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marginal land

Business Beat
4:46 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Guard donkeys; farmers plowing more prairie land

Credit Heather Adams / KBIA

Wild dogs, coyotes, and bobcats are just some of the predators that have always been a threat to ranchers who raise sheep or goats. Traditionally, people think of getting dogs to help protect their flocks and herds. But there is another option and it’s becoming more popular among ranchers. Guard donkeys. KBIA’s Heather Adams has more.

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Agriculture
4:33 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Farmers plowing up more and more of the prairie

The Christen family grazes cattle year-round on native prairie pastures in southeast, Neb. Rod Christen calls big bluestem their “Cadillac grass.”
Credit Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

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.”

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