A Double Take on a Single Nomination

From RadioIowa Iowan Sam Clovis nominated to be USDA undersecretary July 20, 2017 By O. Kay Henderson President Trump has nominated an Iowan who was a top policy advisor on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign to serve as the USDA Undersecretary for research, education and economics. Sam Clovis, formerly of Hinton, Iowa, has been working in…

The Sky is Falling Friday Part 4: Climate change to deplete some US water basins used for irrigation

Public Release: 12-Jul-2017 By 2050, the Southwest will produce significantly less cotton and forage, researchers report Massachusetts Institute of Technology A new study by MIT climate scientists, economists, and agriculture experts finds that certain hotspots in the country will experience severe reductions in crop yields by 2050, due to climate change’s impact on irrigation. The…

Thus It Begins

Guest essay by David Archibald Back in late April, European wine growers were hit by the most damaging frost since 1991. That frost affected vines as far south as Tuscany. More recently it is the western Corn Belt that has been affected by late Spring frost. The following two figures show damage to crops from…

Study finds: Corn better used as food than biofuel

From the UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN and the “don’t burn your food” department. Corn is grown not only for food, it is also an important renewable energy source. Renewable biofuels can come with hidden economic and environmental issues, and the question of whether corn is better utilized as food or as a biofuel has persisted…

Science is making killer (tasting) tomatoes again

From the “Day of the Killer Tomatoes” department comes this curious story from the AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY about food science and making tomatoes great again…at least the store bought ones. Why are so many supermarket tomatoes tasteless and rock hard? In the 1990s, breeders developed a tomato that produces less of the hormone ethylene, so…