Hope you’re having a good day. Here are some key things we don’t want you to miss.
Sustainability: The “doomsday” seed vault in Svalbard, Norway has been opened to provide seeds for research trials. This marks the first time seeds have been withdrawn from the vault since it was started in 2008. Last month, about 38,000 seed samples were sent in “secret shipments” to the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) for research trials that organization is running in Morocco and Lebanon. Research trials at ICARDA’s gene bank in Aleppo, Syria are no longer tenable due to the civil war in that country. Megan Palin reports for the News Corp. of Australia. And this, ICYMI: a dangerous cycle in food production, written by Beth Gardiner and appearing in The New York Times, addresses the catastrophic die-off of bees that threatens the production of many foods we eat. The rub? Per-acre production is dropping and can’t keep up with increasing demand. This means that “the amount of land devoted to growing pollinator-dependent crops is expanding, reducing uncultivated space available for the variety of wild plants and flowers that bees need to thrive…” An important read.
Agriculture…California and beyond. Citrus budwood at a USDA research facility in Riverside was recently destroyed after testing positive for the bacterial disease Huanglongbing (HLB), which is deadly to citrus. Authorities assure that there is no need for concern about the spread of HLB beyond the facility. Todd Fichette for Western Farm Press. And this: the Vietnamese ambassador is seeking help from the University of California, Davis to preserve his country’s rice crop. The ambassador cited concerns with climate change and the rising sea level. Stephen Magagnini for The Sacramento Bee.
New York Times: Food for Tomorrow 2015. We’ve included a video from the event we think is important. Debra Eschmeyer, executive director of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative is also a farmer from Ohio. She and Judith Redmond (co-owner of California’s Full Belly Farm) sit down with New York Time’s Kim Severson to talk about women on the farm…and across the food chain. Superb segment; absolutely worth watching and listening.
Have a great evening.