WYSO

Agriculture

Danny Jones, Dale Friesen, and Ed Hill with a field of Turkey Red Wheat behind them.
courtesy of Dorothy Lane Market

During the early 1800s, wheat production made Ohio one of the leading grain-growing states in the U.S. As prairie land was settled and major wheat growing moved westward, the grain became less important to the state’s agricultural economy. Corn and soybeans became the staple of farming, and now wheat fields are few and far between in the Ohio countryside.

Some of Ohio’s major exporting industries, including agriculture and automotive manufacturing, could suffer if the United States and Mexico make a trade deal without Canada.

The countries are reportedly in negotiations, trying to reach a deal on a revised North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, by Friday. However, earlier this week, President Trump said that if Canada won't sign on, the U.S. and Mexico will do their own bilateral deal.

 

Krista and Jamie Arthur at Little Miami Farms in Spring Valley.
Renee Wilde / WYSO

When Europeans came to Ohio, one of the first crops they cultivated was hops; A small green flower that’s a main ingredients for brewing beer, which was a staple of their diet.

The Ohio Valley provided the perfect soil for the fast growing plant. But, in the early 21st century came Prohibition, plus plant diseases and harmful insects.  So Ohio farmers eventually quit growing hops. 

Jerry Kenney

There’s an old farming adage when it comes to corn crops: “knee-high by the Fourth of July.” The traditional saying refers to how tall a good corn crop should be by that date. But for many Miami Valley farmers this year, the corn crop passed that benchmark some time ago.  

Ty Kalaus, regional deputy director for the United States Department of Agriculture, Great Lakes Region says some of the credit goes to this spring and summer’s alternately rainy -- and then hot, dry weather. 

Susan Green

In the age of online advertising, some people still use the old-school method to promote stuff they want to buy and sell –– by posting on bulletin boards in laundromats, restaurants and other establishments.

WYSO’s Bulletin Board Diaries brings you some of the stories behind these ads. 

In this installment of the series, a business card found on a bulletin board at a Lebanon restaurant leads producer Jerry Kenney to a horse barn in Franklin, Ohio.

The Miller Dairy Farm in Logan County, just south of Belle Center, Ohio, is a hundred and five acres of rolling green pastures. It’s home to a hundred or so dairy cows and another 200 heifers. They’ve got a few horses, some sheep, a llama and other barnya
Jerry Kenney

The H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers visa program allows seasonal immigrants to legally work in the United States. Demand for H-2A visa workers is up dramatically nationwide, as many farms have had trouble finding enough employees to fill open jobs.  

Meat recall
Creation Gardens, Inc.

Kentucky-based wholesale food supplier Creation Gardens, Inc. is recalling almost 23,000 pounds of beef products suspected of E. coli contamination. A notice today from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) says the raw ground beef and beef primal cut products were produced on May 31, June 1 and June 2, 2017.

 

 

The company says the recalled products are marked with an establishment number “EST. 7914”. The number can be found  inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Corn harvest
United Soybean Board / Flickr/Creative Commons

All of this summer's rain isn't just ruining your outdoor plans—it's taking a toll on Ohio's $100 billion farming industry.

Ohio’s largest industry is taking a big hit thanks to this summer’s wet weather. Ohio Farm Bureau spokesman Joe Cornely says a lot of the state’s corn and soybean crops didn’t get planted in time, and those that did are getting drowned out.

City of Springfield, Ohio.
City of Springfield, Ohio.

The Federal Aviation Administration has granted Clark State Community College permission to fly a drone in parts of Clark County and it will fly over land owned by the City of Springfield, but leased to local farmers.

Clark State recently announced it would integrate drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, into a new precision agriculture program. Getting FAA authorization to fly was the next step. Clark State President Jo Alice Blondin indicated that the students should benefit.

Satellite view of toxic algal bloom on Lake Erie
NASA Earth Observatory

Toxic blue-green algae blooms, or cyanobacteria, are a growing problem in Ohio’s lakes, and grabbed the attention of the whole country after the bacteria shut down Toledo’s water system last summer.

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