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Why are farmers in the Netherlands protesting?

Blamed for much of the climate crisis, biodiversity decline, water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, farmers and farming are at the centre of a worldwide debate which is only gaining heat. This argument has come to a head in the Netherlands, where farmers have been involved in high-conflict protests, blocking roads with tractors and farm waste, and setting fire to bales of hay. Police response to protests has been reportedly heavy handed –  even shooting at protestors.

Why are they protesting? Dutch courts have insisted on a 50% (up to 70% in some areas) reduction in nitrogen pollution by 2030, to be achieved by drastic reductions in livestock numbers. Farmers feel singled out, and the Government has taken a U-turn on its previous support of intensive farming.

Flag of the Netherlands

The problem

For decades, in the Netherlands, government policy has promoted the intensification of the livestock sector, and a lack of intervention in the market has meant that prices have been pushed down, leaving ever-greater intensification as the only means to stay afloat for many. The Netherlands have Europe’s highest livestock density, with 3.8 ‘livestock units’ (a measure of animal numbers) per hectare of agricultural area, which, being a small country, leaves it with a huge issue when it comes to the volume of waste these animals produce. When manure and urine mix, ammonia, a compound of nitrogen, is released, and can damage natural habitats and result in air pollution. While the focus of much of the coverage has been on dairy farms, pig farms in the Netherlands, in particular, are also a major source of nitrogen and phosphate pollution, with much of the nitrogen coming in the form of high protein soybean meal, often imported from recently deforested areas in South America.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

No Farmers, No Food, No Life

No Farmers, No Food, No Life

The world is now facing a man-made food catastrophe. It is reaching crisis levels.

Current policies in many parts of the world place a priority on climate change for realizing a green new deal. Meanwhile, such policies will contribute to children dying from severe malnutrition due to broken food systems, with shortages of food and water, stress, anxiety, fear, and dangerous chemical exposure.

More negative pressure on farmers and the food system is asking for a catastrophe. The immune system of many people, especially children, has lost its resilience and has weakened too far with high risks for intoxication, infections, non-communicable and infectious diseases, deaths and infertility.

Dutch farmers, of whom many will face a cost of living crisis after 2030, have drawn the line. They are supported by an increasing number of farmers and citizens worldwide.

It’s not the farmers who are the most heavy polluters of the environment, but industries who make the products needed for a technocracy revolution to green energy, data mining, and Artificial Intelligence. As more of the WEF plans are rolled out by politicians, inequalities grow, and conflicts are rising all over the world.

The strong farmers’ revolt in the Netherlands is a call for an urgent transition to a people-oriented, free and healthy world with nutritious food cultivated and harvested in respect to natural processes. The cooperation of ordinary people worldwide is on the rise to prevent a mass famine catastrophe caused by the plan of scientism and technocracy to rule and control the world by unelected scientists and elites.

Enough food, access to food is the problem

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Dutch Nitrogen Scientist Questions the Basis of Government Climate Mandates

Dutch Nitrogen Scientist Questions the Basis of Government Climate Mandates

‘We now treat farmers as polluters … which is a very strange perspective’

Jaap Hanekamp is skeptical of the received wisdom in science. He won’t stop asking a simple question: “But, is this true?”

When it comes to the Dutch government’s calculations of ammonia and nitrogen oxide deposition—the basis of climate mandates that would slash livestock numbers and put many farmers out of work—Hanekamp is especially critical of “the science.”

He thinks it relies on vague definitions, excessive deference to expert judgment, and a narrow focus on costs rather than both costs and benefits.

“We now treat farmers as polluters, end of story, which is a very strange perspective,” he said.

Hanekamp, an associate professor of chemistry at University College Roosevelt in the Netherlands, made the comments in an interview with Roman Balmakov, host of EpochTV’s “Facts Matter.”

A 2019 Dutch court decision that hindered the construction of livestock facilities triggered an earlier round of protests by farmers.

Science article on the protests described some of the harms attributed to nitrogen emissions: “In 118 of 162 Dutch nature reserves, nitrogen deposits now exceed ecological risk thresholds by an average of 50 percent.

