Rent a 'copter to prevent frost, and other good reads of the week

At least a couple farmers are using helicopters to prevent their crops/buds from freezing. Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28552115@N07/ Some rights reserved.

At least a couple farmers are using helicopters to prevent their crops/buds from freezing. Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28552115@N07/ Some rights reserved.

It was a newsy week in the world of agriculture, so here are seven good reads to keep you busy this weekend:

The Farm Bill passed both the House and Senate Agriculture committees this week, and are likely to get hearings on the floors of their respective chambers sooner than later. Remember, it was the refusal of House leadership to bring last year's Farm Bill to the floor that killed the whole shebang. As I reported earlier this week, the Great Ideological Divide is over cuts to food stamps (the SNAP program). Feast on Farm Bill news thanks to the excellent Farm Policy blog here.

Another good Farm Bill read comes from NPR's Dan Charles, who asks if Congress is the place food reforms go to die.

Oh, ok, one more. Ducks Unlimited gave a most gentle slap on the wrist to House leadership for failing to include land conservation programs in the crop insurance part of the House version of the Farm Bill.

The U.S. Supreme Court sidestepped agricultural issues and defended intellectual property when it ruled in favor of Monsanto. Meanwhile, an app that helps consumers avoid buying Monsanto-related products has gone viral.

This one's crazy. The Daily Yonder has identified a philanthropic divide between responses to rural vs. urban disasters, using the Boston Marathon and West, Texas as test cases. Guess who raised orders of magnitude more $$?

If it turns out to be really nasty weather this weekend (or you're really obsessed with food issues), Food Tank has you covered with the 24 best TED talks about food and farm issues. No snark intended. It's really an amazing must-watch list.

And if it gets cold again at night this weekend, and you fear for those starts you spent all day trying to get in the garden early (or if you actually own an orchard and frost will damage your crop), think about renting a helicopter for the night.

Have a great weekend! We'd love to hear what you're thinking about…check in and weigh in in the comments section.

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