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The Friday Five: Lists Edition

The Friday Five: Lists Edition
Farm video, ag fights, bad GMO arguments, cash rents and more: five links to catch you up on the week in food and agriculture.

Happy Halloween! This will be the last Friday Five until December; November 1 kicks off my 30 Days series. Check back here tomorrow for the series introduction!

Peterson Farm Bros Parody 5 Songs in New Video: New video from the Kansas Peterson Farm Brothers…need I say more? If you haven't seen it, check it out here. Catchy lyrics: "I'm all about that beef, no kale," and my favorite, "talk farmer to me." I spoke to a group of Swedish farmers last week here in Illinois and you know what they wanted to know about? Yields, weather, soils. It's universal.

4 Frustrating Agriculture Messages We Need to Fix: Ag blogger Ryan Goodman wrote a compelling piece this week on the inner fights in agriculture. "Lately I have been involved in (and observing) some frustrating conversations. We have so many systems at play in the world of agriculture right now, and people are fighting tooth and nail to gain an edge on the competition. Even if that means throwing our neighbor under the bus. It is incredibly difficult to be a person who honestly believes that multiple systems can coexist and do so sustainably.

The GMO Debate: 5 Things to Stop Arguing: This latest installment is from a food column that's been running in the Washington Post for a year now, and it's a great takedown of the bad arguments on both sides of the GMO debate. I especially like #4: "We’ve been genetically modifying crops for thousands of years. What GMO supporters mean, of course, is that we’ve been cross-breeding for thousands of years. Which is true but irrelevant, because the people who are concerned about GMOs are concerned precisely because the technology is very different from cross-breeding. In making this argument, supporters completely ignore the basis of opponents’ skepticism, and that’s condescending and counterproductive."

Can You Walk Away from High Cash Rent?  My Farm Futures colleague, Mike Wilson, blogged this week about land prices for 2015 – always a hot topic. His take came following a meeting put on by Farmers National Company and he writes, "Farmers with unsympathetic landlords and high 2015 rents will look at crop budgets and see red ink. If they have enough equity, they may suck it up and dip into their bank account to pay the difference. In effect, they are willing to work for the landlord another year with hopes prices will rebound in 2016. Then again, they can walk away. A much tougher decision."

Halloween on the Farm: 8 DIY Costume Ideas: Because it's Halloween and don't we all love a cute little farmer? Or a tractor? Or a rooster? This is a fun piece from Modern Farmer, if you can get past the fact that they don’t know the difference between hay and straw. Or maybe that's my own personal pet peeve. At any rate, some fun ideas here. And for the record, my kids were not farm-like at all this year: a four-wheeler racer, an Olympic gymnast and a '50s poodle skirt girl. But in the past, we have had a cattle showman and all manner of animals, including an Angus bull complete with an ear tag. I may have also created a baby chick costume that became a rooster costume, once upon a time. Let's talk feather boas.

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