The export market is key to demand for U.S. cotton.
With the significant decline in cotton use by U.S. mills since the late 1990s, exports now account for about 75 percent of the demand for U.S. cotton, making global market developments key to the outlook for U.S. producers. The source of demand for U.S. cotton shifted with the elimination of textile and apparel import quotas that existed under the international Multifiber Arrangement—a process completed in 2005—leading to increased U.S. imports of textiles and apparel and reduced U.S. demand for raw cotton.
Since 2005, there has been significant variability in the volume of U.S. exports and in world prices, much of it attributed to developments in China, the largest global and U.S. market for cotton. Large Chinese purchases contributed to the spike in world prices in 2010/11 (August/July), while large stocks and reduced buying by China are key factors in the outlook for reduced global and U.S. exports in 2013/14.
Mill use of cotton in China has now declined for four consecutive seasons in response to government policies, with more consumption shifting to countries such as India, Pakistan, and Vietnam, who are exporting growing volumes of cotton yarn and other intermediate products to China and other markets.
2014 Melon varieties – organic farm – SanDiego.
Photo by Suzie’s Farm, FlickCC.
So you want brown eggs.
Either you have a farm, a farmette, or you’ve decided to get serious about urban gardening. Your next step is chickens for fresh eggs. And you want brown ones.
If you are going to invest in setting up chickens for egg-laying, then you want the most return for your investment of time and money. Grocery stores have learned that people are willing to pay twice as much for brown eggs over white ones. For you to have brown eggs, then, it is simply a choice of which kind of chicken you pick for your hen house.
Chickens raised on grass and insects, as nature would have them raised, produce eggs with a deep golden-orange yolk color. That color is indicative of the rich vitamins that the yolk contains, as compared to pale yolks produced by grain fed chickens. (Even though commercially produced chickens have synthetic chemicals added to their feed to make the yolks appear darker!) Healthy pasture raised chicken yolks contain more Vitamin K2, a vitamin helpful in protecting us from cancers, osteoporosis, immune diseases, cardiac disease, influenza and other infectious diseases, and even Alzheimers.
Below is a list and photos of twelve of the best brown egg-laying hen varieties, along with brief descriptions of each. Some breeds produce larger brown eggs; others produce medium sized brown eggs more frequently. Some breeds are known to produce eggs better in cold weather than others.
Keep in mind that the number of eggs produced by your chickens can vary greatly and will be determined by the growing conditions which you’ve provided for them.
Best of luck!
Rhode Island Reds
A similar breed but white in color, the Rhode Island White’s also lay brown eggs.
Red Star or Red Sex Link
New Hampshire/New Hampshire Red
Black Star or Black Sex Link
In addition to these twelve breeds of chickens which lay brown eggs are the Barnevelder, Brahma, Buckeye, Chantecler, Cochin, Dominique, Java, Jersey Giant, Langshan, Marans, and Naked Neck breeds. To do further comparisons, I recommend this PDF chart of chicken breeds along with their characteristics.
If you have anything to add from your personal experience of raising chickens that produce brown eggs that might be useful to others, please add your insights to the comments. Thankyou.
As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm.
I was thrilled to stumble upon this video (below) from NOVA, today, on patterns. As I watched it, I kept hoping that it would end the way it in fact did, because I watched a film at our University of Colorado Fiske Planetarium a few months ago where the astrophysics student-narrator zoomed out as far as possible to look at the cosmos, and showed us how it resembled our very own brain neurons.
Computer simulation image of the universe which looks like a neuron
There are patterns obvious in the natural world that help teach us that there is an incredible order to the universe. Artists like to refer to observations such as we can easily see in a cross section of the Nautilus Shell as “sacred geometry”. Geometric ratios can further be found in harmonic music. It is our senses that allow us to appreciate these natural patterns and the experience of “beauty”.
From reading quotes by Einstein, it appears that he had a fascination and also a great respect (if not a recognition that it was his life’s purpose) for observing and attempting to understand the incredible order of the universe. In part, this was attempted through the use of mathematical equations, though he also appeared to think that the human brain was inadequate to completely understand the governing laws of nature.
Let us review a few quotes from Einstein and consider “spooky” quantum physics events and yet a more intriguing picture emerges.
Quotes by Albert Einstein:
“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe”, a part limited in time and space.”
“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
“I am a determinist. As such, I do not believe in free will.” -— from Einstein: His Life and Universe, by Walter Isaacson.
“It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity, to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe which we dimly perceive, and to try humbly to comprehend an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifested in nature.” —- from Introduction to Philosophy 1935.
The following two quotes attributed to Einstein are from “Einstein and the Poet”:
“The basic laws of the universe are simple, but because our senses are limited, we can’t grasp them. There is a pattern in creation.”
“I like to experience the universe as one harmonious whole. Every cell has life. Matter, too, has life; it is energy solidified.”
Finally, let’s take time to watch the (3-minute) aforementioned NOVA video showing us that patterns structure the Universe:
So none among us can dispute that neural network forms are a basic building block pattern. But could consciousness itself be the larger whole? Watch this TED talk (below) and contemplate that idea. It explores the idea of consciousness being a fundamental building block of the universe, the idea of “panpsychism”, in this talk by David Chalmers. (18 minutes – if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, at least try to watch the last half)
If these things are all relevant in the “big picture” then we view nature with awe and do not wish to see it destroyed. We see our role as an interconnected part having compassion for the whole. And that, my friends, is how this post ties into the subject of agriculture.
A few references for further exploration of this subject: