How healthy are our forests? How vulnerable are they to fires, erosion and invasive flora and fauna?
Well, consider that it’s early June and Western wildfires are already burning forests to a crisp.
Just down the road from my house, in east Arkansas’ St. Francis National Forest, invasive kudzu has overtaken huge swaths of towering trees. On some hillsides, tree carcasses still stand, swallowed up by a choking tide of the vines....More
The USDA has announced the award of $5.3 million in Conservation Innovation Grants to develop approaches and technology that will help producers adapt to extreme climate changes that cause drought....More
The arrival of spring means outdoor chores are at the top of the to-do list for homeowners. But outdoor burning, coupled with the season’s weather conditions, raises the risk of wildfire for Mississippians....More
Rain and snow statewide have helped drop the wildfire danger from moderate to low for most of Arkansas on March 22, but continued drought, plus deadfall from December’s ice and snow storms mean wildfire risks haven’t dropped from the radar....More
Across the U.S. Plains and western Midwest, dry weather conditions persist and, with only light showers and snowfall on the immediate horizon for many, farmers may encounter fields suffering from depleted subsoil moisture when planting begins across the central United States in about 10 weeks....More
On Sunday morning (Jan. 13), Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) president, took to the podium at the opening of the AFBF annual meeting carrying a long list of farm country issues – both tribulations and triumphs -- to highlight....More
Much of the state of Iowa received 12 or more inches of snow in mid-December. But that won’t make much of a dent in Iowa’s long-term drought status since it equates to only 1 inch of moisture, says Iowa State’s Elwynn Taylor....More
The USDA says measures to open conservation land to emergency haying and grazing during the 2012 drought freed up a record 2.8 million acres and provided as much as $200 million in forage for producers facing critical feed shortages....More
The USDA is entering into a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Commerce, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to improve sharing of data and expertise, monitoring networks, and drought forecasting efforts....More
The overall quality of the 2012 U.S. corn crop is high and improves upon last year’s very good marks across a range of test factors, according to the U.S. Grains Council’s Corn Harvest Quality Report 2012/13....More
Scarce supplies are prompting reports of hay hijacking in Missouri, but south of the border, bales seem to be staying in place, Extension agents with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture have said....More
Two years of intense drought have slammed the forestry, agriculture and cattle industries in Arkansas. The areas that were most affected by the 2010 and 2011 drought years were the cattle and forestry sectors. Row crops were least affected by the drought years because of irrigation. The main effects of the drought on row crops were higher pumping costs and continued downward pressure on an already limiting resource—groundwater....More
Philip Johnson, a professor of equine medicine and surgery in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, says he has seen a large spike in the number of Missouri horses infected with Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, a bacterial infection that can cause painful swelling, abscesses and inflammation in the legs, chests, and abdominal cavities....More
For the first time in months, there are big holes in the Arkansas drought map, with broad swaths along the Louisiana and Mississippi borders being drought-free, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor map....More