Undermining Potential & Smoke Warning

Undermining Potential & Smoke Warning

Undermining Potential & Smoke Warning plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

FFA state leaders gathered at the White House for their 2013 State Presidents’ Conference and they were addressed by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack who told them that their generation’s potential is being undermined by the impasse over a farm bill. 

VILSACK: The productivity of what occurs in American farms and ranches every single year despite the challenges of Mother Nature, despite the lack of support from Washington DC is at historic levels. No one has ever done agriculture as well as we’re doing it today. And that’s what’s so frustrating to me about this current debate is there is not an appreciation for this greatest generation. There’s not a willingness to understand what’s at risk here and there are no more important folks in this debate who’ll be impacted by this debate and the failure to get something passed than you all.

Fires continue to burn in a number of areas of the Northwest including a pair in Washington and numerous fires in Oregon. These fires are sending large amounts of smoke into the air and the Department of Environmental Quality has issued a warning to people in these areas to take precautions to avoid breathing problems or other symptoms from smoke. If people have additional concerns, they should contact the nearest regional or local public health agency for the latest in health conditions from smoke.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

In the search for the cause for bee deaths and colony collapse disorder many suggestions have been made. There is the theory of cell phone usage as the culprit. A USDA report in 2010 blamed the decline of bee hives on a combination of environmental stressors that leave worker bees susceptible to viruses, parasites, mites and other pathogens. Earlier this year a peer-reviewed report from the European Food Safety Authority stated recent studies show that neonicotinoid pesticides, which are widely used throughout the world, contribute to colony collapse disorder. Yet another report this year from researchers at the University of Pittsburgh points at a potential alternative cause for CCD - metal pollution of the soil combined with environmental efforts to decontaminate soil. The most agreed on point by researchers is that the answer to colony collapse disorder lies somewhere in a combination of contributing factors. The solution is not as simple as to say, “stop spraying all pesticides everywhere”. Ultimately, we have to find a way to protect pollinators while still allowing farmers to have bountiful crop production.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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