“In dunes, bogs, and heathlands, home to species adapted to a lack of nitrogen, plant diversity has decreased as nitrogen-loving grasses, shrubs, and trees move in.”

“Nitrogen chemicals are nutrients—you need them for growing plants,” Hanekamp said.

Hanekamp believes the government has focused on nitrogen almost to the exclusion of other factors that affect nature, such as the location of groundwater relative to the surface.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Dutch Farmers Livid Over EU’s ‘Green’ Nitrogen Rule Block Border Between Holland And Germany

Dutch Farmers Livid Over EU’s ‘Green’ Nitrogen Rule Block Border Between Holland And Germany

Thousands of tractor-driving Dutch protesters came out this week to continue demonstrations against the government’s radical plan to cut nitrogen emissions by 30% – 70% as part of their ‘green’ agenda.

Farmers from the world’s 5th largest exporter of food are demanding that the Hague immediately reverse course, and have blocked the border between Holland and Germany over the rule which would lead to the closure of dozens of farms and cattle ranches.

On Wednesday, dozens of tractors blocked a highway close to the German border, according to traffic authorities.

Even larger protests are scheduled for July 4, with organizers taking to Telegram to call people to action against rules they say will “flatten” the country’s agriculture industry.

According to the Epoch Times, the message calls on concerned farmers and citizens to organize their own regional actions with the goal of closing all “distribution centers for food supplies and all major polluters” until “the government changes its plans.”

One viral call for a July 4 protest came from a large truckers’ Telegram group, suggesting that some truckers in the Netherlands may find themselves in solidarity with the nation’s agriculturalists.

The farmers, who plan to protest at many of the nation’s airports, specifically mentioned Schiphol and Eindhoven. NLTimes.nl has reported that spokespersons for both airports say they are monitoring the situation but have little information at present.

In 2021, the Netherlands’ coalition government proposed slashing livestock numbers in the country by 30 percent to meet nitrogen emissions targets.

The country has already implemented stringent restrictions on new construction with the aim of curbing nitrogen emissions.

Rabobank has argued that those new hurdles have slowed down homebuilding in the Netherlands, intensifying a housing shortage in the densely populated coastal nation.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“We Are Teetering On The Edge”: Food Shortage Worries Mount As PA Farms “Crushed” By Record Diesel Prices

“We Are Teetering On The Edge”: Food Shortage Worries Mount As PA Farms “Crushed” By Record Diesel Prices

There’s nothing like the sweet smell of Building Back Better…

Pennsylvania farmers are being “crushed” by the record cost of diesel – so much so, that questions about a food crisis are starting to loom, the Morning Call reported.

One farmer in Lehigh County is quoted as saying: “I’ve got a tractor hooked up to my corn planter out here, no diesel fuel, and I can’t afford to get any.”

That farmer was airing his gripes to Kyle Kotzmoyer, a legislative affairs specialist for the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. Kotzmoyer then turned around and testified to state lawmakers: “We have reached that point to where it is very close to being a sinking ship. We are teetering on the edge right now.”

The situation looks as though it will continue to push food prices higher, after the government reported that food prices in May were 10.1% higher than last year.

Kotzmoyer lamented the possibility of a food shortage: “One, if they can’t afford to put it in the ground. Or, two, if they can’t afford to take it out.”

The PA average for diesel is now $6.19 per gallon, up about 75% from a year ago, the report notes. It is a “huge, huge expense” for farmers, Kotzmoyer told state legislators.

One farmer who works on about 3,500 acres burns through about 2,000 gallons of diesel per month, he said. “If the farmers cannot get crops out of the ground, then there is not food on the shelves.”

The Biden administration will pay farmers more money not to farm

The goal is to add 4 million acres of farmland to the Conservation Reserve Program, which takes land out of production to blunt agriculture’s environmental impact.

The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it would expand a program that pays farmers to leave land fallow, part of a broader, government-wide effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. The new initiative will incentivize farmers to take land out of production by raising rental rates and incentive payments.

