drought 2012

Drought takes toll on building foundations

Sep 11, 2012
Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

This year’s drought is beginning to take a toll on building’s foundations. Heather Bain’s home in Moberly has been affected by the drought. Her home is in need of foundation repairs. After the lack of rain the clay is shrinking leaving her dry wall cracking, her doors sticking and the trim no longer meets the floor.

MaryLouiseEklund/flickr

Heavy rains from Hurricane Isaac provided relief to some – but not all – farmers and ranchers in the drought-stricken Midwest, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor’s weekly report, which came out on Thursday.

Lead in text: 
Currently, the USDA expects the prices of beef, pork, poultry and dairy to shoot up five percent next year. You can blame the drought for a lot of that increase as this summer a lot of small livestock producers are struggling just to stay in business. A version of this story ran on KBIA's Business Beat, a weekly program about business and economics in mid-Missouri.
Agriculture

The drought and the Midwestern economy

Sep 5, 2012
drought
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

If you've been out of town for a little while, then you this might be news: this rain we've been getting is a rare, rare, thing. Yes, the drought has been on our minds--and the radio--all summer long and a little rain this week doesn't change the fact that it's been devastating to farmers and the economy

drought
Kecko / Flickr

If you've been out of town for a little while, then you this might be news: this rain we've been getting is a rare, rare, thing. Yes, the drought has been on our minds--and our radio--all summer long and a little rain this week doesn't change the fact that it's been devastating to farmers and the economy.

Cayobo / FLICKR

The Midwest may get a break from the drought when remnants of Hurricane Isaac arrive late this week, but the torrent of rain could create problems.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Brandt Dairy sits on Swan Creek at the end of a meandering gravel road in Linn, Missouri. The farm is bucolic with its twin silos, red barn and black-and-white Holstein cows. But the brown pastures, dry river bed and burnt corn fields are a reminder that there have been less than two inches of rain here in the last two months.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

The ongoing drought has intensified slightly in Missouri over the past week, according to new data released by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska. 

KBIA File Photo

Missouri’s drought conditions have increased the threat of wildfires across the state.

Governor Jay Nixon presided over a drought briefing Thursday at the Missouri State Fair for emergency management and public safety workers.

jetsandzeppelins / Flickr

Missouri has approved more than 4,900 requests from farmers for help in improving their water supplies amid Missouri's extreme drought.

Clay Masters / Harvest Public Media

Roy Pralle is an 85-year-old retired farmer from Latimer, Iowa. He spends most afternoons playing cribbage with other retired farmers at Dudley's Corner, a diner attached to a gas station in north-central Iowa.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

A University of Missouri veterinary professor says farmers need to be careful when feeding drought-damaged corn to their livestock.

Wikimedia Commons

Many homeowners are seeing the impact of the drought with cracked walls in the basement, forcing thousands of dollars in repair bills that insurance generally doesn't cover.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that basement repair companies are overwhelmed with calls from customers about cracking and shifting foundations.

The drought has drained moisture from the soil for several feel underground. Drying clay shrinks, which undermines support beneath basements.

drought farm field soybeans
Camille Phillips / Harvest Public Media

The recent break from Missouri's oppressive summer heat has done little to help crops and pastures.

In its weekly update, the Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that supplies of topsoil and subsoil moisture were just 1 percent adequate — with the 1 percent due to irrigation in southeastern Missouri.

Ninety-eight percent of pastures throughout Missouri were ranked in poor to very condition, and livestock producers are still coping with massive shortages of stock water.

davidyuweb / flickr

Ecologists in Kansas and Missouri say extreme temperatures are killing a large number of butterflies and could hurt their southern migration next month.

Millions of monarch butterflies are expected to migrate south through the two states in less than a month in their seasonal trip from Canada to Mexico.

KSHB-TV reports the Powell Botanical Gardens annual butterfly festival east of Kansas City is seeing the lowest number of monarchs in a decade.

Frank Morris / Harvest Public Media

It’s hot and dry out in western Kansas in a good year. South of Dodge City, the native grass is tough. So are the ranchers. But this year is not a good year.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Gov. Jay Nixon says Missouri officials have approved more than 3,700 applications totaling $18.7 million to help drought-stricken farmers and ranchers get more water.

The emergency program provides for the state to pay 90 percent of the cost of drilling or deepening a well or expanding an irrigation system. The state's match is capped at $20,000 per project.

Nixon announced the program in late June. Monday was the deadline for farmers and livestock producers to apply.

When it's hot and humid, you probably don't want to move much and aren't very hungry. The same goes for cows; but when they don't eat, farmers lose money.

Researchers at the University of Missouri think they can help avoid those losses. They've produced a new mobile app that can detect the threat of heat stress in cows using nothing more than a smartphone.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

This week, we'll hear a report about taxpayer subsidized crop insurance, and find out how a guano harvest could help some penguins.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

Corn prices surged to a new record high on Monday, as the worst drought in more than 50 years continues to plague more than half the country.

Lead in text: 
It's August now and the Farm Bill will expire September 30th. Without a stable, federal policy on US agriculture, farmers are going to have a difficult time planning for the future. Our colleagues at Harvest Public Media are bringing us daily updates on the political wrangling that may or may not bring us the new legislation farmers need. We'll bring you these daily updates as we get them.
Agriculture

USDA releases crops progress report

Jul 31, 2012
CraneStation / Flickr

According to the USDA's crops progress report, which was released on Monday, in Missouri, 83 percent of the corn acreage and 72 percent of soybeans are in very poor or poor condition. Both figures are the worst for any major agricultural state. Optimism for a good corn yield is dwindling, but Southeast Missouri State University’s Michael Aide says there is still hope for soybeans.

drought farm field soybeans
Camille Phillips / Harvest Public Media

As cattle were auctioned off at the Joplin Regional Stockyards, Governor Nixon met over coffee Monday at the stockyard’s café with local ranchers and farmers.  He listened to their stories about how the emergency water cost-share program has helped them and gave them an update on the program. 

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.

Drought puts cows in Midwest at risk of nitrate poisoning

Jul 26, 2012

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.”

Frank Morris / Harvest Public Media

This week on the show: Harvest Public Media’s Frank Morris follows the river to show the impact of this year’s drought.

Frank Morris / Harvest Public Media

Drought has set in early and hard across the Midwest, parching the Arkansas River basin. The river trickling out of the mountains is dry before it reaches some of the major agricultural uses downstream. And the drought is torching crops, sapping tourism and threatening supplies of drinking water.

jetsandzeppelins / Flickr

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared an emergency because of the recent drought.

bredgur / Flickr

Federal weather forecasters predict the unusually hot dry weather that has gripped much of the nation will linger into fall, especially for the parched heartland.

cornfield
bionicteaching / Flickr

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is streamlining the process for farmers to apply for government disaster help as crops in many states burn up in the widest drought in nearly 25 years.

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