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Posts Tagged ‘agriculture’

Genetic Technology’s Answer to A Major Insect Pest

It’s a huge insect pest problem on soybeans, one of the country’s major crops. A recent paper estimates that it costs growers 2 to 5 billion dollars annually in lost productivity and insecticide use. But fortunately technology has an answer—several genes that control the pest, and can reduce or eliminate the need for chemical insecticides that harm people and the environment. Read More

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Cover Crops Dramatically Increase Corn Yields–Especially In Drought Conditions

Farmers planting crops that can’t be sold? That doesn’t sound like a sensible proposition, does it? After all, seed cost money and so does the equipment to get them in the ground. Why grow ‘em if you can’t sell ‘em? Read More

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Refocusing the Farm Bill

The current farm bill debate is unprecedented, shaking to its very foundation the powerful alliance of commodity and food stamp interests that has driven farm bills for decades. The failure of the House to include a nutrition program in its version of the farm bill, while lavishing public monies on farmers to encourage commodity crop production, is the height of hypocrisy…and mean-spirited as well. Read More

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Risk Assessments Are Missing Harmful Effects of Neonics on Honey Bees

As Rachel Carson noted in her seminal book Silent Spring, a quiet landscape can speak volumes. Lately the buzz of bees going about their invaluable work is getting softer and softer…and in some places, it is just about inaudible. Read More

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Gene Silencing: New Products and New Risks

The J.R. Simplot Co. just filed a petition asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to grant non-regulated status to potatoes genetically engineered (GE) to reduce bruising and suppress levels of acrylamide, a neurotoxin occurring naturally in cooked potatoes. Read More

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Pesticide Use is Actually Much Greater Than Reported

In a revealing article in the Wall Street Journal, Ian Berry explains how resistance to an engineered Bt gene by corn rootworms is leading to reversals in the trend toward declining insecticide use on corn in the U.S. Resistance was first discovered by entomologist Aaron Gassman, as we reported, about two years ago. Read More

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UCS Vision for Healthy Farms in the 21st Century: Agroecology has the Answers

Agriculture is at a crossroads. While highly productive in the U.S., it is also destructive of the environment, vulnerable to climate change, and highly resource intensive. In short, it is unsustainable. Read More

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Toxic Algae and No-Till—The Environmental Darling of Industrial Agriculture and Genetic Engineering Looks Less Attractive

Read attempts to defend the sustainability of industrial agriculture and genetic engineering, and you will soon encounter no-till, or more generally, conservation tillage. Now it appears that no-till may be contributing to some serious environmental problems. Read More

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Climate Change Impacts To Our Surf and Turf

Earlier this year, the United States Global Change Research Program released its draft of the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA), which consolidates our current understanding of climate change and its impacts on states and regions across the country. The report is an impressive summary of what’s happening to our planet as we break temperature records that date back as far as the Holocene. Read More

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We Know How to Fix Farming

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack made several recent pronouncements prompted by the growing recognition that climate change will make it harder to grow crops. It was a step in the right direction, but it will take a major shift in money and personnel to make needed changes happen. Read More

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