UW-Extension to offer pest management training

(A good first step towards organic. ed.)
Published 17 hours ago



Integrated Pest Management: it’s a mouthful, but consider it a long term for common-sense pest control.

IPM relies on the combination of several techniques to control pests and limit the use of pesticides to situations in which they are essential. IPM can be used to manage pests anywhere — in the home, in a natural area or garden, or in commercial agriculture.

In agriculture, IPM starts with the routine inspection of crops for the presence of pests and any damage they may have caused. Guilty pests are identified properly to select the best methods to control them and limit their damage.

At this point, a producer needs to determine if action against a pest is justified, considering factors like the costs associated with pest management. If management is necessary, a grower may use a combination of controls like traps, physical barriers, releasing a pest’s natural enemies, or chemical controls like pesticides.

In IPM, pesticides are used when absolutely necessary to stop pest damage and in a way that minimizes the potential for harm to people and the environment.

This is an important distinction between IPM and organic growing methods — an IPM program includes the ability to use synthetic pesticides as an effective management tool, while organic programs restrict pesticide use to products made from natural sources. Although IPM is not the same as organic, many organic growers use IPM strategies to combat pests.

Read more here: http://www.kenoshanews.com/news/uwextension_to_offer_pest_management_training_480682169.html

Agroecology for Health and Nutrition: An Interview with Dr. Daphne Miller

Dr. Daphne Miller is bringing the worlds of medicine, nutrition and agroecology ever closer. An author, practicing physician and public speaker, Dr. Miller studied medical anthropology at Brown University before receiving her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Her books include Farmacology: Total Health from the Ground Upand The Jungle Effect: The Healthiest Diets from Around the World, Why They Work and How to Make Them Work for You. Dr. Miller recently had the opportunity to take time from her busy schedule to talk to Food Tank about her experience at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition, and why agroecology is important to healthy ecosystems and healthy bodies worldwide.

Read more here: http://www.thedailymeal.com/agroecology-health-and-nutrition-interview-dr-daphne-miller

Small-Scale Traditional Farming Is the Only Way to Avoid Food Crisis, UN Researcher Says

By (about the author)

Modern industrial agricultural methods can no longer feed the world, due to the impacts of overlapping environmental and ecological crises linked to land, water, and resource availability.

“If we deal with small farmers we solve hunger and we also deal with food production.”

The stark warning comes from the new United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Hilal Elver, in her first public speech since being appointed by the U.N. in June.

“Food policies which do not address the root causes of world hunger would be bound to fail,” she told a packed audience in Amsterdam.

One billion people globally are hungry, she declared, before calling on governments to support a transition to “agricultural democracy” which would empower rural small farmers.

Agriculture needs a new direction.

Read more here: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Small-Scale-Traditional-Fa-by-Nafeez-Ahmed-Agroecology_Big-Vs-Small_Farming-141228-321.html

Changing face of Cuban food adapts to politics

Created on Thursday, 01 January 2015 14:53Published on Thursday, 01 January 2015 14:53


Eleven years ago on New Year’s Day, I arrived in Cuba with a group of students from the University of Montana in tow. We were there on a hard-to-get educational permit. Our goal was to get a handle on the state of Cuba’s agriculture system, which, thanks to geopolitical circumstances, had been thrust in an aggressively organic direction. We also wanted to get our mouths around some Cuban food, and our minds around the enigma that is Cuba.

Now, with President Obama’s recent steps taken toward normalizing relations with Cuba, it will be interesting to see how the Cuban food system, as well as the rest of the country, changes.

Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba’s agriculture system was characterized by monocultures of sugar and tobacco.

These crops were sent to the U.S.S.R. in exchange for gas, food, agrichemicals, and equipment. At the time, Cuba boasted the most tractors per capita of any nation on earth. When the Soviet Union tanked, Cuba suddenly had to grow a lot more than sugar and tobacco, but without the inputs and supplies on which it had grown dependent.

Politicians in the U.S. saw this as an opportunity to tighten the noose on Castro’s regime, and made the embargo more severe by passing the 1993 Torricelli Bill (aka the Cuban Democracy Act), which made it illegal for U.S. companies to do business with foreign subsidiaries that did business with Cuba. This isolated the nation even more. The average Cuban’s caloric intake dropped to as low as 1,000 calories per day. Fertility rates dropped and abortion rates climbed.

The Cuban government began breaking up the large state-owned plantations and putting them in the hands of the workers, who turned many of them into vegetable farms, orchards, and animal pasture. In cities, vacant lots, yards and rooftops were converted to gardens.

Agroecology, a powerful agricultural paradigm in which farms are treated as ecosystems, took firm root in Cuba. Farmers markets appeared, becoming one of the first signs of the emergence of a free market in Cuba.

Read more here: http://www.billingsnews.com/index.php/features/5627-changing-face-of-cuban-food-adapts-to-politics