The driest August across northern Missouri since 1984 has the United States Department of Agriculture revising crop yield projections downward for the upcoming harvest. In addition, a continued drought plagues the northern part of the state, with 20 counties affected by what the National Weather Service calls a “severe drought”.
“Drought has and always will be a part of the Missouri landscape,” said University of Missouri Climatologist Pat Guinan. However, he characterizes the last few weeks as a flash drought, and a “drought on steroids.”
Farmers across the country received more than $17 billion in federal crop insurance payouts after last year’s drought. A report released on Tuesday by an environmental group blames farmers for not doing enough to shield the soil against the heat.
The University of Missouri Extension is warning that recent wet weather increases the chances of diseases developing in corn and soybeans.
Agronomy specialist Jill Scheidt says rain carries funguses in the air, making it easier for the funguses to spread. She says diseases like rust, gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight, brown spot, crazy top and stalk and ear rots develop best in wet and humid conditions.
This week for the show, I went to the Missouri State Fair and all you’re getting is this audio postcard.
First, I talked to Marlys Peck, who, along with her family, has been selling corn dogs at the fair for more than 41 years. Every year, Peck and her parents spend the state-fair week under the same tree near the historic Womens Building.
The nation’s poultry industry exported a record 8.1 billion pounds of chicken last year, according to the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council. But a recent decision from the World Trade Organization in the latest skirmish between the US and China could drive up that number dramatically. It’s the latest volley in the export battle between the world’s top two economic superpowers.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is continuing to push Congress to send a farm bill to President Obama’s desk. And he says dwindling farmer numbers mean coupling agricultural policy with nutrition programs is essential.
A coalition of farm and food safety groups wants federal regulators to quash the proposed sale of Smithfield Foods to a Chinese conglomerate in what would be the largest such takeover of a U.S. business.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the 17 groups are asking the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to oppose the pork processor's sale to Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd.