Hundreds of poultry farmers across Europe with millions of egg-laying hens are expected to flout a ban on conventional battery cages next year.
The new regulations are designed to eradicate the practice and dramatically enhance animal welfare.
According to European commission figures, 10 countries – including the UK – are set to be fully compliant with the new legislation by the time it comes into effect on 1 January 2012. Thus consumers can be sure that eggs from those member states have been produced in relatively high welfare conditions.
But eight countries – including Portugal, Belgium and Poland – are not predicted to make the grade, with more than 17 million hens expected to remain in old-fashioned battery cages by January.
And, while there were no new figures for five other member states including Italy, Greece and Hungary, campaigners say that those countries are unlikely to make the change in the next four months. As of last month, Italy alone had nearly 28 million hens still in so-called “non-enriched” cages.
The ban has been in the pipeline for 12 years, ever since the EU hens directive stated in 1999 that conventional non-enriched cages – in which birds do not have enough room to forage or stretch their wings – should be replaced by non-cage systems or “enriched” cages with more space, litter and perches. Continue reading
Six birds found dead recently in Southern California’s Tehachapi Mountains were majestic golden eagles. But some bird watchers say that in an area where dozens of wind turbines slice the air they were also sitting ducks.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating to determine what killed the big raptors, and declined to divulge the conditions of the remains. But the likely cause of death is no mystery to wildlife biologists who say they were probably clipped by the blades of some of the 80 wind turbines at the three-year-old Pine Tree Wind Farm Project, operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
As the Obama administration pushes to develop enough wind power to provide 20 percent of America’s energy by 2030, some bird advocates worry that the grim discovery of the eagles this month will be a far more common occurrence.
Windmills kill nearly half a million birds a year, according to a Fish and Wildlife estimate. The American Bird Conservancy projected that the number could more than double in 20 years if the administration realizes its goal for wind power. Continue reading
Cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) is native to Central and South America and has been cultivated since prehistoric times in Mexico. For cacao production to be profitable in Hawaii, high tonnage and superior quality are required. However, Hawaiian cacao plantings are variable in both quality and yield, and are not necessarily adapted to Hawaii’s growing conditions. The genotypes of these trees are unknown, and growers are not able to identify the types of cacao trees on their farms. Through the use of DNA marker techniques, we are now able to Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. of superior cultivars based on their parentages/pedigrees. By the use of simple sequence repeat DNA markers, many individual trees have been fingerprinted. The survey group was found to include Criollo, Trinitario, Forastero and their hybrid types, plus genetically unique trees. The large genetic variation among Hawaii’s cacao trees currently grown here suggests it may not be necessary to import additional cacao genotypes to supplement locally available germplasm. The existing variation allows us to select and produce superior genotypes specifically suited for a grower’s production environment.
The Maui County Farm Bureau (MCFB) will present the second annual Maui Ag Day with a focus on “Understanding Food Safety Certification” on Friday, Aug. 26, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hāli‘imaile Pineapple Company located at 872 Hāli‘imaile Road.
The trade show, panel discussion, tour and parking are free and open to the general public.
The day opens with the trade show and continental breakfast. At 9 a.m., the event will feature a Food Safety Certification Panel Presentation by three Maui farmers who have completed the Food Safety Certification process: Heidi Watanabe of Watanabe Processing, Geoff Haines of Pacific Produce and Brian Igersheim of Hāli‘imaile Pineapple Co. At 10:30 a.m., tour of Hāli‘imaile Pineapple Company facilities and pineapple fields. A Grown on Maui lunch will be provided to MCFB members at 11:45 a.m.; non-members may purchase lunch. Continue reading
IN YOUR FRIDGE / Farmers’ market managers, Pamela Boyer and Annie Suite have joined hands with local farmers to create Oahu Agri-Tours. There’s no fancy farmhouse or massive farm machinery; what you see is what you get. You’ll experience first-hand how farmers are committed to practicing clean, organic farming.
Poamoho Farms is one of the farms on tour, and guests learn how the fruit orchard uses natural pest management and fertilization methods. Tin Roof Ranch farmers Luann Casey and Gary Gunder butcher their chickens the day before selling them at the market.
Na Mea Kupono wetland taro farm practices old school taro farming methods that most locals don’t even know about. Here you can also watch a traditional poi-pounding demonstration.
At Mohala Farms you’ll see how simple and natural farming is still possible (and still exists). Continue reading
The HGCSA Annual Golf Tournament will be held on September 22, 2011 at the Hoakalei Country Club. Shotgun start is at 11:00 a.m., with a banquet and reception to follow.
This year’s event will feature over $5,000 in prizes. A low gross champion, as well as competitors in three flights will be crowned, so reserve your spot in this tournament early. Entry fee is $80, and is due September 1, 1211.
Hi! I am Madel, a Fulbright Scholar currently working with Dr. Skip Bittenbender on a research on cacao at the UH . Right now we’re listing the cacao growers, propagators, Chocolatiers/artisan with a hope that we can meet sometime to discuss on the cacao industry in Hawaii and aim to have a wonderful Hawaii Cacao industry in the future.
Will you care to email me your name, Farm/bussiness location, home address, email address. Please state the no. of cacao trees you have; the products you sell or produce.
Hope to hear from you ASAP. Mahalo and God bless you all!
Fighting farm theft and vandalism is getting a closer look by state officials in the wake of high-profile cases.
Tougher penalties, rural neighborhood watch and product tracking from field to vendor are among the ideas to combat a growing and troublesome trend.
Whether it’s theft of produce or vandalism on a massive scale, agricultural crime is becoming center on the state’s radar.
“It was the vandalism that really led to all of the interest, because we’ve have three incidents that we know of, so it’s kind of building,” said State Agriculture Director Russell Kokubun.
The crimes range from brazen papaya crop destruction on Oahu and the Big Island, to pineapple theft on Maui.
“We’ve had probably one or two pickups a day stolen out of 1350 acres, that’s a lot,” says Doug MacCluer of Haliimaile Pineapple Co. Continue reading
HALIIMAILE – The Maui County Farm Bureau will host the second annual Maui Ag Day with a focus on understanding food safety certification from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at Haliimaile Pineapple Co.
The trade show, a panel presentation on food safety, tour and parking are free. That event will be held at 872 Haliimaile Road.
A “Grown on Maui” lunch is free for Maui County Farm Bureau members. There is a fee for nonmembers.
Those planning to attend should RSVP by Wednesday. For more information, send email to warrenmcfb@hot mail.com or call 243-2290.
WASHINGTON: Three years after the Indian ” alphanso” landed in the US to the delight of diehard mango lovers, the popular ” chausa” variety from Pakistan has entered American markets this month, leading to cheers from the fruit’s fans.
Traders involved in its import concede that this brings an element of competition between the mango varieties from two countries, though both are facing the problem of high costs and are presently quite far away from the reach of the masses and are not readily available in Indian and Pakistani grocery stores.
Jaidev Sharma, president of Mangozz.com, one of the largest importers of the fruit from India and Pakistan, says that generally mangoes from India have an edge over those from Pakistan.
After the arrival of the first commercial shipment of about 800 boxes of Pakistani “chausa” early this month, a box of six “chausa” mangoes was quickly taken at an unbelievable premium price of USD 60-USD 100.
In the last few years, the Indian “alphanso” has been the costliest variety in the US, with a box (weighing about 3 kgs and containing nine to 12 mangoes) being sold this year at USD 40 to USD 80 in the retail market. Continue reading