Friday, April 20, 2012

Ethan's Farm And Food Roundup

EthanFor a farmer in Indiana, a no-till farming approach may provide answers to one of farming’s challenges, the maintenance of healthy soil. No-till farming uses crop rotation and cover crops, resulting in nutrient rich soil that yields quality products with a cost savings to the farmer and an environmental benefit for the planet.

And for more about soil... The key to delicious vegetables and produce depends on more than just water and sunlight. Flavor and overall nutrition have almost everything to do with your soil, and the overall composition of nitrogen, oxygen, and organic matter that are thriving around the roots of your plants.

Farmers in 2012 are ready to begin planting their corn for the season, which will set the record for the earliest start to the growing season in history. The data was based on averages from Illinois and surrounding states, and is trending towards earlier dates than the classic May 1st start date that farmers are used to.

In a story we covered a few weeks ago in the roundup, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources declared free-range heritage breed farm pigs “invasive,” and issued that farmers needed to get rid of them before April 1st. Backing up their statement, the DNR has been sending out special teams to slaughter the pigs and assess penalties and fines to the farmers that still had their pigs.

The state of Connecticut is in the process of reviewing legislation on the labeling of GMO foods, and organic farmers in the state hope to see a rise in sales if the bill goes through. “When we crafted the bill, that was one of the things in mind: Organics will profit with labeling. It's a wonderful way to raise the consciousness of consumers," explained Robert Burns, a Connecticut organic farmer who is in favor of the bill.

Although you may think that your plants are low on the IQ scale, they can actually communicate, measure time, ward of predators and even use camouflage. Check out this list of things you may not have expected from your backyard plants!

In the ongoing struggle for family dairy farmers to stay in business, there was a sad end for a Vermont dairy farm as the family running it has given up after 133 years. Take a look at this news report:

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