agriculture

78 percent of the world’s seeds are now owned by three companies, and it’s those companies who decide which ones to make available to the public. 

That’s quite a turnaround from America’s early years, when the U.S. government was giving billions of seeds away for free. But it’s not just the variety of seeds being lost, it’s also the history that those seeds represent. 

Chris Dible presents a vintage Case tractor at Dible Brothers' Farm in Sunbury, Ohio.
Rivet / WOSU

Chris Dible, 17, walks past a giant red and black tractor. It’s the tractor Dible helped his dad bargain for when he was 13. Standing here, he can’t help but think about his family.

Ohio's Hemp Rules May Create Barrier For Small Farmers

Nov 25, 2019
Ty Higgins / Ohio Farm Bureau

The proposed licensing fees and planting minimums for hemp production in Ohio could create cost barriers that exclude smaller growers, farmers and industry groups said.

Ed Santillan is CEO of AgraPharm, LLC. He decided to get into the hemp industry after his wife discovered that CBD helped with her migraines.
Jared Murphy / WESA

At AgraPharm LLC’s warehouse in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, the scent of cannabis is potent.

“What you're smelling today is about only a third of what it really smells like when we first harvest the crop,” said AgraPharm’s CEO Ed Santillan.

Hemp farming exploded after the 2018 Farm Bill passed last December. The bill decriminalized the plant at the federal level, opening the door for many U.S. farmers to grow and sell hemp.

Over the past year, licensed hemp acreage increased more than 445%, according to the advocacy and research group Vote Hemp. More than 510,000 acres of hemp were licensed in 2019, versus about 112,000 acres in 2018.

Chickens on a farm.
Kate Brady / Flickr

Ohio poultry farmers could see business pick up now that China has lifted a ban on poultry imports from the U.S. 

Jackie Hampton has pulled up to a small, self-serve, farm stand. It houses seasonal produce from That Guy’s Farm and floral bouquets from That Girl’s Flowers. She’s here to buy flowers for her daughter’s anniversary.

“Actually this is my first time. I’ve always bought their produce and stuff.” Jackie says looking opening the door to the small, refrigerated building, “ They have beautiful flowers. You don’t see this kind in the stores.”

tractor in farm field
Jean Beaufort / Public Domain Pictures

Ohio farmers who want to sell their property to a younger farmer in their family could get a tax incentive to do so.

Most farmers haven't had a good year since President Trump took office and his policies on trade, immigration and ethanol are part of the problem. Yet farmers, who broadly supported Trump in 2016 are largely sticking with him as the impeachment inquiry moves forward. And if they did abandon him, it may not matter.

Farmer Luke Ulrich says he works at least 12 hours a day, almost every day, tending his crops and cattle near Baldwin City, Kan.

The hot, dry weather that dominated the region in late September and early October shouldn't have much of an effect on this year's Christmas tree crop. It could mean fewer trees in the future, though.

Recently-sprouted soybeans on a farm in Central Ohio.
Nick Evans / WOSU

Farmers who couldn’t plant crops due to wet weather this spring will be able to get tax breaks on their land more easily, thanks to a change from the Franklin County Board of Revision.

U.S. farmers, who have been hard hit by President Trump's trade wars, got some relief Wednesday, when Trump signed an interim trade deal with Japan.

The agreement calls for lower Japanese tariffs on U.S. farm exports such as beef and pork. It also locks in tariff-free digital commerce. But it does not address the president's threat to level punishing tariffs on imported cars from Japan. A top trade negotiator says Trump has no plans to act on that threat for now.

When We Love Our Food So Much That It Goes Extinct

Sep 23, 2019

We humans love food to death — literally.

From mammoths to passenger pigeons, we have driven our favorite meals to extinction through overhunting and habitat destruction. And globally, our tendency to overharvest just a narrow range of crops has limited the variety of foods we eat.

Jack Cochran, Garrett Hoffman and Sara Deakin are Ohio State students who attended the Farm Science Review's job fair.
Nick Evans / WOSU

The agricultural industry has taken a pummeling the past few years, with bad weather this spring compounding an ongoing trade war.

For the first time in half a century, the U.S. government just revised the way that it inspects pork slaughterhouses. The change has been long in coming. It's been debated, and even tried out at pilot plants, for the past 20 years. It gives pork companies themselves a bigger role in the inspection process. Critics call it privatization.

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