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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.

Dioxin High Risk in Agricultural Areas

A new report out this month says the government needs to do more to reduce the presence of the chemical dioxin in the food supply, especially in agricultural areas like the North Country. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

A Barn-raising in Upper Jay

In the North Country, barns are as much a part of the landscape as mountains and rivers. 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. In the Spring of 2001, Brian Mann joined a traditional barn-raising in Upper Jay.  Go to full article

Free Market Dairying

This week the National Milk Producers Federation and dozens of dairy farmer cooperatives nationwide began a program to control milk production in the United States and push up the price of milk. North Country Coops like Dairylea and Agrimark have agreed to participate. David Sommerstein talks with one farmer who disagrees with the program and thinks the free market works better.  Go to full article

Dairy Coops Leverage Market Power

Dairy farmers are taking an historic step toward controlling the supply of milk in the United States. Farmers accounting for 70 percent of the milk made nationally have...  Go to full article

School Connects Kids to Healthy Eating

American kids are overweight. Nutritionists say one major reason is that kids are eating too much junk food, and not enough fresh produce. A government pilot program is...  Go to full article
Are soybeans a promising future for farmers like Bill Brewer?

Can Soybeans Take Root on North Country Farms?

Facing rock-bottom milk prices and mounting debt, dairy farmers are looking for other ways to stay in business. An extra field of hay or corn could help pay the bills in...  Go to full article

Call-in Special: The Crisis in North Country Dairy Farming

NCPR news has focused special coverage this week on the crisis in the dairy industry. Martha Foley was joined by NY Assemblyman Darrel Aubertine from Cape Vincent, a farmer...  Go to full article
Dave Fishel catches up with his former cows.

Diversifying the Dairy Industry

The North Country dairy industry is facing some of its bleakest times in memory this summer. Farmers are going deeper into debt and working jobs off the farm. The main...  Go to full article

Low Milk Prices Take Their Toll

David Sommerstein talks with Judy Aldrich, chair of the St. Lawrence County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board, about factors contributing to the struggling dairy...  Go to full article

Low Sperm Count Linked to Pesticides?

A study last year found that men living in rural areas have lower sperm counts than their urban counterparts. Now, researchers say they?ve found a possible reason for the...  Go to full article

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