Thursday, February 26, 2015

Striking in Brazil

A trucker strike in Brazil has affected the movement of commodities such as soybeans and poultry and has slightly affected markets with the possibility of greater consequences if the strike continues. I encourage you to look over the article Brazilian Trucker Strike from Ag Web then discuss with others the impact this has on Brazil, the United States, and other countries around the world.

Discussion Questions

  1. What has caused the truckers to strike in Brazil?
  2. What has been the ramifications of the truckers strike within Brazil?
  3. How has the strike impacted markets globally? What do you foresee happening if this is not resolved by the weekend as speculated?
  4. While globally many have seen a decline in oil prices why has Brazil seen an increase?
  5. Why have exports from Brazil not been widely impacted yet?
  6. Could you ever see something like this happening in your home country? Justify your response.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

UAV's Overhead

UAV's (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) have been a hot topic in agriculture (and in general) here in the United States as well as around the globe. They have great potential to benefit agriculture through remote sensing practices and scouting. That being said, they also come with controversy on privacy and the law is trying to catch up. It is like many things. Used properly UAV's can be a huge asset and tool, but used improperly and issues can arise.

In the last week the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) came out with proposed rules for UAV's weighing under 55 pounds and have even mentioned the possibility of a different set of rules for smaller UAV's weighing in at less than 4.4 pounds. Read the following article to get the details below then use the discussion points below to guide your conversations.

Forbes Article Summarizing Proposed Rules

FAA Document Outlining Proposed Rulemaking

Discussion Points

  1. What benefits do you see UAV's bringing to the agriculture industry?
  2. What are your thoughts on the proposed rules governing UAV's? Are they too weak, too strong, or just right? Explain.
  3. Which proposed rule do you feel is the most important and why?
  4. Would you make any revisions to the rules? Justify your suggestions for improvement.
Further research: I encourage you to explore how other countries view UAV's roles in agriculture. How does society view UAV's in other countries? See if you can find information on laws and regulations regarding UAV's in other countries. I encourage you to share your findings by commenting on this post for others to get in on the discussion!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

What in the World?!?!?

We have all heard the saying a picture is worth a thousand words. Here is your chance to test that theory! Below is a picture from our students recent experience near Pignon, Haiti for you to analyze with questions to guide you. When our students first came across this scene in person they were immediately intrigued and I hope the same is true for you!

Soil Profile near Pignon, Haiti

Photo Question Guide

  • What are your first thoughts or observations from this photo?
  • How does this soil profile differ from soil profiles in your area? 
  • What could have caused this soil formation?
  • What challenges would you face if growing in this region?
  • What are some things you could do to improve the soil in this area?
  • What can you learn from this photograph?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Global Food Security from Australia

The video clip below from Rabobank Australia focuses on the demand we are putting on the earth and farmers to produce and preserve enough food for our growing world. I challenge you to watch and then discuss the questions below with others! Agriculture Educators encourage your students to jot down notes as they watch to aid in discussion.

Discussion Questions

  1. What points from the video did you find surprising or alarming and why?
  2. What factors did the video attribute to increased food demand? Be specific.
  3. How does food waste impact hunger around the world? How does it differ in developed regions versus developing regions?
  4. What has happened with productivity gain of major food commodities over the past couple years? Explain.
  5. Who is all involved in solving food security issues?
  6. It is obvious that countries around the globe understand the needs and challenges facing a food secure world. How do we break down barriers and work together as global citizens (not competing countries) to achieve this?