Agriculture

Agriculture

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.

The nationwide drought devastated corn and soybean crops. But lack of supply led to high corn and soybean prices.
Samantha Powers / KRCU

Missouri farmers’ incomes will be above average this year, despite low yields.

Net farm incomes will hit 2.8 billion dollars this year. That’s less than 2011’s record-setting incomes, but still above average for the last 8 years.

Scott Brown is an agricultural economist with the University of Missouri. He says the nationwide drought diminished supply across the country and pushed corn and soybean prices up.

But Brown cautions not all farmers benefit.

Midwest Dairies Debate Cow Tail Docking As Industry Moves To Phase Out Practice

Sep 28, 2012
Here, a cow with a docked tail stands alongside a cow with a tail whose switch has been trimmed at Foremost Dairy in Columbia, Mo. The dairy, which does not dock tails, acquired several cows with docked tails for a research project.
Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

Many people who haven’t stepped foot on a dairy might think milking a cow is a sort of Emersonian back-to-the land moment, where a milker bonds with his or her cow while communing with nature. Just milk her for a while and voilà: fresh, creamy milk. But the truth is, milking can be a very dirty job.

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