This Drought Just Isn’t Giving Up, But Farmers Aren’t Quitters

California’s central valley has been called America’s salad bowl, but honestly in the last four years, it looks more like a dust bowl than a vegetable garden.  The historic drought has caused many California farmers to pay prices for water – just to keep their orchards alive – that most Americans would find unfathomable. Almond,

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: John Michael Pillow, Yazoo City, Mississippi

John Michael Pillow is a fourth generation Mississippi farmer and spent the first part of his career managing his family’s farm.  In 2011, Pillow decided to strike out on his own and become a full-time farmer. “Most of the 3,500 acres I planted that year were in corn, which is a crop whereby most of

California Drought Worsens as Rainy Season Ends, Growers Fret

“California’s reservoirs obviously will not be significantly replenished by a melting snowpack this spring and summer,” concluded the year-end snow survey by the California Department of Water Resources. The mountain snowpack is critical to the state’s water needs and provides roughly one-third of the water for California’s farms and cities. “Today’s final snow survey of

California Drought Worsens as Rainy Season Ends, Growers Fret

“California’s reservoirs obviously will not be significantly replenished by a melting snowpack this spring and summer,” concluded the year-end snow survey by the California Department of Water Resources. The mountain snowpack is critical to the state’s water needs and provides roughly one-third of the water for California’s farms and cities. “Today’s final snow survey of

Three Year Drought Continues to Stalk Farm Country; Maps Show Dramatic Progression

The area of the continental U.S. plagued by drought has more than doubled since February 2011, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Even more disturbingly, the portion of the country locked in a level of drought considered “severe, extreme, or exceptional” has increased by more than 400 percent over that same period of time, according

2012 Drought Extends Its Grip Into 2013

The 2012 growing season has ended for most of the nation’s farmers, but the drought that dogged many of them appears here to stay. According to the December 11, U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly 62 percent of the continental United States remains in some stage of drought. Forty-three percent of that area is considered to be

Hurricane Sandy Robs Some Delmarva Farmers of A Promising Harvest

Delmarva farmers weren’t directly in the eye of Hurricane Sandy when the storm slammed into the East Coast, but they were awful close. Most of the Delmarva Peninsula, comprised of Delaware and the Eastern shores of Maryland and Virginia, was just south of where the hurricane came ashore in Cape May, New Jersey. The peninsula

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Bob and Mike Buntin, Thompsonville, Illinois

The choices Illinois farmers faced in the past when drought struck the Midwest were unpleasant all around. They could borrow money from family, drain their hard-earned savings or go under. In the last decade, crop insurance has made it possible for brothers Robert (Bob) and Michael Buntin, owners of Buntin Bros., Inc. in Thompsonville, to

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Jerry McReynolds, Woodston, Kansas

On land where wheat stalks heavy with grain would normally wave on a breeze in the late summer, the searing drought of 2012 zapped nearly every inch of land across the Kansas plains, leaving it burnt and lifeless. There was no way to hide from the drought in the Grain Belt. Just one year after

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Jerry McReynolds, Woodston, Kansas

On land where wheat stalks heavy with grain would normally wave on a breeze in the late summer, the searing drought of 2012 zapped nearly every inch of land across the Kansas plains, leaving it burnt and lifeless. There was no way to hide from the drought in the Grain Belt. Just one year after

Crop Insurance Helpful for Ohio Farmers

The National Climatic Data Center reported that as the 2012 drought deepened and expanded this summer, it became one of the six largest droughts in modern record keeping. Here in Ohio, you really didn’t need a weather expert to tell you just how bad it was. And before the rains finally came – which were too late for many of crop – the fields were so

Hurricane Isaac Brings Mixed Blessings to Central U.S.

The arrival of heavy rains from Hurricane Isaac made some farmers happy and others worried to death, depending on where they were located and what they were growing. In Louisiana and Mississippi, most of the cotton crop was two to four weeks from harvest when Isaac made landfall. That was the same situation as 2008

Hurricane Isaac Brings Mixed Blessings to Central U.S.

The arrival of heavy rains from Hurricane Isaac made some farmers happy and others worried to death, depending on where they were located and what they were growing. In Louisiana and Mississippi, most of the cotton crop was two to four weeks from harvest when Isaac made landfall. That was the same situation as 2008

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Mike Garavaglia, Vero Beach, Florida

Florida accounts for roughly 70 percent of the U.S. annual production of citrus, of which the vast majority goes into processing, mostly for orange juice. Citrus is big business in the Sunshine State, and Mike Garavaglia is one of Florida’s many citrus growers who make their living putting fresh citrus on the tables of America’s

Crop Insurance Helps An Iowa Farmer Plant Another Day After 2011 Floods

There are few places in the country that personify the radical whims of Mother Nature as well as the state of Iowa. Last year, Iowa and much of the upper Midwest suffered under record flooding when major rivers left their banks. This year, Iowa farmers are facing one of the worst droughts in decades. The

A Drought Isn’t A Disaster if the Right Tools Are in Place

A drought specialist with the national weather service recently compared the drought and heat wave here in the Midwest with the catastrophic dry period of 1988 that at the time cost agriculture $78 billion. This year’s weather pattern, which settled into the Great Plains and the Southwest last year and has spread into the Corn

A Drought Isn’t A Disaster if the Right Tools Are in Place

A drought specialist with the national weather service recently compared the drought and heat wave here in the Midwest with the catastrophic dry period of 1988 that at the time cost agriculture $78 billion. This year’s weather pattern, which settled into the Great Plains and the Southwest last year and has spread into the Corn

Thankfully, There Are Ways to Deal With Droughts Like This

As a cotton farmer in West Texas, last year I felt that I had about as much of a chance of seeing a good soaking rain as I did of running into the Tooth Fairy when I stopped by my local dentist. Unfortunately for the area farmers, much of the cotton in this part of

Thankfully, There Are Ways to Deal With Droughts Like This

As a cotton farmer in West Texas, last year I felt that I had about as much of a chance of seeing a good soaking rain as I did of running into the Tooth Fairy when I stopped by my local dentist. Unfortunately for the area farmers, much of the cotton in this part of

When Mother Nature Gives You A Jolt, Crop Insurance is There

By Quentin Bowen Sitting on a combine for 12 hours a day harvesting corn and soybeans gives a person a certain degree of clarity combined with long blocks of time to think and analyze. Looking at the corn I’m harvesting, I marvel at the fact that somehow, my family farm managed to dodge the many

The Lone Star State Is Unfortunately Exceptional

By Dee Vaughan Texas is an exceptional state, and most Texans will be happy to explain why that’s so. Unfortunately, for this year, that term also applies to the bone-dry conditions that we’ve seen unfold over the last 12 months. Texas, it seems, is locked in what weather experts call “an exceptional drought,” something many