agriculture

The View From Both Sides Of The Fence

Aug 9, 2018

When early settlers came to Ohio around two hundred years ago, they cleared the vast forests  - they wanted open land - to build houses,  to grow crops, and raise livestock.

As more people arrived, it became common practice to leave a narrow strip of uncultivated land between you and your neighbor. These natural fence rows were a way to designate property boundaries and help keep livestock from wandering away.

Ohio Farmers Brace For Escalating Trade War

Aug 9, 2018
tractor in farm field
Jean Beaufort / Public Domain Pictures

The trade war that's already squeezing Ohio farmers is ratcheting up another notch.

In response to the Trump administration announcing $16 billion in new tariffs against China on Tuesday, Chinese trade officials on Wednesday promised to retaliate with their own tariffs.

Each year, Dylan Jennings harvests wild rice from the lakes and rivers near his home in northern Wisconsin. He and a partner use a canoe, nosing carefully through rice beds and knocking rice kernels into the boat's hull using special sticks.

"It's a really long process," he says. "It starts with identifying the area where you are going to go ricing and knowing those areas in a very intimate way."

Aerial Associates Photography, Inc. by Zachary Haslic / NOAA

Gov. John Kasich is fighting for his clean Lake Erie initiative, which includes tougher regulations on Ohio’s number one industry. As Kasich argues, his proposed rules on fertilizer is in everyone’s best interest.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Despite his backing of tariffs against China, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is holding off his support of President Donald Trump’s plan to give struggling farmers $12 billion in aid.

Kasich Blasts Trump Over Trade Policy Hurting Farmers

Jul 26, 2018
Bryan Bush, a corn and soybean farmer from Edison, Ohio, poses for a portrait after an interview at the Ohio State Fair, Wednesday in Columbus.
John Minchillo / AP

Ohio's Republican governor on Wednesday helped open the Ohio State Fair by blasting President Donald Trump's trade battles, which have left some farmers feeling less than festive amid the funnel cakes and butter sculptures.

Flickr

For more than a decade, algal blooms have turned many Ohio waterways into thick, green mush, choking fish and turning the water toxic to humans. Runoff from farm fields is the biggest culprit.

Governor John Kasich signed an executive order earlier this month to help regulate the runoff, but a panel appointed by the governor himself has sidelined the order, calling instead for further study.

Join us today for a conversation on agricultural and algal pollution in Ohio lakes as we broadcast live from the Ohio State Fair.

Guests:

Ohio U.S. Senator Rob Portman
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) says he would like to see an end to trade disputes with China, but says Trump’s decision to provide $12 billion in subsidies to American farmers might be a good short-term solution to trade shortfalls.

The Trump administration is coming to the aid of farmers hurt by its own hard-line trade policies, announcing Tuesday that it will make an estimated $12 billion in government assistance available, including direct payments to growers.

The money comes after farmers, especially soybean growers, have felt the brunt of retaliatory tariffs placed on agriculture by China and other nations that the Trump administration has penalized with tariffs on imports.

Ohio Commission Delays Vote To Tighten Fertilizer Rules

Jul 20, 2018
Wikipedia Commons

A panel largely appointed by Republican Gov. John Kasich has delayed immediate action on his executive order intensifying Ohio's efforts to fight toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie.

When Europeans came to Ohio, one of the first crops they cultivated was hops; A small green flower that’s a main ingredients for brewing beer, which was a staple of their diet.

The Ohio Valley provided the perfect soil for the fast growing plant. But, in the early 21st century came Prohibition, plus plant diseases and harmful insects.  So Ohio farmers eventually quit growing hops. 

Debbie Holmes / WOSU

Farmer Mark Van Fleet started growing vegetables at Harriet Gardens on Columbus’ South Side two years ago. He came to this once-vacant lot with about a decade of experience in gardening.

The order came in April. China's government instructed farmers in the country's northeastern breadbasket region to grow more soybeans, calling it "a political priority."

But soybean fields lay empty in the village of Sandaogou, which means "Three Ditches," in Liaoning province. It has been a dry spring.

"We've had a drought this year, so we planted soybeans late. The seedlings should be out by now. We need more rain," says farmer Liu, who only gives her surname for fear of trouble with local authorities. Soy, after all, has become "political."

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

The Senate Agriculture Committee passed its version of a Farm Bill and sent it to the full chamber, which is expected to vote before the July 4 recess. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a committee member, says there’s a lot in the bill for Ohio. 

Flickr.com

An Ohio State study finds that some Ohio farmers could lose more than half of their annual income if a threatened 25 percent tariff goes into effect on soybeans and corn sent to China.

Pages