Massachusetts farmer makes farm-to-school movement a money-maker by buying from 30 other growers, lightly processing squashes and selling to UMass, public schools, others

By Michael Prager

The Boston Globe 2011-11-03

Oregon congressman urges revamp of farm bill, moving billions away from agribusiness and new focus on aid to family farmers, new farmers and production of healthy, local food

By Pete Kasperowicz

The Hill 2011-10-26

In Big Fix report on food system, researcher argues for folding good ideas into conventional system if they increase supply, reduce environmental damage, improve food security

By Justin Gillis

The New York Times 2011-10-12

High food prices mean feds providing less food to soup kitchens and food pantries even as need grows; USDA program props up prices for otherwise unsubsidized produce

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2011-10-08

After heat devastates crop, ton of Runner peanuts that cost $450 a ton in 2010 now cost $1,150 a ton; price of peanut butter forecast to rise as well

By Tiffany Hsu

Los Angeles Times 2011-10-11

FDA will support sale of genetically engineered fish for human consumption, source says; environmental groups, some in Congress, oppose farming and sale of such fish

By Jim Kozubek

Talking Points Memo 2011-10-10

MyPlate, the federally recommended diet with abundance of fruits, vegetables, grains, doesn't jibe with federal pay to farmers who grow food for animals that become meat

By Arthur Allen

The Washington Post 2011-10-03

As Alabama immigration law takes effect, farm, construction workers flee; farmer sees only 8 of 48 Hispanic workers she needed for tomato harvest show up

By Phillip Rawls

The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2011-10-05

"ResistanceMap" tracks spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs around the world online

By Rob Stein

The Washington Post 2011-09-21

Major river systems in developing world have enough water for food production, but problems are inefficient use, unfair distribution, says report

By Rudy Ruitenberg

Blooomberg Businessweek 2011-09-28

Drastic decline in Chesapeake Bay oyster population can only be halted by banning any fishing for them, study reports

By Darryl Fears

The Washington Post 2011-09-01

Water limits are close to being reached or being breached in areas of northern China, India's Punjab and western U.S., says report that urges farming overhaul

Reuters; BusinessWorld (Manila, Philippines) 2011-08-24

Affordable "MyPlate" would be filled with lentils, cabbage, eggs and carrots, followed by oranges, apples, bananas, says researcher studying poverty-diet link

By Eliza Barclay

National Public Radio 2011-08-04

Regenerative ag could return 13 percent of today's CO2 to soil, researcher says; some ranchers, farmers employ composting, year-'round plantings, tillage reduction, plant diversity

By Kristin Ohlson

Discover magazine 2011-06-30

With states, towns short on cash and unemployment still high, 14-state drought now shrinking cattle herds, canceling fishing tourneys, triggering surges that cause blackouts

By Kim Severson and Kirk Johnson

The New York Times 2011-07-11

Pollution from lawns, sewers affecting Barnegat Bay, NJ's main breeding grounds for fish, clams and crabs, and threatens state's $35.5 billion tourism-based economy

By Wayne Parry

The Associated Press; The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-06-28

Pesticide spraying near streams to expand under Congressional bill that sidesteps Clean Water Act permitting

By Ashlie Rodriguez

Los Angeles Times 2011-06-21

Italian lemon varieties, known for fragrance and as essential ingredient of limoncello, become popular with California growers and in farmers' markets

By David Karp

Los Angeles Times 2011-06-17

Communities across U.S. start seed libraries, offering low-cost or free, open-pollinated, pesticide-free seeds which are grown, then returned to library at end of season

By Mary MacVean

Los Angeles Times 2011-06-18

As gas kills solar, wind in price war, experts urge reckoning of hidden costs - water degradation from gas, emissions in fossil fuels, accidents and waste from nuclear

By Gerard Wynn

Reuters 2011-06-16

Droughts in Colombia, Brazil will force conservation at coffee farms and through supply chains; just one part of high-labor drink consumes 1,100 parts of water

By Leon Kaye

The Guardian (UK) 2011-06-17

Many migrant farm workers seem to be skipping Georgia in anticipation of harsh new immigration law; state's $1.1-billion fruit-and-vegetable industry could lose $300 million

The Economist 2011-06-16

Opinion: If you're keen to make the world's poorest people better off, it's smarter to invest in their farms and workplaces than to send them packing to cities

By Raj Patel

Foreign Policy 2011-05-04

10 dead in Germany, hundreds ill with e.coli; officials suspect cucumbers imported from two greenhouses in Spain and warn of secondary infections passed from person to person

BBC 2011-05-29

Heavy rains, extreme temperatures, pollinator decline from pesticides imperils future of Ataulfo mangoes grown in Mexico, sold in U.S. as "champagne" variety

By Eric Niiler

Global Post 2011-05-26

Farmers, wise to reports of dead or quarantined livestock, anguish over possible effects of fracking to their livelihood while EPA claims no jurisdiction over food production matters

By Barry Estabrook

Gilt Taste 2011-05-14

One-third of globe's food for humans wasted or lost during production; UN recommends improving efficiency of food supply chain, less emphasis on appearance, selling locally

By Tony C. Dreibus

Bloomberg 2011-05-11

With farmed tilapia, researchers worry over omega-6 acids created by corn-soy diet (linked to increased risk of heart disease), environmental degradation, imports from China

By Elisabeth Rosenthal

The New York Times 2011-05-02

Feds go to court to stop Amish farm in PA from selling unpasteurized milk; devotees say heat process kills good bacteria, but FDA says it protects public from salmonella, E. coli, listeria

By Stephen Dinan

The Washington Times 2011-04-28

Children exposed to high levels of organophosphates -pesticides sprayed on food crops - while in womb have lower I.Q. scores than their peers by school age, studies show

By Tara Parker-Pope

The New York Times 2011-04-21

Ponds are drying up and wildfires are burning grass as drought - the worst since 1967 in Texas region - stresses farmers already paying higher prices for fuel, fertilizer and feed

By Ana Campoy

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-04-12

Shortage of approved slaughterhouses hobbles eat-local movement; nationwide, industry has consolidated into facilities where thousands of cattle can be fed, killed, butchered daily

By David Ferry

The New York Times 2011-04-07

Shortage of approved slaughterhouses hobbles eat-local movement; nationwide, industry has consolidated into facilities where thousands of cattle can be fed, killed, butchered daily

By David Ferry

The New York Times 2011-04-07

To growing cadre of eaters who care how their food is produced, agriculture wars under way are operatic, pitting technology against tradition in a struggle underscored by politics, profits

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2011-03-23

After 32 years, Branch Creek Farm owners slow pace of working the dirt, leading by example and educating farmers and chefs about how to grow food, how it should taste

By Beth D'Addono

The Daily News (Philadelphia, PA) 2011-03-24

Two bills show debate over how to manage declining aquifers in Texas, where irrigated agriculture is political force that pits conservation-minded officials against water sellers

By Kate Galbraith

The Texas Tribune 2011-03-04

With new varieties, researchers, agricultural agents hope to snatch portion of West Coast's $1 billion broccoli business; shoppers on East Coast would get fresher, cheaper vegetable

By Steve Szkotak

The Associated Press; Bloomberg 2011-02-21

As humans eat remaining tuna, grouper and cod, their prey - sardines, anchovies - flourish, creating ecological imbalance that experts say will forever change the oceans

By Marc Kaufman

The Washington Post 2011-02-20

Farmers, school and health care representatives unite behind bill that would provide grants for farm to school and gardening programs and raise lunch funding to buy Oregon products

By Jennifer Colton

Hermiston Herald (OR) 2011-02-09

USDA resorts to imported wasps in attempt to control wildly thirsty invasive weed that has drained habitats, pushed species of fish to extinction and is taking over Rio Grande Valley

By Saul Elbein

The Texas Observer 2011-01-25

China's severe drought causes drinking water shortage for people, livestock and threatens wheat crop; imports to replace shortfall in self-sufficient crop could drive prices higher

By Keith Bradsher

The New York Times 2011-02-08

Lawmaker and chair of Ag panel must walk a tightrope between addressing nation's nutrition needs, backing Michigan's second-largest industry and luring GOP backers

By Nathan Hurst

The Detroit News 2011-02-07

Opinion: Lawsuits against biotech alfalfa, sugar beets seek to award organic farmers a civil right not to have their high-end, ad-created market segment disturbed by industrial progress

By Holman W. Jenkins Jr.

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-02-02

With 60-day aging rule for raw milk cheeses widely viewed as simplistic, cheesemakers worry that new FDA proposal may require them to switch to less flavorful pasteurized milk

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2011-02-04

Expect budget cuts in conservation rather than cuts in commodity subsidies, says expert; high commodity prices also push some to switch from conservation into corn production

By Katie Nickas

AgriNews 2011-01-24

About $13 million in federal grants awarded to more than 2,400 farmers in 43 states to help pay for low-tech tunnels that add weeks, months to growing seasons

By Steve Karnowski

Los Angeles Times 2011-01-17

Rising food prices pit traditional doomsayer/hopeful combatants against each other aspopulations, appetites for meat grow and climate changes

By Andrew C. Revkin

The New York Times 2011-01-10

Public funding of campaigns, single food safety agency, breaking culture of corporate growth every quarter among nutrition professor Marion Nestle's wishes for food system

By Marion Nestle

The Atlantic 2011-01-18

In New Orleans, educational venture and commercial urban farm flourishes in wrecked neighborhood; students grow $2,500 of produce weekly which they sell at farmers' market, restaurants

By Charles Wilson

The New York Times 2011-01-15

Opinion: Congress should cut billions of dollars in farm subsidies that distort food prices, encourage overfarming and inflate price of land; continued pandering is out of touch

The editors

The New York Times 2011-01-15

Global ag employs more than 1 billion, accounts for $1 trillion of economy but also takes 70 percent of water withdrawals; small farmers key to maintaining food supplies, report says

Agence France Presse; Herald Sun (AU) 2011-01-13

Agrarian ideal of D.C. chef begins to take form at National Historic Trust property; nonprofit will train growers, teach children, scale up regional food by linking growers to customers

By Kristen Hinman

The Washington Post 2010-12-14

German authorities struggle to contain widening dioxin-tainted food scandal after China temporarily halts imports of German pork and egg products

By Patrick Donahue

Reuters 2011-01-12

In future, UK subsidies will be more focused on 'public good' so farmers are paid for tending land, and true cost of producing food is reflected in price, says environment secretary

By Louise Gray

The Telegraph (UK) 2011-01-03

Mechanization, infrastructure and federal investment in plant breeding helped farmers counteract effects of harsh climate and harvest record crops of wheat in early 1900s, study indicates

By Bryan Walsh

Time 2010-12-27

Indian state of Maharashtra creates vulture restaurant in effort to halt birds' death from eating carcasses of sick farm animals treated with diclofenac, a popular drug

By Hanna Ingber Win

Global Post 2011-01-03

Opinion: As parents, educators, nutritionists and marketers, we have to imbue our children with love of fruits, vegetables - the most beneficial food for growing bodies

By George Ball

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-01-03

Opinion: New shift in food politics - eating invasive species - could include a world of possibilities - deer, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, skunks, rabbits, woodchucks

By James Gorman

The New York Times 2011-01-02

Europe's top chefs lead push for sustainable seafood as reports predict major commercial fish species will disappear by 2050 due to overfishing; eel wins over bluefin tuna, codfish

By Jeffrey T. Iverson

Time 2010-12-26

Cold snaps in Florida idle farm workers, who wait for protective ice coatings to melt away from strawberries so they can pick crops - and be paid

By Kim Wilmath

St. Petersburg Times 2010-12-30

Farmers cry foul over new route for high-speed rail that would cleave through California's prime cropland and nut and fruit groves, splitting fields, disrupting irrigation systems

By Rich Connell

Los Angeles Times 2010-12-27

Externalities - uncounted byproducts of activity - of climate change could aid Africa by counting public goods (clean air and seas) and natural capital (trees, wind, sunshine, water, soil)

By Alex Perry / Archer's Post And Kareygorou

Time 2010-12-12

Republicans who opposed food safety bill say it gives FDA authority but not accountability, that it will lead to higher food prices and that $1.4 billion cost isn't justified

By Christopher Doering

Reuters 2010-12-21

As Iceland bids to join EU, dispute over mackerel quotas escalates; Brussels threatens sanctions against Reykjavik, including blocking sales of fish to EU, its largest trading partner

By Teri Schultz

Global Post 2010-12-21

Fertilizer use, fossil fuel use, sewage push nitrogen into waterways, where it becomes nitrous oxide and contributes 10 percent of such human-caused greenhouse emissions, study shows

LiveScience 2010-12-21

In shift of focus, group launches WeatherBill, an insurance service for farmers; company already sells insurance against nasty weather to clients such as U.S. Open tennis tournament

By Tim Lloyd

Harvest Public Media; The Kansas City Star 2010-12-16

Without arsenal of synthetic pesticides, herbicides available, organic farmers learn ways of bats, mint and larvae to harness natural systems as part of integrated pest management

By Jim Robbins

The New York Times 2010-11-29

As India's climate turns drier, emerald fields of water-thirsty rice give way to fields of fruits, vegetables, grown organically and with drip irrigation - and stubby palms for oil

By Akash Kapur

The New York Times 2010-12-16

California strawberry growers granted permission to use methyl iodide, a pesticide listed by state as known cancer-causing chemical as fumigant to kill bacteria, weeds, insects

By Kelly Zito

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-12-02

New food safety bill would require about $1.4 billion in additional spending over next five years, mostly at FDA; agency had total budget of less than $3.3 billion in past fiscal year

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2010-11-30

House OKs $4.6 billion to settle claims by black farmers, allegations of American Indians; $562 million from feeding program for mothers, babies will help finance payment

By James Rowley and Alan Bjerga

Bloomberg Businessweek 2010-11-30

China's government pushes farmers to plant, produce many more vegetables in the coming months to tackle a key component of recent surge in food prices

By Chuin-Wei Yap

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-11-25

Opinion: Contrary to implication of NYT story, USDA funds to support Dairy Management are for opening foreign markets to U.S. dairy, not for domestic marketing of cheese surplus

By James E. McWilliams

The Atlantic 2010-11-17

Opinion: Dems, GOP can find common ground by making budget cuts at USDA, which has spent millions persuading Americans to eat more cheese after subsidies yielded too much milk

The editors

The Fresno Bee 2010-11-12

Foundation wants USDA to align ag, health policy, and spend more on fruits, vegetables (currently 9.8 percent), less on meats plus grains that feed livestock (about 72 percent total)

By Marion Nestle

The Atlantic 2010-11-12

E. coli can live for weeks around roots of produce plants and transfer to edible portions, but threat can be minimized if growers don't harvest too soon, study shows

By Brian Wallheimer

Science Daily; Purdue University 2010-11-04

South Korea's haenyeo free-dive for abalone, other shellfish; tradition that brought power to women of the sea now endangered by modern fishing boats, techniques

By John M. Glionna

Los Angeles Times 2010-10-27

Monsanto paying farmers to increase number of herbicides they're using to help fight Roundup-resistant superweeds that developed in soy, corn, cotton fields

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2010-10-19

$150 million proposed to aid farmers in Chesapeake Bay watershed in effort to restore oysters, crab population; state's $70 billion farm, forestry industry critical of EPA plans

