What is in this article?:
- 20 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW
- 6 Raising corn is more of a gamble than playing blackjack.
- 7 The Amazon rainforest is not being cut down for soybean production.
- 8 Nearly all Midwest farmers have access to high-accuracy guidance networks.
- 9 More GPS brownouts are ahead.
- 10 Corn borer populations are rapidly shrinking in the Midwest.
- 11 Integrated pest management (IPM) isn't dead but evolving.
- 12 Glyphosate is applied too late.
- 13 Adding autoswath control to a sprayer saves 5 to 17% in applied product.
- 14 Assisted steering systems are no-brainers for return on investment.
- 15 It takes less fossil energy to produce ethanol than it takes to produce gasoline.
- 16 Ethanol does not take food away from people in developing countries.
- 17 Ethanol is not a water hog.
- 18 Livestock farmers are losing control of their animals.
- 19 Beef packs more nutrients into one 3-oz. serving than chicken does.
- 20 Small farms are not necessarily the most environmentally friendly option.
Livestock farmers are losing control of their animals.
THIS MAY be the century of legislated animal care for U.S. livestock producers. Several states have passed ballot initiatives over the last eight years specifically targeting animal housing. Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed HB 5127 into law in 2009 giving certain farm animals more flexibility in housing and thus helping to avoid a threatened ballot initiative by the Humane Society of the United States. This was considered a victory of sorts for livestock producers because they thought a ballot initiative would result in potentially more damaging regulation to the livestock industry.
In effect, the Michigan law phases out veal crates for calves within three years, and battery cages for laying hens and certain uses of gestation crates for breeding sows within 10 years of the law's passage. California voters passed Proposition 2 by a 63 to 37% margin in 2008 requiring that calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens and pregnant sows be confined only in ways that allow the animals to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely for the majority of the day. Similar measures have been passed in Florida, Arizona, Oregon and Colorado.
Once animal agriculture starts down the path of legislated animal welfare regulations, the animal activist agenda will gather speed because the groups have money and momentum. If this trend continues, voters and consumers who probably have never been in the barn may be telling farmers more about what they can and cannot do with their own animals. — Lora Berg