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Topic: agriculture

NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite to help Farmers manage Drought conditions

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, 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.

For several months, California has been in a state of "exceptional drought." The state's usually verdant Central Valley produces one-sixth of the U.S.'s crops. (White House via Wikimedia Commons)

For several months, California has been in a state of “exceptional drought.” The state’s usually verdant Central Valley produces one-sixth of the U.S.’s crops. (White House via Wikimedia Commons)

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Montgomery County Agricultural Extension Office to offer a workshop series for beginner growers

 

UT Extension OfficeClarksville, TN – Are you thinking about becoming a grower?

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»

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2nd Annual Tyler Jackson Head Memorial 5k Fun Run/Walk to be held February 1st in Springfield, TN

 

Written by Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville)

District 67, Tennessee House of Representatives

Tennessee State Representative - House District 67Nashville, 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»

Sections: Events | No Comments
 


From Greenhouse to Store Shelves in a Matter of Minutes

 

Written by Tanya Brown, Writer/Editor
Farm Service Agency

USDA - U.S. Department of AgricultureWashington, D.C. – BrightFarms wants to disrupt the produce supply chain and eliminate the amount of miles vegetables have to travel before landing on supermarket shelves.

“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.

Chris Williams is the operator of a BrightFarms greenhouse in Yardley, Pa., that will provide fresh produce to a supermarket only a half a block away.

Chris Williams is the operator of a BrightFarms greenhouse in Yardley, Pa., that will provide fresh produce to a supermarket only a half a block away.

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Sections: Business | No Comments
 

USDA’s Accomplishments in 2012

 

Written by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
USDA

USDA - U.S. Department of AgricultureWashington, 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.

Dr. Tim Cross, dean of UT Extension; Dr. Shirley Hastings, associate dean and head of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences; Martha Pile, UT Extension family and consumer sciences agent; and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack during his visit to the Montgomery County Agricultural Extension Office

Dr. Tim Cross, dean of UT Extension; Dr. Shirley Hastings, associate dean and head of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences; Martha Pile, UT Extension family and consumer sciences agent; and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack during his visit to the Montgomery County Agricultural Extension Office

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Sections: Commentary | No Comments
 

NASA funded researchers report on the Fall of the Maya Civilization, “They Did it to Themselves”

 

Written by Dauna Coulter
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, 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.

Mayan ruins in Guatemala. (Photo by Tom Sever)

Mayan ruins in Guatemala. (Photo by Tom Sever)

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Agricultural Weather and Drought Update for July 30th, 2012

 

USDA - U.S. Department of AgricultureWashington, 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.

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Austin Peay University Students conduct important Research on the Bats at Dunbar Cave

 

Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, 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.

APSU graduate student Veronica Mullen and former APSU graduate student Josh Schulte prepare for a night of monitoring bats at Dunbar Cave.

APSU graduate student Veronica Mullen and former APSU graduate student Josh Schulte prepare for a night of monitoring bats at Dunbar Cave.

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Tennessee Department of Agriculture hosting Agriculture and Forestry “Listening sessions”

 

Focus on Farm and Forest Issues, Rural Development Opportunities

The Tennessee Department of AgricultureNashville, 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»

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Tennessee Department of Agriculture unveils new Ag and forestry industry magazine

 

Comprehensive Guide Promotes Agriculture to Consumers, Businesses and Policy Makers

The Tennessee Department of AgricultureNashville, 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.

The new Tennessee AG Insider magazine.

The new Tennessee AG Insider magazine.

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