Who Will Farm the Land When Farmers Are Gone?

In agribusiness, Blogroll, Current News, Education, Farming, Sustainability by Mark

“They keep farming even when their eyesight is failing and their hearts are going bad.” So starts a great story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune today regarding escalating farm accidents among older farmers. “They get back on their tractors after farm accidents have put them in the hospital, sometimes with permanently disabling injuries.” And it is very true that unlike …

Love It or Hate It- NPR Has Mixed Emotions on Ethanol

In American Ethanol, Biofuels, Sustainability by Cathryn

NPR needs an all-hands-on-deck meeting. Recently, the reporters covering ethanol seem to be operating under almost opposing sets of assumptions. Sometimes, they hit it out of the park. Defying anti-ethanol propaganda disguised as conventional wisdom, they cut through the crud and achieve the accuracy journalists value above all. But, sometimes, they fall victim to the trap laid by anti-ethanol activists …

Who Said Conventional Production Is Sustainable?

In Biotechnology, Environmental, Food, Sustainability by Cathryn

When you look at the facts, conventional agriculture scores higher than organic on sustainability. What system generates these results? The new Responsibly Grown labeling system developed by Whole Foods. According to a multitude of media reports, the system will rank produce on a variety of criteria including water use, pesticide use and sustainability. Then, the data will be used to …

The Future for Corn Farming

In Audio, Farming, Sustainability by Cindy

What does the future hold for corn farmers? That was a question addressed at the Bayer CropScience Corn and Soybean Future Forum in Frankfurt, Germany last week, and some farmers gave their views. Iowa Corn Growers chairman Roger Zylstra, who farms in Jasper County, talked about the opportunities and challenges of sustainable corn production. “There are significant challenges right now …

Farmer’s View of Sustainability

In Audio, Environmental, Farming, Sustainability by Cindy

Walmart held a big event last week where the CEOs of major global companies made new commitments toward more sustainable products. Among the food and agribusiness company CEOs taking part were Monsanto, Cargill, Dairy Farmers Incorporated, General Mills and Kellogg, many whom talked about how they will be working with farmers on sustainability goals. Monsanto chairman and CEO Hugh Grant …

Energy Independence No Greased Pig Fantasy

In Activism, American Ethanol, Biofuels, Current News, Environmental, Ethanol, Farming, government, Sustainability, Trade by Mark

There is an old saying…”make hay while the sun is shining.” Dating back to at least 1546 this traditional farmer logic translates into grab opportunity while you can. This has never been truer regarding the nation’s energy situation. A new report by the Energy Information Administration makes that abundantly clear. EIA says the greased pig fantasy of energy independence in …

Seed Treatment Stewardship

In Audio, Farming, Sustainability by Cindy

Seed treatments could arguably be called one of the greatest advancements in agricultural production since the plow. That’s why proper stewardship of this important technology for farmers is so critical. American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) CEO Andy LaVinge says seed industry and agricultural organizations have partnered to develop a new guide for farmers under the industry banner of Seed Treatment …

In World of Polluters Oil Has No Rivals

In Administration, American Ethanol, Biofuels, Conservation, Ethanol, Events, government, Policy, Politics, Sustainability by Mark

They call it black gold and Texas Tea but I prefer to call it environmental anathema; that rare combination of disgrace and abomination.  Better that than using the words that I would like to use that got my mouth washed out with soap as a child. Ok, Thanksgiving is almost upon us so I want to purge a little bile …

Before You Criticize, Take a Look at Your Own Backyard

In Environmental, Farming, Sustainability by Cathryn

In recent conversations about the environment, some fingers have been pointed toward corn farmers. The finger pointers wrongly allege that growing corn emits massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. If you want to see an enviro-villain responsible for a far greater percentage of our nation’s CO2  emissions, just look out your front door. Residential lawns actually emit more …

Corn-based Biopolymers to Replace Petroleum-based Plastics

In Audio, CUTC, Research, Sustainability by Chuck

Finding new uses for corn… and ways to treat our environment a little bit better… were the hot topics at this summer’s Corn Utilization Technology Conference. Jay-lin Jane, Ph.D., Iowa State University, chaired the discussion on how biopolymers made from corn can be a sustainable, renewable, alternative to petroleum-based plastics. “The most common use for this type of material is …