Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

Howard Audsley, who wears dark glasses and has his hair cut short in a crew cut, has been driving his Toyota truck through the state of Missouri for the past 30 years to assess the value of farmland. Barreling down the flat roads of Saline County, Mo., on a recent day, Audsley stopped his truck at a 160-acre tract of newly tilled black land. The land sold for $10,700 an acre last February, double what it would have gone for five years ago.

Southeast Missouri State University

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will assist Southeast Missouri State University in placing the latest agricultural technology at the David M. Barton Ag Research Center. That’s according to a new agreement signed by Southeast and the NRCS on Tuesday.

Southeast’s Agriculture Department will manage the technology and present it to farmers from Missouri to Arkansas, according to Ag Department Chair Michael Aide.

Pumpkin Prices On The Rise After Summer Drought

Oct 15, 2012
Pumpkins are often considered a drought resilient crop, but the combination of extreme heat and low rainfall have taken their toll on Missouri pumpkins.
Flickr[lady_fox] / KRCU

Missourians will see higher prices for many local pumpkins this fall.

This season’s pumpkins encountered many drought-related problems.

The most noticeable of these problems is size. Most plants consist primarily of water, and without it, horticulture experts say these pumpkins won’t be quite as plump.

Sanjun Gu is an assistant professor at Lincoln University and the state horticulture specialist for Missouri. He says the crops in southeast Missouri are among the worst affected.

Amish Farmers Take The Progressive Road

Oct 12, 2012
Amish Sign
Clay Masters / Harvest Public Media

This year’s drought has damaged crops, but it hasn’t hurt the price of farmland. In Iowa, prices are up almost 8 percent just since March. That’s forcing a lot of small farmers to make some tough decisions, including Amish farmers in that state who are breaking tradition so they can afford to stay on the land.

USDA Crop Production Reports On Missouri’s Corn Yield

Oct 11, 2012
This year, Missouri has reported a 28% decrease in corn crop yields due to the devastating summer drought.
Samantha Powers / KRCU

The latest USDA Crop Production Report shows the lowest Missouri corn yield in seven years.

Missouri is among the top ten states in corn crop production.

Dr. Michael Aide is the chairperson for Southeast Missouri State University’s Agriculture department.  He says last summer’s drought “devastated” key areas of corn production.