Tag Archives: farm

NO FARM BILL: JUST FOOD AND TAX INFLATION, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

“Congress has failed to  put in place a farm bill for the first time in more than 60 years,” says a reporter for station WBNG in New York State.  U. S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, debates this however: “President … Continue reading

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FARMER SUICIDES REDUCED BY BIOTECH, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

The world’s farm pesticide death toll has been cut radically with biotech seeds that carry their own internal pesticide. A new study in India has found that biotech cotton has reduced pesticide spraying by 50 percent, and spraying of the … Continue reading

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“EXTREME WEATHER”? NOT YET!, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

The death toll from recent “extreme weather events” has been sharply declining since the 1920s, as my valued colleague Indur Goklany has valorously pointed out. Air conditioning, flood control, earthquake proofing and better weather forecasting have all helped. Despite vast media coverage, extreme weather now causes only a half-percent of global deaths. A large part of the gains came through crop production increases using fossil-fueled industrial fertilizers and irrigation pumps. This meant the world had fossil-fueled food to share with countries suddenly caught by devastating (but short- term) drought or flood. Continue reading

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CONFINED LIVESTOCK BETTER FOR THE PLANET, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

Stanford University recently startled the world with its conclusion that conventional high-yield farming is far better for the planet than low-yield farming. And this includes the First World’s current icon, organic farming. We know that high-yield farms need less land to produce the same amount of food, protecting the huge amounts of soil carbon that would be gassed off if we plowed more land for low-yield crops. However, the Stanford study says that high-yield farming may have saved 600 billion tons of CO2 emissions. That’s equal to one-third of the greenhouses gasses emitted from the whole industrial revolution since 1850! Continue reading

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HOW TO PREVENT A “DUST BOWL” AFRICA, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

People and wild species are at more risk in Africa than on any other continent. Huge numbers of people are trying to subsist on hunting scarce animals and unsustainable slash-and-burn farming. If this continues it will undoubtedly trigger a Dust Bowl like that of the American Midwest in the 1930s along with massive famine. Continue reading

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LOSING THE ORGANIC DEBATE, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

Intelligence Squared, a philanthropic foundation, which brings Oxford-style debating to American issues, invited me to be part of a debate on whether the organic food movement is a scam. The invitation was a big deal, with the audio carried nationwide by National Public Radio and the TV shown repeatedly on Bloomberg TV. Continue reading

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NO-TILL FARMING: LANDSLIDE PROTECTION?, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

Vegetable growers in the Philippines are finding that no-till farming not only saves their topsoil but may even lessen the danger of landslides!

Four years of experiments in the Cordillera—the “salad bowl” of the Philippine highlands—show a 50–70 percent reduction in soil erosion because the farmers neither plow nor hand-weed. The region specializes in vegetables because its 6,000-foot elevation keeps the soil cooler and less humid than at sea level hear Manila. However, the steep slopes also mean high risks for both soil erosion and landslides.
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CLIMATE WARMING CREATED FARMING, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

A new study by Dr. Shahal Abbo of Israel says the invention of farming wasn’t due to climate change because farming depends on a relatively stable climate. Dr. Abbo isn’t looking at the picture broadly enough. Continue reading

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USDA MISLEADS ON FARMING’S CLIMATE FUTURE, BY: DENNIS T. AVERY

CHURCHVILLE, VA—The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued new report that attempts to forecast the impact of climate change on American farming in the next 50 years. USDA seems to expect serious climate-related farming problems ahead, but the recent changes … Continue reading

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EXTREME ACTIVISTS TAKE THE REINS AT EPA, BY: ALEX A. AVERY AND DENNIS T. AVERY

The Environmental Protection Agency, in a George Orwellian move, has just announced that it has suddenly decided to put the herbicide atrazine through yet another regulatory wringer, despite having just completed a comprehensive, multi-year regulatory review of the safety of … Continue reading

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