Good morning. Here’s our Wrap. Hope you have a great day!
Californians: don’t eat the crab. Just as the season is set to open, the California Department of Public Health has issued a warning “that potentially deadly levels of domoic acid have been found in Dungeness crab and rock crab caught along the coastline between Oregon and the southern border of Santa Barbara County.” It’s nothing to mess with: exposure can cause symptoms ranging from vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps to seizures, coma and death. An emergency public meeting is being held on Thursday 11/5; it will be live streamed on Cal-Span. Some are blaming the toxic bloom on warmer water. Stay tuned. An important piece to read by Nanette Asimov and Paolo Lucchesi for SFGate.
The future of food: investment in ag tech up; ag grads needed; exporting groundwater; back to the future with sugar beets.
- Precision farming – also called “site-specific ag” – is increasingly used by farmers. The trend utilizes a variety of data, which can help farmers more efficiently manage inputs, respond to weather and manage cropping. Will farming by the sub-inch help meet the world’s growing demand for food? Far-ranging, well-considered piece: a must read. Heesun Wee for CNBC.
- According to recent research by the USDA and Purdue University, about 60,000 jobs in “agriculture, food and natural resources” sectors will be opening up each year for the next five years. That’s 300,000 jobs. The challenge? There aren’t enough graduates to fill them. What’s being done? Luke Runyon reports for Harvest Public Media.
- An interesting story within a story about foreign investment in America’s agricultural land. Reporter Nathan Halverson speaks with NPR staff about a story he and Ike Sriskandarajah wrote for RevealNews. A Saudi hay farm in Arizona tests the state’s supply of groundwater. An essential read and listen. Be certain to get to the interview highlights: there are gems in there about water law and exporting water during a time of drought (in this case, in the form of hay). A case study of Arizona, but can be extrapolated. Brilliant.
- Back to the future with sugar beets. You may have met one of our favorite farmers, Chris Sayer (if not, read our Q&A). Sugar beets were once a key crop in Ventura County, but fell away. Chris is going to be growing them this season as a cover crop…and he’s blogging about it. He’s also enlisting a bunch of folks via social media to actually use those sugar beets when they’re ready to go. Chris says he’ll be using the sugar syrup from the first stage of processing to “make some Meyer lemon marmalade.” An interesting experiment to follow.
Research for the public good. As part of its Global Food Initiative, the University of California has gathered case studies of UC research that has influenced food and agriculture policy in the U.S. Eight examples are provide in this summary piece written by our colleague Alec Rosenberg, ranging from nutrition to a living wage for food chain workers. His piece is based on a report we shared earlier this year: Leveraging Research for Food and Agriculture Policy. One of the researchers whose work is featured in Rosenberg’s piece is nutritionist Lucia Kaiser; read our Q&A with her. ICYMI, this report from some UC ag economists is sure to spark discussion: “What Does the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Mean for California Agriculture?”
Have a great day!