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TheCropSite Newsletter - 17 April 2012

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The Crop Site

Tuesday 17th April 2012.

Sarah Mikesell - TheCropSite Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell
Senior Editor

Editorial: Welcome to TheCropSite Newsletter

I recently attended the Bayer CropScience Ag Issues Forum which included a presentation about food waste from Kai Robertson, BSR Director, Food, Beverage & Agriculture Practice Advisory Services. She noted some pretty startling statistics that made everyone take notice:

  • 67 billion pounds of food landed in US landfills in 2010
  • The social and economic cost of hunger in the US in 2010 = $260+ billion
  • 25% of food American's bring into their homes is tossed and equals $2,200 annually
  • In developing countries, losses are more likely to occur on the farm, during production, harvesting and poor production practices, than with the consumer
  • Businesses pay for food waste twice - first when they purchase food, then again to have it removed when it's not sold
  • From an energy perspective, Americans are wasting equal to 350 million barrels of oil annually, enough to power the entire US for a week

So how do you even get your head wrapped around 67,000,000,000 pounds of food waste annually. To be honest, I can't really fathom it. I just know that's way to many zeros. Even crazier, that's only the US portion.

In truth, I'm as guilty as the next guy when it comes to food waste. This past weekend, the kids and I took my husband out for his birthday dinner. At the end of the meal, my husband and I both had enough food left to wrap-up and take home for another meal (yes, portion size - that's a whole part of this). While it was good to wrap the extras, I didn't think twice when they took away my half-eaten salad and half a loaf of bread. Yep, I'm guilty as charged.

As Kai Robertson said in her presentation, "We're living in a 'throw-away society' - we're used to destroying things, just throwing them away, not even thinking about it. It's about changing consumer behavior."

So after your next meal, consider what could be put in the fridge for later, wrapped-up in a take-home container or put in a composting container. Sometimes lots of people making a small change can actually make a big difference.

To read more from Kai's presentation about food waste, click here.

Have a great week!

Study: Fallow Aids Wheat; Continuous Cropping Ups Moisture for Crop
Farmers in semiarid western Kansas have known since the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s that incorporating a fallow period into wheat cropping systems is beneficial for wheat productivity. But a Kansas State University study also indicates that continuous cropping increases the percentage of precipitation that can be used by the crop.

Best-Bet Strategies to Make Fertiliser Pay
Economic analysis is being used to assess the risk and value of different nutrition strategies in different agro-ecological regions, according to the Australian Government Grains Research and Development Corporation.

The Complex Problem of Phosphorus
Phosphorus uptake by plants in many soils is limited by strong sorption and fixation of phosphorus, resulting in slow diffusion of added phosphorus and low solution concentrations, according to the Australian Government Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Investors Keep Pressure on Firms to Prepare for Climate Change
Less than half of major UK companies have plans in place to protect them from climate change even though over 80 per cent of businesses say climate change is a substantial risk to them, new research commissioned by Defra has found.

Ozone Kills Insects in Grain
Insects affecting cereals, maize, rice and other dry plant products can be controlled with ozone, writes Janne Hansen of AARHUS University.

Rapid Climate Change Threatens Asia's Rice Bowl
As Asia's monsoon season begins, leading climate specialists and agricultural scientists warned that rapid climate change and its potential to intensify droughts and floods could threaten Asia's rice production and pose a significant threat to millions of people across the region.

   Viet Nam

Global Soy Industry to Benefit from Vietnam's Aquaculture Surge
Vietnam's Oilseed Production Falling but Demand High

   United States

March Temperatures in Kansas Second Warmest on Record
Corn Crop Estimates Remain Stable
Spring Crop Fertility Alert: Phosphorus and Zinc
CME: WASDE Contained Few Big Surprises
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Monday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Down on Tuesday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Up on Wednesday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Up on Thursday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Friday
Conservation Practices Preserve Soil, Save Money
Weekly Roberts Market Report
Texas Wheat: Better than Anyone Dared Hope For
Soybeans to Become Market Driver
Corn Seeding Depth Matters, Especially in Dry Soils
Sugar Industry Asks for Increase in Tariff-Rate Quotas
Early Wheat Provides Opportunity for Double Cropping
Forages Thriving; Website Offers a Place to Buy & Sell Them
Has the 2011 Corn Crop Been Rationed?
NFU Washington: Pass a Farm Bill in 2012

   United Kingdom

Cereals 2012 – Building on Success
Feeding Wild Birds Reduces Insect Pests
Losing Bees Would Cost UK £1.8bn a Year
Tackle Fungal Forces for Food Security, Say Scientists
Frontier Deliver First Wheat to Bioethanol Plant


Cargill Third Quarter Earnings Level
New Opportunities for Columbia Sorghum Imports
EU Policy Shuts Off US Biodiesel Pumps, Costing US Farmers $1.1 Billion
Getting Rid of Obsolete Pesticides
Living Under the Shadow of Pesticides and Antibiotics
Want to Guess How Much Food Is Tossed in Landfills?
Shell Outline Plans for Advanced Biofuel Production from Crop Waste
Global Assessment on Soil Biodiversity


Grain Farmers Hope to Plant Early


Brazil's 2012-13 Cotton Production Forecast at 8.3 Million Bales
Sugarcane Crop to Increase 5.4 Per Cent
Brazil's Grain Crop Planted Area to Increase


Oilseed Production Forecast is Up Eight Per Cent
Pakistan's Cotton Crop Forecasts Up for 2012/13


Sowings Ahead of Schedule Due to Good Conditions
Irish Sowings Ahead of Schedule

   Saudi Arabia

US DDGS Gains Foothold in Saudi


Cotton Imports Declined Due to Price Hike
Thai Soybean Imports on Decline but Likely to Rise in 2012/13


Wheat, Barley, Oats, Corn Production Forecast Up in 2012/13
Warm Weather Allows Early Planting, but Moisture Needed
Canadian Corn Ethanol Production Hits Plateau


Farm Produce Prices Fall for Third Week

   European Union

Young Farmers Central to Policy Reform
MON810 Maize: No Risk to Humans, Livestock or Environment
Programme Launches First Food Security Initiative


Colombian Corn Production to Increase 17 Per Cent


Government Optimistic Hybrid Rice Will Increase Food Production
Indonesian Cotton Imports Likely to Decline


February Imports of Beans, Pulses Increased from Previous Year


More Food for Fewer People?


2012 Soybean Meal Imports to Decrease but Rise in 2013


Wheat, Corn Production on the Rise

   Russian Federation

Russia's Grain Production Forecast Down

   South Africa

Soybean Production to Increase in 2012/13


Bolivia's Soybean Production Forecast Up for 2013

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