Farm Bill. The words fall like an Ambien. But avoid all knowledge of what’s within this $1 trillion package, and you’ll miss out. Do you want GMO labeling, a better deal for organic farmers? Would you like to see Monsanto get slapped for sneaky dealings? Follow the action as Congress plows forward.
Wait! Don’t squash that baby bumblebee. You could be hurting a struggling species. Several varieties of bumblebees, which help pollinate major fruit and veggie crops, are in serious decline in the U.S., according to a report in Science magazine online.
The report focuses on a survey of bumblebees undertaken by University of Illinois/Urban-Champaign entomologist Sydney Cameron who says the United States has simply “lost a lot of bees” in recent decades.
“There are whole regions where we can’t find them any more,” he told Science.
An international agricultural research institution in Cali, Colombia, is conducting a study into the effects of climate change on the world’s top crops. The study by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture is scheduled for release later this year. VOA producer Zulima Palacio recently visited Colombia to meet with researchers at the center, and to speak with local farmers:
California is experiencing its third year of drought, statewide, and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which provides two-thirds of California’s fresh drinking water and yields a giant portion of the nation’s food supply, is dangerously close to running dry, water conservationists and water managers say.
Yesterday, federal officials vowed to act. During a visit to Sacramento, Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes met with local interests – farmers, fisheries, families and municipalities in the region – and promised to free up more water for their use. He acknowledged that the drought has compounded a pre-existing condition – the overall degradation of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Help the Honey Bees, a web-based campaign by Haagen Daz is trying to build buzz for the beneficial insects, which are beset by a mysterious ailment that causes whole colonies to collapse.
The effort includes backing some cute You Tube videos (dancing humans dressed as bees definitely help personify this issue), and a series of “challenges” on the Experience Project in which people can plant a flower or pledge to eat natural foods to help honey bees. There’s also a bee trivia quiz.