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) was created in 1985 to incentivize landowners to leave some of their marginal land unplanted, a plan meant to protect the environment by reducing agricultural runoff into streams and rivers, preserving wildlife habitats, and preventing erosion. Today, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) “rents” about 21 million acres of farmland from landowners, typically for 10 years at a time—a tiny fraction of the total land farmed nationwide. In recent years, the number of acres enrolled in CRP has fallen, possibly because USDA’s rental payments have not been competitive with the open market, Chuck Abbott reported for FERN News.

The new announcement is a bid to incentivize farmers to enroll 4 million more acres of land in the program to total 25 million acres, the current program limit. “Sometimes the best solutions are right in front of you,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a press release.

“A huge amount of money was essentially paid and then lost when those acres go back into farming.”

All told, the increased rental rates and expanded incentive payments—which pay farmers extra for growing buffer strips and promoting wildlife habitats—will increase CRP spending by about 18 percent, totaling $300 million or more in annual spending.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Farmers on the Brink

Farmers on the Brink

Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

It was a spooky time to be out at sea off the US East Coast on Halloween in 1991. A strong storm system over the maritime provinces in Canada merged with the remnants of Hurricane Grace, forming a new, epic, and dangerous Nor’easter. The winds of this new storm breached 70 miles per hour and a wave as high as 100 feet was measured off the coast of Nova Scotia, but the storm was not renamed as either a tropical storm or a hurricane – instead, it is known only colloquially as simply the Perfect Storm. Six fishermen from Massachusetts perished when their vessel Andrea Gail sunk in open waters, and the story of the storm and of that tragedy became the subject of a best-selling book and a blockbuster feature film.

While the concept of a perfect storm is often too casually assigned in popular culture, it is difficult to find a more apt description of what has been unfolding in the global agriculture markets over these past several months. The tempest caused by the European energy disaster has merged with the hurricane of consequences flowing from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, forming the genesis of a generational crisis in food that will leave few unaffected. While we’ve been warning about just such a scenario for some time, after spending the past two weeks traveling across the US Midwest and conferring with our contacts in the agricultural sector, even we are a little spooked by what we’ve learned. In a financial crash, the correlation between all asset classes converges to one…

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A Farming Insider Has Warned Me That The Coming Food Shortages Are Going To Be FAR WORSE Than We Are Being Told

A Farming Insider Has Warned Me That The Coming Food Shortages Are Going To Be FAR WORSE Than We Are Being Told

The information that I am about to share with you is extremely alarming, but I have always endeavored to never sugarcoat things for my readers.  Right now, there are shortages of certain items in grocery stores across the United States, and food supplies have gotten very tight all over the globe.  I have repeatedly warned that this is just the beginning, but I didn’t realize how dire things have already gotten until I received an email from a farming insider that I have corresponded with over the years.  I asked him if I could publicly share some of the information that he was sharing with me, and he said that would be okay as long as I kept his name out of it.

According to this farming insider, dramatically increased costs for fertilizer will make it impossible for many farmers to profitably plant corn this year.  The following is an excerpt from an email that he recently sent me…

“Things for 2022 are interesting (and scary). Input costs for things like fertilizer, liquid nitrogen and seeds are like triple and quadruple the old prices. It will not be profitable to plant this year. Let me repeat, the economics will NOT work. Our plan, is to drop about 700 acres of corn off and convert to soybeans (they use less fertilizer, and we also have chicken manure from that operation). Guess what? We are not the only ones with those plans. Already there is a shortage of soybean seeds, so we will see how that will work out. The way I see it, there will be a major grain shortage later in the year, especially with corn. I mean, we are small with that…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘Farms Are Failing’ as Fertilizer Prices Drive Up Cost of Food

‘Farms Are Failing’ as Fertilizer Prices Drive Up Cost of Food

Farmers in the developing world say they are curtailing production, which means global hunger could worsen

From South America’s avocado, corn and coffee farms to Southeast Asia’s plantations of coconuts and oil palms, high fertilizer prices are weighing on farmers across the developing world, making it much costlier to cultivate and forcing many to cut back on production.

That means grocery bills could go up even more in 2022, following a year in which global food prices rose to decade highs. An uptick would exacerbate hunger—already acute in some parts of the world because of pandemic-linked job losses—and thwart efforts by politicians and central bankers to subdue inflation.

