Category: Animals

Opinion | To Nurture Nature, Neglect Your Lawn – The New York Times
April 16, 2019April 16, 2019
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Opinion | To Nurture Nature, Neglect Your Lawn – The New York Times

We’re so happy to see this article, and to hear from NJ landowners who are seeking organic land care, avoiding “fields of poison”. To quote Margaret Renkl, the author, “Nature has been trying to make this point for a while now.” Please click the hyperlink after the word “Source” below to read the full article...

In Pursuit of Excellence in Eggs
January 3, 2019January 3, 2019
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In Pursuit of Excellence in Eggs

Food choice, when well informed, can be an act of agricultural enlightenment.  That is an educational mission of this blog and the NOFA Winter Conference (Jan 26-27, 2018) program, where Mike Badger will be speaking, representing the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association.  Also as part of another NOFA sponsored program, I will be teaching (Feb...

Working lands protect biodiversity
October 23, 2018November 20, 2018
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Working lands protect biodiversity

A new paper published in Science by University of California, Berkeley conservation biologists focuses on bio-diversification of forest, farmlands, and ranch lands to combat climate change. The research paper explores how simple diversification provides habitat for a variety of beneficial wildlife including bats, birds, and mammals. Incorporating natural flora into working lands makes the landscape more...

USDA abandons animal welfare rule in organic program
March 22, 2018April 2, 2018
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USDA abandons animal welfare rule in organic program

Last year, the USDA decided to scrap the Obama-era rule overseeing animal welfare regulations in the organic program.  In order to be certified under the organic seal, meat and poultry must meet a set of feeding, housing, and treatment standards.  Some media reports claim that large-scale organic operations are lax on these standards and animals...

Organophosphate harms salmon and orca populations
January 20, 2018January 20, 2018
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Organophosphate harms salmon and orca populations

New recommendations proposed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) offers protective measures to avoid pesticide runoff from entering marine environments. The organophosphate family of pesticides are commonly applied to nut, rice, cotton, and citrus crops. NMFS recommendations come in the wake of studies of three widely used agricultural pesticides including chlorpyrifos, malathion, and diazinon...

New Proposed Beekeeping Regulations
January 11, 2018January 18, 2018
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New Proposed Beekeeping Regulations

A story published on www.northjersey.com calls for action against newly proposed beekeeping regulations.  Hobby beekeepers say the regulations would discourage beginning beekeepers. The proposed regulations restrict hives in residential lots less than one-quarter acre where agriculture is not permitted. Residential lots of one-quarter to five acres would be allowed two hives. Hives that have been...

New research shows link between fungicides and bee decline
January 4, 2018January 4, 2018
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New research shows link between fungicides and bee decline

Fungicides have been found to be the strongest factor of declining bee populations determined by the first landscape-scale analysis. The exact method of  how fungicides affect bees is being studied, but it is suspected that fungicides make bees more susceptible to parasites such as nosema. Scott McArt at Cornell University led the study published in...

Humane Farming Mentorship
December 28, 2017December 28, 2017
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Humane Farming Mentorship

Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) is offering a mentorship opportunity for beginning livestock and poultry farmers seeking guidance from experts on business strategies and animal management practices. The mentorship program will begin in February 2018 and end in February 2019.  Mentorship itself will be provided by consistent phone and email communications. FACT will check in...

Radar reveals how bees develop routes
December 12, 2017December 12, 2017
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Radar reveals how bees develop routes

A recent study conducted in London tackles the “traveling salesman problem” of foraging bees.  The “traveling salesman problem” is the travelling distance between multiple destinations and a home base. The challenge is to find a route that visits each destination while traveling the shortest possible route. Bumblebees first explore their territory; and based on past...

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