The Associated Press; The Wall Street Journal. (subscription may be required) 2010-09-30

Dairy worker sentenced to jail, fined and directed to undergo mental health after video shows him apparently abusing cows; veterinarian said actions weren't abuse, says lawyer

By Donna Willis

NBC4i 2010-09-24

Wary of Wall Street, more wealthy Americans, private funds, foreigners invest in parcels of cornfields, fruit orchards and other domestic agricultural products

By P.J. Huffstutter

Los Angeles Times 2010-09-19

Tight Senate calendar, stubborn senator from Oklahoma and unusual coalition of left- and right-wing advocates for small farmers stall food safety bill

By Gardiner Harris

The New York Times 2010-09-18

As China leads world's growing appetite for beef, Argentine ranchers hone old cattle-breeding traditions to supply semen, embryos and genetics know-how

By Eduardo Garcia

Reuters; News Daily 2010-09-15

Certification, soil-building pushes costs of organic produce past those of industrially grown foods, but toxic chemicals aren't used, so they don't pollute air, water, soil

By Marshall Brain

The Seattle Times 2010-09-01

In "Empires of Food," authors trace old civilizations that failed because they didn't account for soil erosion, overpopulation, weather changes, relying on technology, trade instead

By Riddhi Shah

Salon 2010-08-26

Ohio ag chief says farm animal care accord brokered by state's agricultural interests, Humane Society through governor is "non-binding"

Feedstuffs 2010-08-26

Government shifting payments from farm subsidies to nutrition programs, conservation, broadband; Republican lawmaker decries influence of environmentalists, "foodies"

By Alan Bjerga 2010-08-26

In rebuttal to NYT opinion piece, experts say locavores care for community, biodiversity, local economy, fresh foods, flavor, joy of eating, well-treated workers, fewer wide-reaching food-borne illnesses, public policy, diet-related disease - and food mil

By Tom Philpott

Grist 2010-08-20

After EPA tells eight Iowa cattle operations to apply for federal regulatory permits and cease discharges into streams, agriculture reporter asks about financial burden

By Ken Anderson

Brownfield 2010-08-16

Opinion: It's grounding to hear that Senator Jon Tester is spending his summer vacation harvesting wheat on his farm

The editors

The New York Times 2010-08-10

Methyl iodide, subbing for ozone-depleting methyl bromide as strawberry pesticide, may risk workers' health, California lawmaker says in asking EPA to reconsider 2007 approval

By Carolyn Lochhead

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-08-04

Fat from surplus, spoiled, or nonfood-grade butter could add to supply of biobased fuel for diesel engines, researchers discover

By Michael Bernstein

eurekalert; American Chemical Society 2010-07-28

Pig farmers, accustomed to administering antibiotics for fast growth, disease prevention, battle proposed reduction in use; at issue is growing antibiotic resistance in humans

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2010-08-01

Breeders in Switzerland, Britain import semen, embryos from cloned animals or progeny from U.S.; products from such techniques are believed to be on supermarket shelves

By James Kanter

The New York Times 2010-07-29

Review: "Four Fish" is marvelous exploration of contradiction that fishermen feel about saving or killing fish; a necessary book for anyone truly interested in what, how, why

By Sam Sifton

The New York Times 2010-08-01

California's patchwork regulatory efforts leave drinking water tainted by nitrates, the byproduct of nitrogen-based fertilizer, manure, wastewater treatment plants, septic tanks

By Julia Scott

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-05-17

Support of Russia as WTO member should be contingent on it dropping import ban of U.S. cooked beef patties, says lawmaker representing Nebraska and its cattle industry

By Adrian Smith 2010-07-22

Heat wave in Russia wilts 24 million acres of crops - and agricultural revival just reaching its stride after years of efforts

By Andrew E. Kramer

The New York Times 2010-07-19

Shortage of phosphate, necessary for plant growth, key component in DNA, looms but researcher sees abundance in compost, livestock and human manure, municipal waste

BusinessGreen/The Guardian (UK) 2010-07-14

Pennsylvania's Lancaster Farmacy draws on folk remedies that combine herbs with food, drawing on natural affinities, flavors to make medicine more palatable

By Elisa Ludwig

The Philadelphia Inquirer 2010-07-08

California boosts enforcement of rules for $1.1 billion organic industry in effort to catch those looking to skip costly, lengthy certification

By Robin Hindery

The Associated Press; Los Angeles Times 2010-07-09

More, but smaller, farms generated greater national net income in times of drastically less government support, USDA data show

By Emmeline Zhao

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-07-13

Opinion: Requiring animals, including animals that produce or become food, to be treated decently while alive ennobles animals and us

By Adam Cohen

Time magazine 2010-07-14

Three variables will determine effects of climate change legislation on farm sector - production costs, biofuel sector, land use - says USDA study

USDA 2010-07-01

Ohio governor brokers deal between Humane Society, state Farm Bureau that keeps animal welfare bill off the ballot

By Alan Johnson

The Columbus Dispatch 2010-07-01

Opinion: Food movement's quest to find "new social and economic space" will be ensnared in same realities that have compromised Fair Trade

By James E. McWilliams

The New York Times 2010-06-30

Opinion: Farm labor isn't for everyone, but it should be honored work, with decent wages and working conditions; farm workers feed the nation

By Douglass Adair

Los Angeles Times 2010-07-10

Dispute over hoop houses in Wordsworth country has been transformed into a battle for the British strawberry, a 60,000-pound staple at Wimbledon

By Jamie Doward

The Guardian (UK) 2010-07-04

Corn surplus of 1.6 billion bushels from last year's wet-harvested crop drives sales of moisture monitors and requires expensive drying cycles in grain elevators

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2010-06-27

Analysis: Agriculture's nitrogen addiction costly to kick, but researchers say that it, along with climate change, biodiversity loss threaten future habitability of Earth

By Fred Pearce

Yale Environment 360 2009-05-11

Agricultural research must broaden past production, integrate other disciplines, consider water, air pollution concerns, federal advisory group says

By David Mercer

The Associated Press; Deseret News 2010-06-29

USDA's proposed new rules for meatpacking horrify big meat, poultry lobbies, which say low prices are result of economy of scale, not unfair practices

The Economist 2010-06-24

FDA mulls OK of first GE animal that people would eat - salmon that can grow at twice the normal rate; labeling debate grows

By Andrew Pollack

The New York Times 2010-06-25

Terroir-true Alsatian winemakers, scientists square off over whether genetically modified grape vines could protect against vigor-sucking fanleaf virus

By Edward Cody

The Washington Post 2010-06-12

Practice of combining farming and trees - agroforestry - from mushroom farm to cattle grazing in thinned trees, gains followers in Missouri

By Georgina Gustin

St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2010-06-03

EPA proposes that about 35,000 large-scale pesticide applicators be required to file for permits to protect water

By Leslie Kaufman

The New York Times 2010-06-03

Opinion: Report's omission of potent methane, nitrous oxide emissions in organic agriculture provides opportunity to think beyond us vs. them

By James E. McWilliams

The New York Times 2010-06-02

In effort to prevent overfishing, extinction of sharks, Hawaii bans shark fins

By Audrey McAvoy

The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2010-05-28

ConAgra hopes to turn sweet potato from holiday casserole to multibillion-dollar franchise by tweaking shape, sugar content

By Ilan Brat

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-05-23

University of Nebraska to create center for analysis relating to use of water for agriculture

University of Nebraska 2010-04-20

Investment groups buy into Illinois corn fields, California cranberry bogs, Brazilian sugarcane, African farmland

By Carey Gillam

Reuters 2010-05-03

Farmers' overuse of weedkiller Roundup has led to infestation of tenacious new superweeds that could temper enthusiasm for GM crops

By Willam Neuman and Andrew Pollack

The New York Times 2010-05-04

University of Nebraska receives gift to create centerfor research, education, policy analysis relating to use of water for agriculture

University of Nebraska 2010-04-20

Seed evangelist awarded "green Nobel," Goldman Environmental Prize for helping farmers reduce need for fertilizers, pesticides in Cuba

By Will Weissert

The Associated Press; San Francisco Chronicle 2010-04-19

Air, water, soil and health problems linked to industrial farms where cows, pigs, chickens confined in close quarters, journalist writes in "Animal Factory"

By Claire Suddath

Time magazine 2010-04-23

California salmon fishermen, citing $2.8 billion in lost revenue and 23,000 jobs, square off against farmers over water diversion

By Carolyn Jones

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-04-02

Opinion: Bees, other pollinators can't keep up with our appetite for apples, avocados; pollination-dependent agriculture has increased by 300 percent in 50 years

By Marcelo Aizen and Lawrence Harder

The New York Times 2010-03-24

Opinion: Nestlé's PR disaster over palm oil sourcing shows that food companies must ensure transparent, socially responsible supply chains to prevent consumer backlash

By Jane Byrne News Media 2010-03-22

After major gaps in oversight discovered, USDA says it will begin enforcing rules requiring the spot testing of organic foods for pesticide traces

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2010-03-20

USDA, Justice Department say aim of hearings is survival of rural America, of developing policies to limit big firms' sway over food, crop prices

By Christopher Leonard

The Associated Press; Chicago Tribune 2010-03-12

It's unclear whether grass-fed beef - nutritionally superior to that from feedlots - means better human health, but its advocates cite humane practices, no antibiotics

By Tara Parker-Pope

The New York Times 2010-03-11

Seed house head, culinary historian find common ground, create African-American Heritage Collection

By Doug Oster

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2010-02-13

Costs of modern agriculture far greater, more insidious than price, logistics of eating vegetables from local farmers

By Felix Salmon

Foreign Policy 2010-02-26

Bill that would lift restrictions on Cuban purchases of U.S. food, end limits on American travel there splitting GOP farm-state lawmakers

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2010-03-13

USDA encouragement of small-scale producers worries production agriculture proponents

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2010-03-07

Special fund to aid Mexico's poorest, smallest-scale farmers now subsidizing families of notorious drug traffickers, agriculture minister, other officials

By Tracy Wilkinson

Los Angeles Times 2010-03-07

Supply of winter tomatoes drops, prices rise after "crippling" loss of Florida tomato crop to cold snap

By Keith Morelli

The Tampa Tribune 2010-02-25

India's agriculture decline, soil degradation from subsidized chemical fertilizer overuse undermines its ambitious positioning

By Geeta Anand

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-02-23

Nursery, landscaping industries face tough times, but interest in edibles - vegetables, fruit trees, berries - buoys some

By Abby Haight

The Associated Press; The Christian Science Monitor 2010-02-19

Opinion: With destructive rider to federal jobs bill, California senator's attempt to divert water to farmers risks delicate compromise

The editors

Los Angeles Times 2010-02-17

21-part package in Science probes obstacles to achieving global food security, causes and effects of hunger, and promising solutions

Science Magazine 2010-02-12

In Pennsylvania, sustainable agriculture conference focuses on farming's future

By Candy Williams

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 2010-02-02

Tapioca prices sharply up after bad weather, acute bug infestation in Thailand plus higher demand for non-GM sources

By Jess Halliday News Media 2010-02-04

Budget would increase nutrition programs by $10 billion over 10 years while cutting equivalent amount in farm subsidies and crop insurance

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2010-02-01

Pioneer in sustainable fishing becomes his own distributor, starts community-sponsored fishery

By Christine Muhlke

The New York Times 2010-01-31

As Asian carp breach Great Lakes, expense of eliminating invasive species is weighed against mounting liability - now $120 billion annually - of leaving them be

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2010-01-31

Farmers increasingly adapt satellite and precision technology for planting, irrigation and pesticide, fertilizer applications

By Clive Cookson

Financial Times (London) (may require registration) 2010-01-26

Rainstorms boost California's water supply for agriculture after limits caused by drought, protections for delta smelt

By Bettina Boxall

Los Angeles Times 2010-01-27

Grouper protection during spawning season rankles S.C. fishermen; chefs turn to imports from Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama

By Monique Newton

The State (Columbia, S.C.) 2010-01-26

Graphic video inspires NY lawmaker to propose banning tail-docking for dairy cows

By Mary Esch

The Associated Press; Forbes 2010-01-26

Suggestions of weekly meat-free day for environment prompts robust defense from livestock industry

By James Kanter

The New York Times 2010-01-24

USDA opens door for pig skin imports for pork rinds, but critics fear disease; pork scraps often fed to hogs

By Lauren Etter

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-01-23

Cool ocean waters, more river flow yield record salmon in Oregon

By Joel Millman

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-01-21

As environmentalists call for end to eating beef, vegetable-farming power couple begins to raise grass-fed version

By Lisa Abend

Time magazine 2010-01-20

Other states lure California poultry producers unhappy with strict new animal treatment law

By Lauren Etter

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-01-13

Tomatoes, peppers hardest hit in Southern cold snap; effect on citrus unknown

By Damien Cave

The New York Times 2010-01-14

Conservation groups, citing extinction danger, ask U.S. to regulate shipping of bumblebees

By Adrian Higgins

The Washington Post 2010-01-13

Humane Society wants Kroger to sell only cage-free eggs under private label

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2010-01-07

EPA seeks tighter smog rules; pollution linked to heart, breathing ills and stunted trees, crops

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2010-01-06

Florida orange crop so far escapes major damage despite record cold

By Rudy Ruitenberg and Elizabeth Campbell 2010-01-06

Opinion: Asian carp threat cause for concern, not panic

The editors

Chicago Tribune 2010-01-05

Opinion: Agricultural resilience crucial since food security, national security, climate change are all linked

By Neil D. Hamilton

The Des Moines Register 2009-12-27

Reforms considered for 50 billion euro agricultural subsidies program

By Stephen Castle and Doreen Carvajal

The New York Times 2009-12-29

Inflated harvest claims bring attention to European growers' co-ops

By Stephen Castle

The New York Times 2009-12-27

In U.S. climate debate, agricultural interests wield outsize influence

By Dan Morgan

European Affairs 2009-12-10

Israel decries produce labels specifying origin of Israeli settlement or Palestine

By Valerie Elliott

The Times (UK) 2009-12-12

USDA eyes hoop houses as key to longer produce availability, nationwide

By Charles Abbott

Reuters 2009-12-16

Vilsack questions USDA's estimate of foresting 20 million acres of cropland for climate

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2009-12-18

Drought, irrigation deplete California's farmland aquifers, satellite shows

Science Daily 2009-12-15

Genetic engineering cuts cotton toxin, creating high-protein edible seed

By Raja Murthy

Asia Times 2009-12-08

Dwindling supplies take local seafood off menus in San Francisco

By Katherine Ellison

The New York Times 2009-12-11

Maine entrepreneurs look at horsetail kelp, see bonanza

Two Maine entrepreneurs want to revolutionize American eating habits, clean environment, lower federal trade deficit and make themselves rich - with brown horsetail kelp. Seaweed already is added to noodles in Philippines, mixed with oats to bake bread in Wales, added to nutmeg and milk for a beverage in Belize, and consumed in soups, garnishes, snacks and with sushi in Japan. Kelp is processed to extract food gums - texturizing agents called agars, alginates and carrageenans that make yogurt creamy, beer foamy. California seaweed firms chiefly provide feed for abalone farms. Those in Maine mostly supply fertilizer, livestock feed and dietary supplements.

