Written by Alan Buis
Pasadena, CA – About 60 percent of California is experiencing “exceptional drought,” the U.S. Drought Monitor’s most dire classification. The agency issued the same warning to Texas and the southeastern United States in 2012. California’s last two winters have been among the driest since records began in 1879. Without enough water in the soil, seeds can’t sprout roots, leaves can’t perform photosynthesis, and agriculture can’t be sustained.
Currently, there is no ground- or satellite-based global network monitoring soil moisture at a local level. Farmers, scientists and resource managers can place sensors in the ground, but these only provide spot measurements and are rare across some critical agricultural areas in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
If so SproUTing Growers is a 10-part workshop series to provide potential growers with the business planning and management, vegetable and small fruit planning and production and direct marketing skills that they need to properly plan and carry out a farming venture.
Workshops will be held from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Montgomery County Agricultural Extension office in Clarksville, Tennessee. «Read the rest of this article»
Written by Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville)
District 67, Tennessee House of Representatives
Nashville, TN – Gina Head, mother to Tyler Jackson Head, has provided me information regarding the 2nd. Annual Tyler Jackson Head Memorial 5K Fun Run/Walk scheduled for February 1st, 2014. The event will be held at Travis Price Park in Springfield, TN. Registration begins at 8:00am and the run/walk begins at 9:00am.
This event is to honor the memory of Tyler J. Head who was killed February 3rd, 2012 while driving to class in Clarksville at Austin Peay State University. «Read the rest of this article»
Written by Tanya Brown, Writer/Editor
“The produce will be at least a week fresher, taste better and be more nutritious and safer,” said Paul Lightfoot, CEO of BrightFarms. “It also reduces environmental input, uses less land, less fuel and less greenhouse gases.”
The concept? Hydroponic gardens on supermarket rooftops or in greenhouses next door or a few blocks away from grocery stores.
Written by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
Washington, D.C. – Over the course of 2012, farm families and rural communities faced a number of challenges. A record drought impacted much of the country and many were impacted by a major hurricane, flooding and severe storms. However, thanks to the resilience of rural Americans, our communities are still going strong.
Over the course of this year, USDA continued our record efforts to help folks across our nation, and I am proud of the work we carried out.
Written by Dauna Coulter
Washington, D.C. – For 1200 years, the Maya dominated Central America. At their peak around 900 A.D., Maya cities teemed with more than 2,000 people per square mile — comparable to modern Los Angeles County.
Even in rural areas the Maya numbered 200 to 400 people per square mile. But suddenly, all was quiet. And the profound silence testified to one of the greatest demographic disasters in human prehistory — the demise of the once vibrant Maya society.
Washington, DC – Based on weather developments last week (July 22-28), U.S. corn and soybean conditions further declined in today’s USDA/NASS crop condition report. The most significant crop deterioration occurred across the southern and western Corn Belt, where little or no rainfall accompanied temperatures that averaged 5 to 10°F above normal.
Multiple days of triple-digit (100°F) heat were noted last week in parts of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and on the Great Plains from South Dakota to Texas. In contrast, there was enough rain (locally 1 to 2 inches or more) across the northern Corn Belt, mainly from the Dakotas to Michigan and Ohio, to help stabilize crop conditions in some fields. Parts of central and eastern Iowa also received highly beneficial rainfall in excess of an inch.
Clarksville, TN – On a muggy evening in late June, several Austin Peay State University graduate and undergraduate students hiked up to the mouth of Dunbar Cave in the hopes of finding a few bats.
The group brought with them a large Harp trap, consisting of a metal frame inset with rows of thin fishing line, and three high-frequency microphones and computerized recording units. After setting up their equipment, they sat in the cool dark of the cave opening and waited.
Focus on Farm and Forest Issues, Rural Development Opportunities
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is hosting a series of listening sessions across the state in April and May for farmers, forest landowners and agribusinesses. The purpose of the meetings is to hear stakeholder concerns about current issues and to explore opportunities for developing our rural economy and increasing farm and forest income.
“We want to be available to our producers, landowners and agribusinesses to hear their concerns and to get their input on how to enhance our rural communities and economy,” Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said. “This is also about ongoing efforts to look at how we, as an agency, can provide better service and be more responsive to challenges and opportunities. «Read the rest of this article»
Comprehensive Guide Promotes Agriculture to Consumers, Businesses and Policy Makers
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture recently unveiled the premiere issue of Tennessee Ag Insider magazine, a comprehensive guide to the state’s farms, food and forestry. The department unveiled the magazine to the public March 20th at the annual Ag Day on the Hill celebration at Legislative Plaza in Nashville.
The yearly magazine serves as a primer for government and business leaders and consumers about the impact of agriculture and forestry on the state’s health, environment and economy.
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