"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced new data indicating the organic industry continues to grow domestically and globally, with 24,650 certified organic operations in the United States, and 37,032 around the world.
The 2016 count of U.S. certified organic farms and businesses reflects a 13 percent increase between the end of 2015 and 2016, continuing the trend of double digit growth in the organic sector. The number of certified operations has increased since the count began in 2002 and this is the highest growth rate since 2008."
“Foods should be investigated as a potential source of spread of Clostridium difficile, according to research.”
"Farmers are poised to be heroes in the life of the monarch butterfly, which has begun its yearly migration in the face of a dwindling habitat. Tools from the BASF Living Acres Monarch Challenge will help farmers build the habitat monarchs need to make their way north with a vital sidekick: milkweed.
“Milkweed is critical to the monarch throughout its lifecycle, but can be difficult to grow,” said Laura Vance, Biology Project Leader, BASF. “The Living Acres Monarch Challenge is a program that helps farmers create more milkweed habitat alongside their production acres to increase the monarch population.”
The first 500 farmers to join the Monarch Challenge at www.MonarchChallenge.com will receive 18 butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) seedlings, a hose, gloves and a guide book to help them create this important habitat. Planting milkweed seedlings is one of the easiest ways to start a habitat that will sustain itself for years to come."
"Food is the ultimate technology.
It might not have circuits, touchscreens, or an app store, but of all the tech we’ve ever developed as humans, nothing else has had such a direct and significant impact on our progress as a species.
It was agriculture — the cultivation of edible things — that made it possible for humans to progress from nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes and develop settlements, cities, and civilization in general. Later, advances in agricultural technology — things like grain storage, steel plows, and mechanical threshers — allowed us to produce food surpluses, support larger populations, and colonize every corner of this rich, round planet. Food is undoubtedly one of our greatest technological achievements."
“Canada’s ambassador to Washington said Tuesday night that President Donald Trump is wrong when he says Canada’s trade practices in the dairy industry are ”very unfair."
Ambassador David MacNaughton said in a letter to the governors of Wisconsin and New York that Canada is aware of their letter to Trump asking him to address Canadian dairy practices.
“Canada does not accept the contention that Canada’s dairy policies are the cause of financial loss for dairy farmers in the United States,” MacNaughton said.
He said the facts don’t bear that out and attached a U.S. Department of Agriculture dairy outlook report that “clearly indicates the poor results in the U.S. sector are due U.S. and global overproduction.”"
The US has also successfully hiding that it subsidizes its own farmers with the Farm Bill.
"The Canadian Food Inspection Agency released [a report on glyphosate residues in food (PDF format)](a report on glyphosate residues in food (PDF format) last week, and the headlines were not positive.
Global News and other media outlets said CFIA scientists found glyphosate in nearly 30 percent of Canadian food samples.
The headlines were accurate, but did they reflect the actual health risk to Canadians?
Aline Dimitri, the CFIA’s deputy chief food safety officer and executive director, said Canadians don’t need to worry about glyphosate in food.
“At the end of the day, what this (report) is saying to us is that the Canadian food system is safe,” she said."
"Jocelyn Beaudette will be appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer of the Canadian Grain Commission as of June 19, 2017, reporting to Chief Commissioner, Patti Miller. The current Chief Operating Officer, Gord Miles, retires at the end of June.
During her 26 years with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Beaudette has acquired a wide range of skills and experience working with the agriculture industry in the areas of marketing and trade, strategic policy and program delivery. She has formed and enhanced strong collaborative partnerships with various levels of government and industry stakeholders."
“Cover crops long have been touted for their ability to reduce erosion, fix atmospheric nitrogen, reduce nitrogen leaching and improve soil health, but they also may play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change on agriculture.”
"CORRECTION – The headline of this story originally stated glyphosate was found in 4 percent of food samples. The correct number is 1.3 per cent of food samples. Glyphosate was found in 4 percent of grain samples.
Health Canada has found that glyphosate exceeds maximum residue limits in grain products about four percent of the time.
The finding is from a Canadian Food Inspection Agency document that an agency employee emailed to U.S. Right to Know, a non-profit group that campaigns for a transparent food system."
“Soon, the lettuce in your salad may come from a so-called vertical farm. Vertical farming, growing fruit and vegetables in tall buildings without daylight, is on the rise around the globe. This year, the Dutch town Dronten will be home to the first European vertical farm. Staay Food Group is building a nine-story-building, in which their company Fresh Care Convenience will cultivate various types of lettuce.”