By Bob Drogin

Los Angeles Times 2009-12-05

Drought drops California water allocation to record lows

Three years of drought drops California grower-shippers and municipal water districts 2010 water allocations to 5 percent of contracted water deliveries. But news might not be so dire; before 2009 water delivery season ended, precipitation permitted allocation increase to 40 percent. Lettuce plantings along west side of the San Joaquin Valley were about 5,000 acres, down from more than 30,000 acres just a few years ago, because of drought. And: California's new water policy includes $11-billion bond measure, groundwater monitoring, conservation plan (click 'See also').

By Don Schrack

The Packer 2009-12-03

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Opinion: Divert Big Ag subsidies to community food infrastructure

Opinion: Divert Big Ag subsidies to community food infrastructure

Helping rebuild ecologically sane, accessible local-food economy proved extremely challenging for reporter-turned-farmer. Food industry consolidation shuttered community-scale processing facilities, created factories geared to large-scale farms. Explosion in size of operations means dirt-cheap, low-quality food that generates massive ecological, social problems. For sustainable food, feds must make smart, relatively low-cost investments beyond USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food program. Reducing Big Ag subsidy payments and diverting the proceeds into local-food infrastructure is change we can believe in ... and savor.

By Tom Philpott 2009-11-11

FDA plan to kill oyster bacteria roils Gulf Coast

Last month, FDA stunned oyster industry with plans to require that Gulf of Mexico oysters harvested between April and October undergo process to kill vibrio vulnificus, which can be fatal to those with chronic conditions. Of 30 cases of infection traced to Gulf Coast oysters annually, half the victims die, CDC says. When California banned untreated oysters from Gulf during warm months, fatalities dropped to zero. Industry says processing will ruin taste of raw oysters, triple their cost and place undue burdens on business. Louisiana officials talk about defying feds. Gulf Coast supplies 67 percent of oysters eaten nationwide. And: Evidence of problem, solution unambiguous, says FDA official (click 'See also').

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-11-10

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Gardeners, small-scale farmers find flavor, favor in garlic

Gardeners, small-scale farmers find flavor, favor in garlic

German white garlic features plump, porcelain-colored cloves and is moderately spicy.

As supermarket garlic becomes product of China, small-scale American farmers seize the moment to market garlic as regional, seasonal commodity, playing to public's hunger for sustainable and locally grown produce. Gardeners, too, find flavor in home-grown varieties - the hardneck German White, Rocambole. And: Planting, growing and harvesting garlic (click 'See also').

By Virginia A. Smith

The Philadelphia Inquirer 2009-11-06

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Farm groups, atrazine maker protest safety review of weedkiller

Farm groups, manufacturer of atrazine protest decision to review Syngenta weedkiller's safety, saying EPA bowed to environmentalists. Agency said it wants to examine studies of chemical's cancer-causing potential in farm workers. Atrazine is used on about 60 percent of Iowa's corn acreage. And: Atrazine is one of most common contaminants in drinking water; new studies suggest that taint is associated with birth defects, low birth weights and reproductive problems among humans (click 'See also'). Other studies show that atrazine interferes with development and hormone systems of some animals.

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2009-11-04

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At FDA, Team Tomato pits germ vs germ in battle against food pathogens

Building on 1917 discovery of bacteriophages - viruses that live within bacteria and can kill other bacteria - FDA scientists have found what they believe are powerful, naturally occurring 'good' bacteria that can slaughter 'bad' bacteria on fresh fruits, vegetables. In experiments, microorganisms kill salmonella, listeria, e.coli O15:H7 on tomato surfaces; only vibrio, found in warm seawater that can contaminate oysters and other seafood, has stood its ground.

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-10-31

Opinion: Defeat Issue 2, Ohio's flawed response to proposed livestock cage ban

Issue 2, with its notion of industry-dominated council supposedly regulating treatment of farm animals, is poor public policy, and should be defeated. Ohio Constitution should never be used to promote interests of specific individuals, businesses, or industries. Reasonable approach is to work out compromise in state law that would protect both farmers and farm animals. And: What's not needed is radical change, written into state Constitution either by farm lobby or by animal-rights groups unconcerned whether they end up driving farmers out of business (click 'See also').

The editors

The Toledo Blade 2009-10-28

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Probing pig farms as overlooked risk to public health

Seeking answers to swine flu questions, experts study confined animal feeding operations. Many researchers think pig farming is serious, overlooked risk to public health. Indirect, indisputable proof, say virologists, is current H1N1 pandemic influenza, which likely began in a pig (H1N1 strain was identified in seven pigs at Minnesota State Fair in late summer). There is small but steady traffic of virus between America's 110 million pigs and the 120,000 people who care for them. Mathematical modeling suggests CAFOs can function as 'amplifiers' of pandemic strains.

By David Brown

The Washington Post 2009-10-25

Local food movement lures politically aware 20-somethings

Growing pool of young, educated, politically motivated workers drawn to farming as national interest grows in local food, small-scale farms that embrace humane and eco-friendly practices. Farmer likes hiring college students because over season they can see food through from seed to farmers' market. For one 20-something, farming experience has provided greater appreciation for food he cooks at restaurant job: 'I really try to make vegetables a feature of the dish. Not just something to put on the plate to fill up space.' And: Read a blog about working on a farm (click 'See also').

By Mara Lee

The Washington Post 2009-10-25

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Olive groves a casualty of farmer-settler tensions on West Bank

Olive groves a casualty of farmer-settler tensions on West Bank

As usual at harvest time, tension between Palestinian farmers, Jewish settlers has risen over who controls the land. Olive tree for Palestinians is symbol of struggle and vital part of rural economy, thus a target for vandals. Nearly 500,000 olive trees have been destroyed in territories since 2000; Israel's army has cleared swathes of groves to create open areas in Gaza Strip, often taking big bites out of Palestinian land, and cut down thousands of trees near Jewish settlements. Palestinians and human-rights groups have repeatedly criticized Israeli army for failing to stop destruction.

By Al-Mughayir

The Economist 2009-10-15

Climate change already affecting farmers on U.S. coast

In harbinger of climate change, fewer 'winter chill' days already reducing yields of almonds in California, cranberries in New Jersey, Massachusetts. Higher CO2 levels, longer growing seasons will bring increased fruit yields in Great Lakes region, plus droughts, bugs, big storms everywhere. That means lower crop yields, more pesticide use or forced switch to hardier crops, more crop insurance claims. Farm equipment emits large quantities of CO2 by burning fossil fuels; this was main reason agricultural states opposed Waxman-Markey bill (a.k.a. American Clean Energy and Security Act).

By Jeneen Interlandi 2009-09-25

Opinion: It's time to restructure dairy industry

It's time to revamp structure of dairy industry to eliminate boom-bust cycle. If USDA head wants to avoid replay of current fiasco, with $350 million dairy bailout on top of more than $1 billion in regular price-support and direct-payment programs, he will encourage radical thinking. Dairy farmers have milked taxpayers and consumers long enough. And: Test project in Maryland to make raw milk cheese could help struggling industry (click 'See also')

The editors

The Washington Post 2009-10-09

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Alfalfa, sugar beet rulings signal new U.S. view of GM crops

Farmers who shun genetically modified crops find hope in recent alfalfa and sugar beet rulings (click 'See also') criticizing regulators who ignored potential economic impact of GM crop cross-pollination on organic, other farmers. Lawsuits have prompted first environmental impact statement ever for a GM crop, due in 2009. Though U.S. has passed no legislation on GM crops, 95 percent of U.S. sugar beet crop, which supplies about half the nation's sugar, now engineered. Eighty-five percent of corn crop genetically modified, and, as high-fructose corn syrup, is throughout food system. Some 90 percent of soy, cotton crops include genes from Monsanto Co., Dow Chemical, DuPont.

By Paul Voosen

Greenwire/The New York Times 2009-10-08

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Some schools embrace buy-local movement but others left behind

Some schools embrace buy-local movement but others left behind


Click 'See also' for video of students pleading for better school food.

Buy-local trend, which has popularized farmers' markets, farm harvest subscriptions reaches some school lunch programs. Farm to school initiative started at a few schools in California, Florida, North Carolina in late 1990s; USDA says 2,000-plus such programs are active in about 40 states. Programs bring fresh produce into schools, gives local small-farm owners chance to break into new market, and lets students meet farmers who visit schools and explain their work. And: San Francisco students make video pleading for better school food (click 'See also').

By Jenna Johnson

The Washington Post 2009-09-24

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Bill would ban arsenic in nation's poultry industry

New York congressman introduces bill to ban use of arsenic compound known as roxarsone as a food additive. Bill 3624 called Poison-Free Poultry Act of 2009. And: Feeding arsenic to chickens promotes their growth (click 'See also'). EPA says 70 percent of the 8.7 billion broiler chickens produced annually are fed arsenic. In study, 55 percent of raw supermarket chicken contained arsenic; nearly 75 percent of breasts, thighs, and livers from conventional producers did too. Carcinogen contributes to heart disease, diabetes. Some drinking water naturally high in arsenic; runoff from fields covered with arsenic-laden chicken manure adds to problem. 2009-09-22

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Tipping point on farmed vs wild-caught fish seen for 2009

Sometime this year, half the fish, shellfish we eat will be farmed, not wild caught. Tipping point is reshaping oceans, livelihoods, diets. Environmental challenges include need to feed many small fish to bigger fish that consumers crave. Up to one-third of global catch goes to produce fish oil, fish meal that fish, poultry and pig-farming operations demand, which depletes stocks of forage fish - anchovies, sardines and menhaden, plus krill, food for penguins, whales (click 'See also') - a link expert says must be broken. Farmed fish might have eaten unused poultry trimmings, been vaccinated, consumed antibiotics or been selected for certain genetic traits.

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2009-09-20

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Satellite imaging changing face of water management

As water conflicts for agriculture grow intense, tool that mines data from government satellite images (some of which are on Google Earth) is changing face of water management. Data (click 'See also') have helped settle century-long fight between Colorado and Kansas over Arkansas River, dispute between Idaho irrigation districts, and have eased fears in California that water transfers to L.A., San Diego would increase salinity of Imperial Valley farmland. Data also are crucial to feds' programs that maintain water in streams where steelhead trout, salmon spawn. Project, called METRIC, has been in jeopardy because NASA wasn't planning to include required $100 million thermal infared sensor in next satellite launch, but Western politicians pressured the agency, and it appears that sensor will be included.

By Kari Lydersen

The Washington Post 2009-09-14

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Experts call fresh water the 'new oil,' finite resource

Only 38 percent of UK's total water use is from its own resources; most of remainder is from Spain, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, Israel, Pakistan and Uzbekistan, some of which face serious shortages, study shows. Residents consume about 4,645 liters a day in drinking, washing and 'virtual water,' which is used in production of imported food, textiles. Meat and dairy-based diet consumes about 5,000 liters of virtual water a day, vegetarian diet uses about 2,000 liters.

By Felicity Lawrence

The Guardian (UK) 2009-08-20

Opinion: Feds subsidize causes, treatment of diet-related disease

By not addressing food system reform in health care reform, government is putting itself in position of subsidizing both the costs of treating Type 2 diabetes and consumption of high-fructose corn syrup. One of the leading products of American food industry has become patients for American health care industry. When terms like 'pre-existing conditions' vanish, relationship between health insurance industry and food industry will change. When health insurers can no longer evade costs of treating results of American diet, food system reform movement - farm policy, food marketing, school lunches - will gain powerful, wealthy ally.

By Michael Pollan

The New York TImes 2009-09-10

Former bank building houses new currency - heirloom seeds

Former bank building houses new currency - heirloom seeds

Baker Creek Heirloom seed company creates bricks-and-mortar seed bank, fills arched windows of former bank with produce. Store is evidence of effort to preserve, bring back fruit, vegetable and flower varieties pushed to extinction in era of commercial seed production. Others seedsaver groups: Kitazawa in Oakland (Asian herbs and vegetables), J.L. Hudson of La Honda, Redwood City Seed Co. (peppers), plus Seeds of Change in New Mexico, Seed Savers Exchange in Iowa (click 'See also').

By Carol Ness

San Francisco Chronicle 2009-09-06

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Crops die as relentless blue skies parch Texas

Crops die as relentless blue skies parch Texas


In drought-stricken Texas, the water is saved for drinking. Agricultural losses already estimated at $3.6 billion and rising - in normal year, farmers, ranchers bring in about $20 billion. One-fifth of state, area larger than Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut combined (click 'See also'), is experiencing 'exceptional' drought conditions, the worst category. Possible up-side: Texans may begin paying more attention to water management.

The Economist 2009-08-13

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Irrigation reform needed for future food supply in Asia

Without major reforms in agricultural water use, many developing nations in Asia face prospect of importing more than a quarter of rice, wheat, corn they will need by 2050, irrigation study shows. Already, area is most intensively irrigated in world; South Asia as a whole uses about 250 cubic kilometers of groundwater annually, accounting for almost half the world's total groundwater use. Study doesn't factor in impact of climate change.

International Water Management Institute, Eurekalert 2009-08-17

Opinion: Toward a smarter, sustainable food supply

Radical changes in the way we grow food (click 'See also') will increase our grocery bills, and that doesn't make sense in recession. But shoppers, farmers, ranchers, policymakers could help create a more sustainable agricultural system by examining impact of potential farm on water supply, soil resources and manure disposal; supporting experiments that explore smart use of water; choosing locally grown produce and products, and meats raised on less corn and without antibiotics. Feds should look for opportunities to buy produce from local farmers who use techniques that don't damage soils or environment.

The editors

The Dallas Morning News 2009-08-28

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Dairy, pork firms struggle but sugar farmers see record high prices

Thirty-eight percent drop in farm profits predicted; slower increase in food costs likely. Food and agriculture account for about 13 percent of GNP. Global sugar prices hit 28-year record. Restaurants cut orders for pork; pork exports in June were 36 percent lower than same time last year. Farmers, many of whom already receive federal subsidies, seek more help. Last month, administration agreed to temporarily raise price it pays for dairy products, adding $243 million to existing supports. Midwest governors hawk pork for government nutrition programs. And: Monsanto to hike cost of genetically modified corn, soybeans up to 42 percent (click 'See also').

By Scott Kilman and Lauren Etter

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2009-08-28

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Sick farm workers likely source of turkeys' swine flu

Turkeys at two farms have caught swine flu, likely from infected farm workers, and have been quarantined in Chile, UN says. Once the sick birds have recovered, production, processing will continue. 'They do not pose a threat to the food chain,' says official. Canada, Argentina and Australia have previously reported spread of H1N1 swine flu virus from farm workers to pigs.

By Sudeep Chand

BBC News 2009-08-27

Opinion: Solving myriad problems requires integrated solutions

Speed at which humans have improved technology has obscured our hard-wired abilities to make natural connections - that plants clean the air and water, that termites initiated mounds in which palm trees now grow in Botswana, to sense meanings in the sand, breeze and thickness of air. To solve array of integrated problems - climate change, energy, water scarcity, biodiversity loss, poverty reduction, feeding a hungry, growing population - we must deal with them in integrated way, the way they occur on the ground, says Glenn Prickett, conservation expert.

