Luke Runyon http://nhpr.org en Industrial Hemp Could Take Root, If Legal Seeds Weren't So Scarce http://nhpr.org/post/industrial-hemp-could-take-root-if-legal-seeds-werent-so-scarce The most recent farm bill is allowing a handful of farmers across the country to put hemp, the nonpsychoactive cousin of marijuana, in the ground.<p>The bill allows small-scale experimentation with the plant. But despite the new law, many farmers say they're getting mixed messages from the federal government.<p>Jim Denny is one of more than 100 growers given the nod by the Colorado Department of Agriculture to start planting hemp seeds. On his farm in Brighton, Colo., just outside Denver, Denny is prepping for planting season. Wed, 28 May 2014 07:33:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 49271 at http://nhpr.org Industrial Hemp Could Take Root, If Legal Seeds Weren't So Scarce Marijuana-Laced Treats Leave Colorado Jonesing For Food-Safety Rules http://nhpr.org/post/marijuana-laced-treats-leave-colorado-jonesing-food-safety-rules Where there's pot, there's pot brownies. But how do you make sure those high-inducing sweets are safe to eat?<p>Colorado regulators are wrestling with that question now that the state has legalized recreational marijuana. From sodas and truffles to granola bars and butter, food products infused with THC – the chemical in marijuana that gives you a high — are already for sale.<p>The problem? Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Sun, 02 Feb 2014 21:10:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 42870 at http://nhpr.org Marijuana-Laced Treats Leave Colorado Jonesing For Food-Safety Rules Forget Golf Courses: Subdivisions Draw Residents With Farms http://nhpr.org/post/forget-golf-courses-subdivisions-draw-residents-farms When you picture a housing development in the suburbs, you might imagine golf courses, swimming pools, rows of identical houses.<p>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.<p>It's called development-supported agriculture, a more intimate version of community-supported agriculture — a farm-share program commonly known as CSA. Tue, 17 Dec 2013 08:15:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 40267 at http://nhpr.org Forget Golf Courses: Subdivisions Draw Residents With Farms Ranchers Wonder If U.S. Sheep Industry Has Bottomed Out http://nhpr.org/post/ranchers-worry-demand-sheep-declines Over the last 20 years, the number of sheep in the U.S. has plummeted by half. The sheep industry has actually been declining since the late 1940s, when it hit its peak.<p>The sharp drop in production has left ranchers to wonder, "When are we going to hit the bottom?"<p>Some sheep are raised for their wool, others primarily for food. Consumption of both products — lamb meat and wool — have been declining in the U.S.<p>If you look at the tags on clothes in your closet, chances are quite a few pieces will be blended with synthetic fibers: nylon, rayon and polyester. Mon, 21 Oct 2013 09:03:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 37095 at http://nhpr.org Ranchers Wonder If U.S. Sheep Industry Has Bottomed Out Can Millet Take On Quinoa? First, It'll Need A Makeover http://nhpr.org/post/can-millet-take-quinoa-first-itll-need-makeover Walk through a health food store and you'll find amaranth, sorghum, quinoa — heritage grains that have been staples around the world for generations. Americans are just discovering them.<p>There's another age-old grain that grows right here on the Great Plains: millet.<p>The millet plant is drought-tolerant, and nutritionally it competes with quinoa, the protein-rich South American grain that American farmers <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/11/29/166155875/quinoa-craze-inspires-north-america-to-start-growing-its-own">are clamoring</a> to grow. Wed, 02 Oct 2013 07:23:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 36015 at http://nhpr.org Can Millet Take On Quinoa? First, It'll Need A Makeover Floods That Ravaged Colo. Might Help Drought-Hit Farmland http://nhpr.org/post/floods-ravaged-colo-might-help-drought-hit-farmland The damage from flooding in Colorado is immense. As the raging rivers overflowed, they spilled into low-lying farm and ranch land wrecking costly equipment, dismantling irrigation systems and stranding livestock. In the near future, it'll be hard for farmers to remain optimistic. Still, as the waters recede, there may be a silver lining to the excess rain further down the line. Wed, 25 