|Millions Still Available to Help Farmers Purchase Land|
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition - 5/21/2015. With less than five months remaining in the current fiscal year, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) still has nearly one billion dollars available for farm loans to help family farmers across the country buy land.
|Bird Flu Is Slamming Factory Farms But Sparing Backyard Flocks. Why?|
Mother Jones - 5/20/2015. By Tom Philpott - The Midwest's ongoing avian flu crisis is wreaking havoc on the region's large-scale egg and turkey farms. Last week alone, the US Department of Agriculture confirmed that the virus had turned up in more than 20 additional facilities in the region, condemning 4 million birds to euthanasia. Altogether, the H5N2 virus – "highly pathogenic" to birds, so far non-threatening to humans – has affected 168 sites and a jaw-dropping 36 million birds, the great bulk of them in Iowa and surrounding states. It's the largest avian flu outbreak in US history – and it has already wiped out 40 percent of the egg-laying flock in Iowa, the number-one egg-producing state in the US, according to The New York Times.
|Organic farming 'benefits biodiversity'|
BBC News - 5/20/2015. By Helen Briggs - Organic farms act as a refuge for wild plants, offsetting the loss of biodiversity on conventional farms, a study suggests.