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Read the full May|June newspaper (9 MB PDF)

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Open-pollinated corn growing strong on Midwest farms

With the advent of hybridization more than 100 years ago, who would have imagined that open-pollinated (OP) corn would still exist in the 21st century? By saving seed of traditional and newer varieties of OP corn we are able to enjoy their flavors, nutritional quality, colors, and the stories behind them. Read more.

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Part II:  Community-based food systems support organic markets

Organic food sales are the fastest-rising sector in the grocery industry, growing from $13 billion in 2005 to $47 billion in 2018. Despite this sales growth, there are difficulties in each of the largest organic markets in the U.S.: vegetables, dairy, and grain. As you’ll see, businesses that have created a basis of community support are best situated to weather these difficult times. Read more.

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Conservation initiatives can support organic livestock management

A farmer’s interest in creating productive, organic farming systems—through soil building, increased soil organic matter, erosion control, and plant and animal productivity—may coincide well with conservation goals of NRCS. Read more.

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New label assures integrity of grass-fed farming

Today, certifiers are training to uphold the integrity of grass-fed organic dairy farming through the new program. And, in just a couple of months, consumers will start buying dairy products featuring the new seal that helps ensure they are getting what they pay for when they buy grass-fed products. Read more.

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Successful CSA farmers share tips for cultivating loyal members

While I’ve seen reports of some small farms calling it quits with their CSAs, I am also well aware of farmers who have successful CSA models with sell-out shares and high retention rates. As I head into our farm’s 10th year of CSA, I wanted to learn from those farmers and glean from their experience and knowledge. Read more.

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Farmers take multi-pronged approach to build resilient specialty crop farms

Last year, the Federal Crop Insurance Program covered 335 million acres—that’s 90% of the nation’s farmers, purchasing 1.1 million policies. However, many specialty crop farmers—especially those farming organically—aren’t taking advantage of this protection. Read more.

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Hoop houses offer many benefits to diverse market farm 

A hoop house can be an important addition to a diverse farm operation, providing a protected growing environment and extending the growing season. To help you decide if a hoop house might work on your farm, consider these insights harvested over the years from  PrairiErth Farm. Read more.

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Researchers evaluate pastured broilers as means to reduce flies in organic dairy pastures

The most effective method of fly control is to break their life cycle and reduce the population to below the pest level. This study was done to determine if broiler chickens can reduce the number of fly larvae from cow manure pats on pasture. Read more.

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Team approach needed to address lack of meat processors

A challenge throughout the Midwest remains a lack of local meat processing facilities, particularly butchers that can process small-scale, artisanal meats that need traditional techniques like dry curing or Charcuterie. Read more.

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PDF of May | June (9 MB)

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