Why So Many States Want to Ban China From Owning Farmland
“foreign investors hold just 3.1 percent of all privately owned agricultural land in the United States, according to the most recent USDA report, which covers through the end of 2021. The numbers vary by state, but overall, investors from Canada own the most, and foreign-owned land was most often timber or forest.”
“Chinese investors own less than 1 percent of foreign-owned acreage nationwide. The total share of acreage owned by foreign investors and entities has been growing rapidly over the past few decades, but the overall numbers remain small.”
Robert Reich Is Wrong: ‘Corporate Greed’ Isn’t To Blame for Egg Prices
“A widespread avian flu outbreak devastated the poultry industry in 2022, causing the deaths of more than 43 million hens. December egg inventories were down nearly 30 percent from the year before, just in time for the holiday baking season. Under the basic rules of economics, a persistent drop in supply leading into a time of increased demand is bound to have this result.”
Hidden inside the Inflation Reduction Act: $20 billion to help fix our farms
“Farms cover roughly 40 percent of the country, and they’ve replaced countless ecosystems with vast fields of soybeans, corn, and cattle. Agriculture also accounts for about 11 percent of US greenhouse gas emissions.”
“The biggest chunk of money — roughly $8.5 billion — goes toward a program run by the US Department of Agriculture called the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. It pays for projects that restore the ecosystem or reduce emissions on farmland.
Farmers often use the money to buy and plant cover crops. These are plants, such as clover, radishes, or rye, that are rooted in fields that might otherwise be fallow to improve the health of the soil and prevent erosion. The idea is that the ground is always “covered” with something.
Cover crops also have a range of other superpowers, said Rob Myers, director of the Center for Regenerative Agriculture at the University of Missouri. During a drought, for example, they can lock moisture in the soil; during a flood, meanwhile, they help water more easily penetrate the ground.”
‘Enormous’ fertilizer shortage spells disaster for global food crisis
“A global fertilizer crunch is threatening to further starve a planet that’s already going hungry.
Officials at the United Nations and beyond are stepping up warnings about the mounting crisis for fertilizers — an essential substance to boost soil fertility — as vulnerable countries in areas such as Africa grapple with prices that have soared by 300 percent since Russia’s war in Ukraine began.
The continent, where smallholder farmers feed the majority of people, is already lacking 2 million metric tons of fertilizer, according to the African Development Bank. The high price of fertilizers will mean less food at a time when people need it most, with more frequent bouts of extreme weather and the Ukraine war still leaving import-dependent countries insecure. Farmers in Europe are feeling similar strains, though to a lesser degree.”
“Making fertilizers is an energy-intensive process, especially for nitrogen-based fertilizers, which use natural gas as an essential ingredient. That means the price of fertilizers tends to correspond with energy costs.
“The increased price is [a] burden for all farmers in the world, but the burden is even higher for those farmers in developing countries that have less financial capacities and organisation to purchase the fertilisers than the European ones,” an EU official wrote to POLITICO.”
“Fertilizer prices were high even before Russia invaded Ukraine, which prompted a further 50 percent spike, according to the European Commission.
The war in Ukraine has exacerbated the problem because of Russia’s outsized role in the world fertilizer market. It’s the world’s top exporter of nitrogen fertilizers, the second largest supplier of potassium and the third-largest exporter of phosphorus fertilizers.
Since its invasion of Ukraine in February, shipping costs and energy prices have gone up. Europe’s fertilizer producers now warn of shortages if the Continent’s imports of natural gas from Russia continue to fall.”
Gene editing could upend the future of factory farming — for better or worse
“Each year at America’s egg hatcheries, as many as 300 million male chicks are gruesomely killed — usually by being ground up alive or gassed — since they can’t lay eggs and have been bred to be too small to be worth the effort of raising for meat. Researchers around the world are using transgenic engineering and gene-editing tools in an attempt to solve this chicken and egg dilemma.”
Hog farming has a massive poop problem