Agriculture

Word of Mouth
1:49 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Healthy As A Horse, But Is It Safe To Eat?

Credit su-lin via Flickr Creative Commons

Americans largely oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption. Despite the cultural taboo, the United States is a key exporter of live horses to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada.  Each year, more than 100,000 American horses are killed in North America for consumption abroad.  Many American horses are given drugs that are carcinogenic to humans, putting consumers’ health at risk. 


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NH News
3:17 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Traditional Pork Production Finds Home In N.H.

Edward Epsen and two American Mulefoot pigs on Henwyn Farm.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

On Edward Epsen’s farm in Salisbury, New Hampshire, around 40 pigs are doing what lucky pigs get to do: forage for acorns and graze in pastures high with Timothy grass.

“So we are going to be killing this pig here, and the other one that was walking around on this side of the electric net," says Epsen. “It slipped out of sight for the moment…oh, there he is.”

The two that will die in a few minutes are American Mulefoots, a rare breed known for its lard.

When Epsen approaches, the 250-pound pigs roll onto their backs.

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NH News
4:40 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

New England Apple Orchards Face Apple Shortage

Phil Rymsha is turning away apple-picking and cider-drinking hopefuls at his orchard in Harvard, Mass., because there simply aren't enough apples on his trees.

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NH News
5:56 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

N.H. Apple Crop Arrives Early

iMaffo Flickr

New Hampshire apples are already ripe, about two weeks ahead of schedule. They're available at farm stands and farmers' markets, but that doesn't mean you can head to the orchards to pick them yourself –  just yet.

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The Exchange
9:17 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Commissioner Lorraine Merrill on All Things Agricultural

N.H. Dept. of Agriculture, Markets, & Food

Lorraine Merrill, Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food discusses the new Farm bill in Congress, as well as trends here in New Hampshire -- from the struggles of dairy farms to new efforts promoting exports of Granite State food.

EarthTalk
12:00 am
Sun May 13, 2012

The 2012 Farm Bill

Stockbyte

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: How do green groups feel about the new 2012 Farm Bill draft recently released by the Senate? -- Roger Wheeler, Miami, FL

 

Like so much of the legislation coming out of Washington, D.C., green groups are mixed on the new Farm Bill now making its way toward a floor vote. No doubt there are some conservation bright spots in the bill, but the question is: Are there enough and do they go far enough?

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The Salt
5:44 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

At The Community Garden, It's Community That's The Hard Part

One of the community gardens divided up into individual plots run by Denver Urb Gardens.
Courtesy of Denver Urb Gardens

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 11:20 am

You may think that the great historic debate between communism and private property is over.

Well, it's not. Not at your local community garden.

Take, for example, the experience of Campos Community Garden in Manhattan's East Village.

Eight years ago, the garden was decrepit and abandoned. Beverly McClain walked by it all the time, on the way to her daughter's school. And one day, she and a motley group of fellow gardeners decided to revive it.

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EarthTalk
12:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Wanted: Young Farmers

iStockPhoto

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: American farmers are an aging population. Is anyone doing anything to make sure younger people are taking up this profession in large enough numbers to keep at least some of our food production domestic?-- Beverly Smith, Milwaukee, WI

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Looking Up: Pockets of Economic Strength
12:01 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Record-High Food Prices Boost Farmers' Bottom Lines

An Illinois farmer checks the blades on his combine while harvesting corn last October. The value of the 2011 U.S. corn crop was more than $76 billion.
Seth Perlman AP

Part of a series

Thanks to high commodity prices and surging productivity, U.S. farmers earned a net income of nearly $98 billion last year — a record, according to the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute.

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Planet Money
12:01 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Meet Claudia, The High-Tech Cow

Technology at rest.
Adam Davidson NPR

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 11:09 am

Here's the secret of the modern dairy farm: The essential high-tech advances aren't in machinery. They're inside the cow.

Take a cow like Claudia. She lives at Fulper Farms, a dairy farm in upstate New Jersey. Claudia is to a cow from the 1930s as a modern Ferrari is to a Model T.

In the 1930s, dairy farmers could get 30 pounds of milk per day from a cow. Claudia produces 75 pounds a day.

To appreciate a cow like Claudia, you have to know where to look.

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The Salt
12:01 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Farmers Face Tough Choice On Ways To Fight New Strains Of Weeds

Adam Cole NPR

OK, so this story is about weeds and weedkillers, neither of which is ever the hero of a story, but stay with me for a second: It's also about plants with superpowers.

Unless you grow cotton, corn or soybeans for a living, it's hard to appreciate just how amazing and wonderful it seemed, 15 years ago, when Roundup-tolerant crops hit the market. I've seen crusty farmers turn giddy just talking about it.

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The Salt
2:05 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

How Using Antibiotics In Animal Feed Creates Superbugs

Many livestock groups say there's no evidence that antibiotics in livestock feed have caused a human health problem, but researchers beg to differ.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 5:19 pm

Researchers have nailed down something scientists, government officials and agribusiness proponents have argued about for years: whether antibiotics in livestock feed give rise to antibiotic-resistant germs that can threaten humans.

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The Salt
5:51 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Why California Almonds Need North Dakota Flowers (And A Few Billion Bees)

Almond trees rely on bees to pollinate during their brief bloom for a few weeks in February.
Winfried Rothermel APN

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 12:27 pm

This is one of those stories that reminds us that everything really is connected to everything else.

Here's the web of connections: a threat to California's booming almond business; hard times for honeybees in North Dakota; and high corn prices.

Confused?

OK, let's start with the almonds. They come from an old-world tree that migrated to California and prospered in the hands of farmers like James McFarlane, who lives right outside the city of Clovis.

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The Salt
3:23 am
Mon February 6, 2012

California's Stevia Growers Bet On Fast Track To Sweetener Success

The S&W Seed Co., in Five Points, Calif., will grow these seedlings of zero-calorie stevia in the fields of California's Central Valley.
Dan Charles NPR

It's stevia time!

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Morning Edition
6:00 am
Thu February 2, 2012

New Planting Map Reflects Warmer Winters

NH Plant Hardiness Map
USDA

The USDA recently released a new growing zone map for the entire country. The Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the guide gardeners use to determine what plants and flowers will most likely thrive in their location. This is the first significant update in more than 20 years. The new online interactive map takes advantage of much more detailed data analysis, and it’s making news because it shows that warmer winters are sustaining plants that previously would have died off in colder climates.

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