the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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amazing footage of corn monsters

You’re never seen a sprout look this ghoulish. AMAZING video from band C.A.M.P.O.S. for their song Teosinte, which features incredible slow-mo of the title seed germinating.

Most of the sites that reviewed the band mentioned that teosinte is a “form of Mesoamerican corn,” but being the horticulture geeks that we are, we can’t help but mention that it is a species of South American grass that is actually considered the ancestor of all modern corn. To this end, we also can’t help but recommend this, while less visually stimulating, utterly fascinating article by the genetics lab at the University of Iowa on corn genetics and the long-standing mystery that teosinte’s genetic makeup solved. And yes, we just called corn genetics, “utterly fascinating.”

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global action plan for agricultural diversification

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From over half a million plant species on the planet, we currently rely on just four crops (wheat, rice, maize and soybean) for more than three-quarters of our food supply. These `major’ crops are grown in a limited number of exporting countries, usually as monocultures, and are
highly dependent on inputs such as fertiliser and irrigation. Over 7 billion people depend on the productivity of these major crops not just for their direct food needs but increasingly as raw materials for livestock and aquaculture feeds and bioenergy systems.
A global population approaching 9 billion people, living in a hotter world with scarce water and energy resources represent a `Perfect Storm’ for humanity. In these circumstances, the major crops alone may not be able to meet the world’s food and nutritional requirements. Even if crop yields can meet the food demands of a growing population, they may not provide
adequate nutrition. The double-burden of over and under-nutrition (Hidden Hunger) is a major concern. Nutrient-poor and energy-rich diets are linked with lack of dietary diversity


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monsanto cancels building new industrial plant

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Reuters/Tom Gannam/Files

The Gazette, and Iowa City newspaper, recently published a story mentioning the “struggling farm economy” being the cause of the cancellation of a $90,000,000 Monsanto seed corn plant. The story can be found here, but one must ask the question: Is consumer awareness prohibiting the expansion of these GMO giants? Keep putting your money where your ethics are, dear shoppers.

As a supplement, take a look at the USDA’s Economic Research Service and you’ll see that the value of net production per acre for organic is nearly three times that of conventional.

Organic: $366.27 (Yield: 121 bushels per acre)

Conventional: $139.05 (Yield: 159 bushels per acre)

 

 

 


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bumper harvest for commodity crops and subsidies

Nov 19 (Reuters) – U.S. farmers are about to reap a bumper harvest not just in corn and soybeans but also in new subsidies that could soar to $10 billion, blowing a hole in the government’s promise that its new five-year farm bill would save taxpayers money.

Because of ample supplies, corn prices have fallen well below the long-term average price used as a benchmark for one of the new programs. Ironically, this year’s bumper harvest may not be large enough to compensate for those price falls and revenues for some farmers could be low enough to trigger payments.

“Crop insurance has drifted away from that basic safety net concept and the farm bill has taken it even farther away.”

Click to continue reading this Reuters Article

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Acton.Org


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greenhorns report on the national ffa convention

 Greenhorns, in partnership with Organic Consumers Association were in attendance last month at the national gathering of the FFA. The FFA National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, saw a sea of 60,000 students representing every nook and cranny of America (and its territories) gathered together for fellowship, belonging, education and scholarly competition. Between the ages of 13 and 18, many of these students are next-in-line to the family farm and occupy a strategically powerful position in the future of American Agriculture; they are kids with land. With a self-confidence rarely seen in teenagers and impeccable public speaking skills, these students in their blue corduroy jackets cut quite the impressive figure, particularly in a stadium context.

They are team-spirited, motivated and articulate, and most of them credit these qualities to the organization that brought them together, the FFA. The FFA is turning these next-in-line farmers, agriscientists, ag teachers and farm sympathizers into successful leaders, fierce entrepreneurs, and good Samaritans…for Big Ag.

This polished youth constituency at the FFA sing the praises, almost exclusively, of Big Ag. How did this happen? Lets start with the obvious place; let’s follow the money.

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