Corn shortage forces farmers to feed cattle candy
October 10th, 2012
10:30 AM ET
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Cattle farmers struggling with record corn prices are feeding their cows candy instead.

That's right, candy. Cows are being fed chocolate bars, gummy worms, ice cream sprinkles, marshmallows, bits of hard candy and even powdered hot chocolate mix, according to cattle farmers, bovine nutritionists and commodities dealers.

"It has been a practice going on for decades and is a very good way to for producers to reduce feed cost, and to provide less expensive food for consumers," said Ki Fanning, a livestock nutritionist with Great Plains Livestock Consulting, Inc. in Eagle, Neb.

Read the full story on CNN Money - "Cash-strapped farmers feed candy to cows"

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Filed under: Business and Farming News • Disaster • Drought • Environment • Farms • News

Bacon shortage - the meat of the matter
October 2nd, 2012
03:45 PM ET
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The price of bacon is about to go up. Say it isn’t so!

Though the industry warning first came out of Europe, hog farmer Diana Prichard of Michigan’s Olive Hill Farm says that it’s true here in the U.S. too.

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Filed under: Business and Farming News • Disaster • Drought • Environment • Farms • Radio

October 1st, 2012
02:00 PM ET
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Read - Apparently This Matters: Bacon shortage

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Filed under: Drought • Environment • Lunchtime Poll • Meat • Shopping

Opinion: After the drought, seeking long-term solutions for farmers
September 6th, 2012
02:45 PM ET
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Farmers with Issues is a platform for farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Craig Rogers is the shepherd and owner of Border Spring Farm Lamb in Patrick Springs, Virginia, where he raises and sells pastured raised "Animal Welfare Approved" lamb to acclaimed chefs across the country. He is a vocal advocate for rural small farms.

The news of the devastating drought of 2012 has overwhelmed the press with stories of hardship, despair, pain and suffering. Now federal and state governments are stepping in to "help the farmers."

Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture announced plans to buy up to $170 million of beef, pork, lamb and catfish to "help farmers in drought stricken areas." But from whom do they actually buy that meat? And does it help a farmer or family who may be your neighbor?

Opinion: Global food crisis in 2013
September 3rd, 2012
12:00 PM ET
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Editor's note: David Frum is a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast and a CNN contributor. He is the author of seven books, including a new novel, "Patriots."

Prediction: 2013 will be a year of serious global crisis. That crisis is predictable, and in fact has already begun. It will inescapably confront the next president of the United States. Yet this emerging crisis got not a mention at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. We'll see if the Democrats do better.

The crisis originates in this summer's extreme weather. Almost 80% of the continental United States experienced drought conditions. Russia and Australia experienced drought as well.

The drought has ruined key crops. The corn harvest is expected to drop to the lowest level since 1995. In just July, prices for corn and wheat jumped about 25% each, prices for soybeans about 17%.

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Filed under: Disaster • Drought • Environment • Heat • Hunger

Opinion: Forward-thinking farmers are preventing another Dust Bowl
August 30th, 2012
05:45 PM ET
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Mike Haley is a fifth generation farmer, raising corn and livestock on his Ohio family farm. Follow him on Twitter @FarmerHaley.

After a very wet spring in 2011 that delayed planting, the 2012 crop season looked promising as planting conditions were optimal. The outlook was refreshing as it meant few setbacks on the crop. However, the good conditions during planting quickly turned as our family waited and waited for moisture. Unfortunately, when the rains did arrive, they were few and far between.

This has turned into the worst drought our family has seen in generations. And more importantly, the drought this year is not isolated to my local community - our nation has not faced a drought this severe since the 1930s when the Dust Bowl completely devastated American agriculture. July temperatures reportedly broke records set during the Dust Bowl. During the 2012 crop year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated roughly half of all U.S. counties - 1,496 in 33 states - as disaster areas because of the drought.

Silver lining to the storm – drought relief for farmers
August 29th, 2012
03:00 PM ET
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As Hurricane Isaac continues to pound the Gulf Coast with rain and wind, meteorologists say the storm could provide some much-needed hydration in parts of the country hit hard by drought.

Isaac will bring "soaking downpours" to parts of Arkansas, Missouri and other Central states into the weekend, according to AccuWeather.

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Filed under: Business and Farming News • Disaster • Drought • Environment • Farms • Flood • Heat • Hurricane

August 27th, 2012
11:45 AM ET
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Thunder clapped and rain fell just before Bionce, Sassy and the rest of Mark Argall's prize-winning dairy herd went up for auction.

Had the storm come a few weeks earlier, and if the drought had eased, it might have saved the cows - some of which were named with a bit of poetic license ("You can spell names however you want," he said) for pop-culture divas and celebrities.

August 24th, 2012
08:30 PM ET
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Nestled on a hillside in northern Virginia, Breaux Vineyards' 105 acres of vines are looking good this year, according to General Manager Chris Blosser.

While California still makes the vast majority of American wine, all 50 states produce it. Virginians have been growing grapes for some 400 years, starting in the Jamestown settlement, and the wine business has surged in the state over the last decade. Soil and climate conditions in Loudoun County, where this family-owned vineyard is located, make it one of Virginia's top wine-producing regions.

The drought plaguing much of the country has hurt corn and soy crops, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimating that 2012-2013 corn yields would hit the lowest level since 1995-1996. But the drier than normal growing season can be good for grapes.

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Filed under: Disaster • Drought • Environment • Heat • Sip • Wine

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