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So why didn’t the zucchini cross the road? He didn’t want to become squash! Yes, indeed it’s time for squash jokes. Calabacin, cousa, courgette, cymling, cuccuzza, curcubita pepo, scallop, vegetable marrow, butterbar, crookneck,...
  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...


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.

Canton Kraft Plant to Close in June

After 50 years of making cheese in its Canton factory, Kraft Foods is closing its operations in June. Kraft said in 2002 that it would re-eveluate the Canton operation, weighing the small, old plant against its other facilities around the world. Earlier this week Kraft -- now a subsidiary of Philip Morris -- announced it would cut thousands of jobs at all levels of its organization over the next two years. Jody Tosti talks with Canton Mayor Robert Wells about the loss of local jobs and the ripple effects of the closing.  Go to full article

Plant Closure Another Blow to Dairy Industry

North Country Congressman John McHugh called the losing of the Kraft plant a dark period for Canton's economy and the region's dairy farmers.  Go to full article

A Regional Dairy Perspective for 2004

2003 was a surprisingly good year for dairy farmers in the North Country and around the Northeast. Crops grew well and the price farmers get paid for their milk rebounded after a two year slump. To get a forecast of the issues facing dairy in 2004, David Sommerstein spoke with Susan Harlow, managing editor of Northeast Dairy Business Magazine, a trade publication for dairy farmers in New York, New England, Pennsylvania and Maryland. She says the top issue will always be the price of milk.  Go to full article

Commentary: Beef Cow to Auction

Commentator Jill Vaughan sold her dairy cows a couple of years ago after a lifetime of milking. Beef cows still graze on her farm's pastures. It's still not easy to say...  Go to full article

Agriculture Lobbyists Find Good News in Pataki Agenda

Governor Pataki's most prominent reference to agriculture in his State of the State speech Wednesday was a commitment to expand the state's farmland preservation and...  Go to full article

Aubertine: What About Farmers?

North Country Assemblyman Darrell Aubertine, a Democrat, called Pataki's address "upbeat", but he pointed out the absense of agricultural issues in the speech.  Go to full article

New North Country Product Line Well Received

From Texas to Michigan, people are sampling a variety of goodies made here in the North Country. Gift baskets stuffed with local items like honey, maple syrup and jams are...  Go to full article

2003 Agriculture Review

Martha Foley and agronomist Peter Barney look back over the year farmers had in 2003.  Go to full article

Grazing Revisited: Interview with Martha Pickard

Facing competition from massive factory dairy farms in the Midwest and California, North Country farmers are looking for a way to keep their herds manageable and at the same...  Go to full article
Logo from St. Lawrence County burn barrel campaign

Farmers Give Open Burn Ban Cold Shoulder

The St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau has distanced itself from a proposal to support a ban on burn barrels and other forms of garbage burning. The group's president pushed...  Go to full article

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