Renewable Farming

Month: November 2015

Paris: What the politicians are trying to control is you, not the climate

Here are three of the most curious contradictions of the climate conference opening in Paris this week: 1. Although “climate change” hardly registers as a concern of the average U.S. or E.U. citizen (for good reasons), Western politicians persist in promoting a UN pact as one of the greatest urgencies to save the planet. Britain has already …

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Argentine doctors call for sharp restrictions on crop pesticides — especially glyphosate

A “Congress of Physicians” in Argentina, representing regions heavily sprayed with ag pesticides, today released a new declaration demanding immediate curbs on ag pesticides which they see as responsible for worsening health in their population. To fully understand the facts and their determination, here’s the link to the Declaration of the third national congress of physicians …

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Farmers in California’s Central Valley struggle while the ground under them sinks

Some localities in California’s Central Valley are sinking as much as 2 inches a month as farmers pump massive volumes of irrigation water during this extended regional drought. A feature in The Guardian newspaper by Suzanne Goldenberg details the dilemma. California’s drought is one of the “poster stories” propelling emotions at the upcoming COP21 climate conference in …

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EPA suspension of Enlist Duo registration could be temporary

Several environmental groups are celebrating yesterday’s “revocation” of EPA’s approval for the herbicide Enlist Duo, a combination of 2,4-D and glyphosate. However, EPA’s language in responding to litigation indicates EPS’s “vacatur” or setting aside a registration, as more of a pause to reconsider than a permanent cancellation. EPA officials haven’t responded to our phone message as of Nov. 25. …

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Expansion of cover crops stimulates search for “burndown” alternative to glyphosate

Cover crop benefits to soil biology keep multiplying with new evidence: More species means a widening spectrum of beneficial soil organisms and helpful insects to combat pests and pathogens. However, “terminating” cover crops with glyphosate imposes another exposure to a non-selective herbicide which is a well-established biocide against specific beneficial soil bacteria.  We’ve experimented with various …

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For every insect pest, there are hundreds of beneficial insects… if you encourage them

First,  here’s a link where you can download a new, free, 16-page guide to “Cover cropping for pollinators and beneficial insects.”  It’s from SARE — Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education. Now, some reasons why variety in cover crops helps your entire farm ecology. Adding variety in your cover crop species multiplies habitat for beneficial insects — …

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A food movie — “Consumed” — could come to a theater near you

About five years ago, a Mr. Dave Murphy phoned us here at Renewable Farming LLC and asked if he could visit with us at a convenient time and location. Dave was organizing a nationwide campaign he called “Food Democracy Now.”   Our family thought that if such a group could have an impact on farmers — our clients — we should …

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WakeUP Summer doubled corn yield gain in Nebraska foliar nutrient trial

Foliar feeding corn with the Aurora, NE Cooperative’s “Attain” micronutrient alone added an average of 2.7 bu. onto 275-bu. corn in a random-rep trial this season. Including WakeUP Summer in the tank mix as a surfactant and nutrient carrier pushed that yield gain to almost 6 bu. per acre.  The professional research firm reported the average yield increase …

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