A GMO Carbon Storage Solution, Eggflation and More
Genetically Modified Poplar Trees for Carbon Storage
A California biotech company has developed a fast-growing genetically modified poplar tree designed to soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The company, Living Carbon, added genes from pumpkin and green algae into poplars to increase photosynthesis efficiency. As a result, the trees grow faster which enables them to absorb larger amounts of carbon dioxide. While the results seem promising, they are based on greenhouse trials which have not yet been peer reviewed. The company is moving forward with field trials on private land to test how the tress perform in real world conditions. Living Carbon’s ultimate goal is to develop trees and plants specifically designed for reducing carbon in the atmosphere. You can read more here.
Undoubtedly, there’s a certain appeal to growing trees for carbon storage, particularly a hardwood that grows rapidly. With a bit of planning, the trees may provide opportunities for a lumber harvest and a replanting cycle that could maintain carbon sequestration.
It would be almost impossible not to have noticed that the price of eggs has skyrocketed recently, to the point that it has become somewhat of a national joke. Behind the spike in prices is one of the worst outbreaks of avian influenza (Bird Flu) on record, causing the death of an estimated 58 million farm-raised chickens and turkeys in the U.S. A recent report in the Wall Street Journal detailed how easily Bird Flu can spread, especially in poultry confinement operations, where even a strong gust of wind can carry the virus through ventilation systems into a barn. In chickens, the mortality rate for Bird Flue is almost 100%. Government officials and producers have acknowledged that Bird Flu has become prevalent throughout the U.S. and will require significant ongoing effort to keep under control. You can read more here.
Celebrate the Blue & Gold – National FFA Week
Last week was National FFA Week when members of the student-run organization celebrate and tell their stories of agriculture and the impact that FFA has in their lives. FFA’s core mission is to provide agricultural education and leadership skills to students. Beyond offering education and experience in production ag, FFA provides opportunities and teaches skills for future scientists, business owners, and government officials through a broad, hands-on curriculum. FFA is the world’s largest agricultural youth organization. Be sure to support your local chapter!