study links antibiotics to veggies;
alerts processors to monitor crop sourcing
Livestock antibiotics in manure may end up in vegetables in levels
that could impact human health, according to a University of Minnesota
study published in the Journal of Environmental Quality.
An account in MeatProcess.com
said the study will add to consumer anxiety about the safety of
food, and increases the importance of vigilant sourcing of vegetables
by food processors.
Farmers demand USDA
enact real grazing rules
with real enforcement for all organic dairies
The nation’s largest organic dairy farmer organization has
issued a call for US organic standards to require at least 120 days
of pasture per growing season during which cows will consume at
least 30 percent of their feed through grazing.
The Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA) and its
counterparts in the Midwest and West put out these numbers ahead
of the meeting April 19 of the National Organic Standards Board
(NOSB) in State College, Pennsylvania. The groups also went on record
calling for all animals brought into an organic dairy herd be certified
organically raised from the last third of their gestation, with
all young stock being kept under continuous organic management.
In its advanced rulemaking notice posted in Federal Register today
(April 13), the USDA provides background showing it has received
farm comments contesting these minimum requirements, which are precisely
what the NOSB recommend in February be part of the official Organic
System Plan for each certified organic dairy.
NOSB site tracking its meeting, and comments submitted:
farm subsidies going to larger operations
New number crunching shows that in 2003 (the latest year analyzed),
half of all federal crop subsidies went to farms with household
incomes of more than $75,772. This is up from $55,607 in 1997 and
$47,121 in 1991, after adjusting for inflation, according to USDA
The Des Moines Register reported that in Iowa, one-fourth of the
subsidies went to households making more than $137,625 in 2003.
"More and more production is starting to shift into some very
large operations," said James MacDonald, who led the USDA study.
NE-SARE grants awarded
for biodiesel training, soil quality testing
Projects to teach farmers how to make biodiesel fuel and to work
with farmers on soil quality testing and management were part of
$2.8 million in grants announced recently by the Northeast Sustainable
Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program.
Other types of funded projects include training for extension agents
how to teach tactical agriculture and funds to develop a curriculum
in ecologically based weed management.
New primer advises small-scale
farmers on avian flu risks,
outlines special situations for free-range poultry farmers
Dead Birds Don’t Fly: An Avian Flu Primer for Small-Scale
Farmers, by Lindsey Hillesheim, Ph.D., is designed for farmers with
free-range or pasture poultry operations. It covers the basic biology
of avian influenza in birds and humans to help evaluate the risk
of an avian flu infection in flocks. This primer offers a basic
description of H5N1 Avian flu, how it can spread, how to reduce
risks of infection of poultry and workers, and appropriate responses
in the event of an outbreak.
The publication comes from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade
The primer can be found at:
grants, programs and other support
for starting, promoting and running farmers’ markets
The new Farmers’ Market Resource Guide lists grants, programs
and other financial and information resources available from public
and private organizations. The 53-page publication by the USDA’s
Agricultural Marketing Service gives details about more than 100
projects and grants available to help start or improve farmers markets.
Topic areas include logistics and promotion of markers, producer
training, customer education and ways to link markets with local