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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.

Scientists Watch Farm Pastures for a New Tent Caterpillar Threat

Rising populations of the coming eastern tent caterpillar this year may be a danger to horses and cows in the North Country. Steve Van Der Mark is the point person on this year's tent caterpillar outbreak for St. Lawrence County's Cooperative Extension Service. He says researchers in Kentucky and now New York are looking at unexplained abortions among grazing animals.  Go to full article

Tent Caterpillars on the Rise

It's always something, it seems. This year, it's cicadas to the south, and it's tent caterpillars here in the north. Tent caterpillars are nothing new, their silky nests are common in the crotches of apple, cherry and flowering crab trees every spring. But this year is very different. In some regions of northern New York and Vermont, two kinds of tent caterpillars are at especially high levels this spring. Martha Foley spoke with Steve Van der mark, an educator in natural resources and horticulture with the Cornelll Cooperative Extension Service in St. Lawrence County (315-379-9192).  Go to full article

USDA Withdraws Organics Law "Clarification"

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has withdrawn a "guidance statement" regarding organic food production. Some feared the directive was an attempt by the government to relax standards for organic foods. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Erin Toner reports  Go to full article

Farm Advocates In Adirondacks Say the Future is Local

On Wednesday, a group of farmers and local leaders from the Adirondacks traveled to Quebec. They made the trip to learn about strategies for developing and marketing local...  Go to full article

"Got Milk?" Campaign Provokes Lawsuit

Dairy farmers across the country contribute part of their paychecks into a government program which pays for a national advertising campaign. Supporters say the "Got Milk?"...  Go to full article

Agricultural Coops Given Empire Zone Benefits

Legislation approved by Governor Pataki yesterday will allow dairy cooperatives to receive Empire Zone benefits. The Empire Zone program offers tax incentives to encourage...  Go to full article

Saratoga Company Interested in Kraft Plant?

A Saratoga start-up company may be interested in Kraft's cheese plant in Canton. The plant is slated to close in July, putting 60 people out of work. But as David...  Go to full article

Kraft Shutdown Later, Then Ripples

When Kraft ceases cheese production in Canton, the economic effects will be significant, but not bad enough to force many farmers out of business. That's according to Chuck...  Go to full article

Officials Look at Future of Canton Kraft Plant

A local task force met for the second time yesterday since Kraft announced that it would close its Canton operations at the end of June. These meetings are a way to hash out...  Go to full article
George Good encourages an ewe to come to her twin lambs.

The Fading Custom of Spring Lambing

Even if you didn't grow up on a farm... springtime seems to bring with it thoughts of baby chicks and spring lambs. Maybe it was those cardboard cutouts on the bulletin board...  Go to full article

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