In the Bigger Picture…. Friday Edition

6 Recommended Agricultural Links ○ ○ ○

Note: Friday Editions of “In the Bigger Picture” focus on grassroots subjects.


1 . URBAN AGRICULTURE: A study tells us that 456 million hectares, which is an area about the size of the European Union, is now under cultivation in and around the world’s cities.

from Stanford Woods, Institute for the Environment


2 . This garden named Biolabrynthus, is based on sustainable concepts to promote biodiversity. It won the 2014 Italy international creative garden show contest, and it was designed by two French landscape architects. (with video)

by Janis Blackschleger for Ecology


3 . Yes, there are aquaculture operations in Nebraska. This story is about raising barramundi indoors.

By Cole Epley for the World-Herald


4 . Faced with increasingly drug-resistant bacteria, scientists and farmers are now looking to plant extracts to keep people and animals healthy.

by Tori Rodriguez for The Atlantic


5 . This small-town boy returned to small-town rural Nebraska. While he was in college, an attorney told him, “The opportunities for your generation will exist in small towns.”

By Tyler Vacha for Center for Rural Affairs


6 . Food bikes are now competing with food trucks. Hooray!

by Alastair Bland for NPR’s The Salt


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 the Bigger Picture….

9 Recommended Agricultural Links ○ ○ ○

Note: Wednesday Editions of “In the Bigger Picture” tend to focus more on general and business information about agriculture.–K.M.


1 . TREND SPOTTING: More and more, institutional investors are owning farmland and its production. Sectors such as almonds, livestock, corn, soybeans, ethanol, and greenhouses are all increasingly owned by institutions. This article is but one of many revealing this trend, and I fully expect this trend to continue.

by Imogen Rose-Smith for Institutional Investor


Today, there are 3 links related to ETHANOL which, as usual, is facing new challenges both in Congress and economically.

2a . ETHANOL EXPORTS: Strategies are being developed to gain ethanol export markets to deal with corn surpluses. $500,000 has been budgeted for export market development in 2015. For example, Peru is being approached because its sugarcane-based ethanol’s low-carbon rating is attracting European buyers, and that spells opportunity for Peru to import ethanol from the U.S. As you can see, this is not an efficiency contest.

By Susanne Retka Schill for Ethanol Producer

2b . 20% TAX BREAK FOR ETHANOL EXPORTERS: U.S. ethanol exports have gone up 47% in four years. It helps that a 20% tax break is available to qualified exporters.

By Donna Funk for Ethanol Producer

2c . 28% CANADIAN CORN TO ETHANOL: Canada is one of the U.S.’s ethanol importers, although it burns 3.25 MT of its own corn [out of 11.5 MT, or 28%] and 1 MT of its wheat [out of 25 MT, or 4%] in its own domestic ethanol production program. (Percentages are according to my own calculations.—KM)

By Erin Voegele for Ethanol Producer


3 . Don’t miss this global NOAA temperature map which shows the remarkable omission of warmer temps in the corn belt region of the U.S. for 2014.

By Michael Roberts for Greed, Green & Grains


Today’s links include 2 on FARMLAND prices and rents.

4a . The annual Iowa farmland survey results are posted here accompanied by two great charts. It concludes that the third golden era of Iowa land prices is ending with an “orderly adjustment”.

By Michael D. Duffy at Iowa State

4b . Farmland rents could fall by one-third.

from Agrimoney


5 . INPUT COSTS/PROFIT MARGINS: This farmer offers first-hand data (in charts) which compares GM versus non-GM corn and soybean profits, as well as her explanation for why their farm discontinued organic corn production.

By Jennie Schmidt for The Foodie Farmer


6 . HUMOR: What is a GMO?

4 Minutes on Youtube


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.