farming

Kentucky Grain Insurance Fund Nears $5 Million

Mar 24, 2016
Kentucky Department of Agriculture

Kentucky's Grain Insurance Fund is at an all-time high. According to the state Department of Agriculture, the total stands at $4.8 million thanks to accrued interest and no payouts since October of 2000. 

At the Lee Valley consignment sale near Tekamah, Neb., dozens of used tractors, planters and other equipment were on the auction block for farmers trying to save a few extra dollars. It was a muddy day, with trucks and four-wheelers leaving deep black ruts — fitting conditions for an industry wallowing in bad news.

As an African-American, John Boyd Jr. might not be what Americans imagine when they think of a typical farmer. But Boyd has been farming his entire life, like his father, grandfather and great-grandfather before him. He grows wheat, corn and soybeans and has cattle at his southwestern Virginia farm.

Farm subsidies don't lack for critics. Free-market conservatives and welfare state-defending liberals alike have called for deep cuts in these payments to farmers. After all, farmers, as a group, are wealthier than the average American. Why should they get tens of billions of dollars each year in federal aid?

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

This holiday season, many families will decorate Christmas trees and front yards with dazzling electric lights, travel long-distance, maybe hundreds of miles to visit relatives, or turn up the central heat and do some online shopping for gifts. A lot has changed about how we celebrate and survive the winter months over the past 160 years. On Sounds Good, Matt Markgraf speaks with Land Between the Lakes Homeplace Lead Interpreter Cindy Earls about how farm families celebrated Christmas in 1850.

If you go by their declarations and promises, meat producers are drastically cutting back on the use of antibiotics to treat their poultry, pigs and cattle. Over the past year, one big food company after another has announced plans to stop using these drugs.

But if you go by the government's data on drugs sold to livestock producers, it's a different story.

bobbiesmithbryant.com

Smith Farms hosts "Celebrate Our Farming Heritage" tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon. On Sounds Good, Tracy Ross speaks with author Bobbie Smith Bryant about the event, the dark-fired tobacco curing process, her love of Western Kentucky and farming and her latest book Farming in the Black Patch.

Like all business owners, farmers want to get paid for their work. Sometimes, that work creates problems for the environment, so regulators are advancing the idea of creating environmental markets to allow farmers to make money off of their conservation practices.

Under plans in development, farmers could generate environmental credits by farming in ways that store carbon, filter out water pollution, or preserve wildlife habitat. Those credits could be bought, sold, and traded by companies that need to balance out their own emissions or pollution.

store.almanac.com

The Old Farmer's Almanac is the longest published periodical in North America, in continuous publication since 1792. Their 2016 edition was released in September and Tracy Ross speaks with Senior Associate Editor, Sarah Perreault about the new issue, methodologies for weather forecasting and work underway on the 2017 anniversary issue.

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a final version of updated rules intended to keep farmworkers from being poisoned by pesticides. The previous "worker protection standard" for farms has been in effect since 1992.

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