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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 31, 2014 — China has been a big and growing market for U.S. corn. But then farmers started planting a kind of genetically engineered corn that's not yet approved in China, and the Chinese government struck back.
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?
 

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.
Wind developer Jim McAndrew
Wind developer Jim McAndrew

Wind Power Comes To Adirondack North Country, Raising Hopes & Fears

Two commercial wind farm projects are in the planning stages in the Adirondack Park. Other wind farms are moving forward in Franklin county, near Malone, and in Lewis county west of Lowville. Developers say renewable wind power could help New York state become less dependant on oil. They also say the giant windmills could generate much-needed income for rural communities. As Brian Mann reports, the projects have drawn support from pro-environment groups. But some activists worry that the wind farms will harm the region's scenic beauty and erode the quality of small town life.  Go to full article

Farmer Coop to Sell Schools Local Products

A new farmer-owned cooperative has formed in St. Lawrence County to sell locally grown products to area schools. As David Sommerstein reports, the coop is holding a membership drive this month. The meetings are on:
3/8 - David A. Schlaback Farm, Peru St., North Lawrence, 1pm
3/10 - Drumlin's End Farm, 178 Fayette Rd., Massena, 6:30pm
3/15 - Joseph and Elizabeth Swartzentruber Farm, 1092 SH 184, Heuvelton, 1pm.
Please contact Sue Rau, cooperative manager, at 315.769.5061 for more info.  Go to full article

Processor Grooms NNY Soybean Crop

When you think of soybeans, you generally think of sprawling farms and giant combines in the Midwest. But a local soy processor has an ambitious plan to make soybeans a cash crop in the North Country. Ag Pro Limited, based in Massena, wants to contract with local farmers for up to 15,000 acres of the crop. That's about 5 times the amount grown in the region last year. Ag Pro is holding workshops across the region to teach farmers about how to grow soybeans. David Sommerstein attended one and has this report.  Go to full article

Jay Bridge Fight Continues With Federal Suit

A couple in the town of Jay is suing the state of New York in Federal court, hoping to block construction of a new bridge over the east branch of the Ausable River....  Go to full article

Farm Numbers Leveling in New York

The number of farms in New York dropped slightly last year. Higher prices helped farmers make more money. And as David Sommerstein reports, analysts say the hemorrhaging of...  Go to full article

Ontario's "Rural Revolution" Catches On

Last Friday, hundreds of tractors, buses, and pickup trucks shut down access to the Canadian side of the international bridge near Ogdensburg for several hours. The protest...  Go to full article

Balancing Private & Public in Canada

Unlike in the United States, the Canadian constitution, drafted in 1982, puts the rights of the group over the rights of the individual. Robert Thacker is a professor of...  Go to full article

Report: Dairy Prices Volatile

There's a continuing crisis in the dairy industry--price instability--and it's getting worse. A government report investigating dairy pricing was released this week. Greg...  Go to full article

Farm Technology Harvests Trendy Subsidies

It's rare when a factory and a mega-farm can help reduce pollution. But a project planned in the Midwest promises just that. The project would produce a fuel additive that...  Go to full article
Ogdensburg bridge (painting by John Morrow)

Canadian Farmers to Blockade Ogdensburg Bridge

Tomorrow, a group of farmers and property rights advocates plan to stop traffic on the international bridge near Ogdensburg. Beginning at 9 in the morning, they say they'll...  Go to full article

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