farming

From NPR: An Indiana farmer looking for cheap soybean seeds for a second, smaller harvest has been taken to the Supreme Court by the largest seed company, Monsanto. 75-year-old Vernon Hugh Bowman signed a contract with the seed giant to not save and replant any of his harvest.

Monsanto wants to be his sole provider, but their seeds are “Roundup Ready” and more expensive, especially for a small second planting. Bowman bought a motley of seeds from his neighbors for his second harvest thinking Monsanto wouldn’t care. Boy, was he wrong.

Whitney Jones

Many of farmer Jim Kelly’s fields in Murray are bright green with winter wheat even after several frosts. But tromp around some of his other crop fields and you’ll find the withering leaves of radishes. And he’s just going to keep letting them rot.

"These things are in the process of dying. See, some of them already have," he said.

Kelly’s crop usually consists of tobacco, wheat, soybeans, corn and hay. But this year he’s adding radishes to his rotation in his soybean fields as a cover crop. The pale yellow vegetable looks a lot like a carrot and digs down breaking up the soil. Kelly won’t harvest the radishes. They grow until the first hard freeze then begin to die.

wikipedia

Although western Kentucky has already seen its first snow storm of the season, experts say much more will have to fall to ease farmers’ pain from the past summer’s drought. The Dec. 26 snow storm dropped up to 7 inches of snow in Kentucky and up to a foot in some places in Illinois. But climatologists say it would take at least 8 feet of snow to return the soil to its pre-drought condition in time for spring planting. The average snowfall for Paducah is 10 inches, so the large amount of snowfall isn’t likely to happen.

wikipedia

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack makes a Tennessee visit today to discuss the importance of passing comprehensive food, farm and jobs legislation. He will also talk about revitalizing small rural businesses and communities. Vilsack's stops include Cedar Hill and Clarksville. Officials say Tennessee farm income rose from $447 million in 2010 to almost $800 dollars in 2011.

Fall Armyworms Invade Yards, Pastures

Sep 27, 2012

Thanks to this summer's historic drought fall armyworms have invaded and are destroying yards and pastures in McCracken County.

Wikimedia Commons

While the US drought has been rough on our region’s corn and soybean crops, grape growers in the Four Rivers say their harvest will make up in quality what it lacks in quantity.  Winemakers throughout the area report their vineyards have proven resilient to the recent heat and dryness. 

U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer will hold a news conference on Thursday morning at the Kentucky State Fair to rally for industrial hemp.

273-pound Watermelon Wins Kentucky State Fair

Aug 17, 2012
wdrb.com

A watermelon weighing 273.3 lbs. has won the blue ribbon at the Kentucky State Fair. Fair spokeswoman Amanda Storment says the watermelon is one of the five largest ever grown and the largest on record in the U.S.

Farmers around the Midwest are seeing their crops and livestock die in the midst of one of the most severe droughts in the region in years. The drought was recently upgraded in severity to “Exceptional Drought,” the highest level on the drought severity scale. United States Department of Agriculture officials are looking at ways to help out farmers. USDA Deputy Under Secretary Karis Gutter toured the region last week to meet with farmers. WKMS’s Shelly Baskin spoke with Gutter about what he learned.

IL launches buy local campaign

Jul 26, 2012

Illinois agriculture officials have launched a campaign to encourage shoppers to buy locally produced food.  Authorities say consumers will be able to find those products on shelves bearing a new “Illinois Product” logo. 

Pages