Sep 2013 22:03:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 35646 at http://nhpr.org Flood Damage Shuts Down An Entire Colo. Town http://nhpr.org/post/flood-damage-shuts-down-entire-colo-town Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>The rainstorms and flooding in Colorado over the past week have dealt an especially harsh blow to tiny Estes Park. Many of the roads were washed away, leaving the town that bills itself the gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park essentially cut off from the rest of the state. Wed, 18 Sep 2013 21:08:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 35226 at http://nhpr.org Young Farmers Break The Bank Before They Get To The Field http://nhpr.org/post/young-farmers-break-bank-they-get-field As the average age of the American farmer has crept up to 60, fewer young people are filling in the ranks behind them. That's prompted some to ask if young people even want to farm anymore.<p>The quick answer is yes, just not in the same numbers as they used to. Wed, 21 Aug 2013 07:05:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 33527 at http://nhpr.org Young Farmers Break The Bank Before They Get To The Field Colorado Vault Is Fort Knox For The World's Seeds http://nhpr.org/post/colorado-seed-vault-fort-knox-worlds-seeds When unapproved genetically modified wheat was found growing in Oregon earlier this year, it didn't take long for accusations to start flying. A flurry of initial finger-pointing cast potential blame on a federal seed vault in Fort Collins, Colo., which housed the same strain of wheat, developed by Monsanto Corp., for about seven years up until late 2011.<p>The facility has been cleared of wrongdoing since then. A U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman says all of Monsanto's 1,500 pounds of wheat seeds held at the vault were incinerated a year and a half ago at the corporation's request. Tue, 13 Aug 2013 07:02:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 33054 at http://nhpr.org Colorado Vault Is Fort Knox For The World's Seeds Ecologists Turn To Planned Grazing To Revive Grassland Soil http://nhpr.org/post/ecologists-turn-planned-grazing-revive-grassland-soil The world's soil is in trouble. Ecologists say without dramatic changes to how we manage land, vast swathes of grassland are at risk of turning into hard-packed desert. To make sure that doesn't happen, researchers are testing out innovative ways to keep moisture in the soil.<p>In eastern Colorado, one way could be in the plodding hooves of cattle.<p>Conventional wisdom tells you that if ranchland ground has less grass, the problem is too many cows. But that's not always the case. It depends on how you manage them, if you make sure they keep moving.<p>"Plants actually respond to grazing. Mon, 05 Aug 2013 07:27:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 32531 at http://nhpr.org Ecologists Turn To Planned Grazing To Revive Grassland Soil Why You'll Be Paying More For Beef All This Year http://nhpr.org/post/why-youll-be-paying-more-beef-all-year If you've experienced sticker shock shopping for ground beef or steak recently, be prepared for an entire summer of high beef prices.<p><a href="http://www.harvestpublicmedia.org/blog/1556/field-notes-drought-will-continue-haunt-beef-industry/5#.UbVNVZz9XTg">Multi-year droughts in states</a> that produce most of the country's beef cattle have driven up costs to historic highs. Last year, ranchers culled deep into their herds — some even liquidated all their cattle — which pushed the U.S. Wed, 12 Jun 2013 08:41:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 29313 at http://nhpr.org Why You'll Be Paying More For Beef All This Year Colorado Farmers Scramble To Find Irrigation Water http://nhpr.org/post/colorado-farmers-scramble-find-irrigation-water Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>Let's go now to the Great Plains, where farmers are preparing for what could be a tough growing season. They are scrambling to find irrigation water, which is scarce in the midst of the region's persistent drought. In eastern Colorado, thirsty cities have gobbled up water rights for decades, selling what they don't need back to farmers.<p>As Luke Runyon from member station KUNC reports, the agreement only works when water is plentiful.<p>LUKE RUNYON, BYLINE: Kent Peppler climbs into his ruby red pickup truck. Fri, 05 Apr 2013 09:11:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 24997 at http://nhpr.org