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Thursday, April 07, 2016

High farmland prices hinder gains in food security

High farmland prices hinder gains in food security: The cost of small-acreage farmland in Metro Vancouver is two- to seven-times higher than that of large farms and is priced well beyond its value as agricultural land, according to a new report by Vancity.

In fact, the ability�of farmland to support agriculture has�little if any effect on the value of farmland in Metro Vancouver, which rises�with the value of residential land and proximity to urban centres.

With prices for fresh vegetables up 26 per cent between January 2015 and January 2016 — and projected to keep rising — the eroding viability of farming in British Columbia is a concern. B.C. is highly dependent on imported fresh foods, especially from California, which has suffered from extended drought and reduced agricultural productivity.

Supreme Court Affirms 3,500-Home Development On Farmland - Civil Beat News

Supreme Court Affirms 3,500-Home Development On Farmland - Civil Beat News: The Hawaii Supreme Court has issued a ruling that allows developer Castle & Cooke to proceed�with building a 3,500-home community known as Koa Ridge in central Oahu.

“The LUC in this case properly reclassified Castle & Cooke’s property from the agricultural land use district to the urban land use district,” the majority opinion says, referring to the state Land Use Commission.

Farmland leasing good option for new farmers

Farmland leasing good option for new farmers: Part of my decision to farm came from an understanding that strong regional food systems comprised of smaller, diversified farms can bolster local economies and help communities confronted by unpredictable climate achieve greater resilience. But beginning farmers drawn to launch small- and medium-scale diversified farms are struggling, and not for lack of zeal or initiative. No matter their education, hands-on training or slavish hours worked, upstart farmers do not have access to the means of achieving basic goals like finding land and securing tenure.

IPR News Blog | Organic Farms on the Increase in Indiana, and U.S.

IPR News Blog | Organic Farms on the Increase in Indiana, and U.S.: The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a significant increase in the number of certified organic operations this week. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Nick Janzen reports that Indiana is adding organic farms faster than the national average.

Would EU exit render our farms unviable? - Northumberland Gazette

Would EU exit render our farms unviable? - Northumberland Gazette: The chairman of the farmers’ union in Northumberland has painted a bleak picture of the industry’s future if Britain votes to leave the EU.

His comments came after yesterday’s release of a report, commissioned by the NFU, on the implications of a Brexit on British agriculture.

Farms facing peach disaster | News | salemnews.com

Farms facing peach disaster | News | salemnews.com: The see-saw nature of the past winter and spring have taken a toll at Cider Hill Farm, where co-owner Glenn Cook said he has lost his peach crop.

“That’s how it looks to me,” Cook said. �“We’re already counting on a total loss.”

Cider Hill isn’t alone. Farmers throughout the region are reporting their peach crops have been destroyed by the fluky weather.

More than 35 New Hampshire farms now offer shares | Escape Outside - WMUR Home

More than 35 New Hampshire farms now offer shares | Escape Outside - WMUR Home: After a career in the restaurant business, Lichtenberg is in his third year of offering community-supported agriculture (CSA) shares, in addition to his offerings at local farmers markets.

For about $20 to $25 a week, families can receive shares of his produce. Deliveries for his produce begin June 9. The season ends about Oct. 1.

National Soil Conservation Week Focuses on Sustainable Agriculture

National Soil Conservation Week Focuses on Sustainable Agriculture: Soil, air, water, and wildlife that share the land with agricultural production are all impacted by soil management. National Soil Conservation Week, which runs from April 17 to 23, is focusing on the importance of proper land stewardship for the benefit of all resources - especially soil - under our care.

Farmland still popular, solid investment - Delphos Herald

Farmland still popular, solid investment - Delphos Herald: In 2013, farmland sold for record sums and the prices remained high for a long time, according to Ron Spencer of Ron Spencer Realty. Now, however, Spencer said current prices are almost two-thirds less than the price was in 2013.
“Not so good,” Spencer said. “We may see this for a couple of years.”

Spencer does think farmland prices have held up well even though the land isn’t going for as much as previously. Prices do fluctuate, of course. For example, a recent sale in Defiance had 411. 5 acres going for $1.9 million or $4,617 an acre. But the inverse is also true. Spencer recently sold a farm in Madison County for $15,000 an acre and not so long ago, a Mercer County farm went for $17,000 an acre.

How drones lift agriculture in Bulgaria to a higher plane - FT.com

How drones lift agriculture in Bulgaria to a higher plane - FT.com: Stefan Dimitrov, a farmer in Bulgaria’s central Rose Valley, has some unusual guardians to protect his 1,500 hectares of land from criminals, wild animals and crop failure: they fly at 60 kilometres per hour and run on rechargeable batteries.
Mr Dimitrov’s drones are revolutionising the way he and fellow farmers in Bulgaria are managing their business. The company behind them hopes the drones will become as essential to agriculture as tractors and ploughs.
“[The drones are] making the agriculture sector an exciting place to be,” says Mr Dimitrov. He adds that by using data from them “we have been able to improve our day-to-day activities through the amount of information we have to hand.

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center: Grain markets remain sideways as the stock indices and gold exhibit more volatility. The US Dollar and crude oil are waiting for guidance as central bank leaders give speeches.

Ethanol production last week was 976,000 barrels per day compared to 992,000 barrels per day in the previous week. Ethanol stocks declined but are still 8.5% larger than a year ago. Using the USDA’s goal of .5% corn for ethanol usage one has to believe a further increase would be expected by year end.