farming

Propane Shortage
10:50 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Spike In Propane Price Worries Midwest Farmers

Weeks of subzero temperatures have depleted farmer Phil Borgic’s winter supply of liquid propane.
Credit Peter Gray/Harvest Public Media

Residents across the Midwest are struggling with tight propane supplies, especially in this bitterly cold, snowy winter. But it’s not just homes in rural counties that are lacking adequate heating fuel. Farms that put bacon and eggs on your breakfast plate are also feeling the supply pinch. 

Hog farmer Phil Borgic of Nokomis, Ill., burns liquid propane – LP - from September through May to support his piglets. His farrowing barn goes through about two semi truckloads of LP each year. 

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Cityscape
4:36 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

St. Louis Native Tells Comedy Of Errors In Memoir About Move To Rural Vermont

Ellen Stimson with Mabel the chicken.
Kevin O'Connor Rutland Herald

After years of going on vacations and dreaming of living in the places they visited, St. Louis native Ellen Stimson and her family decided to move to rural Vermont to be close to the mountains.

They bought a country store, decided to homeschool their youngest son, and began raising chickens. And soon learned that vacationing in Vermont is much different than living there.

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MO Statehouse
8:49 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Enyart Votes Yes On Farm Bill, Measure Fails

Illinois Congressman Bill Enyart (left)
Credit (Chris McDaniel/St. Louis Public Radio)

Illinois Congressman Bill Enyart was one of only 24 Democrats who voted in favor of the U.S. House's failed Farm Bill on Thursday.

Enyart, who sits on the House Agriculture Committee, supported the bill despite some misgivings but said he is disappointed in the bill’s failure.

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Federal Farm Bill
7:14 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Mo. & Ill. Congressmen Speak Out On Federal Farm Bill As US House Prepares To Vote

(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

Members of Missouri and Illinois' Congressional delegations are weighing in on the U.S. House version of the Farm Bill, which could be voted on before week's end.

Illinois Republican Rodney Davis told reporters today via conference call that the bill is a big improvement over the version passed by the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate.

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Politics/Agriculture
2:18 am
Tue June 11, 2013

How The Senate Farm Bill Would Change Subsidies

Third-generation Oklahoma farmer Scott Neufeld says crop insurance is important to his family's business.
Tamara Keith NPR

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 2:40 pm

The Senate voted Monday to approve its version of the farm bill, a massive spending measure that covers everything from food stamps to crop insurance and sets the nation's farm policy for the next five years.

The centerpiece of that policy is an expanded crop insurance program, designed to protect farmers from losses, that some say amounts to a highly subsidized gift to agribusiness. That debate is set to continue as the House plans to take up its version of the bill this month.

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The Salt
1:35 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Small Farmers Aren't Cashing In With Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart claims that 11 percent of the produce in its stores now comes from local farms.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 7:21 am

When Wal-Mart calls, Herman Farris always finds whatever the retailer wants, even if it's yucca root in the dead of winter. Farris is a produce broker in Columbia, Mo., who has been buying for Wal-Mart from auctions and farms since the company began carrying fruits and vegetables in the early 1990s.

During the summer and fall, nearly everything Farris delivers is grown in Missouri. That's Wal-Mart's definition of "local" — produce grown and sold in the same state. In winter, it's a bit tougher to source locally.

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Farm Bill
1:27 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Understanding The 'Milk Cliff'

Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 2:35 pm

You've heard of the "fiscal cliff," but have you heard of the milk cliff"?

If Congress doesn't take action in the next four days, milk prices could shoot up dramatically.

Here's why:

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Politics
12:40 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Three 'Vital' Bills McCaskill Says Are Being Ignored

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.
(via Flickr/Senator McCaskill)

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says she's frustrated with the House of Representatives for not taking up three pieces of legislation that she calls "bipartisan" and "vitally important."

The Democratic Senator says she doesn't understand why members of the House won't take up legislation on:

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4:19 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Why (And Where In Missouri) Is Farmland So Expensive?

Harvest Public Media's Abbie Fentress Swanson takes a look at why investors are increasingly drawn to putting their monetary green toward farmland - even if they've never grown anything green before. Swanson's colleague Charles Minshew also created a map which shows the priciest plots of farmland in Missouri. Explore it all via the link.
On Friday, I left the rolling hills of Columbia, Mo., and headed northwest, to the flat farmland of Saline County. The purpose of the drive was to get a look at the priciest cropland in Missouri for a story I'm doing on how investors with no connection to farmland are increasingly interested in buying acreage in the Midwest.
Around the Nation
5:17 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Despite Record Drought, Farmers Expect Banner Year

With far less than half of their normal corn yield, the Ulrich brothers are relying in part on government-subsidized crop insurance to keep their farm afloat.
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 11:39 am

After one of the driest summers on record, recent rains have helped in some parts of the country. But overall, the drought has still intensified. The latest tracking classifies more than a fifth of the contiguous United States in "extreme or exceptional" drought, the worst ratings.

In some parts of the Lower Midwest, water-starved crops have collapsed, but the farmers have not. Farmers across the country are surviving, and many are even thriving. This year, despite the dismal season, farmers stand to make exceptionally good money, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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