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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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California Strawberry Commission Report Highlights Farmers’ Global Leadership in Sustainable Agriculture

January 17, 2013 |

News Release – WATSONVILLE, CA, January 16, 2013 – Since first pioneering drip irrigation in the 1970s, California’s strawberry farmers continue to serve as global leaders in developing sustainable strawberry farming practices to reduce negative impacts to air, water and land, according to a report issued today by the California Strawberry Commission.

“Investing in a Sustainable Future” chronicles the contributions of the state’s family farmers to protecting the environment along California’s Central Coast. It captures more than forty years of sustainable practices – from water conservation and ozone protection to pesticide reduction and the broad-based incorporation of organic farming methods among California’s strawberry farmers, said commission officials. Read More

Presidential Report Calls for New “Innovation Ecosystem” for Agricultural Research

December 18, 2012 |

News Release – The Federal Government should launch a coordinated effort to boost American agricultural science by increasing public investments in that economically important domain and rebalancing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research portfolio, according to a new report by an independent, presidentially appointed advisory group. The report also calls for the creation of a network of public-private agricultural “innovation institutes,” to leverage the strengths of government scientists and commercial interests. Read More

N.C. State CEFS Report Lays Out Strategies to Reduce Environmental Impact of Outdoor Hog Production

December 4, 2012 |

Photo Credit: West Wind Farms

News Release – The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) has released a new report entitled Conservation Practices in Outdoor Hog Production Systems: Findings and Recommendations from the Center for Environmental Farming Systems.

The report, written by N.C. State University animal science Research Associate Silvana Pietrosemoli, explains strategies for reducing the environmental impacts of outdoor hog production systems, which can pose environmental risks if not properly managed. Read More

A Primer on Soil – Agricultural Inputs and Their interaction with Soil Ecology

November 27, 2012 |

For most of us soil, or “dirt”, is something to get rid of, even to fear. Millions are spent on television ads to tell us how to fight dirt and win. A farmer’s relationship with the stuff that gets under fingernails, however, is starkly different. To reap a harvest and turn a profit, a farmer must work with dirt, or as one crop advisor calls it, “that black box we call soil.” All inputs, chemicals included, are applied to optimize harvests and net profit. But earth, from which seeds sprout, though seemingly simple in its brownness, is not a single entity; rather it is a complex ecosystem as full of mystery as the depths of the sea. Since it is from the earth that all terrestrial life springs, it is worthy to ask: what of crop plants, agricultural chemicals and this little known realm that absorbs them? Read More

Ohio State University Study Examines How Residents of Rural Food Deserts Access Fresh Produce

October 29, 2012 |

News Release — WOOSTER, Ohio — “Food deserts” are normally thought of as low-income, blighted urban neighborhoods with little access to fresh, reasonably priced fruits and vegetables.

But rural areas, despite their wide-open spaces and fertile farmland, can be food deserts, too.

An Ohio State University Extension community development specialist worked with two student interns to examine this seeming paradox to discover more about people who live in rural food deserts and how they access fresh produce. Read More