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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 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 being sold with a North Country label as a way to market agricultural products. To test the idea of regional marketing, a thousand baskets with the new brand name were made for this holiday season. And as Jody Tosti reports, most of them have already been sold.  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 time find a way to make a living. Some are turning to intensive grazing as an alternative. Martha Pickard is a technician with the Adirondack North Country Association. She helps farmers make the transition to letting their cows out to pasture in the warm months, instead of feeding them corn and hay in the barn all year long.  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

"Forbidden Fruit" Worries Foresters

In Europe, the black currant fruit is really popular, but chances are, you've never tasted it here. Farming black currants was banned nearly a hundred years ago because the...  Go to full article
Rabbis Osdoba, Brook, and Levertov.

Kosherizing a North Country Cheese Plant

Production resumes this week at Ogdensburg's beleaguered cheese factory. The plant has shut down twice in two years. But its new owner, Ahava Food Corporation of Brooklyn,...  Go to full article

Study Ranks Pesticide Residues on Produce

A report from an environmental group says peaches, strawberries, nectarines, and apples are more likely to be contaminated by pesticides than other produce. As the Great...  Go to full article
Yellow areas are included in CREP program.

Farmers Get Help Protecting Creeks

The state and federal government Wednesday announced $62 million to help New York farmers protect rivers and streams from agricultural run-off. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Task Force Focuses on Farming

Farmers and farming advocates from Adirondack counties were in Westport last week to share their concerns about the future of their livelihood. They spoke at the latest in a...  Go to full article
Atrazine is commonly used by corn farmers.

Enviro Group Sues to Ban Herbicide

One of the nation's largest environmental groups is suing the Environmental Protection Agency in an attempt to get the agency to ban an herbicide widely used by farmers. The...  Go to full article

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