The Science of Drought
Sep 06, 2013
Congress will consider a National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) bill when they return to work next week, Agri-Pulse reports. The program will cost $64 million over four years and provides drought and weather information to farmers and ranchers. Initial reports are favorable for the bill to pass. Let’s just hope it doesn’t get kicked to the side. There are plenty of other issues that Congress will have to tackle when they get back.
The drought is getting more intense in some areas of the country, according to USAgNet. And the heat is taking its toll on feedyards. Numbers are already low, and the heat is knocking a few more off the yard sheet. The Nebraska Radio Network says feedyards have lost "several hundred" head of cattle.
The U.S. isn’t the only country working toward sustainable agriculture. Brazil, one of the world’s largest beef exporters, has enacted tough deforestation laws. The Raw Story details how one rancher is able to make a living within the country’s stringent laws. Walmart and The Nature Conservatory have also jumped on board.
Weather’s Crystal Ball
If it’s rained at your house, congrats. We haven’t seen much of it in some places, including ours. But regardless if you’ve got green grass or not, a weather forecaster says cattle producers should plan for a drought. He cites a weather cycle from the 1950s and doesn’t think the dry times are over, even if you’ve got green under your feet. The Eagle has the full story. Additionally, AgWeb has some tips on how to prepare your pastures for next year.
Not So Quick, Doc
A psychiatrist could be treating people from behind bars after he shot seven cows that were roaming on his property, according to KGW. He faces aggravated animal abuse charges. In the cows’ defense, the area used to be open range, but the doctor led an effort to make the land "closed range." Apparently, no one told the cows.
This story falls under the category of headlines we don’t need: Idaho Farms Agree to Stop Overdrugging Cattle. That’s one way to win over the American consumer. These producers must need new glasses, because some of their violations are outlandish. We’re not talking about a slight drug residue ... how about 2,000% more than the allowed level! Unfortunately, that’s not a typo. Boise Weekly has the disturbing details.
National Geographic doesn’t have anything on the Aussies. Remember the story of a Nat-Geo photographer who was arrested for paragliding over a Kansas feedlot? Well, that looks like child’s play compared to what the Animal Liberation activists are doing down under. The "charity" purchased a $14,000 drone, and outfitted it with a high-definition camera. The group intends to use the "spy with wings" to aid with their campaign against intensive livestock production. And--according to the activists--it’s perfectly legal in Austrailia. ABC news reports.
Necessity is the mother of invention, however we didn’t know there was a need for this deep fried soup, the newest menu item at KFC. But don’t run to the nearest chicken diner to grab up a bowl, or a plate, of soup just yet. Grist reports the item is debuting in Japan.