– Knoa Helps GROWMARK Boost Performance and Adoption With SAP® UEM and SAP HANA® Enterprise Cloud | AgroNews
“Knoa Software, a leading provider of user experience management (UEM) software, recently announced that GROWMARK, Inc., a regional agricultural cooperative spanning more than 40 states and Ontario, Canada, is utilizing SAP® User Experience Management (SAP UEM) by Knoa to optimize employee interactions with applications deployed in SAP HANA® Enterprise Cloud, SAP’s comprehensive private managed cloud offering. GROWMARK is using SAP UEM analytics to increase user adoption and improve performance of its applications.”
– Monsanto Surpasses Pollinator Habitat Goal, Doubles Number of Certified Conservation Sites | AgroNews
"Monsanto Company announced recently that it has reached key milestones in protecting species and promoting sustainable landscapes, two major components of its biodiversity strategy. Companies have a responsibility to protect and preserve biodiversity. Not only is it necessary to sustain life, provide habitat for wildlife, address climate change and protect waterways, biodiversity is also critical to agriculture and the ability to discover and develop new products for farmers.
In fiscal year 2016, Monsanto established 72 habitats at company sites across the U.S. for monarch butterflies and other pollinators. The company also doubled the number of its sites certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), going from 15 to 31 over the last year. As part of WHC’s Conservation Certification program, these certifications are built on the best practices of global recognition programs that implement meaningful wildlife habitat management and conservation education programs."
"Unless you’ve been asleep for the past 20-plus years, you know organic fruits and vegetables are big business.
More than a quarter of shoppers typically buy organic produce in a given year, according to The Packer’s Fresh Trends survey.
Where there’s money to made, it’s no surprise some operators may try to nab the premium organics fetch without paying the price of certifying their operations by the book.
For some, the U.S. Department of Agriculture organic seal is worth ripping off despite possible legal repurcussions."
– Sat Nav for Bread Wheat Uncovers Hidden Genes: Most Comprehensive Analysis Yet Will Enhance Food Security – ScienceDaily
“Over two billion people worldwide rely on wheat as a staple food, but attempts to sequence its genome have been thwarted by its complexity. Scientists have now developed new methods, creating the most complete picture to date including over 20,000 genes completely absent from earlier assemblies or found only as fragments. The methods and results have been made freely available for other researchers and breeders to use.”
“A gene that influences grain yield in grasses related to food crops has been discovered by a team of scientists.”
"April 18 (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump promised on Tuesday to defend American dairy farmers who say they have been hurt by Canada’s protectionist trade practices, during a visit to the cheese-making state of Wisconsin.
Canada’s dairy sector is protected by high tariffs on imported products and controls on domestic production as a means of supporting prices that farmers receive. It is frequently criticized by other dairy-producing countries.
“We’re also going to stand up for our dairy farmers,” Trump said in Kenosha, Wisconsin. “Because in Canada some very unfair things have happened to our dairy farmers and others.”
Trump did not go into detail about his concerns, but promised his administration would call the Canadian government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and demand an explanation."
"Nematodes are a huge threat to agriculture since they parasitize important crops such as wheat, soybean, and banana; but plants can defend themselves. Researchers at Bonn University, together with collaborators from the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, identified a protein that allows plants to recognize a chemical signal from the worm and initiate immune responses against the invaders. This discovery will help to develop crop plants that feature enhanced protection against this type of parasites. The work is published in the current issue of PLoS Pathogens.
Plant-parasitic nematodes are microscopic worms that parasitize their host plants to withdraw water and nutrients. The feeding process seriously damages the host plant. Nematode infection distorts root and shoot structure, compromises the plant´s ability to absorb nutrients from soil, and eventually reduces crop yield. Yearly losses exceed ten percent in important crops such as wheat, soybean, and banana. In addition to causing direct damage, nematode infection also provides an opportunity for other pathogens to invade and attack the host plants.
Until now, near to nothing was known about the general innate immune response of plants against nematodes. A team of researchers at the University of Bonn, in cooperation with scientists from the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, has now identified a gene in thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana), called NILR1, that helps plants sense nematodes. “The NILR1 is the genetic code for a receptor protein that is localized to the surface of plant cells and is able to bind and recognize other molecules,” says Prof. Florian Grundler, chair at the Department of Molecular Phytomedicine at the University of Bonn. “NILR1 most probably recognizes a molecule from nematodes, upon which, it becomes activated and immune responses of plants are unleashed.”"
"Canola rose again on Wednesday and this time new crop contracts also gained ground.
Old crop has been rising on expectations of tight year end stocks. Today there was a little concern about weather-delayed spring field work. Cloudy weather is not helping to dry fields and some light rain is in the forecast for parts of the Prairies.
Canola was also supported by rising soybeans and soy oil as well as a weaker loonie, which fell about a half cent.
The Canadian market is also preparing for the Statistics Canada seeding intentions report Friday morning.
Soybeans bounced a little higher after two days of losses.
Corn was mostly unchanged and wheat was down a little as recent rains have inproved the conditions of the U.S. winter wheat crop."