3/7/19: Canadian farm managers and agricultural researchers are interested in finding new ways to prevent residual pesticides from entering the environment and contaminating water, and biobeds are showing promise as they make their debut in Canada. Already popular in Europe, where there are more than 3,000 biobeds in use on farms, biobed systems have now been adapted to the Canadian climate. Read more here
2/28/19: Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), along with over ten other organizations launched a new crowdsourced web platform, the Supply Chain Solutions Center, to help sustainability professionals mitigate the environmental impact of their supply chains by staying informed on the latest resources to address supply chain impacts. “Our goal is to make finding sustainability solutions as easy as finding a movie on Netflix or a song on Spotify,” said Elizabeth Sturcken, managing director of EDF+Business. “Global supply chains can be massive and opaque, but when every ...
2/22/19: Huanglongbing, also known as Citrus Greening Disease, is a problem for many citrus growers. The Organic Center recently published Combatting Citrus Greening in Organic Systems: A Grower’s Guide, a 24-page reference available online. The guide presents scientific research as well as insight from experienced growers into managing the disease. To read it, follow the link above.
2/22/19: The Savanna Institute is launching a Midwestern Agroforestry Farmer Apprenticeship Program beginning in summer 2019. Apprentices will spend 10 weeks working with an agroforestry farmer, with part- to full-time employment throughout the course. Students will learn about perennial crop establishment, management, and harvest, farm planning, equipment use and maintenance, marketing, finance and more. The program is free, with compensation and room and board depending on the host farm. Limited spots are open and the deadline to apply is March 1, 2019.
2/11/19: The Trump administration has persuaded the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its August decision ordering the Environmental Protection Agency to ban the widely-used pesticide chlorpyrifos, which has been linked to neurodevelopmental harm in children and farm-worker illness. Essentially, this means again reviewing former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s March 2017 refusal to ban the pesticide for use on food crops such as fruits, vegetables and nuts. Read more on Reuters.
2/6/19: The Crop Profile database, created and maintained by the Canadian government's Pest Management Center, offers high level production overviews for 38 different crops, now including peach and pear. You can download them for free from the Government of Canada Publications webpage or through the Crop profiles webpage.
1/28/19: Huanglongbing, or Citrus Greening Disease, is a a disease of citrus caused by a vector-transmitted pathogen spread by the Asian citrus psyllid. Florida has been the most affected, but farmers are reporting production recovery, and California and Texas producers haven't reported any drop in production. Nutrition programs to improve root health have been implemented, and scientists have developed root stocks with higher genetic tolerance to Citrus Greening. Read more on Greenbook.
1/22/19: Ag Pro reports that Tyson Foods is partnering with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to develop and employ strategies that promote ecologically sound growing practices while meeting the needs of the sustainable foods market. The partnership will initially target 500,000 acres of corn and aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve water quality, and generate maximum farm profit. Read more on Ag Pro.
1/10/19: The government shutdown initiated by a budget fight over Trump's border wall has entered its third week. Triple Pundit published an article today detailing how the shutdown may affect routine FDA inspections. "With hundreds of investigators on unpaid leave, the Food and Drug Administration has suspended routine inspections of U.S. food-processing facilities, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday. ...FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he hopes to have some inspectors back on the job next week to visit facilities considered “high-risk”—think: ...
Environmental Defense Fund Reports on How The Farm Bill Changes the Future of Climate and Water Conservation
1/2/19: A 12/12/18 post on the Environmental Defense Fund's blog analyzes the smaller provisions within the 2018 Farm Bill that have the potential to open up new approaches to climate and water conservation. These include incentives for growers to protect water quality, a directive for the federal government to “recognize and encourage partnerships at the watershed level between nonpoint sources and regulated point sources,” and an annual $25 million for on-farm trials to experiment with conservation approaches. Read more here.