Tag Archives | crops

Record rains dampen crops in US midwest

Record rains are dampening hopes for the harvest in the US midwest, according to my colleague David Rosen on ICIS news.(Disclosure: I work for ICIS: About ICIS)The piece is written for two big issues: fertilizers and food. It misses a third, biofuels. If the crop is bad then the price of corn will rise, if […]

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Is US biofuel policy about soaking tax payers and starving the world

Is US biofuel policy about soaking tax payers and starving the world? The Richmond Times Despatch thinks so in its InRich Blog. Barton Hinkle’s piece makes the link between food aid, the ability of biofuel to lift the rural poor in developing nations out of subsistence farming and on the corruption that accompanies much food […]

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How much land will we need for biofuels in the UK

There’s a useful exchange in Hansard, the UK’s parliamentary record this week on biofuels. In a written answer. Ian Pearson (MP for Dudley South and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) says that to meet the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation using existing technology we’d need to plant between 1 and 1.5bn […]

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Food prices and food aid

Food prices are rising and this is putting increasing pressure on food aid, according to the United Nations, and reported in yesterday’s Guardian. That report, which has a list of food hotspots, says: “We will have a problem in coming months,” said Josette Sheeran, the head of the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP). “We will […]

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Now hops are short

One of the unintended consequences of the rush to ethanol in the US is that now hops are in short supply. Hop growers have moved into more profitable corn in the Pacific North West, according to Dethroner (where every man is king) this is putting craft beer in a parlous position… Shame, shame, shame.

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China to offer support for non-food biofuels

China is going to support growers of non-food derived biofuels. The Ministry of Finance will pay farmers a 3,000 yuan (about $405) subsidy for each hectare of forest products for biofuels, such as ethanol and bio-diesel, and 2,700 yuan for each hectare of crops for biofuels, according to Xinhuanet. China has set a target of […]

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More on biofuels and food

There’s more on biofuels and food in this interesting piece by John Vidal in the Guardian last Wednesday. Amongst other things he says In the US, where nearly 40 million people are below the official poverty line, the Department of Agriculture recently predicted a 10% rise in the price of chicken. The prices of bread, […]

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Biofuels may help poor farmers: World Watch

Biofuels may help poor farmers, according to a book out today “Biofuels for Transport: Global Potential and Implications for Energy and Agriculture,” authored by the Worldwatch Institute and published by Earthscan. The authors say: In addition, growth in biofuels production may have unexpected economic benefits, according to the experts who contributed to the report. Of […]

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Water and biofuels

The threat to world water supplies posed by biofuels has come to the surface following a water conference in Copenhagen earlier this week. It is worth reading Adam Cox’s feature on Planet Ark for an interesting analysis of some of the issues raised. In addition to Prince Willem-Alexander’s comments, Cox says This can mean using […]

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Who’s growing what where (almost)

I’m a sucker for maps and Purdue University has a state by state and county by county map of crops, and yield by US county. They don’t name the farms or the farmers but its pretty close to who’s growing what where. It is a part of a bigger suite of Purdue University crop resources […]

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