“Farms are failing and many people are not growing,” said 61-year-old Rodrigo Fierro, who produces avocados, tangerines and oranges on his 10-acre farm in central Colombia. He has seen fertilizer prices double in recent months, he said.

A coffee plantation in Brazil earlier this month.


A woman harvesting in a field in Ivory Coast. Fertilizer demand in sub-Saharan Africa could fall 30% this year, which nonprofit International Fertilizer Development Center says would translate to a loss in food production equivalent to the needs of 100 million people.


Christina Ribeiro do Valle, who comes from a long line of coffee growers in Brazil, is this year paying three times what she paid last year for the fertilizer she needs. Coupled with a recent drought that hit her crop hard, it means Ms. do Valle, 75, will produce a fraction of her Ribeiro do Valle brand of coffee, some of which is exported.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

UK | Supply Chains No Longer Fit For Purpose

UK | Supply Chains No Longer Fit For Purpose

In October 2021 Sustain, the UK-based alliance working for food and farming system change, published ‘Beyond the farmgate – Unlocking the path to farmer-focused supply chains and climate-friendly, agroecological food systems’. The report explores the results of a survey of 500 farmers in England and Wales, with recommendations on how better systems can be created to benefit farmers, the environment and the public. Vicki Hird unpacks some of the details. 

Farmers in England and Wales want to move away from centralised supply chains where they say they have little influence over prices, not enough connection to consumers, and are not rewarded for delivering positive climate and nature outcomes. This is according to the findings of Sustain in its report ‘Beyond the Farmgate‘ which lays out the results of a new survey of 500 English and Welsh farmers.  Only 5% of farmers surveyed want to sell to supermarkets. In contrast, 80% would like to sell to food hubs, box schemes, independent retailers and other more local markets.

Local Supply Chains – barriers and cooperation

More localised supply chains would do a much better job when it comes to fair and better prices (75%), supporting climate and nature objectives (30%), and greater business resilience (42%), farmers felt.

But finding new markets has its barriers, which were also drawn out of the survey. The biggest challenges for farmers were access to affordable finance (48%), limited time and know-how when it comes to marketing and market research (44%), and the lack of locally available infrastructure like grain mills and abattoirs (28%).

Given the multiple challenges ahead, from trade deals, to climate and a continuously harsh retail environment, it was unsurprising that most farmers surveyed either want to be part of a cooperative (55%) or would be willing to consider joining one (25%)…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why the Climate Change Committee should reconsider their approach to farming

Why the Climate Change Committee should reconsider their approach to farming


Farmers Wait Weeks For John Deere Parts As Strikes Paralyze Midwest Factories 

Farmers Wait Weeks For John Deere Parts As Strikes Paralyze Midwest Factories 

Multiple John Deere dealerships report part delays for tractors and heavy equipment amid an ongoing strike of more than 10,000 members of the United Auto Workers union at 12 of Deere’s Midwest factories and facilities, according to Bloomberg.

Dealerships note that customers face weeks-long delays for tractor and equipment parts that would typically take several days to fulfill. These parts and components are crucial for farmers to keep combine harvesters and other farm equipment humming during harvest season to stay ahead of the wintry season.

Deere’s situation worsened this week when 90% of union workers rejected its offer that would have ended the walkout, which began in mid-October. Workers are encouraged to seek higher pay because of Deere’s strong earnings.

“It seems general membership feels emboldened by this current political moment of labor power. They’re pushing things further than the union leadership apparently wants to go,” Victor Chen, a sociologist at Virginia Commonwealth University who studies labor, told CBS News. “It’s a gamble, but the economic wind is against their backs, given widespread supply chain problems and the current worker shortage.”

Jon Fisher, a wholesaler of tractors and other machinery in Columbia, South Carolina, said supply chain issues already complicated the picture for procuring parts. Now strikes are a “doubly whammy” where parts are more expensive and harder to find. He said what used to take days now takes three or more weeks.

According to CNN Business, the strike has forced the tractor company to explore whether it can source parts from its 59 foreign factories to satisfy domestic demand while striking continues with no end in sight.

