January 26, 2012 to January 29, 2012

Guelph Organic Conference of 2012 - Seeds of Cooperation

The 2012 Guelph Organic Conference is a 4-day workshop program with a 2-day Expo (Expo is Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 28-29, only). Offerings include organics for smallholders, livestock management, seed saving, and health benefits of organic food.


"'Zombie' Fly Parasite Killing Honeybees"

"A heap of dead bees was supposed to become food for a newly captured praying mantis. Instead, the pile ended up revealing a previously unrecognized suspect in colony collapse disorder -- a mysterious condition that for several years has been causing declines in U.S. honeybee populations, which are needed to pollinate many important crops."

Source: Scientific American, 01/05/2012

Winter Farmers Markets Provide Hook for Many Ag Issues

The USDA says the number of winter farmers markets rose 38% from 2010 to 2011; 17% the year before. Coverage can include local foods, family-owned vs. corporate enterprises, validity of claims about being family-owned and/or local, food inspections, quality control, state, FDA and USDA regulations, immigration, unemployment, and career changes.

Farm Subsidy Database

The Environmental Working Group annually compiles every recipient of the main US farm subsidy programs and the amount of subsidy they received since 1995, based on USDA data. Browse by state, congressional district and county; national summary; top recipients; payment concentrations; top regions; top programs; or search by zip code, recipient or business name.

"Organic Agriculture May Be Outgrowing Its Ideals"

"TODOS SANTOS, Mexico -- Clamshell containers on supermarket shelves in the United States may depict verdant fields, tangles of vines and ruby red tomatoes. But at this time of year, the tomatoes, peppers and basil certified as organic by the Agriculture Department often hail from the Mexican desert, and are nurtured with intensive irrigation. "

Source: NY Times, 01/02/2012

"Putting Farmland On A Fertilizer Diet"

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a document yesterday that got no attention on the nightly news, or almost anywhere, really. Its title, I'm sure you'll agree, is a snooze: National Nutrient Management Standard. Yet this document represents the agency's best attempt to solve one of the country's -- and the world's -- really huge environmental problems: The nitrogen and phosphorus that pollute waterways."

Source: NPR, 12/15/2011


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