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  Seems to me the weather has been cooperating nicely with gardening goals: a fairly balanced mix of sun and rain. And, it shows in your photographs of gardens from across the region. The collection today takes us from a school garden in Long...
This corn was nicely mounded and will recover from the wind. Last summer, a severe storm drove through my garden when the corn was about 10 days out from picking. We lost some but salvaged 75% by building a stick and rope lattice system down each...
Several converging experiences over the last week got me to thinking about the role predators play in the food chain and even, it turns out, on the shape of our landscape. It began with my hen house, led to the ridge at the top of my hay field, and...
News flash out of Seattle: the minimum wage has just been raised to $15/hour, by far the highest in the country. Indeed, it’s double or more the rate in Arkansas ($6.25) and about half the states,  almost triple the rate in Georgia and...
We’ve all seen the various charts floating around the interwebz showing which mega-corporations own which food brands. The one posted below came to me via Alex Hillsberg’s blog post which I highly recommend. The gist of his analysis:...


Agriculture
Jul 14, 2014 — Some rookie farmers in northern Michigan are growing saskatoon, a shrub that looks like blueberry. They're also experimenting with it in the kitchen — in jams and pies.
Jul 1, 2014 — The University of California, Davis is the source of most commercial strawberries. Now, the university's strawberry breeders are going into business for themselves, and farmers are worried.
Jun 20, 2014 — Breweries have been providing farmers with free or discounted grain to feed their animals for centuries. But a proposed FDA rule intended to make food safer could disrupt that relationship.
Jun 9, 2014 — Water is scarce in California, and prices are all over the map. Some farmers are paying almost 100 times more than others. Should water flow to the highest bidder?
May 29, 2014 — As Oklahoma enters its fourth year of sustained drought, some farmers expect the harvest to be so bad they'll end up calling their insurance agents and declaring this year a total loss. StateImpact Oklahoma's Joe Wertz reports that some are calling this the worst drought since the '50s — or even since the Dust Bowl.
 

Special Reports

Audio Series
Farm to Farm, Family to Family: David Sommerstein travels with NC dairy farmers to a Mexican village many of their migrant workers call home.
Audio Series
A Year on the Farm
In this monthly feature series, David Sommerstein follows life in the barn, on the fields, and in the farmhouse through the changing seasons on the Andrews dairy farm near Gouverneur NY. This series won the 2006 "Cap" Creal Journalism Award from the New York Agricultural Society.
Audio Series
Hispanic Workers on North Country Farms
Five years ago, just a handful of farmers in the North Country employed Hispanic workers. Now many use workers from Latin America. The transition can be a bumpy one, for farmers and for the people they hire. David Sommerstein tells their stories in this ongoing series.
Beekeeper
Audio Slideshow:
Beekeepers facing new challenges
Lucy Martin visits with Ontario beekeeper Terry McEvoy and talks about colony collapse disorder and other apiary ailments that raise concerns about the food supply.
Audio Slideshow
Sights & Sounds of the Dairy Princess Parade
We go to the sidelines of one of the big events on the annual dairy calendar, the St. Lawrence County Dairy Princess Parade in Canton. Fire engines, tractors, and floats rolled down Main Street on Saturday.
Audio Series
Diversifying North Country Farms
NCPR reporter David Sommestein's series on diversifying North Country farming won the 2003 “Cap” Creal Journalism Award from the New York State Agricultural Society.
Photo Audio Essay
Dairy Farming in the North Country
The time seemed right to look at the challenges facing dairy in the North Country. In part 1 we look at the price of milk, as seen through the eyes of one mid-size dairy farmer. In part 2 we visit a cheese manufacturer proposing drastic changes in the way North Country farmers do business. David Sommerstein reports.
Audio Slideshow
A Barn-Raising in Upper Jay (Real 6:23)
These days, most new barns are built quickly with steel frames and sheet-metal siding. But some landowners are taking a little more time, using methods and materials passed down over hundreds of years.
Photo Audio Essay
Saving New York's Historic Barns
Some of New York's oldest barns are getting facelifts. Todd Moe visited a Canton family's 1820 English threshing barn slated for restoration.

New York Losing Farmland at Alarming Rate

Farmland in New York faces some of the most intense development pressures of any state in the nation. That's according to a study by the American Farmland Trust. The group says that from 1992 to 1997, New York lost an average of nearly 18-thousand acres of farmland each year. Officials at the American Farmland Trust say the problem is getting worse in New York, the state is losing its best farmland the fastest. Martha Foley talks with Jerry Cosgrove, Northeast Regional Director of American Farmland Trust, based in Saratoga Springs.  Go to full article

Study: Region's Prime Farmland At Risk

A new study shows prime farmland in the Great Lakes region is being lost to development. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Natalie Walston reports.  Go to full article

Feds Fall Short of Animal Disease Warnings

A recent report finds that the U-S Department of Agriculture needs to work more closely with Customs inspectors in order to stop foreign animal diseases from hurting livestock in the U-S. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Lester Graham reports.  Go to full article

Commentary: A Dairying Life

Small dairy farms have been in steady decline in the North Country for decades. Commentator Jill Vaughan's farm is one that had to go out of business. But she says she's...  Go to full article

Clinton County Dairy Farm Beats the Odds: Heifer Triplets!

Friday the 13th was a lucky day for a Clinton county dairy farm. A set of heifer triplets was born last Friday on the Nichols farm near Churubusco. Bernadette Nichols tells...  Go to full article
Jason McCullom in the milking parlor of his dad Kevin's farm.

Budgeting on Dairy Farms Without a Steady Paycheck

In this first part of our series on the dairy industry in the North Country, David Sommerstein looks at the price of milk as seen through the eyes of one mid-size dairy...  Go to full article

Who Sets the Milk Price?

David Sommerstein talks with Julie Suarez of the New York Farm Bureau about how the price of milk is set on the national market.  Go to full article

Milk Price Drop Concerns Farm Leaders

The Vermont Milk Commission is deeply worried about the financial future of the state's dairy farmers. Jody Tosti reports.  Go to full article

Summer 2002: A Challenge for Farmers

Martha Foley talks with Pete Barney, agronomist with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Canton, about the challenges of farming in the North Country this summer.  Go to full article

Growing Community in Gouverneur

Ground was broken and tilled last spring for a new community garden in Gouverneur managed by young people. Todd Moe visited the garden as the first seeds were planted.  Go to full article

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