By Thomas L. Friedman

The New York Times 2009-08-23

As planet warms, two approaches to feeding growing population

How do we feed burgeoning population in face of climate change? Classical economists failed to forecast transformation from industrial revolution. Cheap fossil fuels unleashed greatest increase in food, personal wealth, and people ever, enabling population to increase sevenfold since days of T.R. Malthus, who noted that population increases geometrically, while agricultural production increases more slowly. Reprise of Norman Borlaug's green revolution - with synthetic fertilizers, biotech seeds, pesticides, irrigation, monoculture, is backed by big foundations, but its flaws are reliance on fossil fuels, legacy of tainted soil, depleted aquifers. Agroecology means halting sole focus on maximizing grain yields at any cost and considering environmental, social impacts of food production. Research on small-scale diverse farming methods shows ability to sequester carbon, hold moisture--two key advantages for farmers facing climate change.

By Joel K. Bourne Jr.

National Geographic Magazine 2009-06-01

Climate change bill would return farms, ranches to forest

Critics worry that climate-protecting reforestation plan could push food prices up, since financial incentives would encourage farmers, ranchers to plant trees. But growing food in 'climate change' areas would be costlier, says former Agriculture secretary. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, the key global-warming gas. More trees also would improve water quality, because lower levels of pesticides, fertilizers are used on them. And: 3,500 trees planted on BP refinery property to clean up pollution in soils, groundwater (click 'See also').

By Traci Watson

USA Today 2009-08-20

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Citing water scarcity, wheat farmers sue to stop industrial feedlot

Washington state dryland wheat farmers sue to stop nearby industrial feedlot, citing water scarcity. Easterday Ranches Inc., cattle feedlot would pen up to 30,000 head of cattle, using a stock-watering exemption in law to pump up to 600,000 gallons a day. Until state reversed its position in 2005 (click 'See also'), laws required permit for groundwater use to protect people who already have wells and to protect streams that are connected to or replenished by groundwater.

By Richard Roesler

The Spokesman Review (WA) 2009-06-30

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House, USDA, FDA move toward improved food safey

House OKs food safety bill; opposition had centered on lesser provisions that critics said would add burdensome bureaucracy for farmers. Legislation applies only to FDA, will not cover meat or poultry products, USDA territory. And: USDA to begin regular testing of meat trimmings used to make ground beef; FDA issues voluntary guidelines for growing, processing tomatoes, leafy greens, melons (click 'See also').

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2009-07-30

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Food safety bill falls short on first try in House

Sweeping food safety reform bill falls short in House on first try. Bill is strongly supported by White House, raft of consumer groups, plus some major industry trade groups, but is opposed by some farm interests. House bill places significant new responsibility on farmers, food processors to prevent contamination. It gives FDA new power to set safety standards for growing, processing food and requires it to sharply increase inspections, enforcement.

By Lyndsey Layton

The Washington Post 2009-07-29

Opinion: Growing, eating less meat benefits us, planet

Breaking meat addiction is important for our survival as individuals, and for our planet. Reduce the excess meat in your diet and you'll reduce your risk of developing certain cancers. Producing one kilogram of beef produces 15-25kg of greenhouse gas emissions. If a steak became a treat and not every pot had a chicken in it every night, the food system could produce less and farmers still receive fair returns.

By Jess Halliday News Media 2009-07-27

For ranchers, mobile slaughterhouse cuts out feedlots

Shoppers' soaring interest in meat from free-roaming cattle, plus government grants helped give ranchers in remote California area momentum to get mobile slaughterhouse on the road. 'Mobile harvest unit,' a tractor-trailer outfitted with knives, meat hooks and a freezer based on similar unit in Washington state, employs three butchers and shares USDA inspector with nearby meat-packaging shop.

By Jacob Adelman

The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2009-07-20

Damp-loving fungus found on Maine's bluebery bushes

Valdensinia leaf spot, a deadly fungus that spreads easily and quickly in damp weather, found on wild blueberry crop in Maine. With this year's excessive rain, blueberry crop was one of Maine agriculture's bright spots; a bumper crop had been expected. Single dead leaf on a tractor or the bottom of a shoe is enough to infect an entire field; best treatment is to burn fields.

By Sharon Kiley Mack

Bangor Daily News (ME) 2009-07-28

Titans seek 50-year farm bill that grows food, local ecosystems

Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, Fred Kirschenmann - heroes of urban agrarian constituency - visit D.C. to promote 50-year-farm bill, a proposal for gradual, systemic change in American farming. Plan asks for $50 million annually for plant breeding and genetics research, puts forward vision of agriculture that values yields, local ecosystems, healthy food, rural communities. And: Civilizations have destroyed themselves by destroying their farmland, they write (click 'See also').

By Jane Black

The Washington Post 2009-07-22

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Feds send different signals on GM alfalfa, sugar beets

Judge bans Monsanto's genetically modified Roundup Ready alfalfa until scientific assessment can show that new crop doesn't harm environment, but Obama administration has said it intends to continue Bush-era policies on GM sugar beets despite similar suit against them. Monsanto charges ahead on GM wheat, buying WestBred, a wheat genetics company. And: Sugar from genetically modified beets - like all other GM foods - isn't labeled; during approval process, EPA OK'd increase of glyphosate residues allowed on sugar beets by 5,000 percent. (click 'See also').

By Barry Estabrook of the Plate 2009-07-24

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Monsanto, Dow win ruling for biotech corn

EPA, Canadian Food Inspection Agency OK genetically modified SmartStax corn seed for sale. The seed, a result of partnership between agribusiness giant Monsanto and Dow Chemical, includes eight biotech genes that shield it from weedkiller applications and also kill insects in multiple ways (click 'See also'). Regulators also agreed to reduce 'refuge area' - a percentage of acreage required to be planted in conventional corn seed to guard against developing pesticide tolerance in bugs.

By Jeffrey Tomich

St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2009-07-21

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Milk price crisis prompts call for probe into Dean Foods

Concerns about U.S. farmers' ability to sell milk at fair prices prompts senator to request Justice Department probe into Dallas-based Dean Foods, corporate concentration in dairy market. Company blames USDA, which typically sets prices, and supply/demand for low milk prices. And: Dairy cows sold as hamburger meat as milk prices fall, ending family tradition in California's nation's top milk producing state (click 'See also').

Dallas Business Journal/Denver Business Journal 2009-07-20

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Tomato growers battle late blight after cold, wet June

Tomato growers battle late blight after cold, wet June

Cornell University

Cool, wet weather in June set stage for 'explosive' rate of late blight infection in tomato plants across Northeast, mid-Atlantic and could drive tomato prices up. Signs include white, powdery spores; large olive green or brown spots on leaves; and brown or open lesions on the stems. Hot, sunny weather could slow disease spread.

By Julia Moskin

The New York TImes 2009-07-17

Waxman food-safety bill alarms small-scale farmers

Small-scale farmers alarmed at Food Safety Enhancement Act steamrolling through Congress, say it could conflict with organic growing methods, trump environmental efforts. But others favor FDA regulation as way to fight proliferation of private, often unscientific, often secret food safety rules imposed by large buyers that have forced them to poison wildlife, destroy habitat and remove vegetative buffers that naturally filter pollutants and pathogens (click 'See also').

By Carolyn Lochhead

San Francisco Chronicle 2009-07-17

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More inspections could have prevented latest big beef recall

The 41,280-pound JBS Swift beef recall for e.coli, linked to 18 illnesses, could have been prevented if USDA plan to inspect more beef had been implemented. USDA is proposing to consider primal cuts - the large chunks of beef usually made into steaks, roasts - adulterated if e. coli is detected, and also to begin testing leftover parts of primals often turned into ground beef.

By Bill Tomson

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2009-07-10

Fed mulls tighter rules on Vietnamese fish imports; U.S. beef exporters worry

Government considers tougher regulations for pangasius, a Vietnamese fish similar to catfish, by putting it under USDA instead of FDA. Imported products regulated by USDA must meet same food safety standards as domestic competitors. And: There's no reason to launch trade war with Vietnam over fish, editors say (click 'See also'). Pangasius industry critical to economy of Mekong River region; protectionism veiled as food safety is sensitive issue for Congressional friends of cattle.

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2009-07-05

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Drought-tolerant GM corn seed expected in 2010

Drought-tolerant GM corn seed expected in 2010


DuPont's Pioneer Hi-Bred's drought-tolerant genetically modified corn seed set for introduction in 2010; expected for use in dry region of western Corn Belt. Water scarcity yield losses in U.S. estimated at $5 billion annually, globally, $13 billion. And: In 'Food, Inc.,' we're told that farmers are subsidized to over-produce corn, which then goes into cattle feed, Coke, Sweet & Low, and also that gut of a cow fed on corn breeds deadliest strains of e.coli (click 'See also').

Cattle Network 2009-07-13

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Pork producer delays plan to give pregnant sows more room

Pork producer delays plan to give pregnant sows more room


Smithfield, citing poor earnings, will delay phasing out 'gestation crates' past original deadline of 2017. And: Shareholders will vote in August on request by PETA, which holds stock, on specifying timetable for providing more room for pregnant sows (click 'See also'). Company wants shareholders to reject request because it is uncertain when the $300 million for transition will be available.

By Philip Walzer

The Virginian-Pilot 2009-07-08

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In quest for food safety, 'scorched earth' policy could affect farms nationwide

Panicked push for food safety leads to 'foolhardy' attempt to sanitize farm fields in California despite evidence suggesting industrial agriculture may be bigger culprit - and plan may go nationwide. To appease large produce buyers, farmers are poisoning ponds, ripping out vegetation harboring pollinators and filtering storm runoff. Fences and poison baits line wildlife corridors; dying rodents are leading to deaths of owls, hawks that naturally control rodents. Surprisingly little is known about how e.coli is transmitted from cow to table. And: Industry-generated food safety system no substitute for federal regulation, says food safety expert (click 'See also').

By Carolyn Lochhead

San Francisco Chronicle 2009-07-13

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With food stamps stimulus, children taste cucumbers, farmers get paid

Increase in food stamp benefits ($80 a month for family of four) creates chain reaction. For every $5 of food-stamp spending, there is $9.20 of total economic activity, as grocers and farmers pay employees and suppliers, who in turn shop and pay their bills. With food-stamp boost, economic stimulus is almost immediate, with 80 percent of the benefits being redeemed within two weeks of receipt and 97 percent within a month, the USDA says. Nationwide, enrollment in program is up more than five million from March 2008.

By Roger Thurow and Timothy W. Martin

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2009-07-07

Reduced fertility in farmed salmon may undermine wild stocks

Hatchery programs for all salmon species could be reducing fish fertility, thus contributing to demise of salmon runs in California, Oregon and Washington, study suggests. On average, offspring of two hatchery-reared steelhead were only 37 percent as reproductively fit as fish whose parents were both wild, says researcher. Forty million hatchery-raised salmon are released into California river systems every year. And: Herring population that spawns in San Francisco Bay now at lowest level in 30 years (click 'See also')

By Peter Fimrite

San Francisco Chronicle 2009-07-05

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Opinion: Hard-line organic advocates miss larger points

Flavor, seasonality, locality trump organic. Between pure organics and reckless use of chemicals is huge gray area where most farming is done. Ignore this and you ignore mission of supporting small farmers who grow wonderful food. In California, roughly 85 percent of farms are owned by individuals or families, 75 percent are smaller than 100 acres. Earthbound Farm, which grows organics, now cultivates more than 40,000 acres. And: Purity of USDA 'organic' label questioned (click 'See also').

By Russ Parsons

Los Angeles Times 2009-07-01

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Foreign aid will shift to teaching skills rather than direct food donations

In shift, U.S. will focus on providing expertise, training, roads, infrastructure to boost agricultural productivity abroad rather giving emergency aid, USDA chief says. Nation is largest donor of emergency food aid - mainly crops grown by American farmers - but spends 20 times as much on food aid to Africa as it spends on programs that could boost food production. In 1980s, U.S. annual spending on African farming projects was $400 million-plus; by 2006 it had dwindled to $60 million.

By Mark Weinraub

Reuters 2009-06-29

Local food movement boosts women's turn toward farming

Women, turning to farming, get boost from popularity of farmers markets, buy-local programs, interest of well-heeled, eco-conscious shoppers. 'It's a great feeling to be able to grow food and to be able to share it with people,' says one, who started with vegetable garden and cow named Dinner. 'Being outside, growing food - it's just a great way to live.' More than one in every 10 U.S. farms is run by a woman.

By Lori Aratani

The Washington Post 2009-06-28

Real source of obesity epidemic is federal corn subsidies

While one hand of federal government campaigns against obesity epidemic, the other hand subsidizes it by writing farmers a check for every bushel of corn they can grow - undermining public-health goals by loosing tide of cheap calories. Challenge is to rewrite those rules, to develop new set of agricultural policies that don't subsidize overproduction - and overeating. Unless we deal with mountain of cheap grain that makes Happy Meal and Double Stuf Oreo such 'bargains,' calories will keep coming.

By Michael Pollan

The New York Times 2003-10-12

Dams, drought turning Iraqi farms to desert, forcing food imports

Dams, drought turning Iraqi farms to desert, forcing food imports

The small, aggressive and ill-tempered Saw Scaled Viper is among snakes plaguing Iraq's farmers.

Four-year drought, plus dams in Turkey, Syria, Iran drop water levels in Euphrates and the Tigris rivers, endangering Iraqi agriculture and destroying habitat for vipers, which now plague people, cattle. Farmers leaving land for cities, pushing country to import more food, though in 1950s it was one of few regional cereal-exporting countries. Drop in oil prices cuts budget for measures to increase water use efficiency.

The Independent (UK) 2009-06-15

Opinion: A strategy to reduce overfishing in world's oceans

Well-managed oceans policy, with strategies to reduce overfishing, would be example for others. Rather than annual catch limits, administration advocates 'catch shares,' which gives individuals or groups fixed percentage of annual catch, then allows them to set rules, supposing that shareholders will have vested interest in growing resource. And: New system would protect marine ecosystem, increase revenues, ensure dinnertime feasts of native fish (click 'See also').

The editors

The New York Times 2009-06-21

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Opinion: Taking steps to end chronic hunger

Opinion: Taking steps to end chronic hunger

Sustainable agriculture key to ending chronic hunger, Hillary Clinton tells World Food Prize audience. Obama administration will lead effort and seek to increase agricultural productivity; improve infrastructure of developing countries; maintain natural resources; help developing communities adapt to climate change; support R&D and education of plant scientists; seek to increase trade for small-scale farmers; support policy reform, good governance and the 70 percent of farmers who are women - and the children.

By Hillary Clinton

The Huffington Post 2009-06-11

Reframe sustainability from the people's point of view

Reframe sustainability from the people's point of view

Barton Seaver, chef and evangelist for sustainable seafood, argues for compromise, common sense, saying that everyone acts in his own economic interest. Acknowledging that sustainability is about people, not fish, is first step toward finding solutions. With oysters, for example, 'eating a farm-raised Chesapeake oyster supports generations of watermen and supports the most productive marine ecosystem in the world.'

By Jane Black

The Washington Post 2009-05-13

Recession cuts demand for beef; ad campaign follows

Recession cuts demand for beef; ad campaign follows

Demand for beef falls 7 percent over one year -- equivalent of metropolitan Atlanta becoming vegetarian. Farmers plan to cut production of beef, pork, poultry, and milk, along with corn, wheat, rice, and peanuts. Meat lobby mounts ad campaign; Cargill renames budget cuts of beef. Publishes see opportunity to sell vegetarian-leaning cookbooks. And: Eating two ounces of beef and calling it dinner (click 'See also').

