An invasive, elusive 20-pound rodent threatens California agriculture

Wearing chest-high waders, biologist Sean McCain tries to tiptoe to the edge of a marsh in California’s Central Valley. A biologist with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, McCain squints as he searches the shoreline. “I don’t think they know we’re here yet,” he whispers. Then, excitedly, he points. “Is that one right there? I… » Read More

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What is the farm bill and why does it matter?

Every five years or so, Congress takes up a massive piece of legislation known as the farm bill, which covers everything from supporting farmers to ensuring that those short of food don’t go hungry. The cost of the bill is nearly $100 billion a year. Right now, Congress is in the middle of the farm-bill… » Read More

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Can Jess King flip the farmers of Lancaster County?

It has been — to put it lightly — a tough year for the country’s farmers. Low commodity prices and President Trump’s trade war have slashed farm income; for many struggling farms, these latest hits have pushed them to the brink of shutting down. Advocates say that a federal bailout designed to help farmers through… » Read More

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An Iowa Democrat hopes to win over farmers in a conservative Republican district

Update, Nov. 1, 2018: J.D. Scholten, who won the Democratic primary for the 4th district seat, is now in a close race with Rep. Steve King, who has gotten national attention for his virulent anti-immigrant views and for his support on social media of white supremacists.  On a rainy Wednesday afternoon in May, a half-dozen… » Read More

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How’s organic farming faring in the farm bill?

In 2009, Clay Smith retired from his job running a Methodist non-profit in Southern Appalachia and returned to the family farm where he grew up outside Burlington, North Carolina. He divided the 130 acres with his brother and got his half certified organic. Now, along with traditional crops like tomatoes and zinnias, he grows edible… » Read More

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This little piggy went to market … and everything changed

Arkansas Highway 155 branches of Arkansas 7 just south of Dardanelle. The flat two-lane features a couple of curves and long, straight stretches with cattle pasture and cropland on both sides. Just a couple of miles east of the intersection sits Balloun Farms. If the wind is right and your windows are down, you’ll instantly… » Read More

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