of ecological genomics.

Crop Yields Expand, but Nutrition Is Left Behind
September 10, 2007 02:44 PM - , Worldwatch Institute

Farmers today can grow two to three times as much grain, fruit, and vegetables on a plot of land as they could 50 years ago, but the nutritional quality of many crops has declined, according to a new report from The Organic Center, a group based in Boulder, Colorado. “To get our recommended daily allowance of nutrients, we have to eat many more slices of bread today than people had to eat in the past,”

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