By Louise McCready

Gourmet/Politics of the Plate 2009-06-10

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Industrial farming growing, dispersing drug-resistant pathogens

Industrial farming growing, dispersing drug-resistant pathogens

Kellogg Schwab/

Sampling the air for pathogens in a poultry house.

Adding antibiotics to farm animal feed is fostering, dispersing drug-resistant bacteria that imperil public health, researchers are learning. Chicken, cow, pig manure - 335 million tons annually - distributes pathogens through fertilizer and manure lagoons, where infectious microbes infiltrate air, soil, water, and are transported by houseflies, farm trucks, farm workers. Government requires no disclosure on microbial use in agriculture. In his 1945 Nobel Prize address, Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin, had warned of ease in making microbes resistant; Pork Board spokesperson isn't convinced.

By Dale Keiger

Johns Hopkins Magazine 2009-06-01

Billionaire farmer controls majority of California water bank

Stewart Resnick, billionaire pistachio and almond farmer, controls private water company that has 48 percent stake in state-developed Kern Water Bank. It's a vast underground reservoir that gathers water from Kern River, California Aqueduct and Friant-Kern Canal in wet years, then sells it during drought. Another 10 percent of water bank is owned by local water district whose board president also is president of the farmer's company, Paramount Farms. And: Who owns water (click 'See also')?

By Mike Taugher

Tri-Valley Herald (Oakland, CA) 2009-05-25

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Opinion: When farmers choose biofuel crops, hunger, pollution rise

Farmers can grow food crops for one price, or same crops for biofuel for more plus tax credits. In 2007, amount of food turned into fuel could have fed 450 million for a year. Corn-based fuel additive use caused 10 percent to 15 percent of food price rise in one year. Higher food prices could cost Americans $900 million more for food stamps and child nutrition programs. Plus, amount of nitrous oxide (300 times more potent than CO2) released from farming corn, rape for biofuels had been underestimated by factor of 3 to 5 times.

By Ed Wallace

Business Week 2009-05-26

Calls grow for groundwater regulation in California

California faces growing pressure to regulate groundwater. Critics say refusal could prove catastrophic to state's $36 billion agricultural economy as well as to real estate. Advisory agency recommends regulating groundwater pumping statewide. Issuing emergency drought declaration in February, governor asked local governments and water districts for data on groundwater supplies.

By Felicity Barringer

The New York TImes 2009-05-14

USDA head defends livestock industry practices

With flu epidemic focusing attention on pork production practices of crowded conditions, routine antibiotic use, USDA head defends industry against lawmaker's probing. Antibiotics are given to hogs to prevent disease and for weight gain. In recent study, nearly half the hogs and half the farmers tested were carrying antibiotic-resistant MRSA bacteria. And: Risks of industrial-scale animal production unacceptable, study says (click 'See also').

By Philip Brasher

The Des Moines Register 2009-05-14

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Opinion: Line crossed with university president's Monsanto job

Opinion: Line crossed with university president's Monsanto job

Conflict-of-interest line crossed when South Dakota State University president took part-time job on Monsanto board for nearly $400,000 annually. David Chicoine likens new job to consulting work of professors at public universities for publicly held companies. In fiscal years 2008 and so far in 2009, Monsanto has paid SDSU about $421,000 and has been paid about $216,000. Monsanto contributes millions for agricultural research and infrastructure at Land Grant universities around nation.

By Alan Guebert

Lincoln Journal Star (NE) 2009-04-26

Opinion: Recession-related demise of organic foods greatly exaggerated

Contrary to gloomy headlines, organics market's growth merely slowed to rate of one percent a month, careful reading of Nielsen report shows. If that rate continues, organic sales will rise by 12 percent this year, though overall grocery sales are flat. Trade group reports that organic food sales grew by 15.8 percent in 2008.

By Barry Estabrook of the Plate 2009-05-07

Agency takes step toward banning songbird-killing pesticide

EPA bans carbofuran and will remove it from market because pesticide does not meet food safety standards. Meanwhile, it still can be used on field corn, potatoes, pumpkins, sunflowers, spinach grown for seed, pine seedlings. In 2006, agency identified significant dietary, ecological and worker risks from use of carbofuran. And: Our appetite for year-'round vegetables, grains is killing our songbirds with pesticides (click 'See also').

By Richard Keigwin

EPA 2009-05-11

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USDA, almond industry predict lower yields

USDA prediction of only 10 percent cut in almond harvest from record in 2008 surprises California industry observers, who cite drought. California grows 80 percent of world's supply of almonds. New forecast based on almond counts on sampling of trees due June 30. And: Drought pushes farmers into switching to fruit, nuts which need less water and have greater return per pound than rice, alfalfa (click 'See also').

By Reed Fujii

The Record (CA) 2009-05-09

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Florida OJ industry faces triple tribulations

Florida orange juice industry faces drought, hurricane season, anti-dumping petition against a Brazilian juice processor (click 'See also'). Though juice futures have risen, orange stockpiles, recent low prices, could keep supermarket prices stable.

By Ted Jackovics

The Tampa Tribune 2009-05-05

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Food safety lapses worrisome, point to developing problems

Though most public health experts believe nation's food supply safer than in past, recalls, outbreaks worrisome; some incidents point to new problems. Safety advocates say woes show inadequacy of FDA, which regulates 80 percent of food supply. Interconnectedness of food system illustrated by peanut product recall from small Georgia plant that supplied several hundred customers - 3,913 products have been recalled.

By Andrew Martin and Gardiner Harris

The New York TImes 2009-05-11

Food aid to Pakistan, Afghanistan from USDA

Pakistan, Afghanistan to receive $27.5 million through USDA Food for Progress Program. Under plan, proceeds from sale of USDA-donated vegetable oil to agribusinesses there will help implement agricultural, rural development projects. Other efforts: developing agriculture trade corridors along border; improving production, processing of fruits, nuts, livestock; improving water, watershed management and irrigation methods; rehabilitating watersheds to increase crop yields and create jobs.

USDA 2009-05-07

Flu is third blow for pork industry

Influenza A H1N1, virus formerly known as swine flu, follows record high feed prices, recession in triple whammy for pork industry. The months of losses already had producers quitting or paring herds, and now countries have banned imports of U.S. pork, sending hog prices sharply lower.

By Bob Burgdorfer

Reuters 2009-05-01

For scientists, hunt is on for Pig Zero and A(H1N1) flu origin

Swine flu virus, a blend of genes from Americas pigs, Eurasia pigs, doesn't yet show genetic proof that those pigs ever met. Shipping pigs between Canada, U.S., Mexico for fattening, slaughter is routine; legal movement of pigs across oceans is rare. Western hemisphere part of virus has carried an avian segment for at least 10 years, human segment since 1993. And: Virus gets new name - influenza A(H1N1) - after pork industry complains (click 'See also').

By Donald G. McNeil Jr.

The New York Times 2009-05-01

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Database links farms, businesses in South Carolina

Database links farms, businesses in South Carolina


South Carolina joins a dozen states with its S.C. MarketMaker (click 'See also'), an online database that connects businesses along the food supply chain, from farmers and fishermen to distributors, retailers and restaurants. Effort will help put food of local farmers/producers on residents' plates.

The Associated Press; The State (Columbia, S.C.) 2009-04-29

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Swine flu is hybrid of two pig flu strains, researchers learn

Swine flu virus H1N1 is hybrid of two common pig flu strains - North American, described in 1930s, and Eurasian, described in 1979, new analysis shows. Earliest case was in La Gloria, Veracruz, near Granjas Carroll hog farm, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. Researchers have warned that unsanitary conditions at industrial hog farms could prove a breeding ground for new flu forms. And: Internet chatter tracked 'four-alarm-fire' of infection in Mexico around Catholic holy week, a time of increased travel (click 'See also').

By Brandon Keim

Wired 2009-04-28

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'Endangerment finding' for CO2, methane at EPA

Emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride are health hazards, EPA says. Experts say decision will transform feds' role in regulating commercial operations, motor vehicles, power plants. And: Waxman-Markey bill plausible framework to begin urgently needed discussion, action in Congress, say editors (click 'See also').

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2009-04-17

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Japan recruits urbanites to short-staffed farming sector

As recession in Japan worsens, government recruits young underemployed workers to farmer training program with whirlwind lessons in rice and vegetable planting, cleaning pigsties, feeding cattle. Only 4 percent of Japanese labor force works in agriculture and profession is graying and short on workers, but reverence for rice-farming heritage is strong. And: Japan's rural economic system built on tiny, woefully inefficient family farms (click 'See also').

By Hiroko Tabuchi

The New York Times 2009-04-15

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Genetically modified crop yields suffer from hardy weeds

Rather than boosting yields, corn, soybeans genetically modified to resist insects and herbicide glyphosate have decreased production due to increased number of weedkiller-resistant weeds that compete for soil nutrients and moisture, study shows. Increased yields largely credited to better breeding, agricultural practices. And: Joining France, Luxembourg, Germany bans Monsanto's GM pest-resistant corn MON 810 (click 'See also').

By Tony C. Dreibus

Bloomberg 2009-04-14

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Opinion: Third try on Everglades, U.S. Sugar deal much improved

Revamped Florida-U.S. Sugar plan is reasonable compromise and good start on building reservoirs to protect from flood, drought and to clean up agricultural runoff that threatens wildlife, Everglades. Company gets partnership with state, subsidies. And: Current plan would buy 72,500 acres for $530 million, with option to buy the rest by 2019 (click 'See also').

The editors

The Miami Herald 2009-04-12

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Obama farm subsidy cuts absent from Congressional budget outlines

House, Senate include no limits on farm subsidies in budget outlines despite Obama's ambitious plan to cut them, though Senate does make modest trim on crop insurance programs. Critic says administration was more careful in laying groundwork for initiatives on climate change, health care. Resolutions protect health care, energy, education and reduce deficit, say Democrats, administration.

By David M. Herszenhorn

The New York Times 2009-04-03

Peanuts, pistachios recalls fuel calls for food safety reform

As salmonella-pistachio recall expands only weeks after peanut products recall began, food safety reform calls grow. Among suggestions: mandatory recall authority for FDA, more inspections, product tracking. Also: splitting FDA and establishing Food Safety Administration. But Kathleen Sebelius, nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, says that first FDA should be restored as 'world-class regulatory agency.'

By Mary MacVean

Los Angeles Times 2009-04-03

From poppies to pomegranates in Afghanistan

From poppies to pomegranates in Afghanistan

Big Stock Photo

Pomegranates can replace opium poppies for higher profit, beverage entrepreneur, UK grocery chain and Afghanistan tribes agree. 40,000 trees planted, with half a million more trees planned by end of 2010. Ability to reduce drug dependency is vast, since Afghan-sourced heroin is sold globally. And: In Afghanistan, Texas soldiers see path to victory through creation of wheat-seed farm superior to the 2,500 acres and subsistence plots controlled by Taliban (click 'See also').

By Shane Starling Decision News Media 2009-03-31

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Calves lost to fatal bleeding ailment in Germany

'Terrifying' bleeding disease killing two-to-three-week-old calves in Germany's cattle barns. 100-plus cases documented throughout country, most in Bavaria; number of unreported deaths believed to be much higher. As specialists frantically rule out causes, speculation grows on Internet; group of 600 farmers makes pilgrimage to pray to Black Madonna of Altötting (click 'See also').

By Philip Bethge

Der Spiegel 2009-03-27

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Vegetables absorb livestock antibiotics through tainted manure

Corn, potatoes, lettuce absorb antibiotics in soil fertilized with manure from livestock treated to increase growth, prevent infections. Nearly 70 percent of antibiotics and related drugs used in U.S. routinely fed to cattle, pigs and poultry - nearly 25 million pounds of antibiotics per year, advocacy group reports. Beyond encouraging development of resistant bacteria (click 'See also'), tainted manure can infiltrate water supplies as it percolates through soil into aquifers or runs off into waterways. Manure composting cut concentrations of some antibiotics up to 99 percent.

By Matthew Cimitile

Scientific American 2009-01-06

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Analysis: Global appetites spur agriculture growth

Agriculture grows as more people achieve better nourishment through more grain, a lot more meat, much more milk. Meat and grain prices up 30 percent to 50 percent above averages a decade ago; demand for olive oil (replacing pork fat), continues to grow in China, elsewhere. Monsanto, other agribusinesses, posting strong gains; investment firms buy farmland in far-flung countries, including Morocco, Algeria, Pakistan, Syria, Vietnam, Thailand, Sudan and India.

The Economist 2009-03-19

Global warming dangerous to people, EPA says

Global warming endangers public health, welfare, EPA tells White House Finding was in response to Supreme Court ordering agency to consider whether CO2, other greenhouse gases should be limited under Clean Air Act. EPA had found move would cost utilities, automakers, others billions while benefits to others. And: Companies discover they can lower costs, go green at same time (click 'See also').

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2009-03-23

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Storms bring some relief to thirsty California

Series of storms allows 5 percent increase of water allocation to Southern California. Projected deliveries from State Water Project, which provides a third of urban region's water, have risen to 20 percent of full allocation; typical deliveries are around 70 percent. Supply strained by population growth, curbs on pumping of Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (click 'See also'), shift to permanent agricultural crops.

By Bettina Boxall

Los Angeles Times 2009-03-19

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Opinion: Switch from fish to land-based feed for pigs, poultry, pets

To maintain foundation of ocean's life, stop feeding small 'forage' fish to animals (click 'See also'), and farmed salmon, limit land-based livestock to land-grown feed, globally. Pork industry consumes 24 percent of fish meal and oil; poultry takes as much as 22 percent; pets, because chicken in pet food were fed fish, uses 10 percent of global supply. Swine, poultry industries will it costs too much. But once we used whales for fertilizer.

By Paul Greenberg

The New York Times 2009-03-22

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Florida lawmaker looks to streamline food safety plans

Florida lawmaker proposes bill that would transfer food service safety duties to Department of Agriculture and would expand stringent food safety standards to crops beyond tomatoes. Ideally, says Carey Baker, who plans run for agriculture post, state's produce would carry a bar code to identify its growing, packing history. And: Law would require online availability of farm inspection reports (click 'See also').

By James A. Jones Jr.

Bradenton Herald (FL) 2009-03-20

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Opinion: ID chips for livestock would cripple local food movement

National Animal Identification System, with high-tech ID chips, would reward factory farms and their use of antibiotics, confinement and unnatural feeding practices by requiring one tag per herd of poultry or swine, while crippling small farms (which supply local food movement) by requiring one tag per animal. Other beneficiaries: Meat exporters, manufacturers of animal tracking systems. Better plan: Limit industrial agriculture, stimulate growth of small farms, backyard food production. And: Mad cow scare of 2003 sped development of NAIS (click 'See also').

By Shannon Hayes

The New York Times 2009-03-11

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Report: Unite policy to fight food, water, climate woes

Women, children more affected by food, water, climate crises, new report says. Recommendations for governments: Global rights-based approach to water for ecosystems, people; investments in climate-change mitigating potential of agriculture; blending policy approaches to water, agriculture and climate; recognition of women's involvement in farming, food production, water management; inclusion of small-scale farmers in reforming policy.

