Food and Agricultural Images This Week April 13, 2015

Workers pick asparagus at Del Bosque Farms Inc. in Firebaugh, California, U.S., on Monday, April 6, 2015. California lawmakers approved legislation sought by Governor Jerry Brown that authorizes spending $1 billion to manage the drought gripping the most populous U.S. state for a fourth year. Photo credit: David Paul Morris / Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Indian farmers harvest wheat in Imamipur village on the outskirts of Allahabad on April 12, 2015. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on April 8 he would boost compensation to farmers whose crops were destroyed by recent heavy rains, amid growing criticism of the government’s rural policies. Photo credit: AFP PHOTO / SANJAY KANOJIA / Getty Images.

Indian labourers go about their business around sacks of onions at the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) yard in Bangalore on April 7, 2015. The ‘Bangalore Rose Onion,’ which is almost exclusively grown for the export market, has managed to get the coveted Geographical Indication tag and is the 217th product in India to get the tag. The Bangalore Rose Onion tag means that this onion is grown in one of the 16 taluks – divisions – of Bengaluru rural, Kolar and Doddaballapur. Photo credit: AFP PHOTO / Manjunath KIRAN / Getty Images.

Pakistani labourers fill bags with rice outside a storage centre near Lahore on April 12, 2015. Photo credit: AFP PHOTO / Arif ALI / Getty Images.

An Ivorian farmer harvests rice on April 10, 2015 in a field near Agboville, in southern Ivory Coast. Photo credit: AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO / Getty Images.

Buyers check tobacco on April 8, 2015 at the Lilongwe Auction Floors during the opening day of the tobacco market. President Peter Mutharika said on April 8 that the global anti-smoking lobby had hit Malawi’s tobacco-dependent economy hard, but the country could not quit the crop overnight. Tobacco, popularly known in the impoverished southern African nation as ‘green gold’, brings in 60 percent of foreign exchange earnings and employs about half-a-million people. Photo credit: AFP PHOTO / AMOS GUMULIRA / Getty Images.

An employee sits in a tractor as he works amongst blooming plum trees at the Ferrusac estate in Saint-Maurin on April 7, 2015. For the past three years, producers in Southwestern France have launched a plan to reconquer the market of the prune, threatened by chilean competition and public disaffection, by planting and modernising orchards. Photo credit: AFP PHOTO / MEHDI FEDOUACH / Getty Images.

A picture taken on April 7, 2015 shows Gruyere cheeses at the Rungis international market in Rungis, outside Paris. Photo credit: AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / Getty Images.

In this picture taken on April 6, 2015, a farmer works at his paddy field on the outskirts of Yangon. For much of the early 20th century Myanmar was Asia’s rice bowl, but after a nominally socialist junta seized power in 1962, decades of mismanagement shattered the agriculture industry in a nation where 70 percent of inhabitants still live in the countryside. The quasi-civilian reformist government, which took over from the military in 2011, is determined to resurrect the country’s reputation as a rice producer. Photo credit: AFP PHOTO / SOE THAN WIN / Getty Images.

A farmer loads his bullock cart on a farm in Naypyidaw on April 10, 2015. Photo credit: AFP PHOTO / SOE THAN WIN / Getty Images.

In the Bigger Picture….

8 Recommended Agricultural Links ○ ○ ○

1 . Yet another report, this one out of the Univ. of Wisconsin, shows us that millions of acres of grasslands have been destroyed in order to cash in on biofuel dollars.

from EurekAlert

2 . Why the ethanol mandate is terrible policy.

by JOSIAH NEELEY for the American Conservative

3 . Included in biofuels numbers, but usually overlooked by media and studies, is the amount of soybean acreage dedicated towards biodiesel production. Using the latest statistics from Iowa State, last year’s percentage of soybeans used to make biodiesel was 12.3 percent. (according to my calculations)

By Dr. Robert Wisner, Iowa State [PDF]

4 . California tomato processing industry set a record in 2014.

by Cary Blake for Western Farm Press

5 . MAP: Shows expected net farm cash income decline expectations from 2014 to 2015 by region.

from USDA

6 . CHART: Operating expenses for energy-related inputs comparing corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton from 2006 through 2016.

from USDA

7 . CHART: Rural population decline rates since 1970s.

from USDA

8 . Environmental terrorism cripples Palestinian farmers.

By Mel Frykberg for IPS

These links were selected by Kay McDonald. Note that Wednesday Editions of “In the Bigger Picture…” focus on general and business related subjects and Friday Editions focus on grassroots subjects. For continually updated news about agriculture, please utilize the news feeds on the right sidebar here, and on the “Latest Ag News” tab above.