Farming Article Recommendations July 19, 2011

The following are farming article recommendations for July 19, 2011. Simply click the title to read the full article.

Drought Spreads Pain From Florida to Arizona (By KIM SEVERSON and KIRK JOHNSON, New York Times)

EXCERPT: The heat and the drought are so bad in this southwest corner of Georgia that hogs can barely eat. Corn, a lucrative crop with a notorious thirst, is burning up in fields. Cotton plants are too weak to punch through soil so dry it might as well be pavement. Farmers with the money and equipment to irrigate are running wells dry in the unseasonably early and particularly brutal national drought that some say could rival the Dust Bowl days.

Does Peak Phosphorus Loom? (By Catherine Clabby – American Scientist)

EXCERPT: Scientists make the case that easily accessible supplies of an essential element are being depleted. Today it seems too easy to name environmental hazards with potentially global implications. Climate change, finite fossil-fuel reserves and the risk of water scarcity quickly come to mind. Now some scientists want concern for the world’s dwindling phosphorus (P) supply tacked onto that short list.

Secrets of a Garlic Grower (By ANNE RAVER – New York Times)

EXCERPT: Stanley Crawford, 73, a farmer-writer who loves garlic as much as words, was loosening the fat bulbs from the soil, guiding his Kubota L2850 tractor, with its sharp horizontal discs, to cut just beneath the bulbs. It’s a delicate operation, dislodging the roots without slicing through any precious bulbs of California Early, a soft-neck garlic variety that brings 75 cents a head at the Santa Fe farmer’s market. Friends and family followed behind — in a ritual that harks back thousands of years, to the Egyptians, who worshiped garlic, which is native to the Caucasus — pulling the bulbs from the warm, sandy loam and laying them in little piles facing in the same direction. I had come here as a garlic grower, in search of secrets for a better harvest back east, having read Mr. Crawford’s 1992 book, “A Garlic Testament: Seasons on a Small New Mexico Farm,”…

Industry Still Split on How to Change Subsidies (By Jerry Hagstrom – DTN Progressive Farmer)

House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson released the draft legislative language Wednesday of the dairy reform bill on which he has been working for more than a year.The proposal won praise from the National Milk Producers Federation, the nation’s largest organization of dairy farmers and co-ops, and a negative reaction from the International Dairy Foods Association, which represents the processors. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., took a neutral stance, but said both sides must continue the discussion.

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