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Southeast Missouri has seen some stretches of wet weather, as well as some hot summer days, but overall the fertile soil and widespread use of irrigation are working toward another good crop.

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Last year was an unusual year for grain prices, as they went into a rare counter-seasonal rally that has, for the most part, held up since then. This year, the question is whether the pattern will revert to a normal seasonal one or whether it will be more like last year.

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Crop insurance serves as a disincentive for farmers to adopt climate-change mitigation measures, according to a new study by researchers at North Carolina State University. If insurance will compensate for crop losses due to drought or severe weather, a farmer may not want to pay extra for climate-change adaptation efforts, said Rod Rejesus, a professor of agricultural and resource economics at North Carolina State and the study’s corresponding author.

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Peas are a popular source of protein – their production has a limited environmental footprint and they’re economically beneficial for farmers. Breeding efforts are improving the nutritional content of peas, but the gains aren’t happening fast enough to meet growing demand. To accelerate pea research, the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, with additional funding from Open Philanthropy, is awarding a $1 million Plant Protein Enhancement Project grant to North Dakota State University. North Dakota State researchers will build genomic resources, breeding models and tools for improving total protein content in peas.

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As long as I have lived on this farm, which is 31 years, the swallows have occupied the same spot in my shop every summer and produced two batches of little ones. We leave a back door open wide enough for them to come and go while the adults feed their five young ones. They are always a welcome sight in the spring due to their voracious appetite for mosquitoes and other insects.