Here’s five stories you should read today, February 21, 2014.
A study published Wednesday in the journal Nature found that bumblebees are likely contracting a slew of deadly diseases from commercialized honeybees. That’s bad news for the world’s pollinators. The study looked at some 750 bees in 26 sites throughout Great Britain.
Projections by the United States Agriculture Department on Thursday forecast lower prices for corn, wheat and soybeans. The report projects $3.90 per bushel for corp, $5.30 a bushel for wheat, and $9.65 per bushel for soybeans. What’s important about the prices projected by the USDA is that they are below what the Congressional Budget Office assumed when it scored the farm bill.
3. Philanthropic Kentucky couple supports FFA with $500,000 endowment to award FFA jackets to deserving members (The Prairie Star)
Don and Mira Ball, of Lexington, Kentucky, created an endowment to support the National FFA Organization’s Give the Gift of Blue campaign. The campaign aims to provide official FFA corduroy jackets to members who can’t afford one. The endowment the Balls created will award up to 400 free FFA jackets each year to qualified members.
China is still growing. But, it’s not only growing it’s manufacturing industry, the country’s agriculture industry is growing as well. According to several studies released by the nonprofit Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, China is now the world’s largest producer of pork, second largest producer of poultry and the fourth largest dairy producer.
The farm economy is still growing even though the number of farms and farming acreage fell slightly from 2012 to 2007, according to preliminary numbers from the 2012 Census of Agriculture. U.S. farmers are also becoming older, with the average age of a farmer now 58.3 years, up 1.2 years from the prior census. The USDA’s final census report will be released in May.