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Wheat, the First Biotech Crop

Agfact #27 

Wheat is the product of a cross between three different grass species which is reputed to have happened about 10,000 B.C.  Our forefathers quickly learned this wild grass was a good source of food for humans and animals.  New species of wheat developed because early farmers selected kernels from their best wheat plants to use as seeds for planting the following year’s crop. That way, only the best wheat qualities were passed from one generation to the next.

Today, the method to select the best quality of corn-soybean-wheat-canola seed is selected in a lab. Biotechnology is not evil as reported in the media.  Just keep in mind Bio means “living things” and technology means “the discover of scientific discovery used to solve problems”. In general terms, Biotechnology is just the use of scientific discovery about living things to solve a problem.

Like the B.C. farmers, Biotechnology today involves the process of Natural Selecting a desired trait or gene.  The difference in the method. Presently, a machine can take the genetic footprint of a seed and identify the desirable trait (example, a plant species that uses less water to produce grain). Personally, this is an amazing innovation.

Scientific Definition of Biotechnology

Food for Thought about Biotechnology

Biotechnology products in the United States are regulated more strictly than any other
agricultural or food product in history. The first biotech crop was available in 1996 but the research began many, many years before. In 1986, the government developed a framework of regulations for biotech crops to ensure it would be safe for humans to consume and the environment.

It is also noteworthy that a record 15.4 million farmers in 29 countries are using agricultural biotechnology.  The grand total of biotech crop acreage of 366 million acres. Ninety percent (14.4 million) of these are resource-poor farmers in developing countries. This fact is a great example of how a scientific discover of living things can solve a problem- feeding nutritional food to people in countries where starvation is a leading killer. 

Read more – Biotechnology 101

The Myth About Who Grows Biotech Crops

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Ag Facts

 

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Shrinking Carbon Footprint of Beef

Agfact Day #26:  

The carbon footprint of beef was reduced by more than 16% from 1977 to 2007. U.S. cattlemen raise 20% of the world’s beef with 7% of the world’s cattle, making the United States a leader in raising sustainable beef.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Ag Facts

 

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Statue of Liberty Goes Green with Soybeans

Agfact Day #25

All the elevators in the Statue of Liberty use a soy-based hydraulic fluid.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2012 in Ag Facts

 

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Beef, More Bang for the Buck

Agfact #24 

Meat is a great source of high-quality protein that no single vegetarian food can provide. A 3-ounce serving of lean beef offers the most protein with the fewest calories when compared to plant proteins such as peanut butter, black beans and tofu.

  • A 3-ounce serving of lean beef is about 180 calories. You would have to eat 670 calories of peanut butter (more than 7 tablespoons) to get the same amount of protein.
  • A person would need to consume two to three times the calories provided in a 3-ounce serving of beef to get an equivalent amount of protein from a veggie burger.
  • The USDA has approved 29 cuts of lean beef. All lean beef cuts have less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 3½-oz serving.
 
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Posted by on November 24, 2012 in Ag Facts

 

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Farmer’s Share

Agfact #23

For every dollar spent on food, the farmer receives 15.8 cents.

Ag fact provided by National Farmers Union

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Ag Facts

 

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Embracing Technology

AgFact Day #22

Today’s farmers produce 262% more food with 2% fewer inputs (labor, seeds, feed, fertilizer, etc.), compared with 1950.

 

Agfact provided by the American Farm Bureau Federation

 

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2012 in Ag Facts

 

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Agriculture’s Contribution to our Economy

Agfact Day #21

Agriculture accounts for roughly 20% of the nations GDP, contributing $3.5 trillion a year to the U.S. economy.

  • In 2010, $115 billion worth of American agricultural products were exported around the world. The United States sells more food and fiber to world markets than we import, creating a positive agricultural trade balance.
  • One in three U.S. farm acres is planted for export.
  • 31 percent of U.S. gross farm income comes directly from exports.
  • About 23 percent of raw U.S. farm products are exported each year.
  • More than 21 million American workers (15 percent of the total U.S. workforce) produce, process and sell the nation’s food and fiber.
 
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Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Ag Facts

 

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