Business of Agriculture: Programs and politics in the promotion of agricultural products

It’s an axiom of agriculture as old as the hills: 50 percent of farming is producing the commodity, the other 50 percent is marketing the product at a price that makes enough money to sustain the farm enterprise. While the issues of contemporary production agriculture tend to get most of the media and political attention — think water-quality regulations, animal welfare, pesticide hazards — there’s a vast parallel universe of...

Read More
The Business of Agriculture: Plant businesses big and small are firing up for the growing season
Jan25

The Business of Agriculture: Plant businesses big and small are firing up for the growing season

Setting out petunias in the flower beds and starting tomato and pepper plants in the vegetable garden may seem a long way off here in February, but in New Hampshire and Vermont greenhouse operations, the spring season already is well underway. Propane-fired heaters are roaring, seeds are being placed in growing media and tiny seedlings of some species already are emerging as growers prepare for the sales rush that will begin as soon...

Read More
Business of Agriculture: Money Grows on Christmas Trees — Slowly
Dec10

Business of Agriculture: Money Grows on Christmas Trees — Slowly

If there’s one piece of New Hampshire and Vermont agriculture that stands out for stability and profitability in recent years it’s the Christmas tree sector, and this year the mojo continues with solid demand on the wholesale side and expectations for continued strong consumer interest on the retail “choose and cut” side of the trade. But if there’s any worry that a lot of new production suddenly will appear to capture what seems like...

Read More
The Business of Agriculture: Farmers Market Phenomenon Is Here to Stay
Sep30

The Business of Agriculture: Farmers Market Phenomenon Is Here to Stay

Over the past decade or so, agricultural leaders in both Vermont and New Hampshire have been effusively lauding the expansion in numbers of farms and the increase in volume of commodities moving into market channels within the states. Major drivers in both statistical areas have been the growth in the number of local farmers markets and of farm enterprises adopting the community supported agriculture, or CSA, model for connecting with...

Read More
The Business of Agriculture: Upper Valley Farmers Fight the Battle of Bedstraw
Jul29

The Business of Agriculture: Upper Valley Farmers Fight the Battle of Bedstraw

What kudzu is to south Georgia — ubiquitous, fast-growing, invasive — smooth bedstraw has become to the fields, meadows, pastures and other open lands of the Upper Valley region. And the summer of 2015 is proving to be the worst year yet with the aggressive weed, as farmers, property managers and agronomists try to figure out ways to beat the pest back, usually with only marginal success. Smooth bedstraw especially loves roadsides,...

Read More
The Business of Agriculture: Turning to Native Pollinators
May26

The Business of Agriculture: Turning to Native Pollinators

While scientists, farmers, environmentalists and politicians in Washington wrangle over what’s happening to the nation’s honeybee population and who is to blame for its problems, a growing movement is afoot in New Hampshire and Vermont to look to the diverse array of native insects to accomplish the vital task of pollinating fruit and vegetable crops. Just about everybody agrees that honeybees — a species that originated in Europe —...

Read More

Our Newspaper Family Includes: