Category Archives: Agriculture

Dearth of worms blamed for dramatic decline in UK songbird population

From the independent.co.uk

Britain’s first farmland worm survey reveals nearly half of English fields lack key types of earthworm and may help explain a 50 per cent fall in song thrush numbers.

Britain’s first farmland worm survey has revealed that nearly half of English fields lack key types of earthworm and may help explain the alarming decline of one of the country’s most loved songbirds.

The citizen science project, in which farmers dug for worms in their own fields, has prompted 57 per cent of them to pledge to change their soil management practices – a move that may benefit the song thrush, for whom worms are a vital food source.

The English population of the song thrush, popular for both its voice and its habit of using stones as an “anvil” to smash the shells of its other favourite food – snails – declined by more than 50 per cent between 1970 and 1995, leading to it being listed as a species of conservation concern.

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https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/worm-survey-songbird-decline-reasons-cause-60minworms-song-thrush-farming-earthworms-magpies-rspb-a8794796.html?fbclid=IwAR3Cm9fmfzC3xiBqSA-yUglVuqYsTwr0V7aD3ivU46HcEDY3zqA3VR1CE7U

 

RELATED ARTICLE:

Major survey finds worms are rare or absent in 40% of fields

https://www.fwi.co.uk/arable/land-preparation/soils/major-survey-finds-worms-are-rare-or-absent-in-20-of-fields?fbclid=IwAR0wzghf3h9VzHByaPM6J7-Nymje03MGx2m-Hu0cxUIEt9VP0IUHqcZg8ks

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A must see interview with Horowhenua’s Mayor about Hemp – by Vinny Eastwood

A very interesting interview here with the Mayor of Horowhenua Michael Feyen. It is about more than just hemp. Much discussion also around Local Govt and the changes that have come about. He also speaks to the corporatized former Govt departments something I’ve mentioned here for a long time. (Your local council, see at the link, is listed on Dun & Bradstreet). Very on topic in light of what we are seeing NZ wide with LG, and also enlightening on the hemp topic. Something I will be researching myself in the near future I’ve decided after watching this. For further info on the Horowhenua Council visit our LG Watch pages. Mayor Feyen is keen to promote employment opportunities in his district. He is also committed to Treaty Partnership.

http://brainfeed.tv/2018/10/09/mayor-michael-feyen-on-industrial-hemp-allcaps-podcast-10/

Soil levels of organic carbon & nitrogen have declined following 50 yrs of synthetic nitrogen fertilization – the dark side of nitrogen fertilizers

Published on Mar 2, 2010

This video describes how 50 years of synthetic nitrogen fertilization has decreased soil organic matter in the Morrow Plots, the oldest experiment field in the U.S. Shown speaking is Richard Mulvaney, Professor of Soil Fertility at the University of Illinois. For more information about the study, go to http://jeq.scijournals.org/cgi/reprin… and http://www.nitrogennews.com.

New Meta-Analysis Reveals Extensive Phenotypic Differences Between GMO and Non-GMO Cultivated Plants

Written By:

GMWatch Reporter

greenmedinfo.com

Claims of “substantial equivalence” of GM plants again shown to be false

The myth of “substantial equivalence” between GM crops and their closest non-GM relatives (called “isolines”) has taken yet another scientific hit, this time from a new peer-reviewed paper discussed in an article on the website Hygeia Analytics.

The researchers from Mexico City published their meta-analysis of genetic data on rice, canola, maize, sunflower, and pumpkin. They looked at wild, GMO, and non-GMO cultivated varieties of these five crops, analyzing phenotypic change.

The phenotype of a crop is defined by a set of characteristics expressed by the crop’s genetic code (DNA). In theory, genetically engineered plants will show phenotypic changes only linked to the traits that scientists added to the GMO in the hope that they will be expressed. For example, a corn plant engineered to express the Bt toxin should not be different from normal corn in other ways.

 

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http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/new-meta-analysis-reveals-extensive-phenotypic-differences-between-gmo-and-non-gm

© [Article Date] GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.

 

If you love spraying Roundup around your farm or property, you really should watch this documentary

Kiwis love this product. They spray it everywhere, on their sections, garden edges, berms, parks, schools, their gardens even ready for new planting. And farmers, it’s whole fields since the Ag text books recommend it. Even though it’s produced large tumours in lab rats (independent research). Please read our Glyphosate pages on all of the above. You will be surprised. Farmers were told it was ‘safe as houses’ virtually.

Published on Aug 2, 2015

Monsanto’s controversial past combines some of the most toxic products ever sold with misleading reports, pressure tactics, collusion, and attempted corruption. They now race to genetically engineer (and patent) the world’s food supply, which profoundly threatens our health, environment, and economy. Combining secret documents with first-hand accounts by victims, scientists, and politicians, this widely praised film exposes why Monsanto has become the world’s poster child for malignant corporate influence in government and technology.

Next Story No Yard? No Problem: 5 DIY Garden Projects For People Who Don’t Have Space For A Garden

From collective-evolution.com

Gardening can be such a rewarding hobby for you, your family, your neighbours and some friends as well as there is much to benefit from. Aside from being rewarding for your mind and soul, it is also physically rewarding because you actually get to harvest the “fruits of your labor.”

Being able to grow your own food means that you have COMPLETE control over what you are putting into you and your family’s bodies. You get to pick the seeds, the soil and the water that is being used to grow your fruits and veggies. That means completely organic, GMO free, fresh food could be right at your fingertips!

The majority of the produce in your local grocery store has traveled for a long time to get from where it was harvested to your grocery store and then eventually, your kitchen table. Did you know that fresh fruits and vegetables lose many of their nutrients during this traveling process? Not to mention all of the resources that it takes for this food to actually travel to you.

To be able to grow even some of your own fresh fruits and vegetables ensures that you are getting quality, wholesome, nutrient rich food, and you are doing your part for the environment as well.

Now imagine if everyone adopted some of these simple gardening practices, how amazing would that be? This not only brings us one step closer to becoming self-sufficient, but it also will majorly cut down all of the emissions from the big trucks and planes that are transporting this produce. So here are 5 simple gardening projects for people who don’t have a garden!

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http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/04/05/no-yard-no-problem-5-diy-garden-projects-for-people-who-dont-have-space-for-a-garden/

Clean, green New Zealand is a lie – and a warning for Britain’s countryside

If you don’t believe NZ is polluted to the hilt type pollution &/or water into the searchbox. Or go to categories. We are also slathered relentlessly with toxic poisons including 1080 and glyphosate. The headline is correct, clean and green is a complete and utter lie.
EnvirowatchRangitikei

From theguardian.com

Michael Gove plans to cut farmers’ subsidies while enhancing the environment post-Brexit. New Zealand’s cattle-wrecked land shows the folly of his thinking

There can’t be a more successful tourism marketing campaign than “100% Pure New Zealand”. And New Zealand is seen as a world leader in another respect: how its farmers sell their food globally without government subsidies. But the tension between these two successes has been exposed by Sir Tim Smit, the co-founder of the Eden Project in Cornwall.

Smit has sparked a minor international incident by declaring that New Zealand is “so pure the people of Christchurch won’t even swim in the river Avon. Most of the lakes are full of algae. It is like a beautiful person with cancer.” He was speaking to British landowners pondering the New Zealand model for post-Brexit agriculture. British farmers currently receive £3bn in subsidies each year; environment secretary Michael Gove must design a much smaller subsidy system – or scrap it altogether.

Smit argues that New Zealand is no inspiration despite its farmers surviving the removal of subsidies in 1984. Their response has been to intensify, and export milk to China.

Landscapes that George Monbiot might describe as sheep-wrecked are now cattle-wrecked; the cost, argues Smit, is water quality, as nitrates from fertilisers flood into rivers. Smit’s critique has been endorsed not only by Greenpeace New Zealand but also by the chief executive of New Zealand’s fish and game council, Martin Taylor, who calls the country’s clean, green image “a facade”. Brexit marks a crossroads for the British countryside. Gove believes we can boost agricultural productivity while also enhancing the environment. His vision isn’t so dissimilar from some environmentalists’: subsidy-dependent upland farming will cease (and some land even rewilded) while production is intensified on surviving lowland farms.

But the idea that we can have it all – cheap food, pristine environments and profitable farmers – is naive.

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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/04/new-zealand-britain-countryside-michael-gove-brexit?


 

 

Can we feed the world organically? With some changes to the system, researchers say yes

(Natural News) It’s hard to find fault with consuming organic food, but those who are against it for whatever reason – like synthetic pesticide manufacturers – often claim it is not sustainable and would require too much land to pull off. Now, new research shows just how flawed that particular argument is. Indeed, a worldwide conversion to organic farming could be remarkably sustainable as long as some changes to current food production and consumption habits are made at the same time.

