On Friday, Bayer CropScience a their US headquarters in RTP cut the ribbon on Greenhouse 5. Dr. Dan Tomso US Research Lead for bioscience for Bayer Crop Science:
“Greenhouse 5 is our newest and largest greenhouse. It’s a cutting edge piece of technology, fully integrated from top to bottom. It will be used to support our corn and soybean programs.”
As Tomso mentioned, the facility is fully integrated, as well as eco-friendly:
"The majority of the materials used in the construction were recycled. The water that we use here is reclaimed, all of the heating and cooling is water based so we have the highest possible efficiency.”
Drought a Stark Reminder of Need for Farm Bill
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is using the circumstances surrounding the Midwestern drought to call for passage of a new farm bill that includes disaster assistance. The Secretary has noted several times that USDA is using all its administrative powers to help farmers and ranchers impacted by the drought but that it’s limited because the disaster programs included in the 2008 Farm Bill have already expired.
Pork Checkoff Hopes to Maintain Last Year’s Export Levels
Through the first five months of the year – U.S. pork exports exceeded last year’s record pace by six-percent in volume and 15-percent in value. Larabee, Iowa Pork Producer Tim Bierman chairs the Pork Checkoff Producer Trade Committee and is hopeful for the positive export business for the balance of the year…
“We do hope it will stay somewhat strong, though flat for the rest of the year and just maintain the levels that we had last year.”
USDA Under Secretary Discusses Agricultural Challenges for Future Needs
USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics Dr. Catherine Woteki says the challenge for ag researchers is to find ways to produce food more intensively – and sustainably – if the world’s food needs are to be met in the future…
“The kind of research that we are doing at our laboratories is looking to susatainably intensify agricultural production.”
Woteki oversees the Agricultural Research Service.
Naval Demonstration of Biofuels
Because the nation’s reliance on foreign oil is a significant and well-recognized military vulnerability Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus says the Navy is pursuing alternatives. A U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group was operating on advanced biofuel for two days to test the fuel’s performance in an operational setting off the coast of Hawaii as part of the Rim of the Pacific Exercise. Mabus says the successful demonstration was a unique opportunity to witness the seamless integration of advanced biofuel and energy efficient technologies in some of the Navy’s most sophisticated air and sea platforms.