Two Colorado farmers admitted to causing the deadliest foodborne illness outbreak in a decade Tuesday. Jensen Farms, located in Colorado, was the source of the outbreak that killed 33 people nationwide and sickened seven in Missouri.
In front of a federal judge, brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen pleaded guilty for the listeria outbreak linked back to their cantaloupe farm. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for January.
Wild dogs, coyotes and bobcats have always been a threat to farmers who raise sheep and goats. Traditionally, people think of getting dogs to protecting these flocks. But there is another option that’s becoming more popular among farmers -- guard donkeys.
In recent years, farmers in the Midwest have transformed millions of acres of prairie grass to rows of corn. High crop prices are a big motivation, but some also believe crop insurance is encouraging farmers to roll the dice on less productive land.
Rod Christen and his sister Kay farm corn, soybeans and wheat on their land near the small town of Steinauer, Neb. But their main crop is grass.
“Big bluestem is our big producer,” said Rod Christen. “It’s kind of our Cadillac grass.”
The government shutdown is creating a backlog of chemicals needed to produce the steady supply of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides American farmers count on to keep pests from destroying their crops.
These are just a few of the popular items volunteers removed from local streams during the City of Columbia’s annual Hinkson Clean Sweep project on Saturday. The City of Columbia’s Stormwater Education and Outreach Program has put on the event for the past 10 years.
Volunteers were stationed at five different local streams in Columbia, all of which flow into the Hinkson Creek.
Normally, Friday, Oct. 11, would be a big day for the commodity markets. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Report is due, providing what is widely excepted to be the most trusted and complete snapshot of farm markets in the middle of harvest season.
But, with the government shut down the report is not coming out. In fact, farmers and ranchers aren’t getting any of the USDA information they rely on, and in this case, ignorance is not bliss.
The dry conditions of the past two growing seasons may have frustrated many Missouri corn farmers, but it may have had at least one positive effect on their crop. A corn disease that peaked in 2011 has been on the wane.
Until recently, Goss’s Wilt was confined to eastern Colorado and western Nebraska. Then, beginning in 2008, it moved eastward, infecting farms across the corn belt. Iowa State University plant pathologist Alison Robertson says modern hybrid corn varieties may be to blame for the resurgence.
An outbreak of salmonella linked to raw chicken is spreading across the country. But, the partial government shutdown could make it tougher to track.
More than 270 people have been sickened across 18 states. But when you call the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food safety information office, you hear a recorded message saying: “Hello, you have reached the congressional and public affairs staff. We are not in the office at this time. We are on furlough due a lapse in federal government funding.”