U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

1:47pm

Tue August 14, 2012
The Salt

Secret Side Of The Drought: Many Corn Farmers Will Benefit

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:28 am

President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (second from right) inspect drought-damaged corn on the McIntosh farm in Missouri Valley, Iowa.
Carolyn Kaster AP

You've all heard a lot about this year's devastating drought in the Midwest, right? The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last Friday that the average U.S. cornfield this year will yield less per acre than it has since 1995. Soybean yields are down, too.

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1:17pm

Mon August 13, 2012
The Two-Way

Hog Prices Rise On Word That Feds Will Buy Pork In Bid To Help Farmers

Hogs at a farm in Elma, Iowa (2009 file photo).
Scott Olson Getty Images

President Obama not coincidentally chose Iowa today as the backdrop for his announcement that the federal government is buying $170 million worth of pork, chicken, lamb and catfish to help producers who've been hit hard by drought-related increases in feed costs and by soft prices because of overproduction.

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8:59am

Fri August 3, 2012
The Salt

Canning History: When Propaganda Encouraged Patriotic Preserves

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:11 am

During World War II, the government used posters to encourage Americans to grow and preserve their own foods as a way to aid the war effort. Produced by the Office of War Information in 1943.
Northwestern University Libraries

Recently, home canning has seen a rush in popularity, and even upscale retailers like Williams-Sonoma want a share of the idea that a pint of home-canned jam is a fun gift idea. But during both world wars, canning saw another surge, this time prompted by colorful propaganda sponsored by the United States government.

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1:06pm

Thu July 26, 2012
The Two-Way

After Uproar, USDA Walks Back 'Meatless Monday' Support

Steak.
Larry Crowe AP

It was likely something that the United States Department of Agricultural didn't put much thought into. In an internal newsletter detailing agency's "greening" efforts, there's information about new lightbulbs and locally bought fruits and vegetables.

But on page three of five, there's also a passage that encourages forgoing meat on Mondays.

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1:39pm

Wed July 25, 2012
The Salt

Meat Producers And, Ultimately, Consumers Hurt By Drought

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:13 pm

These piglets on the Hardin farm in Danville, Ind., are going to cost more to feed than they will fetch at market.
Dan Charles NPR

Despite headlines about the crushing drought that's afflicting much of the country's prime agricultural land, the USDA isn't expecting any dramatic increases in the price of food this year or next.

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