By Shiney Varghese

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy 2009-03-01

Drought-defaced produce still tasty, ad campaign declares

Buy blemished fruit and vegetables, grower alliances say in response to Australians who want to help farmers affected by recent fires, floods, drought. Harsh weather, water, heat beget cosmetically-damaged produce that is otherwise tasty, nutritious. Met with government support, campaign is intended to alleviate shortages, price increases.

By David McKenzie

The Weekly Times (Melbourne, Australia) 2009-02-11

Opinion: Cut hunger risk with more farmers, home gardens, awareness

Jews farm because Judaism is an agrarian religion, but thousands of years have taught Jewish farmers that solution to hard times was passport. World climate, energy crisis can't be escaped by moving, and one in nine people in U.S. need food stamps. Best way to reduce hunger is more farmers, victory gardens everywhere, heightened awareness of importance of food. And: Farming, cooking aren't such radical ideas, says columnist (click 'See also').

By Sharon Astyk

The Dallas Morning News 2009-02-06

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Opinion: Obama's fast start offers hope to sustainability advocates

Early words, actions of Obama administration offer hope of reforms in agriculture, food policy that lead to environmental sustainability, healthy diets. Among pending questions: commodities payments versus agri-environment programs, placement of ethanol in alternative energy, agriculture and WTO Doha talks.

By Thomas Dobbs

The Dakota Day 2009-03-06

Drought, agriculture and California's future

As water sources are tapped out and cities grow, California's future seems uncertain. At risk: State's farmers, who lost $300-plus million in 2008, with losses possibly reaching 10 times that this year as 95,000 people lose their jobs; and beverage companies. Currently, 80 percent of state's water goes to farms. And: Water scarcity and climate change (click 'See also').

By Peter Henderson

Reuters 2009-03-10

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Without water, farmers struggle to stay afloat

Amid third critically-dry year, California almond production takes back seat to staying in business; farmers will fallow 300,000-plus acres. In March, Bureau of Reclamation stopped providing water for agriculture to 200 Central Valley districts. And: Takes 3 1/2 acre-feet of water to produce almond crop, 1 foot to keep trees alive (click 'See also').

By Ari B. Bloomekatz

Los Angeles Times 2009-02-21

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French government peddles glories of farming in ad campaign

French government peddles glories of farming in ad campaign

Big Stock Photo

As exodus continues from rural France, new, playful ad campaign aims to update image of farming to attract 'young blood. Farmers seen as guardians of rural and gastronomical heritage in country where each region boasts its own wine, cheese, sausage. And: Decision to enter farming helped by relative attractiveness of farm versus nonfarm earning opportunities and by ease of entry into farming as a business, says USDA (click 'See also').

By Eleanor Beardsley

National Public Radio/Morning Edition 2009-03-02

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Weather hurt California grape harvest

Drought, wind, frost in California contributed to lower grape crush yield last year; down 6 percent statewide, more for some areas, varieties, according to state report. Light harvest offsets decreased sales due to recession, but wine is relatively recession-proof and shortage, higher prices loom. Bottom line: "We need more rain" in 2009, says broker.

By Dale Rim

Santa Barbara News-Press; The San Luis Obispo Tribune 2009-02-11

'Farm bloc' breached by urban senator for rich, food-savvy voters

'Farm bloc' breached by urban senator for rich, food-savvy voters

Kirsten Gillibrand signs onto Agricultural Committee, historically fortress for rural-state farmers, farm economy. Junior senator from New York represents one of world's largest, most food-savvy and economically influential urban markets. They say soybeans, she says farmers' markets, 'buy local' and farmland preservation.

By Sam Hurst

Gourmet/Politics of the Plate 2009-02-25

Higher produce prices forecast as drought idles farmland

Drought, now in third year, dries irrigation system and is likely to idle at least 60,000 workers and up to 1 million acres, lower remaining yields in heartland of California. Central Valley grows more than half of nation's fruit, vegetables and nuts. Zero water allocation was last set in 1992, but later that year was eased to 25 percent of regular amount.

By Steve Gorman

Reuters 2009-02-20

Low oxygen kills healing bacteria in water 'dead zones'

Dead zones in waterways tenacious because oxygen deficiency neither supports aquatic life nor water-cleaning bacteria. Dead zones caused by excess phosphorous, nitrogen washed from croplands, sewage treatment systems, livestock operations, cruise ship waste dumping, paved areas. Return of sea grass to Chesapeake Bay a hopeful sign and may be result of low rainfall.

By Kari Lydersen

The Washington Post 2009-02-17

On a pig farm, it's dung to dollars with biogas

In gleeful straw-to-gold move, Nebraska farmer funnels methane emissions from pig manure to generator, and power company writes him checks. But biogas energy has high start-up costs, and needs federal incentives. Other emissions-lowering practices: improving grassland diversity, spreading fertilizer more precisely and tweaking animal food. And: EPA's methane capture program for farms (click 'See also').

By Scott Canon

The Kansas City Star 2009-02-07

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In wheat fields, risk of 'pending disaster' in global agriculture

Devastating wheat epidemic, Ug99, begins to take hold, exposing fragility of food supply in poor countries. Eighty percent of Asian and African wheat varieties now susceptible, along with barley. Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, major wheat producers, most threatened. And: Monsanto, Syngenta say their genetically modified wheat resists fungus, want ban on GM wheat lifted (click 'See also').

By Sharon Schmickle

The Washington Post 2009-02-18

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Economy, drought batter California farmers

Farmers leave fields fallow, others consider losing their businesses as economic crisis pairs with worsening drought in state's Central Valley. Some reservoirs down to as little as one-quarter of capacity. Ruling to protect endangered minnow could further cut water flow.

By Jim Carlton

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2009-02-10

Chronic wasting disease found in elk; some meat recalled

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) case quarantines elk herd in Minnesota; last case was found in 2006. Finding disturbs wildlife officials, who fear spread to wild deer. And: Seventeen pounds elk meat recalled over CWD concern; animal-to-human transmission of such diseases, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow), has raised theoretical concern (click 'See also'). Consumers directed to consult EPA on disposal.

By Doug Smith

Star-Tribune (MN) (may require registration) 2009-01-27

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Undercover operation nets fish trafficking charges

Undercover operation nets fish trafficking charges

In four-year undercover operation, agents used cover stories, recorded conversations, fish coroner to link Southern Maryland, fish market in D.C., and possibly dinner plates along East Coast. Authorities say traffickers moved about 600,000 pounds of illegal rockfish (also called striped bass) from Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay, valued at between $3 million and $7 million.

By David A. Fahrenthold and Del Quentin Wilber

The Washington Post 2009-02-07

Some Arctic waters off-limits to commercial fishing

Rapid climate changes cited in new ban of commercial fishing in parts of Arctic waters. Restrictions endorsed by fishermen/processing trade group. Concerns include unregulated fishing, warming, effect of commercial fishing on region's resources, subsistence fishing, ecosystem.

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post 2009-02-05

New USDA head backs school gardens, food policy councils - and all eaters

Tom Vilsack, new USDA head, says agency constituency extends past commercial farming to those who eat. He backs creation of school, urban community gardens, which link what children eat to knowing where it comes from; creating state food policy councils; and in nurturing market for organic and whole foods. First challenge: Improve Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, up for renewal.

By Jane Black

The Washington Post 2009-02-05

Policing what's 'organic' takes community

The failure of California's agriculture department to police maker of supposedly organic fertilizer is disappointment for a public increasingly devoted to eating organic. Job of ensuring integrity of products from organic farms, fertilizer makers must engage growers, retailers who are capitalizing on demand. And: Organic fertilizer was spiked (click 'See also').

The editors

The Sacramento Bee 2009-01-07

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Probe widens over use of synthetics in organic fertilizers

Concern over use of synthetic chemicals in organic fertilizer grows as federal agents search site of Port Organic Products, a major producer. Earthbound Farm, others tighten scrutiny after report of California probe that caught another maker spiking its product (click 'See also'). State suspected Port Organic of using synthetic nitrogen back in October 2007. Nearly 60 percent of nation's harvest of organic produce comes from California.

By Jim Downing

The Sacramento Bee 2009-01-24

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State finds spiked organic fertilizer, then keeps it secret

After California officials catch organic fertilizer maker spiking its fish-chicken feather brew with synthetic - therefore banned - fertilizer in June 2004, they waited until January 2007 to require that company remove product from market, then kept findings secret for nearly a year and a half longer, records show. Some of state's largest organic farms - Earthbound, Driscoll's - were among customers. And: USDA probes delay; disciplinary action possible (click 'See also').

By Jim Downing

The Sacramento Bee 2008-12-28

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Mapping soil as hedge against hunger, climate change

New African soil mapping plan to assess mineral, organic nutrients and guide farmers in using fertilizer or crop rotation aims to reduce poverty, feed growing populations and cope with impact of climate change on agriculture. African soils are among most depleted on earth. New York launch scheduled for Feb. 17 (click 'See also').

By Alistair Thomson

Reuters 2009-01-13

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USDA nominee vows hunger fight, backing for fruits, vegetables

Fighting child hunger, promoting fresh fruits and vegetables for children, supporting those who supply produce, and facilitating purchase of locally grown products among goals listed by USDA nominee Tom Vilsack at Senate panel hearing. Tom Harkin, agriculture chairman, says USDA should use Institute of Medicine guidelines to set standards for junk food sold in schools.

By Aliya Sternstein

CQ Politics 2009-01-14

Opinion: Backbone needed for true Chesapeake cleanup

After 25-year, $6 billion failed effort, it's clear: Saving the Chesapeake requires political will to regulate farm runoff, institute and enforce wastewater limits, limit crab and oyster catches and mandate green-building techniques. And: Budget shortages, bureaucratic inertia, political opposition blocked progress (click 'See also').

The editors

The Washington Post 2009-01-02

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Livestock producers cutting back in Maryland

As cost of meat sinks below costs of raising it and certified slaughterhouses remain scarce, livestock producers in southern Maryland turn attention to other sources of income: greenhouse-grown vegetables, grain, specialty animals, agri-tourism or jobs off the farm.

By Jenna Johnson

The Washington Post 2009-01-03

Flow of water to California cities, farmers cut to protect fish

Water flow to California cities, San Joaquin farmers further reduced to protect endangered delta smelt, avert ecological collapse of water crossroads. Contamination, invasive species, power plant operations, climate all damaging Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, says water director. Agriculture interests want new reservoirs, homeowners urged to conserve.

By Bettina Boxall

Los Angeles Times 2008-12-15

University links public health, agriculture on new site

New website offers access to information about public health, agriculture, and connects the two fields. Johns Hopkins University site, a project of its Center for a Livable Future (click 'See also') links communities, organizations, individuals. Site allows search of databases, vetted collection of reports, journal articles.

By Karla Cook

The Food Times 2008-12-14

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Opinion: Reframe, reform USDA with secretary of food

Obama needs secretary of food, not USDA - to address health care, climate change, energy independence. 'Department of Food' would give primacy to America's 300 million eaters, cut influence of industrial farm lobby, which inflicts unhealthy food on children through school lunches and exacerbates crisis of obesity, diabetes. And: Petition lists terrific reformist candidates (click 'See also').

By Nicholas D. Kristof

The New York Times 2008-12-11

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Opinion: Time for radical move on bluefin tuna fishing

New Atlantic bluefin tuna quota creates danger of catastrophic species collapse. Sharply reduced quotas or, better, moratorium on tuna fishing, may be radical, but only radical move will save the fish that drives a billion-dollar industry. And: Same mistakes that led to collapse of Atlantic cod are being repeated with bluefin, says advocacy group (click 'See also').

The editors

The New York Times 2008-12-08

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As meat consumption rises, scrutiny grows over production emissions

Large-scale agriculture, meat production coming under scrutiny as policy makers, farmers, scientists seek solutions. Trillions of farm animals generate 18 percent of emissions that raise global temperatures, UN says; meat eating expected to double between 2000 and 2050. Only 98 of 2,000-plus UN-backed emission-curbing projects are in agriculture. And: greenhouse gases by the numbers (click 'See also').

By Elisabeth Rosenthal

International Herald Tribune 2008-12-04

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EU farm policy changes are biggest in five years

EU, in farming policy overhaul, to change distribution of billions - 40 percent of EU budget - in subsidies to farmers. Critics say diluted changes will skew markets further. Coming soon: Up milk production quota; put set-aside farmland into production; reduce payments to some farmers, landowners, including Queen. And: Questions, answers on Common Agricultural Policy (click 'See also').

By James Kanter

The New York Times 2008-11-20

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Crop prices fall, just as farmers thought all along

Crop prices stall after two years soaring (click 'See also'). Farmers buy seed, plant; price drops, crop costs more than harvest nets. Old worries - bugs, weather - trumped by new: commodity markets, rising dollar. We'll ask Congress for higher price supports if things don't improve, says one farmer. 'Everyone learns patience,' counters partner/father.

By David Streitfeld

The New York Times 2008-11-20

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First 'organic' fish standards set, pleasing producers

Panel OKs criteria for 'organic' label for farmed fish, pleasing producers but angering environment, consumer advocates. They question rule allowing up to 25 percent of wild fish as feed (organic meats require 100 percent organic food) and note that open-net pens allow fish waste, disease to pollute ocean. And: One-third of world's fish catch - mostly anchovies, menhaden, sardines - is fed to animals but should feed people, scientists say (click 'See also').

By Juliet Eilperin and Jane Black

The Washington Post 2008-11-20

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S. Korea, others see foreign farmland as hedge against grain price hikes

In effort to cut dependence on U.S. imports, South Korean firm plans million-acre corn field on land just leased for 99 years in Madagascar. Daewoo hopes to harvest five million tons of corn annually by 2023. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, seeking similar agricultural investments in Africa or Asia while Angola, Ethiopia seek partnerships with countries in need.

BBC 2008-11-19

Science could rescue food production, magazine says

Science could rescue food production, magazine says

Stephen Doyle, Zack Zavislak/Wired

Global demand for food started to outpace agricultural production around 1997. Gulf between what's wanted, what's available is widening. A second 'green revolution' on par with introduction of modern fertilizers, pesticides could close gap, according to periodical's review of biotechnology, other scientific advances.

By Thomas Hayden, Ben Paynter and Alexis Madrigal

Wired magazine 2008-10-20

In Italy, an investment in green future

Umbrian vineyard, olive community reduces carbon footprint with cars, golf carts, bikes using batteries powered by center that stores solar-sourced electricity for up to three days. Farm owners also have invested in fleet of mini-tractors that use non-food biofuels and planted 10,000 trees as carbon sink.

By Duncan Kennedy

BBC News 2008-10-18

Opinion: It's time to refine farming, globally

With price of bread linked to that of petroleum, metal and other goods, and a billion people in extreme poverty, we must refine farming. Much of the world's best farmland in Russia, Ukraine, Africa produces nothing; poor infrastructure dooms 40 percent of world's food to rot. We need to invest in farming, make it globally desirable, productive, with tangible benefits.

By Doug Saunders

The Globe and Mail (Canada) 2008-10-25

Farmers insure against health catastrophe to protect land

As farmers, ranchers age, health-care needs can push them away from agriculture for jobs that provide health insurance, study finds. Buying individual health insurance helps protect land. Farmers long for state-administered group plan, and try to hold on till Medicare. 'It's a hell of a thing to wish a good chunk of your life away (for the comfort of health care coverage),' says respondent.

