Need to catch up? Here are some stories you might have missed this week.
1. Farm bill moving on? In a rather uneventful voice vote Thursday, U.S. House members approved a short-term extension of the 2008 farm bill to allow more time for conference committee negotiations on a new, five-year bill. The Senate opposes an extension.
2. FDA adds more regs to antibiotics. The Food and Drug Administration Wednesday announced it would implement a plan to phase out the use of "medically important" antimicrobials in food animals when used to enhance growth or improve feed efficiency.
3. South African farm attacks – an ongoing tragedy. By nearly all accounts, Gerrit Roos' life as a grain and livestock farmer is much like his counterparts in America – all except one, explains Farm Futures Executive Editor Mike Wilson. '"Each night we fear we will be murdered in our beds,"' Roos tells Wilson. Read more.
4. Consumers want food info. Nearly 60% of consumers say availability of information about how their food is grown and raised is extremely important, according to results of a survey recently revealed by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. More than 50% of consumers also said they want more information about their food than they are currently getting.
5. Senators fight ethanol. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Tom Coburn Thursday introduced legislation to eliminate the corn ethanol mandate in the Environmental Protection Agency's Renewable Fuel Standard, citing negative impacts on the cost of food and animal feed.
6. There's a reason they're called 'Crazy Ants.' Farmers have been dealing with invasive species for a long time, in the form of both plants and animals. Now, according to the New York Times, there's another Southern U.S. intruder that's not necessarily targeting crops or land, but electronics, cars, light switches and appliances.
7. Are you a 'hay waster'? Here's how to tell. While it may make for a good photo op, sheep climbing on top of hay bales is not "cute" – it only makes waste, says Missouri Ruralist Editor Mindy Ward. But, there are solutions for the hay wasting problem.
And your bonus:
Getting closer. Christmas is almost here, and with it comes plenty of food (thanks to America's farmers), plenty of Christmas trees (also thanks to America's farmers), and even poinsettias (yep, you guessed it). On the topic of that last one, the University of Illinois has compiled a whole list of little-known facts about the Christmastime staple. Click here for more.