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farming

Farmers in the rural Midwest say they are struggling because of President Trump's ongoing trade war and a recent decision the president made on renewable fuels made from corn and soybeans that benefits the oil industry.

"We're tightening our belt," farmer Aaron Lehman says while driving his tractor down a rural road near his farm north of Des Moines, Iowa. "We're talking to our lenders, our landlords [and] our input suppliers."

A majority of people in Northwest Ohio — where algal blooms in Lake Erie are causing public health problems — think there should be new regulations to prevent farm fertilizer and manure from flowing into Lake Erie, according to a poll released Sept. 10.

Ty Higgins / Ohio Farm Bureau

The Ohio Farm Bureau is taking steps to prepare Ohio farmers to grow their first crop of hemp next spring now that Gov. Mike DeWine signed a law legalizing it.

Wikipedia

While farm bankruptcies around the country are rising, Ohio’s rate is still the lowest in the Midwest. 

Gov. Mike DeWine talks to farmer Kris Swartz in Perrysburg on June 19, 2019.
Nick Evans / WOSU

Across the nation, farmers were kept from planting almost 10 times as many acres this year as they were in 2018. 

Cows owned by Christian Hoffman at his farm just south of Columbus.
Nick Evans / WOSU

While agriculture is the largest industry in Ohio, most residents haven’t lived on a farm for three generations. A new international film festival highlights the importance and contributions of agriculture and its associated industries.

A Poor Planting Season For Ohio Farmers

Aug 14, 2019
tractor in farm field
Jean Beaufort / Public Domain Pictures

Ohio farmers are grappling with the worst weather-related planting season on record, with more than one in seven acres covered by the federal crop insurance program unplanted because of record rainfall.

But Ohio isn’t alone. Farmers across the Midwest have struggled with how to balance the equation of when, how or even if to plant their crops. 

Humans must drastically alter food production to prevent the most catastrophic effects of global warming, according to a new report from the United Nations panel on climate change.

The panel of scientists looked at the climate change effects of agriculture, deforestation and other land use, such as harvesting peat and managing grasslands and wetlands. Together, those activities generate about a third of human greenhouse gas emissions, including more than 40% of methane.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
John Minchillo / Associated Press

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) visited the Ohio State Fair over the weekend to mingle with hundreds of farmers from around the state, while news spread that President Donald Trump was moving forward with plans to increase tariffs on Chinese imports. 

What's a Mexican restaurant without guacamole? What's a hipster cafe without avocado toast? Some restaurateurs may be contemplating these questions this summer as the price of avocados has spiked to almost double the price a year ago.

In Los Angeles' Boyle Heights neighborhood, El Tepeyac Cafe uses loads of avocados for its delicious homemade guacamole. In fact, it goes through about 50 boxes of the fruit every week. Operations manager Bernadette Thom says the restaurant has no choice but to pay more.

Olivia Miltner

Extreme weather is limiting crops in Ohio and that's curtailing the offerings at local farmers markets.

Robert Henry is driving along the top of a Mississippi River levee, giving me a tour of land where he'd love to be planting soybeans right now. We're just east of New Madrid, Mo.

"Smells kind of raunchy, doesn't it?" he says.

From the window of Henry's truck, I see what looks like a swamp, with trees standing in water. Then we make a turn, and suddenly, as far as I can see, there's water. It covers a wide flood plain between the main river channel and the levee. This is where Henry normally grows his crops.

The state is giving farmers another opportunity to apply for loans as they deal with severe weather and flooding that has kept many farmers from planting their crops. 

Hummus is having a heyday with American consumers, and that could be as good for the soil as it is for our health.

Baby cows outside the Kocher farm.
Olivia Miltner / WOSU

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced it will give loans to organizations impacted by excessive rain and flooding in Ohio.

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