Deere has considered using replacement workers or strikebreakers, a ploy by companies to counteract strikes, but there are few workers in the labor market.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

U.S. Dairy Cows Too Expensive to Feed, Causing Herd to Plummet

The U.S. herd shrank by 85,000 cows between June and September

The U.S. herd shrank by 85,000 cows between June and September

The number of dairy cows in the U.S. is plunging at a pace not seen in more than a decade, signaling elevated costs for products like butter.

The cost of feeding dairy cows has been soaring, said Nate Donnay, director of dairy market insight at StoneX Group. That’s forcing dairy farmers to slash herds.

The U.S. herd shrank by 85,000 cows between June and September, the biggest four-month drop since 2009. Milk production is consequently less than expected, rising in September just 0.2% from last year, falling way short of StoneX’s forecast of 1.3%.

Lower milk production could mean that prices for dairy products could be more expensive, and add to rising food inflation that’s already hitting Americans’ wallets.

“We’ve never seen a drop this big without a more severe drop in margins preceding it,” Donnay said in a report.

Prices for American dairy products have been climbing recently, helped by the bullish production report, said Matt Gould, editor of The Dairy Market Analyst. Global milk supplies are tight, and butter in particular is limited, he said.

Media briefing: Farming can be a climate change solution, so why is it missing in action at COP26?

Our planet is at a tipping point. Climate change threatens all our futures if we do not act now. All sectors must look at their impact, and agriculture is no exception. Agriculture is currently responsible for up to one quarter of all emissions globally. Current industrial farming practices are major contributors to escalating climate change and nature loss – this must urgently be addressed.

But farming is also unique. Not only could it reduce emissions through more sustainable practices, it also has the potential to remove carbon from the atmosphere and become perhaps the biggest nature-based solution to climate change. In addition, sustainable farming can restore nature and deliver healthy food from resilient food systems. These issues – climate, nature and health – are interlinked and should not be treated in silos.

So why is food and farming not on the agenda of COP26? As talks begin in Glasgow, there is a risk that governments could be missing a major opportunity.

“Agriculture could play a central role as part of the solution to climate change, not only by reducing emissions but by sequestering carbon in the soil. Yet, at present, the scale and importance of this potential seems to have gone largely unrecognised by global leaders. In order to harness the potential of agriculture to address climate change, we need a global farm metric that measures our impacts, we need trade agreements that are conditional on sustainability and we need to acknowledge the role of soil and grassland as a major carbon sink.” Patrick Holden, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Food Trust.

We believe the following three issues are key to harnessing the power of agriculture as a solution to climate change:

1. Global Farm Metric

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 The Woodchip Handbook: A Complete Guide for Farmers, Gardeners and Landscapers: Excerpt

The Woodchip Handbook

The following excerpt is from Ben Raskin’s new book The Woodchip Handbook: A Complete Guide for Farmers, Gardeners and Landscapers (Chelsea Green Publishing, October 2021) and is reprinted with permission from the publisher.

The Woodchip Handbook

By Ben Raskin

Restoring Damaged Soil

With the potential for woodchip to boost soil health, hold onto water and promote plant growth, it is a small step to look at how to effectively harness that potential for rescuing degraded and damaged soils. There are numerous examples of how this has been done, and we’ll look at a few of them here. In some of the studies woodchip and biochar are used either comparatively or in combination, and there is certainly potential for combining the shorter-term benefits of woodchip with the longer-lasting properties of biochar. Both the physical and biological properties of woodchip are used in soil remediation.


We have already seen the potential for woodchip and the fungi that decompose them to absorb potentially polluting nitrates, but there is some evidence that it could be used more widely to help deal with other manmade pollutants, ‘such as chlorinated and non-chlorinated hydrocarbons, wood preserving chemicals, solvents, heavy metals, pesticides, petroleum products, and explosives. There is an even stronger body of evidence on the potential of biochar for this purpose, but creating biochar is more costly and in most cases some of the energy is lost during the production process. Woodchip is cheaper and easier to produce, so it is worth looking at those situations that could use it.

For contaminants that would eventually break down anyway, such as oil and diesel spills, woodchip appears to have the potential to significantly increase the speed at which the contaminants disintegrate…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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