Agriculture

Show Only... Charts / Google Maps / Maps / Photos

Home
Topics
Places
Country Life
Goats
Hogs
Maple Syrup
Milk
Working Land

Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

A New Vaccine Campaign Could Be The First Step In Wiping Out ‘Goat Plague’

"The virus was first identified in Ivory Coast in 1942 and has spread to some 70 countries since then. It is quite good at spreading, both by animal-to-animal contact and through the air. "It's very, very contagious," says Adesogan.

It has not reached the United States because our quarantine measures and our control of animal imports keep sick animals out. Since the acute form of the disease lasts only a week or two, quarantines definitely work. Nor has it been reported in Europe.

Now there's an effort to eradicate the disease by 2030 — to wipe it out just as its relative, the cattle plague called rinderpest, was officially eliminated in 2011 after decades of effort. The key is to vaccinate the herds with a shot administered in the neck or rump. The problem up until now has been that the freeze-dried vaccine was only effective if kept at about 39 degrees Fahrenheit. And there isn't a lot of refrigeration available in many parts of the world where the virus lurks."

Farmers And Ranchers Are Completely Screwed By American Healthcare

"A new USDA-funded study led by researchers at the University of Vermont surveyed a thousand farmers and ranchers scattered among ten representative states (CA, WA, UT, NE, MI, KY, MS, PA, VT, MA). The survey aimed to find out exactly what the realities and concerns are among workers in the agricultural field about their healthcare in order to better understand the impact of the Affordable Care Act on farmers—and help inform policy going forward."

"The findings are pretty grim. Twenty-four percent of farmers aged 18 to 64 purchased a plan on the healthcare exchange, which doesn’t sound like all that much until you learn that 72 percent of farmers are forced to get a second job, primarily for healthcare purposes. With a whopping 64 percent of farmers and ranchers reporting a pre-existing condition, the state of that provision within American healthcare is paramount; almost half of all the farmers and ranchers surveyed are concerned they’ll have to sell land or equipment to pay for healthcare."

It’s time for vegans to get real

"But it’s all different now, of course. Vegans can afford to criticise current farming systems on the back of the modern lifestyle, which they enjoy. But they should remember that all of the great industrial and technological breakthroughs achieved by mankind have their origins in the agricultural revolution that started some 10,000 years ago.

Had it not been for the intensification of farming practices, the opportunities to achieve all of these other wonderful breakthroughs would never have happened.
Or let me put it another way. Our forefathers only got the chance to think about the bigger picture once they, no longer, had to spend all day hunting and foraging for food. In essence, farmers took over this responsibility on their behalf."

Researchers test self-destructing moth pest in cabbage patch

"Researchers in a New York cabbage patch are planning the first release on American soil of insects genetically engineered to die before they can reproduce. It’s a pesticide-free attempt to control invasive diamondback moths, a voracious consumer of cabbage, broccoli and other cruciferous crops that’s notorious for its ability to shrug off every new poison in the agricultural arsenal."

"Shelton is doing field tests of gene-altered moths at Cornell’s Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, 160 miles west of Albany. Those experiments began in 2015, but until now were restricted to net-covered plots to keep the moths from straying. Now, he’s awaiting a permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to release the moths freely in a 10-acre cabbage patch at the research center. He hopes to do that this summer."