Junior Roberts’ cows near Billmore, Missouri, are lucky. The grass they’re grazing on just tested negative for high levels of nitrate. But Roberts says he’s not through testing his 1,400 acres, and he knows that many farmers are selling off their herds rather than pay for alternative foods for their cattle.
“You’d be better off to sell them then to turn them in on a field where they’re gonna lay down and die,” he says. “It’s a problem if that’s all they’ve got left to eat and it’s poison. It ain’t gonna do them no good. You’re gonna lose them plum completely.”
Farmers and other property owners in a southwestern Missouri village are being offered free water to fight grass fires amid continuing heat and drought.
KOLR-TV reports the Lawrence County village of Freistatt announced plans Wednesday to provide water to anyone living within a three-mile radius. Those taking advantage of the offer must have a portable tank to hold 3,000 to 5,000 gallons.
The water can be used only to prevent or fight grass fires.
The Army Corps of Engineers announced Tuesday that it will restore the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway to its original height by the end of this year.
The Mississippi River Commission made the decision last week, according to Army Corps spokesperson Jim Pogue: “Our level of confidence in our ability to finish this work this year is real high. We’ve had good weather, good river stages and assuming that the contractor continues to make good progress and our other work in the confluence area goes well, we’ll be right on track.”
This is the first installment of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s new series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land.
Kate Edwards hasn’t always been a farmer. No, she came back to the farm after college, grad school and a stint as an environmental engineer.
Now, she farms a small one-acre plot near Solon, Iowa. On her small farm, she feeds 30 families through a Community Supported Agriculture project, a CSA. Edwards was drawn back to farming, she says, because of family memories.
The Army Corps of Engineers visited Cairo, Illinois on yesterday to check on reconstruction projects following last year’s devastating floods. The Corps will invest more than $100 million toward flood protection systems at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
When a cow is stressed from the heat, it affects a producer’s bottom line. The animal eats less, meaning less mass in beef cattle. For dairy farmers, the hurt comes in the form of a 10 to 20 percent loss in milk. Researchers at the University of Missouri think we can change this trend by putting information in the hands of producers. They’ve built a tool that can detect the threat of heat stress in specific animals before it starts.