As 2015 comes to an end, we've identified the most popular Delta Farm Press blogs during the year. It's a wide-ranging collection. Check them out.
12. Science and vision are winners in GMO debate How do people respond when exposed to sound science and a clear vision about the benefits of genetically engineered crops? This was perhaps the most important question answered during a recent debate between four scientists, two for genetic engineering and two against it.
11. ‘Ecocide’ trial could have ramifications for future of farming Just when it seems things can’t get any crazier in the activist arena, it does — and the way you farm, and the prices we pay for food, may well be at stake. At the big United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris, there was a press conference to announce that Monsanto will stand trial next year at the Court of International Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, for “ecocide” and “crimes against humanity and nature.”
10. Want a good job? Students should think agriculture... “There has never been a better, more exciting, time for young people to choose careers in agriculture than right now,” says George Hopper. “Opportunities for rewarding, challenging, well-compensated careers are boundless,” he says. “Whether it’s agronomy, or biotechnology, or precision agriculture, food science — you name it, young people choosing ag careers today can play a vital role in the changes that will take place in the years ahead.”
9. Is that fancy tractor really yours? Well, maybe, kinda, sorta The tech magazine Wired created a stir in April with an article by Kyle Wiens, “We Can’t Let John Deere Destroy the Very Idea of Ownership” (http://wrd.cm/1DA5jGT), positing that although you pay a hundred grand or more for a new tractor or $50k for a new GM car, you don’t really own that tractor or car because the company owns and controls the software that makes it do all the things it does.
8. Feed the world? Many consumers don’t see it the way farmers do It’s generally acknowledged that the U.S. is among the most charitable countries of the world. Our humanitarian concerns are legend. There is irony, then, that surveys by the Center for Food Integrity show American consumers rank feeding the rest of the world dead last on their top 10 list of food concerns.
7. Super El Niño causing weather anomalies worldwide Weather scientists now say this year’s “extreme” El Niño weather phenomenon is the strongest ever recorded, which could mean more abnormal winter weather for all of North America. The West, which has suffered major drought in recent years, could see significant flooding, much of the Southwest could be colder than normal with bigger snowfalls, while large areas of the Mid-South and northeast have been experiencing warmer than normal weather.
And the top 6 blogs of 2015 are...
6. Peanut allergy: What the public thinks widely misses the mark “Everywhere I go, the No. 1 thing people want to talk to me about is peanut allergy,” says Ryan Lepicier, vice president of marketing and communications for the National Peanut Board. “They aren’t necessary negative about it — they’re curious. They want to understand it and to determine whether it’s fair to keep peanut butter and peanuts out of schools.”
5. A little perspective provides balance to IARC report on glyphosate A lot of people in agriculture were confused when the International Agency for Research on Cancer, after reviewing a handful of studies, classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had looked at many of the same studies and found that glyphosate was not a carcinogen. What gives?
4. Former Greenpeace activist terms opposition to GMOs ‘crime against humanity’ “The more food we grow per acre, the better it is for nature. The more food we grow per acre, the less of nature has to be cleared to grow our food and fiber crops. Intensive agriculture is important — and that means using science, such as biotechnology and the genetics that we’ve learned in the last couple of decades, in order to improve yields and improve the nutrition of foods.” OK, who do you think said that?
3. Drop in tractor sales forecast in 2015, as much as 20 percent in N. America After a record sales year for new tractors worldwide in 2013, with China and India leading the pack, there was a slight dip in sales in 2014. In North America this year, industry forecasts are for a decline of as much as 20 percent.
2. As ag’s boom cycle wanes, forecasts see downturn through 2017 Agriculture is nothing if not cyclical. There are boom years, there are bust years, and after several years of boom, when prices of some crops hit stratospheric levels — including the long-dreamed-of dollar cotton — farmers are now seeing the other side of the supply/demand/price picture.
1. Good intentions gone awry: Mississippi's ineffective vehicle inspection sticker program finally ends A four decades-old example of government good intentions gone awry will end July 1 when the state of Mississippi halts its requirement for motor vehicles to have inspection stickers. Since the sticker law went into effect (Richard Nixon was president then), millions of man/woman hours have been spent by Mississippians having to take time from work or other pursuits to go to an authorized shop and wait to get a $5 sticker certifying that their vehicle met basic safety criteria.