By David Bennett

Delta Farm Press 2008-10-24

Opinion: Vote 'no' on California's egg industry overhaul

We support humane treatment of animals, but it's unlikely that Proposition 2 would start that national trend. Because measure only regulates eggs produced in California and not eggs that are sold in state, it would likely bolster the market for cheaper out-of-state eggs, simply exporting caged hens' mistreatment.

The editors

Los Angeles Times 2008-09-25

Opinion: Growing food, conserving water can dovetail

California must work toward planned, efficient agricultural sector, long-term protections for land and water resources, and production of more high-valued crops grown with efficient irrigation systems. State must support farmers by implementing policies, incentives that support water conservation and efficiency.

By Heather Cooley and Juliet Christian-Smith

San Francisco Chronicle 2008-09-08

Rains latest challenge for Florida's citrus industry

Rains latest challenge for Florida's citrus industry

Florida DOACS

Asian citrus psyllid.

Steady, heavy rains increase woes of Florida's $9 billion citrus industry; juice prices go up at the supermarket. Soggy trees vulnerable to spread of citrus canker, which causes premature fruit drop. Another threat is invasive sap-sucking insect, already detected in all 32 citrus-producing counties in Florida, plus Louisiana and Texas.

By Hector Florin

Time magazine 2008-08-28

Farm economy booms in nation's midwest

Farm country economy buoyed by food price hikes and low interest rates - land prices have doubled in three years and sales of pickup trucks and farm equipment are booming - despite cost increases for fertilizer and fuel. Some worry that robustness could be bubble, and remember the early '80s bust.

By Neil Irwin

The Washington Post 2008-08-20

Scarcity forces Spain to reconsider its water policy

As agriculture, large-scale irrigation, market competition and climate change fuel 'water war,' Spain reconsiders its water policy. Farmers, who use 80 percent of the country's water and now irrigate historically arid crop of olives to boost production, are blamed for tapping up to 1.5 million illegal wells. Desalination offers some hope.

By Christine Spolar

Chicago Tribune 2008-08-18

New weedkiller touted for Roundup-resistant weeds

As horseweed, Palmer amaranth, johnsongrass and other weeds develop resistance to Monsanto's Roundup, Arkansas farmers pin hopes on Bayer CropScience LibertyLink soybeans. New soybeans will be resistant to Ignite, a potent weedkiller. And: EPA classifies active ingredient, glufosinate ammonium, as 'persistent' and 'mobile' (click 'See also').

By David Bennett

Delta Farm Press 2008-08-13

See also 

Niche farmers find profit and links to pastoral past

It's a good time to start a small farm, based on organic farming popularity, growing awareness of food sources, say entrepreneurs, experts. Profit requires time, niche product such as truffles or natural meats; good target is annual sales of less than $10,000, so don't quit the day job.

By Brent Bowers

The New York Times 2008-08-06

In Honduras, both biotech and hard-scrabble farming

Genetic engineering comes to Honduras corn fields, and country distributes seed, fertilizer to supplement pricey imported corn, rice. And: Transformation from farmer to agricultural entrepreneur in Honduras and other developing countries begins with seeds, fertilizer but requires decent roads, irrigation and help in using technology (click 'See also').

By Dan Charles

National Public Radio/Morning Edition 2008-08-07

See also 

After deluges, delayed harvests and spare farmers' markets

Cool, wet weather delays peak harvest, breeds soil fungus, bloats berries and melons and proves treacherous for farm equipment - but on bright side, irrigation not required. Farmers counsel patience and explain to customers the unpredictability of agriculture.

By Jenna Johnson

The Washington Post 2008-07-25

USDA considers conserved acres for more corn

USDA decision expected soon on whether millions of acres it rents from farmers to maintain soil, wildlife habitat, grasslands, trees, wetlands and buffer areas along streams and rivers can be plowed for corn crop without penalty. Amid rising food prices, last year's corn crop was used for ethanol; Congress has mandated increased ethanol use this year.

By Joel Achenbach

The Washington Post 2008-07-11

See also 

Cattle farmers target TB-carrying badgers

Cattle farmers target TB-carrying badgers

With tuberculosis in cattle on the rise, UK farmers want badger population culled, but controversy continues over whether reducing germ-carrying population will reduce incidence of disease (click 'See also'). In 2007, 28,000 cattle were slaughtered because of TB; number likely to reach 40,000 this year.

By James Meikle

The Guardian (UK) 2008-07-05

See also 

Food industry losses mount as customers shun tomatoes

As fresh tomato market withers, losses grow along with food industry's anger at government's inability to pinpoint salmonella cause in sprawling food chain. Problems also increase tension between Florida and Mexico, whose growing seasons overlap. Meanwhile, gardeners wait for their own harvests.

By Jane Zhang, Julie Jargon and A.J. Miranda

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2008-07-01

Introducing a new generation to farming

Students tend, sell crops, learn media relations and other modern-day farming skills at California high school's agricultural academy. Also on display: another side of agriculture, with potential for jobs in food safety, technology. Coordinator hopes to grow program and involve more students, particularly girls (click 'See also').

By Eric Anderson

Watsonville Register-Pajaronian (CA) 2008-05-28

See also 

Flooding adds misery to farmers already paying high feed prices

Four million acres of cropland likely damaged by floods; hog farmers brace for even higher feed prices. Meat producers call for rollback on ethanol mandates, which they say soaks up the corn supply and pushes prices up. As waters rise, some hogs killed after swimming to levee because officials thought hooves would break the plastic on sandbags and cause more flooding.

By Ilan Brat and Joe Barrett

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2008-06-20

In rising food prices, investors see fields, farms of green

Investors bet on the farm, the fertilizer, the grain elevators and the shipping equipment - 'owning structure.' One, in Africa, plans to consolidate small plots and to provide clinics, schools for farm laborers. But critics worry that these new farmland owners lack passion for work. And: Water infrastructure a popular investment, too (click 'See also').

By Diana B. Henriques

The New York Times 2008-06-05

See also 

Rain, chill slow farmers' hopes for bumper corn, soybean crops

In midwest, corn crop drenched in floodwaters, rains delay planting of 17 million acres of soybean fields and cool temperatures hamper growth of what's there. Farmers were counting on big corn and soybean crops to meet the world's demand for grains for food and feedstocks to produce biofuels.

By Christine Stebbins

Reuters 2008-06-13

Farms face another pest: diesel thieves

California farmers, already weary from concerns with drought, pests, heat and cold, fall victim to thieves who steal diesel fuel to sell to struggling truckers. Heists of fuel follow those of copper in irrigation systems.

By Paul Vercammen

CNN 2008-06-05

Farmers squeezed as New Zealand aims for carbon neutrality

As New Zealand works toward carbon-neutral goal, its farmers seethe at proposal to make them the world's first forced to pay if they exceed government-imposed limits on greenhouse gases. Livestock-generated methane and more potent nitrous oxide make up about half the greenhouse gases that New Zealand adds to Earth's air.

By Paul Watson

Los Angeles Times 2008-06-07

Farms follow labor south of the border

Political standoff over 12 million mostly Mexican illegal immigrants, high land prices and water shortages move American companies to set up farming on more than 45,000 acres of land in three Mexican states, employing about 11,000. But cheaper labor and diesel fuel often are offset by lower productivity and high training costs, especially in food safety.

By Jessica Bernstein-Wax

The Associated Press; Fox News 2008-05-27

Sustainable seafood and shaping the seas

Sustainable seafood and shaping the seas

Barnes & Noble

Overhauling seafood industry begins with asking questions and expecting more from market fishmongers and restaurant chefs, says author of new fish book. More solutions: Remove subsidies for fuel and for ships; stop high-seas trawling; create green, no-fish reserves. Meanwhile, canned sardines, mackerel, herring and fresh mussels are ethical dinner choices; skip imported farmed seafood, shrimp and domestic farmed salmon.

By Nicole Pasulka 2008-04-29

See also 

Global hunger and small-scale farms

World needs more food, but production is mostly dominated by small-scale farmers who can't react quickly. They, and their cooperatives, often lack cash to expand, and aren't sure they want to grow. When US farms consolidated 20 years ago, communities suffered; the farms that survived mostly were larger, more productive, and able to afford technology that increases yields.

By Patrick Barta

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2008-05-08

Bleak season for fish

West Coast ocean salmon fishery declared disaster, the first step in allowing those affected in Washington, Oregon and California to apply for federal disaster assistance. A federal fishery has been declared for West Coast salmon two years out of three. West Coast delegation hoped to attach a disaster aid measure to the Iraq war supplemental appropriation bill.

By Jeff Barnard

The Associated Press; The Seattle Times 2008-05-01

Fertilizer: Scarce and costly

Spot shortages, high prices of fertilizer threaten gains made against malnutrition and hunger and push farmers to reconsider old-fashioned manure. Fertilizer, made with fossil fuels, increases crop yields but excess leaches into streams and groundwater, causing pollution and algae-choked 'dead zones' in Gulf of Mexico, Chesapeake Bay and 400 other sites, worldwide.

By Keith Bradsher and Andrew Martin

The New York Times 2008-04-30

Potato power

Potato could help solve world hunger, advocates say. The tuber, native to Peru and in 5,000 varieties, can be grown in almost any climate, requires little water, matures quickly, has higher yields than wheat or rice and contains protein and calcium. Peru pushes bakers to use potato flour instead of wheat version; school children, prisoners and the military are eating potato bread. China is top potato producer.

By Terry Wade

Reuters 2008-04-15

See also 

Kiwi beef and 'third millennium'

Grass-fed beef exports to North Asia from New Zealand benefit from mad cow fears linked to U.S. beef, but South Korea-U.S. trade accord may put U.S. beef back on the table. 'Third-millennium' issues for Kiwi beef emerging, including traceability, disease-free status, fair trade, animal welfare, sustainable production methods, and food miles.

By Owen Hembry

The New Zealand Herald 2008-03-31

Farm insecurity

As soaring corn prices push food costs up, economists question whether ethanol subsidies will continue, and potential problems if they don't. They point to pricey farmland and record farm business debt and see parallels to agriculture buildup before '80s crash. That downturn forced thousands of farmers to sell; nearly 300 agricultural banks failed.

By David Pitt and Henry C. Jackson

The Associated Press; Chicago Tribune 2008-04-20

See also 

Wheat endangered

Fatal wheat fungus, Ug99, spreads from Africa to Iran. Three-day wind in 2007 may have carried spores to India and Pakistan as well, where 20 percent of world's wheat is grown and one billion depend on grain for food. In response, Monsanto, Syngenta promote genetically modified wheat seed, said to resist to Ug99, and want ban on GM wheat lifted.

By F. William Engdahl

Asia Times 2008-04-04

See also 

Linking supply, demand

Following lead of nearly a dozen other states, Indiana launches website that links buyers - from chefs to baby-food makers to locavores - to more than 150 nearby farmers and agricultural businesses. Site goals include strengthening local economies and providing transparency of food supply. To explore the site, click 'See also.'

By Shari Rudavsky

The Indianopolis Star 2008-04-01

See also 

Forecasting wheat, soybeans

Forecasting wheat, soybeans

Big Stock Photo

Farmers plan more soybean and wheat at the expense of corn, early USDA forecast shows. With nitrogen fertilizer at $900-plus a ton, soybeans, which produce their own nitrogen, are less expensive to grow than corn. Farmers who planted corn may rotate crops to prevent diseases, pests. Durum wheat acres will rise 22 percent. High-protein spring and durum wheat are used to make bread and pasta.

By Tony C. Dreibus and Jeff Wilson

Bloomberg 2008-03-31

See also 

Proposing paradigm shift for farmers, farm/food bill

Diversified organic family farm is renegade in windswept South Dakota, the 'lunatic fringe of the Corn Belt,' where industrial agriculture prevails. Expert says this is model for future, because it works on improbable - and ideal - farmland: 'Pay farmers to reduce synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Pay them to enhance wildlife, diversity their crops, build soil and restore wetlands. Pay them to develop local markets for their products, especially fresh food.'

By Sam Hurst

Gourmet magazine 2008-04-01

Sunny, chance of corn

Poultry, beef and pork producers await USDA's forecast of farmers' intended crops. They hope for all-corn scenario, which could help bring costs of feed - up to three-quarters of their costs - lower. Ethanol market, however, has voracious demand for corn, and was factor in price surge. Last year, American farmers grew record 13.1 billion bushels.

By Henry C. Jackson

The Associated Press; USA Today 2008-03-29

No fishing?

After largest collapse of Pacific salmon stocks in 40 years, fishing council considers closing waters from Oregon to Mexico. More water from Sacramento River, site of many salmon runs, has been diverted for farms and cities. Costs to fishermen and their communities estimated in millions of dollars.

By Felicity Barringer

The New York Times 2008-03-13

See also 

Planning planting, despite lawsuit

Sugar beet lobbyist says farmers will plant Monsanto's genetically modified sugar beets as planned, despite lawsuit filed by environmental groups that say USDA failed to properly evaluate safety risks (click 'See also'). A similar argument regarding Roundup Ready alfalfa resulted in halt to seed sales, but lobbyist says that GMO crops couldn't contaminate organic version, and that processing beets to sugar removes 'virtually all' protein and DNA.

By Dan Murphy

Cattle Network; 2008-03-03

See also 

Weedkiller shortage

Australian farmers worry that worldwide shortage of weedkiller could extend through planting season, which could lower crop yields. Shortage is a harbinger, says anti-biotech group spokesman. He says that new herbicide-resistant crops will depend on brand-name glyphosate poison, and farmers will be at mercy of Monsanto and Bayer, chemical and seed producers.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2008-02-18

Rounding up, and up

Global demand, manufacturing costs and tightening controls in China push prices up for Roundup and other weedkillers. Monsanto also credits higher sales of its seeds, which are genetically modified to tolerate its poison. Biotech giant has raised Roundup prices from $1 to $4 per acre "to slow down the demand" and to ensure supply for farmers growing its GMO crops.

By Jason Vance

California Farmer 2008-02-28

See also 

Low larders

Farmers, previously expected to plant wheat and soybeans to gain ground after corn planting frenzy of last spring, may reconsider after news that nation's corn and wheat stockpiles will be at historic lows by summer's end.

By Charles Abbott

Reuters; Guardian Unlimited (UK) 2008-01-11

See also 

Where's the beef?

Corn biofuels craze drives changes in conventional cattle farming, affecting everything from prices for grain and shift to distillers' grain for feed, to pasture movement from Texas area to Northern Plains, to decline in profits and competition from pork at the supermarket.

Cattle Network 2008-01-02

See also 

Cloned meat

As government moves toward OK of meat and milk sales from cloned animals, biotech companies prepare to introduce voluntary clone tracking system that depends on all players - from ranchers to supermarkets. But critics worry that actual clones are too valuable to eat, but exist only to breed. Offspring of clones wouldn't be tracked.

By Jonathan D. Rockoff

The Baltimore Sun 2007-12-19

Salad daze

With no clear source of 2006 e.coli outbreak in spinach, California's leafy greens farmers desperately seek guidance on providing clean produce. They are caught between food safety concerns and environmental sensitivity. Do they improve washing regimen? Erect barriers and destroy wildlife habitat? Or remove themselves from nearby cattle feedlots?

