Cotton industry aims to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 39 percent

The National Cotton Council, the umbrella group for growers, ginners, merchants and manufacturers, said the industry has set six goals for improving environmental stewardship by 2015, including a 39-percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions. The council's chairman, grower Ronnie Lee of Georgia, says the industry "wants to be the supplier of choice for those who are committed to only buying cotton that is produced with sustainable and responsible environmental, safety and labor practices."

Stabenow says Trump should withdraw Clovis nomination

The senior Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, said in a letter to supporters that she opposes the nomination of Sam Clovis to be the USDA's chief scientist, "and I call on President Trump to withdraw it immediately," reported Hill Heat, which covers global warming. Stabenow is the first member of the agriculture committee to formally oppose Clovis, a co-chair of Trump's presidential campaign and his chief political liaison at the USDA.

Impossible Burger opens new factory, fueling its vegan expansion

With the opening of a new factory, the plant-based company Impossible Burger says it plans to have its much-anticipated burgers on 1,000 menus by the end of 2017. “In mid-August, a factory in Oakland quietly began accepting shipments of wheat protein, potato protein, and heme, a “plant blood” produced via genetically modified yeast, says New Food Economy.

Serious damage to Florida citrus crop, says state ag commissioner

Florida, the No. 1 citrus-growing state in the nation, suffered "serious and devastating losses from Hurricane Irma," said state agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam after an aerial tour of groves in central and southwest Florida. The harvest season for oranges and grapefruit normally begins in October, so the storm arrived as the fruit was nearing maturity.

The kangaroo is on Australia’s coat of arms. It may be on the dinner plate, too.

There are nearly twice as many kangaroos as people in Australia and the rapid rise in kangaroo population, up 66 percent this decade, is fanning a novel idea for the nation: Eat more kangaroo meat, reports the BBC. It could be a hard sell, since the kangaroo and the emu are on the national coat of arms, and the kangaroo is a popular symbol of the country.

New study says biodiversity is crucial to ecosystem health

A new analysis of data from a number of sources, by researchers at Smithsonian and the University of Michigan, found that biodiversity plays an even greater role in ecosystem resilience and overall health than previously thought—more important than even temperature and nutrients. The analysis was published in the journal Nature.

Soil on organic farms can hold more carbon, says study

Research by Northeastern University indicates soil on organic farms contains more of a key component for sequestering carbon than soils on other farms, said the Organic Trade Association. The trade group said the study, which compared samples of soil from across the country, "provides a significant proof point that organic agricultural practices build healthy soils and can be part of the solution in the fight on global warming."

New study tracks corn’s impact county by county

A first-of-its-kind study lays out, on a county-by-county basis, the environmental impact of growing corn in the United States, offering the industry an unprecedented tool for improving sustainability along its supply chain.

Warmer ocean will mean smaller fish, says study

Fish species could shrink in size by as much as 30 percent thanks to climate change, says a study in the journal Global Change Biology. “Fish, as cold-blooded animals, cannot regulate their own body temperatures. When ocean waters become warmer, a fish’s metabolism accelerates, and it needs more oxygen to sustain its body functions,” says Nexus Media.