Category Archives: Europe and UK

Food and Agricultural Images This Week February 16, 2015

People explore exhibits on opening day of the World Ag Expo on February 10, 2015 in Tulare, California. As California moves into its fourth year of historic drought that caused farmers to leave hundreds of thousands of acres of cropland fallow last year, forced some well water-dependent communities to go dry, stressed wildlife and heightened political tensions surrounding water issues, farmers are attending the largest ever World Ag Expo. The expo is the biggest of its kind, attracting an estimated 100,000 visitors from 70 countries to view cutting-edge agricultural technology and equipment at 1,500 exhibits spread across a 2.6 million-square-foot of exhibit area. It is held in one of the most important food producing areas of the nation. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists inspect flowers for foreign pests or diseases in the LAN Cargo center at Miami International Airport February 10, 2015 in Miami, Florida. As Valentine’s Day approaches Miami International Airport sees their daily flower shipments quadruple to 22 million flowers per day. During the rest of the year MIA handles more than 90 percent of all flowers imported to the U.S. Most of the flowers come from South American growers. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Protesting farmers with their tractors are blocked by police in the outskirtes of Warsaw on February 11, 2015 . Hundreds of Polish farmers are driving their tractors toward Warsaw, where their leaders are negotiating government compensation for crops destroyed by wild boar and profits undercut by Russia’s import ban. (Photo by JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

People walk past Bazas oxen prior to a presentation as part of a traditional festival, in the square outside the Cathedral in Bazas, southwestern France, on February 12, 2015. During the annual festivities, Bazas oxen, a type of ox which has existed since 1283, parade around town. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Workers at the Maridaidi Farm in Naivasha, prepare roses which will be exported to Europe for Valentine’s Day on February 12, 2015. Kenya is the major provider of quality cut flowers to the EU with a market share of about 40%. Flower farmers are upbeat ahead of the Valentine’s Day and are projecting a rosy picture for the sector, despite the recent losses incurred during the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) impasse. (Photo by SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)

Cows graze on a pasture near the Trans-Canada Highway north of Calgary, Alberta on February 13,2015. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed February 13, 2015 that a case of mad cow disease has been found in Alberta, the first case in Canada since 2011. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Dominique Macke, breeder of the French cow breed ‘Rouge Flamande’, walks with 4-year-old Filouse, the muse of the 2015 edition of the Paris International Agricultural Show, in Wemaers-Cappel, northern France, on February 13, 2015. (Photo by PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

French Agriculture minister and Government spokesperson Stephane Le Foll holds a sheep during a visit at a sheep and goat farm on February 13, 2015 in Sarolla-Carcopino, near Ajaccio, in the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. (Photo by PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA/AFP/Getty Images)

Farmers gather around tractors during a demonstration to protest against the hardening and complexity of rules brought by the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in front of the Departemental Direction of territories and sea in Arras, northern France, on February 13, 2015. (Photo by PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

A boy sells vegetables at a market of the town of Shebin Kanater in the area of Qalubiya, north of the Egyptian capital Cairo, on February 14, 2015. (Photo by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

A salesman arranges a pile of bacon at the annual Bacon festival on February 14, 2015, in the village of Kacarevo, 40 kilometers north of Belgrade. Since 1987 the traditional tourist and commercial manifestation called Slaninijada attracts the best manufacturers of bacon and sausage from Serbia and many tourist from Serbia and abroad. (Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)

Chefs prepare more than 80.000 ‘Tacos de Cochinita Pibil’ -Mexican traditional marinated pork tacos- in Guadalajara, Mexico on February 15, 2015. A 2.5 km-long taco line imposed a new Guinness record. (Photo by HECTOR GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images)

3 Picks: China’s Agriculture, Stressed Rivers, EU Farm Policy

Rice fields, China. Photo credit: Flickr CC via Eugene Regis

Below, are today’s three chosen agricultural-related news picks.

1) China’s 40 Year Evolution of agriculture: “In many ways, the evolution of Chinese agriculture over the past 40 years is a remarkable success story. Spurred by investments in research and government subsidies for fertilizers and other farm technologies, China now feeds 22% of the world’s population on just 9% of its total arable land. But as a special collection of papers in the July-August issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality (JEQ) points out, these achievements have come at a cost. Massive losses of nutrients from croplands and manure from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have polluted the country’s streams, rivers, soil, and air. In pursuit of food security, China has also dipped deeply into global resource supplies, using in recent years more synthetic nitrogen fertilizer than all of North America and Europe combined.”

2) 21 Vulnerable Rivers in the U.S.: Jaeah Lee covers an important story in America, that of the demands, over-allocation, and mismanagement of our rivers. “In March, the EPA estimated that more than half of the nation’s waterways are in “poor condition for aquatic life.” … In the interactive map below, we highlight 21 rivers that, based on the conservation group American Rivers’ reports in 2012 and 2013, are under the most duress (or soon will be) from extended droughts, flooding, agriculture, or severe pollution from nearby industrial activity.”

3) Q & A explains EU Farm Policy Reform: This BBC summary wraps up the farm reform issues in the EU. “There has been intense debate about “greening” – the Commission’s proposal to make 30% of the direct payment received by farmers dependent on environmental criteria. MEPs and governments insist on flexibility, to allow for the diverse circumstances of Europe’s farms. So these greening targets have been watered down, environmentalists say: the requirement for arable farmers to grow at least three different crops, to promote biodiversity; for farmers to leave 7% of their land fallow, to encourage wildlife; and for farmers to maintain pasture land permanently, rather than ploughing it up.”

This news post was written and compiled by K. McDonald.