agriculture

Courtesy / Indiana Dept. of Agriculture

The Indiana Department of Agriculture this week will announce the launch of Indiana Grown, a program promoting products made and produced in the Hoosier State.

The idea of a “Made in Indiana” brand isn’t new.  But state Department of Agriculture Director Ted McKinney says the previous version was underfunded and understaffed and, thus, ineffective. 

McKinney says the new program, Indiana Grown, is much more robust, with funding from the Department of Agriculture – and Hoosiers can already see results.

Courtesy / ISDA

Indiana wants to help Hoosier farmers who are ready to grow beyond the farmer’s market. The Indiana Department of Agriculture released new data on food hubs Monday.

“Food hub” can be a broad term, but Agriculture Department Director Ted McKinney says people should think of the word “aggregation” – it’s a way for farmers and food producers, often via a website, to connect with buyers.  And a new Department of Agriculture study shows Indiana can do more to utilize food hubs. 

Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

The Great Lakes form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth.

Last August, blue green algae blooms in Lake Erie caused hundreds of thousands of people to go without water. The cause – nutrients, especially phosphorous, in the waterways.  Many say unregulated runoff from agriculture was partly to blame.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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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