farming

Agriculture
1:06 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

California Farmers Ask: Hey Buddy, Can You Spare Some Water?

Allen Peterson's farm, near the city of Turlock, Calif., lies next to a concrete-lined canal full of water. He's one of the lucky ones.
Dan Charles/NPR

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:29 am

Imagine if a gallon of milk cost $3 in your town, but 100 miles away it cost $100, or even $200.

Something similar is happening right now in California with water that farmers use to irrigate their crops. Some farmers are paying 50 or even 100 times more for that water than others who live just an hour's drive away.

The situation is provoking debate about whether water in California should move more freely, so that it can be sold to the highest bidder.

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'Smells Like A Toilet'
8:20 am
Mon May 19, 2014

New Organic Fertilizer Less Smelly, More Popular With Farm Workers

Alan Schreiber is an organic and research farmer. He’s testing a new better-smelling organic liquid fertilizer at his farm near Eltopia, Washington.

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 6:35 pm

When you think organic, you probably visualize fresh, sweet-smelling fruits and vegetables. But what makes that delicious organic produce grow?

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Farming
10:43 am
Fri May 16, 2014

How To Win An Old-Fashioned Plowing Competition

Courtney Polinder plows at the 2013 International Plowing Match while his wife, Heidi, right, helps steer the horses in the furrow. Courtney’s grandfather, Fred Polinder, began competing at the plowing match in 1943.
Sarah Eden Wallace

The horses are beefy, the farmers nostalgic and the legacy long.

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Aquaculture Harvest
2:46 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Can Fish Farms Thrive In The USA?

Live tilapia are loaded into a truck bound for New York.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on

Why hasn't fish farming taken off in the United States?

It's certainly not for lack of demand for the fish. Slowly but surely, seafood that's grown in aquaculture is taking over the seafood section at your supermarket, and the vast majority is imported. The shrimp and tilapia typically come from warm-water ponds in southeast Asia and Latin America. Farmed salmon come from big net pens in the coastal waters of Norway or Chile.

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Local Food
10:27 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Getting Fresh: Spring Into Delicious Edition

Credit Flickr Photo/ron.heasley (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Sheryl Wiser of Cascade Harvest about what spring will bring to local farmers markets.

Agricultural Act
9:05 am
Mon February 3, 2014

How The Farm Bill Funds Environmental Programs, Too

The Farm Bill funds more than just agriculture. The new bill will also affect the Northwest environment policy.
Courtney Flatt

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:58 pm

The Farm Bill doesn't just put billions of dollars into agriculture programs. The Agricultural Act of 2014, as the bill is formally called, will also affect conservation of Northwest wildlife and natural resources.

The House has passed a version of the bill, and it's expected to go to the Senate Monday.

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Government
8:43 am
Fri January 31, 2014

What The Farm Bill Tucked Beneath Northwest Christmas Trees

Congress is on the verge of approving a surcharge on Christmas trees to pay for a national board's promotion of this leading Northwest crop.
Ian Sane/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/31246066@N04/5850816091/in/photolist-9V1XMv

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 3:03 pm

A once-stalled plan to support Christmas tree growers nationwide could be on its way to winning congressional approval as part of the new Farm Bill.

A provision in the bill adds a 15-cent surcharge on the cost of Christmas trees sold by larger farms. The revenue would help market those trees -- a potential boon for growers in Oregon, which leads the country in Christmas tree production.

You’ve likely heard of the dairy industry’s famous "Got Milk?" campaign but you’ve probably never heard an ad that asks, "Got Christmas Trees?"

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Government
9:00 am
Fri January 24, 2014

How The Farm Bill Could Make It Harder To Track Down Pollution

Two provisions in the House version of the latest Farm Bill could limit the amount and type of information federal agencies give out about farms.
Flickr Creative Commons: Scott Butner

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 1:00 am

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency messed up. And now the mistake has led to a fight between open government advocates and farmers.

The EPA accidentally released the names and addresses of 80,000 farmers to environmental groups. That's a lot of information that's supposed to be redacted.

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Agriculture
12:48 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

How Drones And Satellites Can Boost The Biofuel Crop

High-tech cameras, sensors, aircraft and satellites could more accurately predict crop yields and increase the cost-effectiveness of biofuels. Dan Long holds the small aircraft equipped with cameras, while John Sulik holds the controls.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 9:47 am

Northwest farmers are trying to get into the business of biofuels.

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Seasonal Vegetables
3:17 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Getting Fresh With Ross And Sheryl: Sunchokes And Parsnips

Sheryl Wiser of the Cascade Harvest Coalition recommends picking out parsnips that are firm and dry.
Courtesy of Sheryl Wiser

Ross Reynolds talks with Sheryl Wiser of the Cascade Harvest Coalition about what is fresh at the farmer's market this week.

Food
2:44 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

What It Takes To Grow A Meal

Flickr Photo/The Heathman Kirkland

Marcie Sillman talks with Kurt Timmermeister about his newest book, "Growing a Feast: The Chronicle of a Farm-to-Table Meal."

Activism
6:00 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Seattle 2013: A Year In Protest

We've reserved the slideshow above for a collection of reader-submitted photos from local demonstrations in 2013. Submit yours to pictures@kuow.org. In this photo: A scene from fast food workers demonstrating in Seattle on May 31, 2013.
Heather Villanueva

As we looked back on the last year, debating which stories to highlight here, we noticed a trend that surprised us: 2013 was a year of activism and protest in the Seattle area.

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Young Farmers
12:15 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Forget Golf Courses: Subdivisions Draw Residents With Farms

The Bucking Horse subdivision in Fort Collins, Colo., will include a working CSA farm, complete with historic barn, farm house and chicken coop.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 7:00 am

When you picture a housing development in the suburbs, you might imagine golf courses, swimming pools, rows of identical houses.

But now, there's a new model springing up across the country that taps into the local food movement: Farms — complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees — are serving as the latest suburban amenity.

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Labor And Industries
8:49 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Wilcox Farms Fined For Serious Violations Long Before Silo Collapse

Wilcox Farms, where a man was buried under tons of corn on Monday when a silo gave way, was cited for six violations last summer that could have put workers in serious danger, according to inspection reports.

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Agriculture
12:22 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Organic Farmers Bash FDA Restrictions On Manure Use

TK
Dan Charles/ NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 12:34 pm

Many organic farmers are hopping mad at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and their reason involves perhaps the most underappreciated part of agriculture: plant food, aka fertilizer. Specifically, the FDA, as part of its overhaul of food safety regulations, wants to limit the use of animal manure.

"We think of it as the best thing in the world," says organic farmer Jim Crawford, "and they think of it as toxic and nasty and disgusting."

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