Renewable Farming

Month: September 2015

France joins Germany, Scotland, Greece and Latvia to ban GMO crops

French ag and ecology ministries announced today, Sept. 17, they’ll ask the European Commission to “opt out” France from growing genetically modified crops in France. This will include corn traits already approved or awaiting European Union authorization. Four other nations took this route earlier under an EU provision allowing member states to decide independently whether …

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Sound of a chewing caterpillar triggers a plant’s chemical defenses

AgWeb is currently reporting a University of Missouri study released last year documenting how a flowering plant sharply increased its production of mustard oils when it “hears” the sound of a chewing caterpillar.  Caterpillar on leaf The university release includes a brief video which replays the sound, so you can hear what the plant hears. The plant …

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The rest of September… loaded with omens of uncertainty

From Sept. 11 through the end of September, the juxtaposition of so many prophetic or unique global events crowd these days that you’re probably seeing a burst of “prepper” warnings…  draw all your cash from the bank… stock up food.. major shock… debt collapse. Our view is that whatever happens, a farm family anchored on good land …

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Will “sudden death” of corn and beans lead to changed yield estimates?

Sept. 10 — Reports from southeast Iowa through central Illinois signaled that corn and soybeans are dying prematurely, at a rapid pace. Several agronomists offer reasons why: Warm weather, shallow rooting from a wet spring, early planting and thus early maturity. We could see yield estimates backing off. And, if corn is infected with the …

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This was a season when side-dress and foliar N paid off well for corn

Cornfields are “dying down” along Interstate 80 through Illinois and Iowa — with some exceptions. Those which are still a vibrant green from base leaves to tassel are typically fields fed late-season nitrogen.  One of the more effective ways to feed substantial amounts of 28% or 32% nitrogen is the “Y-Drop” setup: A ground sprayer …

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Dr. Jonathan Latham

The tangled web woven by biotech firms, universities, GMO lobbyists

For the first time, farmers and other citizens are gaining a glimpse of the backchannel influences orchestrated by the big biotech firms. Part of the story broke Sept. 5 in a front-age New York Times feature by Eric Lipton: “Food Industry Enlisted Academics in G.M.O. Lobbying War, Emails Show.” Lipton wrote his feature based on emails and …

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State of California publishes intent to list glyphosate as carcinogenic

On Sept. 4, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment published a “Notice of Intent” to list glyphosate and three other ag chemicals as known to cause cancer.  Such a listing would not bar use of the chemicals, but would require a warning label.  The details of the agency’s intended rule are shown on the state’s …

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Ready for climate change? We’re talking about global COOLING

Through the 1970s, media alarmists were warning the world that atmospheric pollution would soon propel our globe into a new Ice Age.  The “news” headlines grew successively more terrifying until about 1979, when a decade of very inconclusive temperature trends wore out the public’s willingness to listen to warnings about the wolf of global cooling.  The …

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