agriculture

News
6:00 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Business Booming for Christmas Tree Farms Still Recovering From Drought

Judy Reifenberg is the co-owner of St. Joe Tree Farm in Fort Wayne.
Credit Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

By this time of the year, many households that put up a Christmas tree, already have, whether it be fresh cut or artificial. Most fresh trees are grown in Michigan and the Pacific Northwest, but plenty are grown right here in Indiana.

2014 was an interesting year for Hoosier tree farmers, who had a great growing season this summer, but are still recovering from a drought in 2012.

WBOI’s Virginia Alvino head out to the only two tree farms left in Allen County, to find out how this season’s going, and what the future may hold.

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Money
4:37 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Cost of Thanksgiving Meal Drops in Indiana, Rises Nationwide

Nationwide, the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for ten people rose to $49.41, though it's a few dollars cheaper in Indiana.
Credit Courtesy / American Farm Bureau Federation

Your traditional Thanksgiving dinner may be a little less expensive this year.

According to the Indiana Farm Bureau, the average cost of a Turkey Day meal for ten Hoosiers is down to $46.93, the second year in a row the price has dropped.

The Indiana total is also lower than the national average of $49.41, released by the American Farm Bureau Federation Thursday.

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Agriculture
3:51 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Organization Shines Light On Sexual Assault Among Farmworkers

As many as 90 percent of female farmworkers report being sexually harassed on the job, which includes being sexually assaulted, but efforts are underway in Indiana to help that underrepresented population.

Kimber Nicoletti is the director and founder of Multicultural Efforts to End Sexual Assault.  Based at Purdue University, MESA aims to help underserved communities, which includes Indiana’s migrant farmworker population. 

Nicoletti says women are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence for many reasons, including their isolation.

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Agriculture
3:56 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Record Corn and Soybean Harvests Possible Again in 2014

Indiana corn producers could see record yields again this year, if the weather cooperates.
Credit Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

Purdue agriculture experts say the crop report released Tuesday projects potential record highs for corn and soybeans, and experts say that’s good news for Hoosiers at the grocery store.

Indiana farmers are projected to harvest a little more than one billion bushels of corn this year, which would set a record for the second consecutive year.  The predicted soybean harvest would be the third-largest in state history and up nearly six percent from last year. 

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Politics & Government
5:37 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Donnelly Lauds Farm Bill on Statewide Tour

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana.
Credit Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly says the new Farm Bill is good legislation for the times the nation is facing.  Donnelly is traveling around the state this week talking to farmers about the bill.

Donnelly says the most recent version of the farm bill is strong in two important areas: a greater shift toward crop insurance and greater focus on conservation. 

The Indiana Democrat says past farm bills relied heavily on direct payments to farmers; the new bill does away with them almost entirely, which he says is better for taxpayers as well as farmers.

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Health & Science
2:36 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

U.N. Report Predicts More Midwest Floods Due to Climate Change

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report, released Monday, says the Midwest could experience more flash flooding in coming years.
Credit Courtesy / IPCC.ch

The Midwest is likely to experience more flash floods because of climate change. That’s one of the takeaways from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released Monday. That could affect how cities think about their infrastructure and how farmers manage their crops.

Research indicates Indiana and other Midwestern states may not see more rainfall—it will just come in shorter, more intense bursts.

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Opinion - Food
4:57 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Fort Wayne Farm Promotes Sustainable Food By Nixing the Soil

Get Fresh Farms in Fort Wayne grows a variety of vegetables through hydroponics, a process that uses no soil.
Amber Recker For WBOI News

The locavore movement is starting to take hold in Northeast Indiana, as is evident by the growing popularity of farmers markets. We want to know where our food is grown and raised. When you buy produce from the grocery store, you don’t know where or by whom it was grown.

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News
6:00 am
Fri January 17, 2014

More Crop Production Means Lower Food Costs

Consumers have seen high food prices because of crop shortages and dry weather across the country for the past few years. But that’s expected to change in 2014.

Indiana farmers produced a record amount of corn in 2013. Along with high soybean yields, that will likely mean cheaper food prices this year.     

Chris Hurt is an agricultural economist at Purdue University. He says that food supply is finally catching up to demand, and that’s good news for consumers.  

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News
6:00 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Fort Wayne Farm Show Draws Thousands

Young men check out John Deere's newest model of self-propelled sprayer.
Credit Virginia Alvino

The 25th Annual Fort Wayne Farm Show, which wrapped up Thursday, is one of the top-rated and largest in the country. It’s expected to bring over 30-thousand visitors to the city. But that figure may not grow much in the future.  

There are only so many farmers. That number is going down every year, and Indiana farmers are also getting older. 

That’s why Fort Wayne Farm Show director Steve Guenthner says events like his, that present the newest and most efficient machines, are so important.  

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Politics & Government
4:26 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Without action, farm programs to expire at month's end

Farm groups have expressed concern that key programs such as crop insurance and disaster relief are under threat when current provisions expire at the end of the month.

House leadership has been reluctant to call the bill for a vote, due to a deep political divide over cuts to the food stamp program, which accounts for 20% of the bill.

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