Farm Aid scheduled Sept. 9 in New York
NEW YORK — Alongside farmers and food buyers at Union Square’s Greenmarket, Mayor Michael. Bloomberg welcomed Farm Aid co-founders Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp to New York as the pair announced Farm Aid 2007: "A HOMEGROWN Festival" that will feature an all-star, day-long concert event at Randall’s Island Sept. 9.
"The City strongly supports sustainable family farming through our Greenmarket program -- which has nearly doubled its locations over the past five years -- and it’s an honor to be hosting Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Farm Aid for their 2007 concert," said Mayor Bloomberg.
Farm Aid’s benefit concert will feature headliners Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews, plus other top artists to be announced.
Study: Coal-bed methane not hurting fields
BILLINGS, Mont. — New research funded in part by industry sources concludes coal-bed methane development in the Powder River Basin is not harming crop yields in southeastern Montana.
Some farmers in the area fear the high-sodium water that is pumped from the ground during methane production could kill their crops or ruin their soil when used for irrigation. The research released last week — commissioned by the Montana Oil and Gas Conservation Board — found no evidence of substantial crop losses or significant water quality changes due to coal-bed methane activity.
The research focused on the Tongue River Basin, where coal-bed methane exploration has been on the rise in recent years.
Tongue River irrigator Roger Muggli, a member of the Northern Plains Resource Council and critic of the coal-bed methane industry, said the research had "lots of holes in it" because some of the fields analyzed grew different crops over the course of the study. He said soil problems on his own fields refute the new research.
African swine fever under control
TBILISI, Georgia — Authorities have prevented a major spread of African swine fever, which killed 30,000 pigs and prompted a U.N. warning of potentially catastrophic economic consequences, the deputy agriculture minister said last week.
Authorities have taken a series of measures in recent months to contain the outbreak, including isolating pigs and prohibiting their transport, killing pigs whose owners cannot be found and disinfecting vehicles leaving areas affected by the disease, Bakur Kvezereli told The Associated Press.
"Today we can say that thanks to the measures that have been taken, we have managed to prevent the further spread of the epidemic," the deputy minister said. However, he said more pigs are expected to die in the affected areas of the Caucasus Mountain nation.
The sale of pork has been banned at shops and markets in the capital, Tbilisi, and other areas, he said.