8/16/19: SARE (Sustainable Agriculture, Research, and Education) has released a set of 10 free, downloadable fact sheets on cover cropping, addressing topics like cover crops in nutrient management, erosion, infiltration, soil organic matter, supporting wildlife and beneficial insects and carbon sequestration. They are available for use by educators, growers and anyone else interested in learning more. You can find them here.
7/30/19: Known as the "sea of plastic, Spain's Almeria province is covered by 30,000 hectares of greenhouses, and exported 2.5 million tons of produce last year alone. It has also largely replaced insecticides with biological control, a method of pest control that uses beneficial, predatory insects to manage insect pests. Read more on the Bangkok Post.
7/24/19: Environmental groups and beekeepers say sulfoxaflor is one of the chemical compounds responsible for decimating North American bee populations. On July 12th, the EPA lifted several past restrictions on its use, allowing sulfoxaflor to be applied to a variety of crops, including citrus, corn, soybeans, strawberries, pineapples and pumpkins. Read more on the Washington Post
7/24/19: The Equitable Food Initiative has obtained a $1.2 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to promote responsible labor practices on fresh produce farms in Mexico. The grant runs through 2020. Read more on Produce Retailer.
7/10/19: Thailand’s Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Grisada Boonrach is currently exploring the legal avenues for imposing an immediate ban on three toxic agrochemicals: paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos. Paraquat has been banned in the European Union since 2007, and is infamous for it’s toxicity to vital organs, including the liver, kidneys, heart and respiratory system. Glyphosate is widely known as the active ingredient in Roundup, the controversial pesticide at the center of several multi-million dollar cancer related lawsuits against agrochemical ...
6/24/19: Indigo Agriculture, an agricultural technology start up is rolling out the Terraton Initiative: a carbon-banking project to move one trillion tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and into agricultural soils. This is a four-pronged strategy, involving a carbon market with incentives for growers that implement regenerative strategies, an open sourced carbon study, the "Terraton Challenge" to encourage the development of new technologies and the "Terraton Cup" to inspire competition and innovation. Read more on Triple Pundit
6/19/19: After receiving pushback from the manufacturers of three organophosphate insecticides, the EPA is reevaluating its process for determining the risk level of pesticides, an approach established in 2015. " Traditionally, the agency has used the maximum allowed usages stated on the pesticide label. Pesticide manufacturers claim that approach is overly conservative. The EPA now proposes evaluating risks using actual pesticide use data from various sources. Environmental groups argue that doing so would exclude from the analysis large geographical areas where no ...
6/13/19: An analysis by the University of Sussex’s UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) has found serious departures from human health safety standards in the pages of pesticide policy being converted from EU to British law in the wake of Brexit, a process largely sold to the public as a technical exercise. Read more on The Guardian.
6/6/19: The New Food Economy published an article last Friday detailing the heavy rain and shrinking planting window facing Midwestern farmers this season. This year, weather has pushed the planting season perilously close to its limit, says Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist at the University of Illinois. “We’re about 20 percentage points behind the worst years of the last 40,” he says, when it comes to late planting of corn. “We are into uncharted territory.” Usually, by this time of year, farmers have planted 90 percent of their corn. As of Sunday, only ...
5/30/19: As climate change worsens, and weather becomes more extreme and varied, many fear that farmland will no longer support the crops it currently grows. The New Food Economy released an article last week investigating some of the ways geneticists, plant breeders, and agribusinesses are trying to make agriculture more resilient. Read the article here.