'Frostbite on their teats' and other cold weather farming issues
January 9th, 2014
03:00 PM ET
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Ryan Goodman has been involved in agriculture all of his life, working on ranches across the country, as well as studying cattle nutrition and reproduction at the college levels. He works daily with farmers and ranchers, helping their voices become part of the national dialogues on food and agriculture topics. You can reach him on Twitter @AgProudRyan, as well as his personal blog, AgricultureProud.com.

Winter storm Ion, polar vortex, or cold outbreak. No matter which term we use to describe this week’s weather across much of the country, it has been downright cold. Most of us are aware of precautions to prepare our homes and pets for the harsh conditions, but how are farmers and ranchers dealing with all of this weather?

Last year we talked about how there is no such thing as a snow day on the farm or ranch. Livestock must still be fed, equipment must still be maintained, and preparations for the next growing season continue. All of that work becomes much more difficult when the mercury drops well below zero degrees.
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Drones, drones on the range
December 10th, 2013
11:30 AM ET
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Editor's Note: Brian Scott farms with his father and grandfather on 2,300 acres of land in northwest Indiana. They grow corn, soybeans, popcorn and wheat. He blogs about it at The Farmer's Life.

Farmers and ranchers are going to take flight to improve the profitability and sustainability of their operations. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are on the verge of playing a big part in modern agriculture. In fact, many people expect agriculture to be the top market for UAV technology when, by 2015, the FAA lays out regulations pertaining to the commercial use of these systems.

These Aren’t The Drones You’re Looking For

Farmers interested in being on the ground floor of farm UAVs have already learned that "drone" is a dirty word. Proponents of putting this technology in the hands of civilians believe the term conjures images of missile strikes and secret surveillance.

Rest assured that the farms and ranches of America won’t be putting Global Hawks and Predator drones to work. Agricultural devices will be something carried around in the back seat or bed of a pickup truck used to take photos and videos of farmland.
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November 17th, 2013
04:00 PM ET
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He's been called "Captain Outrageous," "The Mouth of the South," and this month, Ted Turner turns 75. Learn more about the founder of 24-hour news: Watch "Ted Turner: The Maverick Man" on CNN Sunday 7 p.m. ET.

"Eat it to save it" may seem like a counterintuitive strategy for preserving an uncommon species, but it may be key to their survival. It's a rallying cry for advocacy groups like Slow Food, activists and chefs who believe that the loss of biodiversity in our diets is a recipe for disaster. CNN founder Ted Turner is at the forefront of the movement, with his campaign to acclimate American palates to bison meat.

As chef Jay Pierce wrote in an Eatocracy op-ed, "If you want to preserve the taste of heirloom produce varieties, such as Arkansas Black, Newtown Pippin, and Ginger Gold apples, for future generations, you must buy them and eat them or the mechanics of capitalism will instruct farmers that there is no room in the marketplace for their product, and they will move on to something else, like Granny Smith or Red Delicious Apples or sub-divided exurban residential plots.
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Filed under: Business and Farming News • Farms • Heirloom • Sustainability


Commence hoarding wine!
October 29th, 2013
02:30 PM ET
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There's just not enough wine in the world, says Morgan Stanley, and the problem is only going to get worse.

The industry is experiencing an "undersupply of nearly 300 million cases" a year, according to a report from Morgan Stanley Research.
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Filed under: Climate Change • Environment • Sip • Wine


October 28th, 2013
11:00 AM ET
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When Americans hand out Halloween candy this week they may inadvertently be contributing to the destruction of orangutan habitat thousands of miles away.

But don't feel guilty. Instead, do something about it.

Many types of Halloween candy - and lots of other packaged foods in the United States - contain palm oil, much of which is farmed in Malaysia and Indonesia, where orangutans live. Wild forests that support the endangered orangutan are being chopped down and burned to grow geometric rows of trees that ultimately produce oil.
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Filed under: Animal Rights • Climate Change • Environment • Halloween • Sustainability


World Food Day 2013: How to help end hunger
October 16th, 2013
02:45 AM ET
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According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 165 million children under the age of five are so malnourished they will never reach their full physical and cognitive potential.

About 2 billion people in the world lack vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health, and around 1.4 billion are overweight - one third of them, obese. Children born to parents suffering from these forms of malnutrition start out with a higher risk of impairment from birth and illness later in life.

Poverty is handed down from generation to generation. Now it's time to stop the cycle.

October 16 is the FAO's annual World Food Day, and the organization is seeking to heighten public awareness of the problem of hunger in the world and stimulate discussions for solutions.
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Filed under: Human Rights • Hunger • Sustainability • World Food Day


October 11th, 2013
02:15 PM ET
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Like in a scene from an apocalyptic parable, dark carcasses of cows and steers lie motionless in silent clusters across swaths of South Dakota.

An early blizzard caught ranchers off guard this week in the state, killing as many as 20,000 head of cattle, a state official says.

But ranchers say they are the real victims.
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October 10th, 2013
01:45 AM ET
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Editor's note: Jana Waller is host of Sportsman Channel's "Skull Bound TV."

Inside the city limits of San Antonio, mounds of churned up earth are piled knee high as far as the eye can see. Fresh green grass has disappeared and the only evidence of any shrubs is the exposed roots protruding from the carnage. What looks to be the path of a devastating tornado in America's heartland is actually the result of a small group of feral hogs in the Lone Star state.

Texas, along with many of the southern states, is facing a problem of "Hogzilla" proportions. From agricultural fields and farmland to golf courses and playgrounds, no property is off limits to these chubby eating machines. From 2 to 6 million feral hogs are wreaking havoc in at least 39 states. Texas is said to be home to over half of the country's feral hog population.
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90% of Americans throw out food prematurely
September 19th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
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Use-by dates are contributing to millions of pounds of wasted food each year.

A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard Law School's Food Law and Policy Clinic says Americans are prematurely throwing out food, largely because of confusion over what expiration dates actually mean.

Most consumers mistakenly believe that expiration dates on food indicate how safe the food is to consume, when these dates actually aren't related to the risk of food poisoning or foodborne illness.

Food dating emerged in the 1970s, prompted by consumer demand as Americans produced less of their own food but still demanded information about how it was made. The dates solely indicate freshness, and are used by manufacturers to convey when the product is at its peak. That means the food does not expire in the sense of becoming inedible.

Read the full story - Food expired? Don't be so quick to toss it

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Filed under: Health News • News • Waste


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