Dana Cronin

Reporter

Dana Cronin is a reporter based in Urbana, Illinois. She covers food and agriculture issues in Illinois for Harvest.

Dana started reporting in southern Colorado at member station 91.5 KRCC, where she spent three years writing about everything from agriculture to Colorado’s highest mountain peaks.

She then went to work at her hometown station, KQED, in San Francisco. While there, she covered the 2017 North Bay Fires.

She spent the last two years at NPR’s headquarters in Washington D.C., producing for shows including Weekend Edition and All Things Considered.

Ways to Connect

Courtesy of the University of Vermont

Many researchers have looked at nitrogen pollution hotspots around the country. But a new first-of-its-kind, multi-year study from the University of Vermont looks at areas where nitrogen pollution reduction is most feasible without affecting crop yield.

 

Provided by Fedco Seeds

Steve Larimore was hoping to triple the size of his garden this year.

Once the seed catalog arrived at his home near Bend, Ore., Larimore excitedly got his order together. He then went online and began adding the different seed varieties to his cart, only to discover about a third of the items he wanted were unavailable. 

Tomatoes? Sold out. Kale? Gone. Sweet corn? Nope.

“I was pretty discouraged,” he says. “There were some things that I’ve grown before that I really like and I wanted to grow again and they didn’t have those.” 

Courtesy of USDA

Last month, the Illinois Department of Agriculture opened applications for its second annual Fall Covers for Spring Savings Program -- which provides a crop insurance discount for each acre of cover crop a farmer plants.

 

It filled up in less than 24 hours.

 

Read this article in English here.

Durante más de una década, Saraí ha sido una trabajadora agrícola que ha cultivado maíz y soya en los campos del centro de Illinois. Se mudó de México a los Estados Unidos para encontrar un trabajo que le permitiera mantener mejor a su familia.

Christine Herman/Illinois Newsroom

For more than a decade, Saraí has been a farmworker, cultivating corn and soybeans in the fields of central Illinois. She moved to the U.S. from Mexico to find work that would allow her to better support her family.

Provided by American Hemp Research

 

Hemp is a hard crop to grow -- just ask Jay Kata.

“We were filthy and we were dirty and we were sweaty and it sucked and it was hot and it was miserable,” says Kata, who helps run 4M Farms in southeast Iowa.

 

So it was all the more heartbreaking when Kata and his colleagues had to burn it all down because it didn’t meet the federal tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) threshold. 

 

Courtesy of Meyer Agri-Air

In late July 2019, a group of migrant farmworkers from south Texas was working in a cornfield in DeWitt County, Ill., when suddenly a crop duster flew overhead, spraying them with pesticides. Panicked, the crew, which included teenagers and a pregnant woman, ran off the field with clothes doused in pesticides. Their eyes and throats burned and some had trouble breathing.

It happened again two weeks later, this time twice within 30 minutes.

A western Illinois farmer harvests corn.
Abby Wendle / File: Harvest Public Media

In October, Purdue University’s Ag Economy Barometer recorded its highest-ever index, meaning farmers were at an all-time high level of optimism.

However, that number dropped off significantly in November, due in large part to the presidential election.

Dana Cronin / Harvest Public Media

 

Dusty Spurgeon is proud to be a female farmer. 

She and her mother-in-law, Eloise, run Spurgeon Veggies, a small vegetable farm located in Rio, Illinois.

 

“When I talk to some of my customers... they really like bringing their kids out here because they see me or Eloise as a role model for their young kids,” says Spurgeon. “It's like, hey, look, women can do these traditionally male jobs.”

 

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media file photo

 

It’s been almost ten months since the signing of the first phase of a trade agreement between the United States and China. In the lofty deal, China pledged to buy an additional $200 billion in goods and services over two years. Since its signing, President Trump has repeatedly touted the deal on the campaign trail, citing its benefits for the agriculture sector in particular.

 

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