There are a lot of ways that industrial agriculture has increased the availability of food, but this has come at a significant cost to our environment. For example, it has led to an oversupply of reactive nitrogen that pollutes our water and soil, losses in biodiversity, and greenhouse gas emissions. This is in addition to the effects that pesticides and herbicides have on human and animal health.

Organic agriculture, on the other hand, eschews the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. With its focus on crop rotations, closed nutrient cycles, and soil fertility, it is certainly a better choice for the environment, but it tends to have lower yields, thereby requiring more land in order to produce the same amount of food.

Now, researchers from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, Alpen-Adria University in Austria, ETH Zurich in Switzerland and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture have written an open-access article in Nature Communications that shows just how organic agriculture could feasibly feed the world after all.

They say that accomplishing this worthwhile endeavor requires just a few complementary changes in our global food system. For example, reducing the amount of arable land that is used to grow animal feed and the drop in livestock and animal-based products that goes along with it could help quite a bit as people consume less meat – something that would also have positive effects on human health.Reducing food waste could also help make this transition a reality. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, as much as 40 percent of the food that is produced is wasted around the planet. Taking measures to try to stem this problem could go a long way toward a more efficient use of resources.

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https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-11-25-can-we-feed-the-world-organically-with-some-changes-to-the-system-researchers-say-yes.html

Big Ag GAG: 29 states quietly pass “preemptive seed laws” that prevent debate and local government autonomy over genetically engineered crops – another attack on democratic debate

Another attack on free speech and democratic debate says Mike Adams, NaturalNews. This is serious folks. We have GE spuds approved here now (the growing of) and how much did we hear about that pre approval? This may not be NZ but be assured the creep is world wide. These folk aim to control the whole food supply & they’re well on target.
EnvirowatchRangitikei

(Natural News) Big Ag has found a way to make genetically modified seeds permanent, by quietly writing in “preemptive seed laws” at the state level. In twenty-nine states, men and women at the local level will no longer be able to discuss, debate, or propose laws on the use of genetically modified seeds. The people will not have any voice in their individual cities and municipalities to protect their fields, crops, property, and water from biotech experimentation.

Corporations that genetically modify seeds have infiltrated the state legislatures to further secure their monopoly and prevent scientific scrutiny of their seed experimentation. By passing “seed preemption laws” they can bar public discourse on seed laws at the local level. This is a new attack on free speech and democratic debate. The corporate interests in the agriculture sector want to shut people up who desire natural, unmodified foods. These same corporate interests have been successful in the past with “ag-gag” laws that bar anyone from photographing the abuses of factory farms. Whistleblowers and journalists who tried to document unsanitary and inhuman animal feeding operations have had the law turned against them. In much the same way, these new “seed preemption laws” turn the law against the voices of the common man and woman working locally for change.

Oregon, California, Texas, Montana and Iowa are just a few of the states that have fallen prey to these new laws. These laws are “designed to block counties and cities from adopting their own rules on the use of seeds, including bans on GMOs” In many parts of the country, decisions on seed use are left up to individual counties, cities, and municipalities. Now, Big Ag is finding ways to snuff out the people’s voices in the matter.

https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-11-17-29-states-quietly-pass-preemptive-seed-laws.html

Teaching urban kids how to grow their own healthy food

1A green bronx

Stephen Ritz from the Green Bronx Machine is awesome. I won’t even begin to try & explain what he does but ‘transform’ is a hint, he transforms more than just the landscape … changing what he can’t accept in his neighbourhood. It’s actually about more than just food … watch and see. If this doesn’t inspire you to teach your family to grow their own healthy food I don’t know what will …  EnvirowatchRangitikei

Published on Mar 17, 2015

Stephen’s extended student and community family have grown more than 30,000 pounds of vegetables in the Bronx while generating extraordinary academic performance. Affectionately known as America’s Favorite Teacher and The Pied Piper of Peas, Stephen is the Founder of Green Bronx Machine and is now focusing his energy and attention upon building the National Health and Wellness Center at PS 55, a national prototype STEM facility complete with an indoor vertical farm producing 100 bags of groceries per week and adult workforce development center. His students recently hosted White House Chef Bill Yosses and Clinton Foundation Global Ambassador Reed Alexander cooking vegetables they grew in school. Stephen Ritz is a South Bronx educator who believes that students shouldn’t have to leave their community to live, learn, and earn in a better one. Self-proclaimed CEO (Chief Eternal Optimist) of Bronx County, Stephen has moved generations of students into spheres of personal and academic successes they have never imagined while reclaiming and rebuilding the Bronx. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx
Photos: screen shots from the video by TEDx