From marijuana farming to copper theft to Dago Red wine to groundwater regulations and organic controversies — here are the Top 10 most viewed articles on westernfarmpress.com for 2012.
10. US military succeeds in fields of the Taliban — David Bennett
Several years ago, unable to quash the Taliban with bullets alone, military brass figured they’d try a different approach, one that would bolster the agrarian roots of the desperately poor in southern Afghanistan.
9. Groundwater nitrate issue dumped in agriculture’s lap — Harry Cline
A new study has created a statewide media buzz since it says a quarter of a million Californians are hooked to unsafe drinking water wells and agriculture should pay for cleaning it up.
California agriculture is the most diversified in the world with roughly 400 different commercial crops. However, there are two elements that intrinsically tie together just about every segment of the state’s No. 1 industry. The obvious is water. The other is not so apparent — the dairy industry.
7. Prop 37 supporters blame defeat on several wrong reasons — Richard Cornett, Director of Communications, Western Plant Health Association
As the dust continues to settle after the defeat of California’s Prop. 37, the deceptive genetically engineered food labeling initiative, the recriminations endlessly abound among those on the losing side.
6. Stanford organic farming study sparks giant squabble — Richard Cornett, Director of Communications, Western Plant Health Association
No doubt the furor over a Stanford study — that undercuts health claims for organic food and finds no nutritional advantage in choosing it over its conventional counterparts — is torrential in degree and has alarmingly sparked a movement to have its findings rescinded.
5. Dago Red: Its creator and legacy — Harry Cline
There was Dago Red long before there was Two Buck Chuck. Six decades of grape growing for Los Alamos, Calif., farmer Joe Carrari has produced a compelling history.
4. Water crisis growing on California's Central Coast — Harry Cline
When Californians talk about living or working “on the water,” it’s likely in reference to the state’s 840-mile coastline. However, the infinite blue Pacific Ocean might as well be a desert to those who call the Central Coast home where fresh water is becoming as scarce as a flock of snow geese in the Sahara.
The other water quality regulatory shoe is dropping on California agriculture, and it could be very costly, casting a net over just about everyone who farms in the state.
2. Nasty roadway spikes nab farm copper thieves — Harry Cline
“Get a Rope” was often the law of the lawless frontier west of the 1880s. There are laws today to protect people and property, but thieves still roam the range today and people sometimes have to protect themselves and their property. It’s not equine being stolen. It's more likely copper wire.
California prides itself on feeding America. It also has the dubious distinction of being America’s biggest dope supplier. Approximately 75 percent of the marijuana sold in the U.S. is grown in California — not Mexico