By Carl Nagin

California Coast & Ocean; San Francisco Chronicle 2007-08-23

See also 

Opinion: Big drain

To help federally subsidized soybean farmers plant more crops, two Mississippi senators renew hard lobbying for $200 million project that would drain 200,000 acres of Delta wetlands, hardwood forests and wildlife habitat. The daft project, first proposed in 1941, should be killed by the Bush administration.

The editors

The New York Times 2007-11-06

Water works

House overrides Bush veto of $23 billion bill funding nearly 900 new water projects, including improving Depression-era locks and dams that impede agricultural freight traffic on the upper Mississippi River.

By Christopher Doering

Reuters 2007-11-06

Opinion: Rich future

As voting in Mississippi nears, editors say that future of agriculture, a $6 billion segment of state's economy, must expand past trees and row crops to organic vegetables and high-end organic dairy, and also should include in-state processing.

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 2007-10-21

Agriculture choice

Bush picks Edward Schafer, a former governor of North Dakota and fan of smaller government, as new secretary of agriculture. If Senate confirms appointment, Schafer will have input on $288 billion farm/food bill and oversight of $90 billion a year in spending on programs including crop supports, food stamps and nutrition.

By David Stout

The New York Times 2007-10-31

Paucity of pumpkins

Southeastern drought produced stunted pumpkins, and too much rain in Illinois, the country's largest producer, turned fields into ponds and would-be Jack-o-Lanterns into mush; Kentucky, New Mexico and Texas shipped their extras.

By Anthony Brooks

National Public Radio 2007-10-30

Too much

In 100-year-old crop lands used for research, Illinois scientists found that 50 years of massive nitrogen fertilization reduced corn yields and that level of organic carbon in the soil was greatly diminished, which leads to greater drought vulnerability. Conclusion? Lower doses of fertilizer often are better for crops, soil, water and air.

By Debra Levey Larson

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2007-10-29

Growing damage

Ozone from burning of fossil fuels stands to damage crops, possibly reducing food production by 10 percent this century, MIT study shows. The study looked at temperature, carbon dioxide, and ozone, all of which are rising, and found that the net effect is especially harmful to heavily fertilized plants.

By Nancy Stauffer

MIT Energy Initiative 2007-10-26

Organic picks

If we can't afford to buy all organic foods for our families, there are a few foods that experts believe are more important than others: milk, potatoes, peanut butter, ketchup, apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, imported grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, red raspberries, spinach and strawberries.

By Phuong Cat Le

Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) 2007-10-24

Water shortage

As "exceptional drought" deepens its hold on the Southeastern United States, Atlanta's water reserves shrink to only 90 days and no solution is apparent; farmers harvest parched crops and sell off cattle they can't afford to feed.

By Greg Bluestein

The Associated Press; Tribune News Services 2007-10-20

Defenses down

Erythrina gall wasp, an accidental import from Africa, devastates groves of wiliwili trees used as wind shields for crops in Hawaii; desperate officials consider importing a Tanzanian wasp they hope might prey on it, but after mongoose import eschewed pesky rats for native birds, others are wary.

By Tomas Alex Tizon

Los Angeles Times 2007-10-15

Water footprint

As population explodes and planet heats, water for drinking and crop irrigation is diminishing, forcing extra energy use to reach remote supply; already, China, India, Africa and American West reserves are drying up, setting stage for people-versus agriculture battles.

By Jon Gertner

The New York Times 2007-10-21

Left out

Though many in sub-Saharan Africa depend on farming for their living, new study shows that World Bank has long neglected support for region and its most important client; poverty expert likens criticism to saying that Coca-Cola is bad at making soft drinks.

By Celia W. Dugger

The New York Times 2007-10-15

Organic profit:

Pineapple farms paired with certified organic practices and local exporters are becoming the ticket out of poverty for rural Ugandans; country's export share of organic products, including passionfruit, dried mangoes, vanilla and sesame, now leads Africa.

By Evelyn Lirri

Daily Monitor (Uganda) 2007-05-28

Opinion: Coffee decline?

Uganda's robust coffee market, mostly the domain of family businesses, might be approaching bubble phase, considering damage from coffee wilt, advanced age of trees, and poorly managed soils.

By Tucungwirwe Rwamutega

Daily Monitor (Uganda) 2007-10-02

Dead zone:

Dead zone:

Ethanol craze looms dangerously large for fish and crabs in Chesapeake, since larger acreage planted in nitrogen-needy corn means more fertilizer runoff into water, which spawns growth of oxygen-depriving algae, study reports.

The Associated Press; Business Week 2007-08-27

Growing spirit:

Long the designated caretakers of the poor and disenfranchised, religious communities find their interests growing toward farming and food production for reasons including humane treatment of animals, fair wages to workers and stewardship of the Earth.

By Joan Nathan

The New York Times 2007-08-22

Star power:

Star power:

Like prima donnas, heirloom tomatoes wait an extra week to ripen, but these voluptuous misfits with the tawdry, nightclub-act names - Cherokee Purple, Banana Legs, Green Zebra, Hillbilly, Black Russian - have it in their power to hold us all in thrall for a good part of the summer.

By Tim Stark

Washington Post 2007-08-15

Eating summer:

Seeking the perfect tomato means eschewing perfectly formed orbs in favor of a weedy tangle of vines in which antique, thin-skinned heirloom treasures are hidden; this obsession is an art in the Merrimack Valley, where growers proliferate.

By Kristi Ceccarossi and Darry Madden

The Hippo (NH) 2007-08-23

Modified sugar:

Genetically modified sugar beet seed designed to resist Monsanto herbicide is gaining popularity among growers and processors, including American Crystal Sugar Co.; Wyoming Sugar Co., and Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative; farmers must pay $60 premium per acre, and GMO sugar won't carry special label.

Associated Press; CNN 2007-08-22

Flooding damages:

As deaths mount from India's monsoons, agricultural damage increases as well; vast cornfields, mostly in eastern area, were deluged; officials say it's too early to tell extent of loss; rice crop less affected.

By Mayank Bhardwaj

Reuters 0000-00-00


Oklahoma wheat seed crop damaged by untimely rains, which likely will force farmers to pay premium for next season's planting, but even distant sources are running low on supply and quality because of increased demand.

By Veronica Scoggin

The Enid News (OK) 2007-08-20

Grain base

Amber waves of wheat, once vital to Vermont's economy (and even part of the state seal), may return to the state fields, as bakers and locavores seek nearby sources and crops specialist uses USDA grant to grow three heirloom varieties - Surprise, Champlain and Defiance.

By Mel Huff

The Times Argus (VT) 2007-08-13

Sticky situation:

Sticky situation:

Bane and benefit both, blackberries cover the Oregon landscape with a thorny thicket but are high in antioxidants, show promise in tumor reduction, are a high cash crop, a primary food source for honeybees and other pollinators - and they're tasty as well.

By Joe Mosley

The Register-Guard (OR) 2007-08-11

Immigration fears:

Growers, now hiring thousands of seasonal workers for peak harvest months, cry foul over crackdown on illegal immigrants, declaring it's an effort of government to look good at the expense of the people with the hardest and lowest paid jobs.

By Juliana Barbassa

Associated Press; 2007-08-16


Three books, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life," "Plenty: One Man, One Woman and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally," and "Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future," explore the omnivore's dilemma, but only Bill McKibben, in "Deep Economy," looks at global problem.

By Laird Harrison

The News & Observer (NC) 2007-08-19

Seeking shelter:

Bumper crop of corn leaves farmers struggling for storage; existing facilities have more business than they can handle, and manufacturers of silos and storage equipment are stepping up production; some farmers may resort to old schoolhouses, airport hangars, caves, or even tarp-covered piles on the ground.

By Shelly Banjo

Wall Street Journal; (IL) 2007-08-18

See also 

Parched fields:

After scramble to plant more acreage in corn and cash in on ethanol craze, deepening drought and scorching temperatures shrivel farmers' dreams of record corn harvest in South and Southeastern states.

By Jim Nesbitt

The Sun-News (SC); McClatchy Newspapers 0000-00-00

Orphan organics?

Though customers spend more than $14 billion a year on organics and depend on USDA label even for imports, USDA infrastructure, with nine staffers and a $1.5 million budget, languishes; other departments spend about $28 million a year on organic research, data collection and farmer assistance, but the department spent $37 million subsidizing farmers who grew dry peas, an $83 million crop, in 2005.

By Andrew Martin

The New York Times (may require subscription) 0000-00-00

Review: No time

Judging from plastic bottles clogging the landfills and SUVs clogging the highways, the news that we're killing ourselves and our world hasn't kicked in, so that makes "The 11th Hour," an unnerving, surprisingly affecting documentary, essential viewing.

By Manohla Dargis

The New York Times 2007-08-17

Opinion: Illegals

Bush administration deserves credit for pushing immigration reform, but enforcement-only plan for handling illegal immigrants could create potentially devastating consequences for farmers at harvest season.

The editors

Denver Post 2007-08-14

Harvest worries:

Bush administration's plan for fines, sanctions against growers whose workers have improper documentation could be devastating to the coming fall harvest, and could encourage an underground economy, California farmers say.

By Ashley Gebb

Appeal-Democrat (CA) 2007-08-14

Tasting tomatoes:

In search of past glory, team of top-level scientists from Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station aim for the return of the tasty tomato, one that is nirvana with salt on a piece of crusty bread, one that isn't necessarily a good keeper.

By Dianna Marder

Philadelphia Inquirer 2007-08-14

See also 

No, thank you

CARE turns down $45 million in food aid from U.S., citing practice of selling tons of often heavily subsidized American farm products in African countries that compete with the crops of local farmers; other charities disagree.

By Celia W. Dugger

The New York Times (may require subscription)

Fixing the system:

Religious groups mobilize around the farm/food bill, speaking of justice and the urgent need to fix broken food system, from nutrition programs and energy policy to farmers and the wellbeing of the people they feed.

By Joe Orso

La Crosse Tribune; Associated Press, Wisconsin State Journal 0000-00-00

Organics shortage:

Despite higher profits and rising demand for organic corn and soybeans, few farmers switching over, forcing food companies to import organic soybeans from China and pay nearly double what they paid for organic corn last fall.

By Paula Lavigne

Des Moines Register 2007-08-12

Backyard bonanza

Taking cue from Cuba, Vancouver gardener and agricultural scientist sows seeds of what he hopes will be an urban gardening movement that provides a locally grown alternative to modern and usually distant agribusiness.

By Nicholas Read

Vancouver Sun 2007-08-13

Fish in decline:

Overfishing, poaching and pollution have depleted worldwide fish stocks to 10 percent of normal; for every pound of shrimp harvested, 10 pounds are discarded, along with turtles and dolphins, conservationists report.

By Eviana Hartman

Washington Post

See also 

Disappearing aquifer

To irrigate crops, farmers have pumped billions of gallons annually from the Ogallala Aquifer, a lake under parts of Great Plains states, but now, water table has dropped steeply, forcing new "dryland" methods of farming for conservation.

By Debbie Elliott

National Public Radio


"The Zen of Fish," and "The Sushi Economy," offer lessons in how global economy works, dangers of over-fishing and how it thrives on demand, and why trout might not be the best choice for eating raw (think tapeworms).

By Stuart Biggs 2007-08-08

Blame it on corn?

Ethanol craze blamed for high prices across the supermarket, but other factors include surge in global food demand, high oil prices, uncooperative weather, and the slide of the dollar against other world currencies.

By Barrett Sheridan

Newsweek magazine

Farm sharing

Community-supported agriculture provides cash for farmers when they need it for seeds and equipment in the early spring, and fresh produce - from lettuce to pumpkins - for participants throughout the growing season.

By Peggy Grodinsky

Houston Chronicle

Farming the future

In unusual and win-win partnership between county and charity, inmates farm to benefit Milawaukee's poor, who eat asparagus, corn, cantaloupe and green beans in season, and hunger relief group runs the operation.

By Erica Perez

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wheat increase:

With ethanol craze and escalating corn prices taking all the attention, worldwide drought has gone almost unnoticed, but it is driving wheat prices up; breadmakers are paying more for flour and weak dollar makes U.S. wheat attractive.

By Jeff Cox

Food/Farm bill:

Bush administration's buy-local request for emergency food aid could help Kenyans, some of the world's poorest people, advocates say, but U.S. is mired in domestic farm subsidies and lobbies of shipping interests; aid for agricultural projects lags as well.

By Celia W. Dugger

The New York times (may require subscription)


New interactive map allows users to tract proliferation of factory farms by state and county - even number of animals - and it raises questions of whether we pursue the logic of industrialism to its limits, and how badly will it harm the landscape, the people who live in it and democracy itself?

The editors

The New York Times (may require subscription)

See also 

Olives across Texas:

Looking to meet anti trans fat market demands, Spanish food giant Grupo Sos plans to plant olive trees in Lone Star State, where climate is similar to southern Spain; the firm follows a handful of Texas growers with 75,000 trees growing - and harvest plans this fall.

By Jenalia Moreno

Houson Chronicle

Hard harvest:

In northeastern Brazil, farmers use simple technologies and great persistence to harvest, pick, raise and slaughter, despite high temperatures, little rain and unfertile soil; they begin with a mud-patch, to hold rainwater to create oases of production.

By Isaura Daniel; translated by Mark Ament

Brazil-Arab News Agency

Saving water

Coca-Cola, Nestle, and Läckeby Water Group join other food, drink producers in UN agreement to use water more efficiently; lack of access to clean water and sanitation undermines humanitarian, social, environmental, and economic goals.

By Ahmed ElAmin


Find hemp seed, hemp oil, hemp butter, hemp bread, and hemp bars at the natural foods store, but it's all imported; hemp farming is banned in the U.S. because the plant is a version of the cannabis plant and contains low levels of the active ingredient in marijuana.

By Ann Woolner

Bloomberg News


Current agricultural policies distort food costs, waste billions of taxpayer dollars, and subsidize a handful of large farming operations that raise a few selected crops - and subvert subsistence farmers across the globe by dumping cheap surplus goods at below-market prices.

By Senator Richard Lugar and Representative Ron Kind

The Modesto Bee (CA) 2007-07-15


On the 25th anniversary of its release, Victor Schonfeld recalls the events that led to his creation of "The Animals Film," a British documentary using evocative, exploratory cinematography techniques to illuminate factory farming.

By Victor Schonfeld

The Guardian (UK) 2007-07-05

World and wine:

Despite it's winery-sponsored printing, Robert Joseph's, "Wine Travel Guide to the World" is a tantalizing and beautifully photographed armchair tour that tempts the reader into checking online ticket prices.

By Susan Reigler

The Courier-Journal (KY)

Food/Farm bill:

It's a $70 billion annual bill, and before, only agribusiness cared, but a tsunami of activists now believes that its subsidies for corn and soy encourage diet-related disease and climate change; instead, they advocate money for sustainable and organic food production, agricultural conservation and for a priority on fresh, local fruits and vegetables.

By Carol Ness

San Francisco Chronicle

Opinion: Proud of rBST:

Despite activists' efforts to bamboozle public, price-conscious customers appear happy buying milk containing synthetic hormone, and squeezing more milk from cows via drugs saves natural resources, reduces corn prices, greenhouse gas emissions and manure production; in a more rational world, customers would choose milk so labeled.

By Henry I. Miller

The New York Times (may require subscription) 2007-06-29