Farm Bill

5:00am

Thu July 3, 2014
Agriculture

Forget Knee-High, Colorado’s Hemp Crop Is Waist-High By The Fourth Of July

Hemp stalks shoot up on research plots in rural Boulder county.
Credit Ben Holmes / Centennial Seeds

An old saying among farmers is that you want your corn to be “knee-high by the Fourth of July.” That adage doesn’t necessarily apply to Colorado’s newest cash crop: industrial hemp. Unsurprisingly, considering the ubiquitous nickname given to hemp’s cousin marijuana, the plant grows like a weed.

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12:08pm

Wed April 30, 2014
Agriculture

Colorado Hemp Growers Begin Historic Planting Season

Industrial hemp can grow more than ten feet tall. The plant, which can resemble marijuana grown for medical or recreational use, usually lacks THC, the chemical that gives users a high.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

An historic planting of Colorado’s first state regulated industrial hemp crop is underway. More than 70 applications to grow the towering cousin of marijuana have come in to the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

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10:00am

Thu April 3, 2014
Field Notes

Four Things You Should Know About Our Food System

Despite certainty on the farm bill finally coming down from Washington, farmers still face plenty of unknowns.
Luke Runyon KUNC and Harvest Public Media

Food doesn’t just come from a grocery store. Millions of farmers spend their lives producing the crops and raising the livestock that we eat and use.

So it makes sense: If you’re interested in what’s on your plate, you’re interested in what’s going on in the field.

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9:15am

Thu April 3, 2014
The Salt

'Hot' Oregon Blueberry Fight Prompts Farm Bill Changes

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 1:42 pm

It's unclear exactly how the new law will change enforcement of wage and hour laws on farms. Meanwhile, a blueberry labor dispute in Oregon grinds on in federal court.
David Wright/Flickr

American consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the working conditions of the people who pick, pack and harvest their food. And retailers are responding. Wal-Mart is now paying Florida farm workers more for each pound of tomatoes picked. Whole Foods is using worker wages to rank the sustainability of the produce and flowers it sells.

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5:10pm

Thu March 13, 2014
The Salt

States' Rebellion Against Food Stamp Cuts Grows

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 11:41 am

States are taking an out provided by Congress to avoid cutting food stamp benefits to families, many of whom already depend on food banks like the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif.
Antonio Mena Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank

When Congress passed a farm bill earlier this year, it expected to save $8.6 billion over 10 years by tightening what many say is a loophole in the food stamp, or SNAP, program. But it's not going to happen.

You see, Congress left states an opening to avoid the cuts. And so far, nearly half of the states participating have decided to take that option — a move that could erase the promised savings.

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