April Fool's Day came and went this week, and with little notice on our farm. Except for the children who tried to prank me by taping up the faucet sprayer. They only got themselves, when they forgot and flipped on the faucet. I'd like to say you have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool old mom, but really, it had nothing to do with me. They just forgot.
And no fooling: here are five links to stories and information to catch you up on the week in food and agriculture.
Big Data Comes to the Farm, Sowing Mistrust: This from the Wall Street Journal is lengthy but it covers the bases well. And you know it's a big deal if it's in ag and the WSJ is paying attention.
Webinar: How USDA Report Will Impact Crop Prices and your Bottom Line: Two Farm Progress editors are hosting a webinar Monday evening, April 7, at 7 p.m. CDT. Bryce Knorr and Bob Burgdorfer will talk through the bottom line implications of the upcoming USDA report. If you're into markets – and if you're growing corn, you're probably into markets – this is likely something you'll find useful. And, it's free. But you do need to sign up at the above link.
Tell EPA Impact of Water Rule Changes: Give this a read for EPA's proposal to clarify "waters of the United States" that will be regulated under the Clean Water Act, then consider sending EPA an official comment during the next 90 days. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is encouraging farmers to submit an official comment for the record. “Farm ponds and dry creek beds simply should not be regulated as if they are the Missouri River,” he says. This piece comes from my colleague Jacqui Fatka. Jacqui's an excellent ag journalist and if you have any interest in following politics, legal challenges, farm bill updates or regulatory issues, you should add her blog, DC Digest, to your reading list. Bonus farm bill info: FSA offices won't close in 2014.
Borlaug: GMO PR Falls Short: This piece from the Des Moines Register was published a couple weeks ago, but there's a great Q&A with Julie Borlaug, granddaughter of Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug. I'm a fan of this particular exchange: "Does the criticism (of GMOs and "Big Ag") go against Norman Borlaug’s work and message? A. It goes against everything he did. Americans are so ignorant. The reason why we have the lifestyles we have now is because of the advancements in agriculture in the past 100 years. We would not have the lifestyles, we wouldn’t have education, all of that, if we hadn’t progressed like we had and come out of an agrarian system."
We Raise Locally-Grown Food in our CAFO – Is That Possible? This post by farmer Wanda Patsche for Minnesota Farm Living has been all over social media this week, in part because it juxtaposes two food terms that aren't supposed to go together. Worth the read, and the share.