Agriculture

"Buzzkill: EPA Rejects Beekeepers’ Pesticide Petition"

"Beekeepers in the U.S., looking for a way to stop or slow the die-offs devastating their industry, are watching their options dwindle along with the bees. Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rejected a petition [PDF] that beekeepers and environmental groups filed back in March asking EPA to stop sales of clothianidin, a pesticide believed to be harmful to bees. EPA said use of the chemical does not present an “imminent hazard” — the requirement to suspend registration of a pesticide."

Source: Grist, 07/26/2012

EPA Withdraws CAFO Database Rule

EPA says it could instead compile a database partly from information collected by some states. But that information is often spotty and inconsistent — which will make it hard for EPA to compile it and even harder to make useful conclusions from it. And the withdrawal may make it harder to get the information disclosed.

"How Droughts Will Reshape the United States"

"More than half of the continental United States is currently suffering through the worst drought in 50 years, with heat and a lack of rain rippling through the middle of the country. Crops are wilting, soils are cracked, and some dried-out forests are catching fire. U.S. corn production in particular is dwindling. So is this a glimpse at our hotter, drier future? It appears so."

Source: Wash Post, 07/19/2012

"Whose Side Is the American Farm Bureau On?"

"The American Farm Bureau, with its 6 million 'member families' and carefully cultivated grassroots image, talks a good game. In the pitched battle over US farm policy—with agribusiness giants on one side, and small family farmers, organic and local food advocates and environmentalists on the other—the Farm Bureau positions itself as the voice of the farmer."

Source: Nation/FERN, 07/19/2012

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