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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Ontario farmland: threatened by urban sprawl

Ontario farmland: threatened by urban sprawl: Southern Ontario is the most heavily populated area in Canada. The region is colloquially known as the “Golden Horseshoe”, the relatively prosperous area stretching from just east of Toronto, around the end of Lake Ontario, through Hamilton to St Catharines and the Niagara Peninsula.

Although relatively heavily populated and a long time manufacturing and industrial region, it also has some of the country’s best farmland, including one of the two rare places in Canada currently capable of growing tender fruit such as peaches cherries, and plums, and of course wine grapes. The Niagara Peninsula is one of two major wine regions in Canada.

A future for Sequim’s farmland - Sequim Gazette

A future for Sequim’s farmland - Sequim Gazette: Since 1950 the amount of farmland in Clallam County has declined by 70 percent, leaving about 20,000 acres accessible.

At that rate, an average of about 1,000 acres per year of local farmland disappears, Tom Sanford, North Olympic Land Trust executive director, said.

“Sequim is a farm town and our community reflects that in so many ways, even though farming isn’t anything like it once was,” Joe Holtrop, Clallam Conservation District executive director, said. “As we lose farmland, we lose a critical part of what helped create our character.”

Sequim continues to be home to the oldest festival in the state, the Sequim Irrigation Festival that began when the first headgate on the Dungeness River was lifted to allow for irrigation in 1895 — A lingering indicator of the historic importance of agriculture in the valley.

Farmland: A Growing Investment Option | Seeking Alpha

Farmland: A Growing Investment Option | Seeking Alpha: The last 20 years have seen a new asset category grow in popularity… farmland.

And it's easy to see why, because farmland is profitable.

In fact, the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries' ((NCREIF)) Farmland Index had an average annual return of 12% over 20 years.

That beat the NCREIF's Commercial Property Index and the S&P 500's return of about 9%. It also topped investment-grade corporate bonds, which had returns in the 7% range.

More California farmland could vanish as water shortages loom beyond drought | The Sacramento Bee

More California farmland could vanish as water shortages loom beyond drought | The Sacramento Bee: His almond trees have turned a ghostly gray, and his grapevines are shriveling.

After two years without water, Garrett Rajkovich’s farm in western Fresno County is dying. It might never be farmed again. Approximately 1,200 acres face the prospect of permanent retirement.

The Central Valley is sinking: drought forces farmers to ponder the abyss | US news | The Guardian

The Central Valley is sinking: drought forces farmers to ponder the abyss | US news | The Guardian: On a day when the skies were ashen from the smoke of distant wildfires, Chase Hurley kept his eyes trained on the slower-moving disaster at ground level: collapsing levees, buckling irrigation canals, water rising up over bridges and sloshing over roads.

This is the hidden disaster of California’s drought. So much water has been pumped out of the ground that vast areas of the Central Valley are sinking, destroying millions of dollars in infrastructure in the gradual collapse.

Four years of drought – and the last two years of record-smashing heat – have put water in extremely short supply.

Researchers find blue crab in state's portion of Mississippi : Outdoors

Researchers find blue crab in state's portion of Mississippi : Outdoors: A blue crab recently surprised resource scientists with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) during fish sampling on the Mississippi River. The fish sampling was part of a statewide paddlefish research project which is checking the quality of sport fish in Missouri's large rivers, tributaries and lakes. The researchers are looking for quality, self-sustaining wild populations of paddlefish to ensure harvest opportunities for both sport and commercial fishing.

Nick Kramer, a graduate student at Southeast Missouri State University, was with colleagues Wes Sleeper and Mark Hempel, when he pulled a net for the paddlefish project and came up with the blue crab. The group is working in cooperation with MDC, alongside Frank Nelson, MDC wetlands ecologist.

Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State: Things to watch during Egg Bowl 2015 | gulflive.com

Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State: Things to watch during Egg Bowl 2015 | gulflive.com: This year's Egg Bowl is a much-anticipated matchup between ranked teams with impressive offenses featuring solid quarterback play and talented receivers.