Here’s five stories you should read today, February 24, 2014.
Amid the worst drought in recent memory, some California farmers are having to make tough calls. According to the Associated Press, some almond farmers are opting to tear their trees from the ground to save precious, and expensive, water.
Though the average age of farmers has ticked up to 58.3 years, more people under the age of 34 are giving farming a shot, according to the latest survey from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack wants to keep young farmers involved, and he wants farmers to “be aggressive” about recruiting young farmers.
Notice an increase in coffee prices? Higher prices could be coming. Southeastern Brazil is in the grips of a severe drought, the same area where most of the country’s food is grown. According to one climatologist, the country could lose 10 percent of its coffee crop by 2020, if the trend continues. Coffee won’t be the only crop affected, Brazil also grows soybeans and oranges.
Normand St-Pierre recently commented on what triggered higher milk prices. According to him, it was exports that motivated milk prices higher. He was right, according to Politico. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently predicted that dairy farmers could see an average of $21.20 per hundredweight for their milk. Though, it’s difficult to tell how much of the cost will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher dairy prices.
Africa’s agricultural industry is growing, and genetically modified food companies want to be part of the action. European scientists and policy makers are visiting Ethiopia to promote the benefits of GM crops to farmers. The visit is intended to allow collaboration between European and African scientists on how to best produce GM crops on the continent.