crops

Food festival
10:43 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Horseradish Roots Run Deep In The Metro East

Farmer Jeff Heepke stands in a horseradish field near Roxana, Ill. His great-grandfather brought roots from Germany.
(Mary Delach Leonard, St. Louis Public Radio)

There's a pretty good chance that the jar of horseradish you have in the refrigerator has its origins in farms located just across the river from St. Louis.

St. Clair and Madison counties in Illinois produce the lion's share of horseradish in the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, just 16 growers in Illinois harvest horseradish from 1,779 acres, accounting for about 60 percent of the nation's horseradish. Nationally, only about 3,100 acres are in horseradish production.

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Farming
12:59 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Report: 'Significant Portion' Of Extreme Weather Crop Losses Avoidable, But Some Farmers Aren't Sold

(via Flickr/Dodo-Bird)

Reporting from Harvest Public Media’s Bill Wheelhouse.

Farmers across the country received more than $17 billion in federal crop insurance payouts after last year’s drought. A report released Tuesday by an environmental group blames farmers for not doing enough to shield the soil against the heat.

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Missouri crops
5:52 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Missouri Crops Behind Schedule, But Conditions Much Improved Over Last Year

(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

The heavy rains that caused flooding across portions of Missouri this spring have also led to improved soil conditions for crops grown in the Show-Me State.

The exceptionally-wet spring did cause delays in getting corn, cotton and soybeans in the ground.  But Bob Garino, Missouri Statistician with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) state office in Columbia, says conditions are much better than a year ago when 2012's drought and heat wave began to take hold.

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2012 Drought
11:24 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Nation's Drought Gets Worse

The nation's drought has worsened after several weeks of improvement.
Credit (Map courtesy of National Drought Mitigation Center)

A new report shows that the nation's worst drought in decades is getting worse again, ending an encouraging five-week run of improving conditions.

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report shows that 60.1 percent of the continental U.S. was in some form of drought as of Tuesday. That's up from 58.8 percent the previous week. The portion of the lower 48 states in extreme or exceptional drought - the two worst classifications - also rose, to 19.04 percent from last week's 18.3 percent.

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Planet Money - Agriculture
10:18 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Why do taxpayers subsidize farmers' insurance?

Grandpa Traub — corn former and millionaire.
Chana Joffe-Walt NPR

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 9:16 am

This summer's drought has hit more than half the states in the country. Crops are suffering, but farmers might not be. Most farmers have crop insurance.

U.S. taxpayers spend about $7 billion a year on crop insurance. It's our largest farm subsidy.

And this subsidy goes in part to farmers — who will tell you themselves they aren't so sure about the whole idea. "I have an aversion to it," says Jim Traub, a corn and bean farmer in Fairbury, Illinois. "But you're not going to turn it down."

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drought
5:15 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Regional farmers say worst drought since 1980s forces tough choices

A parched corn field in Cass County, Illinois.
(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

A new report from the United States Department of Agriculture shows the ongoing drought has caused the nation's cattle herd to shrink by more than 2 million head so far this year.

Analysts project the dry weather will impact prices in the checkout aisle.

Today, we have two reports on the effects of the 2012 drought.  In this combined feature, Adam Allington takes a look at the region's corn farmers.

But first, St. Louis Public Radio's Tim Lloyd reports on the agonizing choices faced by Missouri cattle ranchers.      

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Economy - Agriculture
9:22 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Despite crop insurance, drought still stings farmers

Corn plants dry in a drought-stricken farm field on July 17 near Fritchton, Ind. The corn and soybean belt in the middle of the nation is experiencing one of the worst droughts in more than five decades.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 9:30 am

Stop by most any unirrigated farm across the lower Midwest and you'll see crops in distress. Midwestern corn and soybean farmers are taking a beating during the recent drought, but it's not likely to drive many out of business.

Most of those farmers carry terrific insurance, and the worse the drought becomes, the more individual farmers will be paid for their lost crops. The federal government picks up most of the cost of the crop insurance program, and this year that bill is going to be a whopper.

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Morning Round-up
7:56 am
Tue July 19, 2011

Morning headlines: Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

The devestating May 22 tornado that ripped through Joplin contributed to a loss of 9,400 jobs in the city. Gov. Jay Nixon will be in Joplin Tuesday to announce an initiative for home rebuilding.
(via flickr/slprnews)

Joplin tornado contributes to unemployment

Missouri officials say the May 22 tornado in Joplin contributed to the net loss of 13,000 jobs in the state. Joplin alone lost 9,400 jobs in June. The State Department of Economic Development says Missouri’s jobless rate fell from 8.9 percent in May to 8.8 percent in June. In recovery efforts, Gov. Jay Nixon will make a speech Tuesday in Joplin to announce what he calls a “major initiative to address both the near-term and long-term housing needs.”  

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