6 Recommended Agricultural Links ○ ○ ○
1 . Conservation Stewardship Programs (CSP) have gained 9.5 million acres this year.National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
2 . There has been a lot in the news this month about how U.S. Ag policy works to promote larger and larger farms. I especially liked this.by Traci Bruckner, Center for Rural Affairs
3 . … and this PDF document/study investigates the subject of farms getting bigger here in America.By Daniel A. Sumner, Journal of Economic Perspectives
4 . Yes, you can make money with agroforestry in Iowa, especially if you grow Aronia berries, Christmas trees, chestnuts and elderberries.From the Leopold Center at Iowa State
5 . Robotics continues to take over on farms, but it is a mystery to most of us. Here’s a quick look at a carrot harvester in action.from Odd Simple American
6 . For those who would like an agricultural charitable gift idea, you might consider giving to Kiva. You can even start with a small donation and add to it monthly. This helps small global farmers who are struggling to pay for supplies like fertilizer, and 95% of the loans get paid back.Thanks to reader “D” for submitting this idea.
These links were selected by Kay McDonald. For continually updated news about agriculture, please utilize the news feeds on the right sidebar here, and on the “Latest Ag News” tab above.
In this 14 minute TED talk given by Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, we are reminded of the important contribution that plants have to our health and to medicine. This requires habitat preservation of biodiversity. In this Anthropocene age it seems that natural habitats are constantly under threat.
“for every disease known to mankind there is a plant to cure it”
She shows us some humble plants which “hide surprising secrets” besides feeding us and giving us oxygen, telling us that there are 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world, the Mascarene Islands in the Indian Ocean being one of them, including Madagascar.
“there is no such thing as a weed”
Gurib-Fakim discusses five plants: Benjoin, which has leaves of different shapes and sizes on a single plant; Psiadia arguta which has medicinal uses; Baobab, “the tree of life” for food security; the Resurrection plant from Africa, which can withstand up to 90 percent dehydration but then regenerate rapidly with water; and, Centella called a “weed”, which grows across the world in many habitats, and is used by cosmetic companies.
This TED talk is all about food and global food security.
This 18-minute talk is by noted food system expert Nina Fedoroff, Pennsylvania State Professor and scientist. It begins with a discussion of the drivers behind affordability and food price swings. She discusses whether there are limits to feeding growing populations during climate change, and with depleting aquifers. In the last eight minutes of the talk, she discusses how we will be growing food in the future, a future in which she supports genetic modification as a tool to making food production more secure.