farming

Drew and Joan Norman have been producing organic vegetables on 60 acres just north of Baltimore since 1983. On a recent spring day, signs of another new season at One Straw Farm were everywhere: seedlings in the greenhouse waiting to be transplanted, asparagus ready to be picked, tiny leaves of red- and green-leaf lettuce sprouting out of the ground — and rows and rows of plastic covering the ground on each field.

Bret Davis in one of his corn fields. He worries this years slow start could put a ceiling on yields.
Nick Evans / WOSU

The last time I visited Bret Davis' farm in Delaware County, earlier in the spring, I was asking him about a federal program helping farmers bit by the trade war. It was raining then, and it was wet and rainy when I spoke to him this week, too.

American soil.

Those are two words that are commonly used to stir up patriotic feelings. They are also words that can't be taken for granted, because today nearly 30 million acres of U.S. farmland are held by foreign investors. That number has doubled in the past two decades, which is raising alarm bells in farming communities.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

The Trump administration will provide $16 billion in aid to help keep farmers afloat as they reel from the yearlong trade war between the U.S. and China, the latest sign that the world's two largest economies are still far from striking a long-term trade agreement.

The bulk of the support, or about $14.5 billion, is direct aid to farmers, which producers will start to see some time this summer, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters in a briefing on Thursday.

Live from Chadwick Arboretum: Importance Of Soil

May 10, 2019
Brian Boucheron/Flickr

Most soils are good for something. How else would trees populate our urban landscapes, growing in what many consider less than optimal soil conditions?

Coming up on a special broadcast from the Chadwick Arboretum annual plant sale on the Ohio State campus, we talk about what makes good soil with a preeminent expert. And we learn about the process of composting.

 

Guests:

When Timothy Masters got his first chickens a decade ago, it was easy. He lives "way out in the country" in Pennsylvania, away from urban regulations about keeping chickens in backyards. He built a chicken coop and got three hens to provide eggs for him and his wife. "It was the perfect number for us," he says.

That's when the catalogs began to arrive.

Every state has a "right-to-farm" law on the books to protect farmers from being sued by their neighbors for the routine smells and noise created by farming operations. But this year, the agriculture industry has been pushing in several states to amend those laws so that they will effectively prevent neighbors from suing farms at all — even massive industrial livestock operations.

The Ohio Senate has voted unanimously to legalize hemp and related products, including CBD oil.

When the Nipomo Certified Farmers' Market started in 2005, shoppers were eager to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as pastured meats and eggs, directly from farmers in central California.

But the market was small — an average of 16 vendors set up tables every Sunday — making it harder for farmers to sell enough produce to make attending worthwhile.

House and Senate negotiators are reportedly close to finalizing a framework on a farm bill compromise in hopes it will pass both chambers of Congress and be on the president's desk by the end of the year.

According to a spokesperson for Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., House and Senate committee staff worked through the weekend and again on Monday "exchanging offers daily" as last details are being ironed out.

For months, farmers from Mississippi to Minnesota have been waiting for the Environmental Protection Agency to make up its mind about a controversial weedkiller called dicamba.

Adora Namigadde / WOSU

Renick’s Family Market has been open since 1959, but Wednesday marks the final time the Pickaway County farm will close its doors.

In this week's Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast, Mike Thompson and Steve Brown are joined by special guest Ann Fisher to discuss how the gubernatorial candidates are pushing an economic message in the final days of the campaign. This episode was recorded live at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs Leadership Forum.

Climate change is coming like a freight train, or a rising tide. And our food, so dependent on rain and suitable temperatures, sits right in its path.

The plants that nourish us won't disappear entirely. But they may have to move to higher and cooler latitudes, or farther up a mountainside. Some places may find it harder to grow anything at all, because there's not enough water.

Here are five foods, and food-growing places, that will see the impact.

Wheat

This year, Clark County celebrates its bicentennial. But some of the county’s farms are even older than that. In fact, Clark County is home to seven farms that are more than 200 years old.

In this story, we visit one these original homesteads: The Wallace Family Farm in Medway, where Wallace descendants have saved generations of personal family records. And today the meticulous archives offer a unique window into Clark County and American history.

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