Eastern Colorado wheat scene. July 2013.
Below, are today’s three chosen agricultural-related news picks.
1) Dust Bowl Blues: Sasha Abramsky writes about drought conditions in the Southwestern U.S. “The soil quality is now so poor that on the few occasions when it does rain, the next day’s wind simply blows the newly moistened topsoil away. Across the area you can see rows of cotton, black and dead in the orange earth—entire fields burned by the static electricity generated by the sandstorms … After decades of overuse—tapping into aquifers and removing more water than nature could add back in, even during the abnormally wet 1980s and ’90s—the water-credit system in this part of the country seems to be running out.”
2) Latest in annual food price inflation from the BLS: The food index saw a 1.4% increase over the year ending June, with prices for food at home up 0.9% and prices for food away from home up 2.2%. Prices for food at work and schools again showed the greatest annual increase at 5.3%, while full service meals were up 2.3% and fast food prices were only up 1.8%. Major year over year changes in prices of food at home included an 8.4% increase in bacon prices, a 10.2% increase in whole chicken, a 6.9% increase in egg prices, a 6.8% increase in prices for donuts and sweet rolls, and a 6.7% increase in apple prices. Prices for coffee fell 5.4%, prices for dried beans and peas fell 5.4%, prices for potatoes fell 3.7%, and sugar prices fell 6.0%. (Food prices account for just over 14% of the consumer price index, or CPI.)
3) Wheat and Grains are Healthy: Lola Raska, VP of the Montana Grain Growers Association, lashes back against all of the negative publicity surrounding wheat these days, especially Dr. William Davis and his book Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and Find Your Path Back to Health “gliadins are not new. These seed storage proteins have always been a component of wheat protein and were even present in ancient wheats like emmer and einkorn and the wild species that gave rise to modern wheat.”
This news post was written and compiled by K. McDonald.