farming

As a group of visiting scientists prepared to board a plane in Hawaii that would take them back home to China, U.S. customs agents found rice seeds in their luggage. Those seeds are likely to land at least one scientist in federal prison.

Neil Shook was relaxing at home in Woodworth, N.D., on a Saturday afternoon just over a week ago.

"My wife was outside and she yelled at me to come outside and take a look at this," he recalls.

A massive brown cloud covered the horizon to the west. It was a dust storm — although Shook, who's a scientist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, doesn't like to call it dust. "I like to refer to it as soil, because that's basically what it is," he says. "We saw this huge soil cloud moving from west to east across the landscape."

Courtesy Jeanna Glisson, cropped

Farms can be peaceful but they are also among the most dangerous places to work. In a five year period more than 170 people were killed in agriculture-related accidents in the Ohio Valley region. Yet safety regulators are often limited in what they can do on farms. Nicole Erwin of the Ohio Valley ReSource reports on efforts to reduce the growing hazards.

The numbers are out — and they confirm what we've been hearing from farmers and immigration lawyers. More and more farmers are turning to foreign "guest workers" to plant and harvest the country's crops.

The livelihoods of farmers and ranchers are intimately tied to weather and the environment. But they may not be able to depend on research conducted by the government to help them adapt to climate change if the Trump administration follows through on campaign promises to shift federal resources away from studying the climate.

Nicole Erwin | Ohio Valley ReSource

While exact statistics are unknown, it’s estimated that about 60 percent of farmworkers in the United States are undocumented immigrants. But amid growing labor shortages in large agricultural states and President Donald Trump’s promise to assemble a “deportation task force,” farmers nationwide have voiced concerns that stricter immigration laws could break the backbone of America’s agricultural economy.

The 700 cows on Brett Reinford's dairy farm are making more than just milk.

Each day, the girls are producing 7,000 gallons of manure. And that smells exactly like you'd imagine. "We had gotten complaints from neighbors in the past that had said, 'Hey, it stinks too much. Can you do something about it?' " Reinford says.

So he looked around for a solution and landed on a device called a digester. A digester tamps down the smell a bit, but, more importantly, it takes all that cow poop and converts it to electricity.

Kentucky Association of Food Banks

The Kentucky Farms to Food Banks program is adding a new source of protein to help families in need get balanced nutrition. 

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

U.S. Congressman James Comer held a two-part town hall forum at the Hopkinsville Community College Monday night, having made earlier stops in Taylor and Simpson Counties. The evening began with a Kentucky Farm Bureau listening session, discussing challenges in crafting the next Farm Bill and agriculture industry representatives outlining what they want in the next legislation. A more informal event followed, answering questions from members of local groups opposing President Trump's agenda: 'Pennyroyal Indivisible' and 'Resist Kentucky.'

Petr Kratochvil, publicdomainpictures.net

Farmers in the Ohio Valley are waiting to see how President Trump’s choice to lead the Agriculture Department might affect their fortunes. Concerns over trade have held up a confirmation vote for nominee Sonny Perdue, and trade is also on the minds of regional growers. Nicole Erwin of the Ohio Valley ReSource reports.

Pages