R.I.P. Green Blog. Plus, Global Agricultural News This Week.

Fairburn Farm, Glenora, B.C. Photo Credit: Flickr CC via the imagyst

Below, is a selection of recent agriculture-related news.

Bangladesh tackles climate change by fusing rice paddies with fish farms.

High-oleic acid soybean oil is set to rise 20-fold in less than five years, competing with olive oil. The biotech giants Monsanto and DuPont expect food industry demand for it to grow fast.

The patents for Monsanto’s first generation of pesticide-resistant soybeans will expire in 2014.

An E.U. tariff on U.S. ethanol is now officially in place for five years.

India exports water buffalo “beef”, now supplying a quarter of the world market. Some advocate that the nation should focus more on poultry and eggs instead.

India has produced bumper crops of wheat and rice again this year and has nowhere to store or export the surplus to market, having corrupt and inadequate governmental attention on infrastructure. Last year, India became the number one rice exporting nation. Much of the surplus is expected to rot.

This is a bizarre story about rice researchers (one in Colorado) whose research is becoming extremely complicated because the bacterium they work with to improve rice plants has been declared a “select agent” for bioterrorism.

Chicago Tribune Editorial: Ag lobbyists grab billions from taxpayers.

The world’s barley area is to increase, reflecting a quest to rebuild inventories which are, among major exporting countries, on course for a 17-year low.

Cellulosic ethanol production is far lower than mandated — because you can’t mandate technology. “The EIA is forecasting that cellulosic bio-fuel production in the U.S. could reach 5 million gallons this year, rising to 250 million gallons by 2015. The goals set by the Energy Independence and Security Act called for 1 billion gallons this year and for 16 billion gallons by 2022.”

Olivier de Schutter (UN) wrote of women farm producers around the world and of related concerns in this op-ed for the NYTs.

2.1 Million Chickens Slaughtered in Mexico to Guard Against Bird Flu.

Here’s a fine example of permaculture in Colorado and of winter greenhouses. Elkstone Farm at Steamboat produces winter vegetables in a greenhouse with three feet of snow outside. Good article.

A new piece of farm equipment may help convince more farmers to use cover crops. The interseeder was developed at Penn State and it seeds cover crops, side dresses a standing corn or soybean crop and sprays glyphosate in one pass, for a per-acre profit gain of $100.

Justin Gillis for the NYTs reviewed a new working paper about climate change and food production. This appeared on the NYTs Green Blog. By the end of the week that Blog was axed by the NYTs, just a couple of weeks after the Times dispersed its environmental writer’s table. Green Blog rated really high on my reading list, so I’m not a happy camper. Andy Revkin wrote, “But the time and effort required to gather, sift, analyze and convey information with authority, particularly on globe-spanning or contentious issues, is expensive.” !!!!!

Written and compiled by K. McDonald.

3 thoughts on “R.I.P. Green Blog. Plus, Global Agricultural News This Week.

    1. K. McDonald Post author

      Pesticide is all-encompassing. It is not the same as insecticide, if that is what you’re thinking.

      The definition of pesticide is this:

      Pesticides include fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and rodenticides.

      So the term used in the sentence by Parke Wilde of Tufts Univ. is not used incorrectly.

  1. DB

    I’m glad that this question was asked. Like bks, I thought that the terms pesticide and herbicide were mutually exclusive. It’s a good day – I’ve learned something new.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>