Tuesday, May 10, 2016


by Levi Russell

A survey of Europeans indicates that the public sorely under-rates the challenges with feeding the world, especially when it comes to the beneficial effects of pesticide use.
When asked what percentage of global crop yields they think are currently lost to plant pests and diseases each year, only 12% of respondents in the United Kingdom correctly identify the correct figure, which is 40%.
The USDA announced last week that 800,000 acres have been added to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) during its 49th signup. The press release has some good information for those who aren't familiar with CRP.
Participants in CRP establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as "covers") to control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural lands. In return, FSA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years. 
CRP is currently protecting more than 100,000 acres of bottomland hardwood trees, nearly 300,000 acres of flood-plain wetlands, and 300,000 acres each for duck nesting habitat and nearly 250,000 acres of upland bird habitat. In addition, CRP is creating economic benefits that include at least $545 million per year in recreation benefits and water quality benefits from reduced sedimentation of $587 million per year.
 Drought relief over the past year has been good for the Ogallala Aquifer in northern Texas and western Kansas.

Here (and here) are some columns I found interesting on the subject of a Universal Basic Income or Basic Income Guarantee and redistributive policies in general.

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