Do you have to be rich to eat organic?
All-natural foods cost much more because of labor-intensive farming, but lower prices may be on the way
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
LESLIE COLE, The Oregonian
Danita Bergseng, pushing her cart along a supermarket produce aisle in Southwest Portland, sings a common refrain about whether or not to buy organic food. She likes the idea, but balks at the prices.
“I would buy it all the time,” says the wife and mother of a 17-year-old son, “if it weren’t so expensive.”
So while wild salmon, organic milk and the lovely landscape of Whole Foods beckon, she can’t go there.
Tips For Saving Time When Planting Alfalfa
Hay and forage Grower
Alfalfa producers can save time in several ways when planting alfalfa in spring, says Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska extension forage specialist. “Spring fieldwork for grain crops often competes with the time needed for late alfalfa plantings,” he explains. He offered the following tips in the most recent issue of the Nebraska Crop Watch newsletter.
What the labels mean
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Marketers love to dazzle consumers with labels that give their products a virtuous air. But what do the terms mean exactly? Here’s a glossary to help you sort out the most common descriptions you’ll see on fresh and processed foods.
Certified organic: Adherence to USDA uniform organic standards (see “How green is your food?” on FD1) has been verified by an independent state or private organization. Oregon Tilth is one of hundreds of accredited certification agencies that inspect farm fields and processors, test soil and water and keep detailed records.
Limits to ethanol’s wild success
By ALAN GUEBERT, Columnist
Farm and Ranch Guide
When biofuel promoters begin to extol the virtues of ethanol, it’s sometimes difficult to determine if their excitement is powered by corn-based fuel or corn-based liquor.
Please don’t misunderstand. Ethanol’s 25-year childhood is over; it’s on a rocket ride no alternative energy source has ever experienced in America.
And, yet, caution signs – some close, others years away – are coming into focus. Farmers, farmer-investors and community leaders in pursuit of new markets, value-added profit and local jobs need to consider these signs because, ethanol, like its cousin ethyl, might deliver a head-splitting hangover.
Selk: One Calving Season Versus Two Calving Seasons
Deciding on the use of one calving season or two calving seasons is a big first decision when producers are choosing calving seasons. Many fall calving seasons have arisen from elongated spring seasons. Two calving seasons fits best for herds with more than 80 cows. To take full advantage of the economies of scale, a ranch needs to produce at least 10 to 20 steer calves in the same season to realize the price advantage associated with increased lot size. Therefore having forty cows in each season as a minimum seems to make some sense.
Monitoring Alfalfa Quality
Hay and Forage Grower
Alfalfa producers and dealers in northern Illinois can still benefit from the Alfalfa Watch project, which helps monitor plant quality, growth and first-cut timing, according to the University of Illinois. The project estimates preharvest quality in the field using the Predictive Equations of Alfalfa Quality (PEAQ) technique. PEAQ predicts fiber and relative feed value (RFV) based on the height of the tallest alfalfa stem and stage of maturity in a sampling area.
Capturing and keeping soil moisture
Peace Country Sun
Soil is the foundation of agricultural production, and water may be the most limiting factor to crop production in Alberta. The ability of soil to store water in times of excess and provide it to growing crops in times of need, is key to successful and sustainable crop management.
“There are various Best Management Practices (BMPs) that increase the conservation of soil moisture,” says Jody Heinz soil quality program agrologist with Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development’s AESA soil quality program, Edmonton. “BMPs are practices that benefit a farm’s soil, water, air and wildlife habitat. They contribute to both the farm’s overall sustainability and the quality of life for the farm family.”
UT Beef and Forage Field Day
June 15, Knoxville, Tenn.
A joint event of the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station and the Eastern Region University of Tennessee (UT) Extension, the field day will begin at 7:30 a.m. with registration and a trade show on the grounds of the Blount Unit of the East Tennessee Research and Education Center.
The field day will feature a panel discussion on trends and patterns in consumer demand for beef, and how consumer preferences relate to cattle producers in Tennessee. Field talks will be presented on topics including how to make culling decisions for the cow herd, factors to consider in bull selection, hay quality and feeding needs, controlling weeds in pastures, and other pasture management tips.
Following a sponsored beef brisket lunch, Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training will be offered if enough participants preregister for this optional training.
Preregistration is requested by June 9. For more information contact Patricia Daniels, UT Institute of Agriculture marketing and communications, at (865) 974-7141.
Kansas State Beef Newsletters Available
The Kansas State Extension beef and feedlot newsletters are available in Adobe acrobat formula by clicking below:
Meat Processing Newsletter