"Are We Heading Toward Peak Fertilizer?"

"You've heard of peak oil—the idea that the globe's easy-to-get-to petroleum reserves are largely cashed, and most of what's left is the hard stuff, buried in deep-sea deposits or tar sands. But what about peak phosphorus and potassium? ...These nutrients, which are essential for plants to grow, are extracted from soil every time we harvest crops, and have to be replaced if farmland is to remain productive."

Source: Mother Jones, 12/03/2012

"Cornstalks Everywhere But Nothing Else, Not Even A Bee"

Cornfields -- which occupy a big fraction of U.S. farmland -- differ from normal ecosystems in that they are nearly sterile ecologically. Breeding and spraying aim to prevent anything from living but corn.

"We'll start in a cornfield — we'll call it an Iowa cornfield in late summer — on a beautiful day. The corn is high. The air is shimmering. There's just one thing missing — and it's a big thing...

...a very big thing, but I won't tell you what, not yet.

Source: NPR, 12/03/2012

"Livestock Falling Ill in Fracking Regions"

"In the midst of the domestic energy boom, livestock on farms near oil-and-gas drilling operations nationwide have been quietly falling sick and dying. While scientists have yet to isolate cause and effect, many suspect chemicals used in drilling and hydrofracking, or fracking, operations are poisoning animals through the air, water or soil."

Source: FERN Network, 11/30/2012

"Organic Farmers Condemn U.S. Report, Claim It Favors GMO"

"Organic growers and food safety advocates on Tuesday condemned an advisory report to the Agriculture Department claiming its recommendations would be costly for farmers who want to protect their conventional crops from being contaminated by genetically modified (GMO), also known as genetically engineered (GE), varieties."

Source: Reuters, 11/21/2012


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