farming

All Things New Orleans
4:54 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Hurricane Isaac Aftermath Raises Questions About Louisiana Citrus Farming Future

Satsumas from Becnel Farms' 2012 crop.
Eve Abrams WWNO

When Hurricane Isaac blew through Louisiana, it caused an estimated $100 million worth of losses in agriculture. About 40% of the state’s citrus crop was destroyed, and in Plaquemines Parish, where most of our citrus comes from, nearly half the citrus acres were flooded.

Farmers in the worst hit areas are cleaning up. Meanwhile, the luckier farmers worry about the next time. All of them told Eve Abrams the future of Louisiana’s commercial citrus industry does not look good.

Sugar Cane
12:00 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Sugar cane farmers: Outlook optimistic

Hurricane Isaac's winds paired with recent rains made a rough start for this year's sugar-cane grinding season. But industry officials are optimistic that weather will improve this month, helping the process along.

Jim Simon, general manager of the American Sugar Cane League, tells The Courier several mills started grinding last week. The remaining mills are scheduled to begin work this week.

Simon says the sugar cane industry has an annual impact of about $1.1 billion in Louisiana.

Pecan Harvest
12:42 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Isaac blamed for reduced pecan crop

The LSU AgCenter estimates Hurricane Isaac has cut Louisiana's pecan harvest by 15 percent.

Charlie Graham, professor for fruit and nut crops, says that would bring the total to just over 11 million pounds — down from pre-storm estimates of 13 million to 13.5 million pounds. It still would be up from last year's 9 million pounds.

Graham says prices are likely to be similar to 2011 levels.

Last November, farm prices ran from $1.25 to $3.50 a pound, with most varieties starting above $2.

The Salt
9:16 am
Thu September 20, 2012

As Scientists Question New Rat Study, GMO Debate Rages On

Italian farmer Giorgio Fidenato picks up what's left of his genetically altered corn after anti-GMO activists trampled it, back in 2010.
Paolo Giovannini AP

The headlines on the press releases that started showing up yesterday, here at The Salt certainly got our attention. Just one sample: "BREAKING NEWS: New Study Links Genetically Engineered Food to Tumors."

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Hurricane Isaac
12:51 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Plaquemines citrus crop takes a beating

Much of Louisiana's citrus crop is rotting on the ground.

Navel oranges, satsumas, grapefruits — little was spared as Hurricane Isaac roared across southeast Louisiana, knocking fruit off tree limbs and flooding orchards in Plaquemines Parish just a month away from fall harvest.

The Saxon Becnel and Sons Citrus Nursery in Belle Chasse was spared flooding but lost about 90 percent of its oranges and half of its satsuma crop from two days of high winds that hovered over the region.

Around the Nation
5:41 am
Sun September 16, 2012

Still Home Sweet Home More Than A Century Later

Lee and Shirley Wohler in the kitchen of their farmhouse south of Waterville, Kan.
Becky Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 7:36 am

This year, the Homestead Act of 1862 turned 150. That landmark piece of legislation opened up the Western territories to settlement. Almost anybody could receive up to 160 acres for free if they built a house and "improved" the land over the course of five years. Millions took part, and eventually, more than 10 percent of all U.S. land was given away.

A German peasant named Frederick Wohler was one of those early homesteaders. Wohler received the deed to 80 acres of farmland in north-central Kansas 138 years ago this weekend. And today, the Wohlers are still there.

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The Salt
2:48 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

How Oregon's Prized Pinot Noir Grapes Will Take The Heat Of Climate Change

Pinot noir grapes are notoriously finicky about the weather, and climate change has winemakers in Oregon thinking about the future.
Greg Wahl-Stephens AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:08 pm

Some grapes like it hot.

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Hill Farm Field Day
2:33 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Beef, forestry focus of field day

LSU AgCenter faculty will offer information ranging from beef cattle management to pruning timber at the Hill Farm Field Day set Oct. 9.

Activities begin with registration at 9 a.m., said LSU AgCenter forestry professor Michael Blazier.

Topics to be discussed by LSU AgCenter research and extension faculty during the general station field tour include forage management, beef cattle research, the poultry demonstration house project and planting and thinning strategies for loblolly pine, Blazier said.

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The Salt
11:58 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Farmers Use YouTube To Share Devastating Impacts Of Drought

A YouTube user who goes by Katzcradul posted this image of a parched gulch on her drought-stricken land in Missouri on the site.
YouTube

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:29 am

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Around the Nation
3:34 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Despite Drought, Some Corn Farmers Reap Bounty

Grimes Sweetcorn worker Paulette Vandyke waits to sell fresh corn in Grimes, Iowa. The drought has pushed the price of corn per bushel up nearly 40 percent in the past two months.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 7:18 pm

For every farmer who is hurting this year during the drought, others are benefiting. Many fields in the South, Northwest and Upper Midwest are producing bountiful corn crops. And because the drought has pushed prices to record highs, farmers who have corn to sell expect a terrific payday.

"The corn has actually really, really taken off all the way through season. It's grown fast. It's been accelerated. The corn looks really good now," says John Scott, whose family farm in Sargeant, Minn., is just bursting with corn.

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