Propane Pain, 'Sustainability' and Nut Thieves

7 stories you might have missed this week

Published on: Jan 24, 2014

Need to catch up? Here are some stories you might have missed this week.

1. Propane pain? Cold weather, high demand and transportation issues have combined to make a sticky situation for propane recently. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the high demand as of late has exacerbated already short propane supplies in the Midwest.

2. A farm bill backtrack. Payment limits made it into both the Senate and House farm bills, but rumors that they may not make it into a final conference report have groups supporting payment limits on high alert.

Propane pain, sustainability and nut thieves: 7 things you might have missed this week
Propane pain, 'sustainability' and nut thieves: 7 things you might have missed this week

3. 'Sustainable' demand. Consumers will drive change in the food and livestock industries, points out Harold Harpster, retired Penn State University animal scientist. Recent announcements to advance sustainability by McDonalds and Walmart underscore the trend, Harpster says.

4. Nut thieves abound. The soaring value of California's nut crops is attracting a new breed of thieves who have been making off with the pricey commodities by the truckload, reports Scott Smith of the Associated Press. It's all part of a new scheme dubbed "fictitious pickup," Smith says.

5. Eastern editor speaks his GMO piece. John Vogel, American Agriculturalist editor comments in a recent blog that the move by GMO activists to get Chobani yogurt off Whole Foods' shelves is puzzling at best –and could bring on questions of politics vs. science.

6. In a somewhat related discussion, a recent decision by Whole Foods to ban produce grown with sludge raises other interesting questions about science, environment and business. Eliza Barclay of NPR discusses the impact of perception.

7. Calling all RFS comments. By now, you've heard that the EPA wants to roll back mandatory ethanol production requirements. Also by now, you know they want your input on the proposed plan. But Jan. 28 is your last day, so no matter what side you're on, now's the time to tell the EPA. Groups of Senators, Representatives and the National Corn Growers – among others – have already weighed in.

And your bonus:

Next weekend's the big one for chicken. Next weekend is the poultry industry's black Friday equivalent: Super Bowl Sunday. The National Chicken Council estimates that 1.25 billion wings will be purchased and consumed by football fanatics. That's enough to put 572 wings on every seat in all 32 NFL stadiums, NCC says.

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