agriculture | KUNR

agriculture

A field of sugar beets ready for harvesting
Matauw / Adobe Stock

The sugar beet harvest is underway across the Mountain West.

It’s a big industry that depends on accurate weather forecasts and a reliable workforce – both impacted by COVID-19. 

A U.S. map with drought monitor readings from October 6, 2020. The map displays extreme and exceptional drought throughout the west, with the most notable readings in Utah, Nevada and New Mexico.
Brian Fuchs / National Drought Mitigation Center

A few weeks ago, rancher Noah Brooks said what was troubling him most was the weather.

“The fact that it didn’t rain, June, July, August but maybe three times, that this community runs around cattle and feed and if we don’t get some rain, we’re in big big trouble, and I think that we’re drying out,” he said.

Brooks lives in Clark, Colorado. But the conditions he describes are persistent throughout the region.

An image of a dusty parcel of land showing crops completely dried out from drought.
NOAA

Researchers in our region are arguing for new models to better plan for a recent climate phenomenon: flash droughts. According to a new paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change, these events present new challenges for climate predictors.

Wild mushroom foragers in the Mountain West may soon have a new and easy way to tell if their pickings are poisonous. 

It looks like President Trump’s partial trade deal with China won’t bring in the promised $40 billion or so worth of agricultural trade for the U.S. this year. 

Managing Cattle To Mitigate Climate Change

Feb 4, 2020
Two horseback riders approach a herd of cattle.
Abbey Smith

Several thousand people came together in Elko over the weekend to celebrate the 36th annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Folklife aficionados came from all corners of the country; they shared music, stories and spoken word.

In addition to the lively arts scene, a group of cowboys presented on how ranchers can manage cattle to mitigate climate change.

U.S. Forest Service

Agriculture, forestry and other land uses are responsible for about a quarter of human-caused greenhouse gases. That “land sector” holds huge potential to cultivate climate solutions, too, according to a new study.

Drew Eggers stood at the edge of one of his stubble fields when he plucked a patch of mint left over from harvest.

“You can smell the spearmint,” he said, offering it up for a sniff.


Bree Zender

Farmers across the country have been preparing to harvest turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday. One school in Smith Valley is raising its own turkeys as a way to teach students how food gets from the farm to the plate. KUNR’s Bree Zender reports.

A black and white image of a cellar, with hunks of meat hanging from the ceiling and a table with stacks of cheese.
Nevada Historical Society

The farm-to-table movement has been gaining in popularity, with restaurants throughout Northwestern Nevada promoting their locally sourced meats, produce, and other ingredients. In this segment of Time & Place, historian Alicia Barber takes us back to our region’s agricultural roots, when eating farm-to-table was just a part of everyday life.

Michelle Billman

When farmers first purchase water rights, they typically reserve them for a certain time of the year based on historical predictions of when the most water will flow, but the runoff is frequently coming earlier because of climate change. 

Using Goats To Fight Invasive Species

Feb 28, 2018
Paul Boger

Whether it's hoary cress, with its tiny white flowers and hairy leaves, or Scotch thistle, a plant with spiny wings that can grow up to 12 feet tall, Nevada has a problem with noxious weeds. But some ranchers may have found a way to effectively deal with the invasive species: goats. Our reporter Paul Boger went out into the field to learn more.

Holly Hutchings

The Carson Valley just hosted its Eagles and Agriculture event for the sixteenth year, helping passers-by see eagles and other birds that populate the area in the winter months. Holly Hutchings reports.

Ken Lund / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

With Governor Sandoval’s reluctant approval, the EPA can now propose adding the Anaconda Copper Mine site to its National Priority List. The move would open up federal funding to help in cleanup efforts. But there’s ongoing concern that it could create a negative stigma for area farmers. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

David Peri, along with his wife Pam, are the owners of Peri and Sons Farms.

“Our big thing that we moved down here to do is fresh market onions,” says Peri. “We’re one of the larger grower/packer/shippers in the country.”

Growing A Local Food System In Tahoe

Mar 25, 2016
Courtesy Tahoe Food Hub

It's spring and that means our farmer's markets will be opening up again soon. Meanwhile, a new approach to local food is bringing fresh veggies to the masses up in Tahoe. Reno Public Radio's Amy Westervelt went on a farm run with Tahoe Food Hub founder Susie Sutphin to find out more.

Every week, Susie Sutphin makes the drive from Truckee down to the Sierra foothills to pick up produce from farmers. Like this guy:

Washoe County Mulls Hoop House Rules

Mar 9, 2016
Warren IC / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Washoe County Board of Commissioners is mulling how gardening hoop houses should be regulated, if at all. Our contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno has the story.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Nevada has seen an increase of more than 1,000 farms since 2007, most notably among small farm operations. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

Dr. William Payne, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources at the University of Nevada, Reno.
UNR

Not only will our world in the coming decades have possibly two billion more people consuming significantly more food, that food will need to be produced in harsher climates with less water. Solutions to such daunting realities are at the heart of the work of the University of Nevada, Reno's College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources (CABNR).

Michelle Bliss

The CDC has been sounding the alarm about the link between antibiotics in meat and antibiotic resistance in humans, but a new report finds that antibiotic-free options are still relatively scarce. Reno Public Radio’s Amy Westervelt talked to one Nevada rancher in Fallon who's made the switch.

"See how there's so much less fiber in this year's cow pie?"

State To Curb Pumping In Smith, Mason Valleys

Oct 7, 2015
Julia Ritchey

After four years of drought, the state wants to restrict the amount of groundwater being pumped for agriculture in the Smith and Mason valleys.  Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey reports.

Farmers have already voluntarily cut back on their use of these supplemental wells, which they've relied more heavily on due to lack of surface water from the parched Walker River.

But Jason King, the state engineer, says it isn't enough in these dry conditions.

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