Agriculture News Links – November 25, 2013

Photo by Tom Vetter

Deere’s Latest Outlook On Global Agriculture Shows Farmers’ Wallets Are About To Take A Hit. By Rob Wile. (Business Insider) [K.M. Note: Be sure to click through all of the slides.]

Imagining the Post-Antibiotics Future. By Maryn McKenna. ( [K.M. Note: Superb article, please, I encourage you to take the time to read.]

We must get past defensiveness about Ag. By Drake Larsen, Ames, Iowa. (DesMoines Register) [This is a letter to the editor by an Iowan who is concerned about Iowa’s soil and water.]

Buy Wood. By Joshua M. Brown. (The Reformed Broker)

Contest Aims for a Cleaner-Burning Wood Stove. By Matthew L. Wald. (NYTs)

Missouri Governor Nixon critical of diverting water to Kansas. (AP)

3 thoughts on “Agriculture News Links – November 25, 2013

  1. c.

    I struggle with the happy publicizing of a “better wood stove” The contest would not allow the one type of stove to even enter the contest. The rules preclude it. They do not allow site-built stoves. Which by definition rules out all masonry heaters. Masonry heaters are an old technology that works and works very well. Yes, they are expensive, but they are for the long-term and wood used is miniscule in comparison to a regular wood stove and maintenence for them is almost non-existant.

    If you look at the price of a modern wood stove say around 5,000 and a lifespan of 20 years you will have easily paid for the price of a masonry stove (15,000) within 60 years plus the reduced wood aquisition required.

    But this isn’t mentioned why?

    1. K. McDonald Post author

      Great comment. Often when subjects are covered, coverage is not comprehensive.
      We went to great lengths once to install a kit version of a masonry fireplace/chimney in a previous house that we lived in. Unfortunately, the chimney had a bend in it, so the house would gather smoke if we used the fireplace, so we rarely used it — not a very safe thing to do. Anyway, we think it was because of the bend, but the masonry chimney might have been partly to blame, too. What a disappointment (and wasted expense).

  2. DB

    Re: the MacKenna article about antibiotic resistance

    I agree that antibiotic use in meat animals is a large contributor to the resistance problem. Another one is the environmental pollution from so-called “biosolids”, a euphemism for processed sewage sludge. Studies have shown that a large portion of the antibiotics a person ingests are passed intact through normal digestion and elimination. A 2008 study by the US EPA found that the wastewater treatment byproduct of sewage sludge contains antibiotics, bacteria, hormones, steroids, and other pollutants. In fact, this is the goal of the wastewater treatment process which is to prevent water pollution by removing and concentrating these pollutants in the remaining sludge. Where does the vast majority of this sewage sludge end up? It’s spread over farmland all across the US.

    In this article, a researcher calls this one of the “potential sources of antibiotic resistance genes”:

    Engineer Identifies New Concerns For Antibiotic Resistance, Pollution

    Just something to think about.


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