|Sen. Bernie Sanders cries “monopoly” in a collapsing milk market|
Grist - 7/17/2009.By Tom Laskawy – Earlier this year, the Obama administration’s top antitrust enforcer, Christine Varney, announced a new effort to crack down on monopolist practices in industry. Some of us were particularly interested to observe that Varney’s first speech specifically mentioned agribusiness as a top target. This is understandable since, from fertilizer to meatpacking to seeds, four companies or fewer control up to 80% of each of these markets.
|Alfalfa fund to aid local farmer|
Kennebec Journal - 7/17/2009.By Craig Crosby – Leo Murphy decided something had to be done even before Duke Dulac asked for his help while sliding a straight-edged razor over his neck. And by the time Dulac was through shaving his friend's neck, Leo and Duke's Alfalfa Fund had been born. The white, decorated piggy bank that rests on a table inside Duke's Rotary Barber & Beauty Shop on State Street already holds a few hundred dollars to help cover losses caused when a group of partygoers flattened acres of alfalfa at Two Loons Farm in China.
|Good weather key to blunting late blight fungus|
Bangor Daily News - 7/17/2009.By Jen Lynds – PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Crops experts with the University of Maine said Thursday afternoon they are “cautiously optimistic” that they can keep the fungal plant disease late blight from ruining Aroostook County’s potato crop. Steve Johnson, crops specialist for the UMaine Cooperative Extension, said Thursday that while blight has been found in fields throughout The County, the extent of the disease is not as bad as they originally feared.
|With a gust of wind, an Iowa crop duster can squash an organic farm|
Grist - 7/16/2009.By Kurt Michael Friese – Grinnell Heritage Farm is 152 years old. Andrew Dunham is the fifth generation of his family to work this land about 50 miles east of Des Moines. He is a direct descendant of Josiah Grinnell, founder of the town and the man Horace Greeley once famously quoted as having said, “Go west, young man, go west.” Andrew and his wife Melissa are a few months shy of receiving their formal certification as an organic farm.