Recap of the Month’s Starred News Items from Sowing Agricultural Seeds Daily

This post contains a list of the past month’s starred news items from over at Sowing Agricultural Seeds Daily. (Starred items are those which I have deemed more noteworthy.) Since some of you have requested an RSS Feed for the new site, and there isn’t one, I thought I would do this once a month, until I figure out a better system.

My favorite of all, from this past month, is the first one on the list, a wise commentary by David Horsey about the follies of our human race which make unreasonable assumptions about Mother Nature, and our dominance over Her, using the story of weather, water, and agriculture in California’s San Joaquin Valley, along with his very clever cartoon.

• California’s severe drought exposes civilization’s thin veneer. Don’t miss the great CARTOON, too. By David Horsey. (LA Times)

With so many headlines out there about the farmbill, it is easy to become confused, or led to a mediocre story. The following are the ones I felt had unique and higher quality information:

• The $956 billion farm bill, in one graph, plus an overview of the rest of this new farm bill. By Brad Plumer. (Wa-Po)

• VIDEO and transcript of interview of Bloomberg’s Alan Bjerga on PBS Newshour about the lobbying behind the scenes of the farm bill…. follow the money. (PBS Newshour)

• What is in the 2014 Farm Bill For Sustainable Farms and Food Systems?(NSAC)

• A Trillion in the trough – Congress passes a bill that gives bipartisanship a bad name. (Economist)

And, next, are the uncategorized remainer:

• According to this NYTs article, Midwestern farmers are hedging their all-in corn bets by adding a few lucrative acres of apple trees or vegetable hoop houses. Some of their children are returning to the corn farms to grow fruits and vegetables profitably on part of the property. By Michael Moss. (NYT) This is the stuff my dreams are made of, although I’d guess the numbers are very, very low.

• Top 10 agricultural law developments of 2013. By Roger A. McEowen, Director, ISU Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation. (Western Farm Press)

• Here is the inside story about how GMO-free corn and soybeans are produced and distributed in the U.S. Midwest. By Dan Charles. (NPR)

• Now We Know: Ethanol Caused the 2008 Financial Crisis and the Little Depression. By Brian Wright. (Uneasy Money) Note that I don’t exactly agree with this because I think the laxity in banking regulations, subprime mortgages, and fed actions are what caused the financial crisis, but it’s good, and makes a point, because many still don’t understand the impact that this U.S. ethanol policy has had on the world’s Ag systems and ripple effect upon global commodities.

• New study maps carbon footprints, comes to some surprising conclusions. By Jonathan Thompson. (High Country News)

• INFOGRAPHIC: Our Food and Agriculture in Numbers. PDF (FAO)

• Mark Rasmussen, director of the Leopold Center, writes about farming fencerow to fencerow in the Midwest.(Leopold Center)

• Brooklyn Whole Foods integrates 20,000 square foot greenhouse by Gotham Greens, on its roof. (The Star) I starred this because it just seems to make so much sense.

• Soil, Weedkillers And GMOs: When Numbers Don’t Tell The Whole Story. By Dan Charles. (NPR)

Finally, expect Luddite photo day to reappear later this week. Cheers!

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