agribusiness

Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

 

Craft beer now makes up a quarter of the beer market in the U.S., which means brewers are eager for ways to stand out. For some, that means buying hops locally -- even in Indiana.

It's encouraging more and more upstart Hoosier growers to invest long-term in the trendy crop.

Steve Howe is one of them. His Crown Point backyard doubles as Howe Farms. Past a pen of piglets and fluffy Scottish Highland cows, Howe is growing a tiny forest of hops.

Dow AgroSciences / Glassdoor

Fifteen-hundred workers in Indianapolis could know by the end of the month if they're likely to become part of the biggest agribusiness in the world.

 

The Dow AgroSciences employees are awaiting regulatory approval for their parent company's plan to merge with DuPont, then split into three parts, including one for agriculture.

 

If the $130 billion deal goes through, the ag division's corporate HQ and corporate workers would move to Wilmington, Del.

Hog Buyers See A Big Market For Small Pigs

Apr 13, 2016
Annie Ropeik/Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana has the fifth largest pig farming industry in the country, turning out 8.5 million hogs a year. But some are too small for the huge slaughterhouses that require pigs to be a certain size and condition for speedy processing.

Now, Indiana's industry to broker these smaller pigs is growing.

Nebraska-based Wiechman Pig Company opened a new facility in Delphi in late March. Inside, a big, friendly sow greets manager Jeff Petree. She's one of a couple dozen pigs he bought from Indiana farmers in his opening week.

Antony Oliver / https://www.flickr.com/photos/leithcote/

A new milk bottling plant outside Fort Wayne will be among the largest in the nation, and the state is hoping it's just the beginning of much-needed growth for Indiana's dairy industry.

The state made dairy processing a priority almost exactly a year ago. The goal? Use more of the milk that’s produced, and increase its value before it's shipped away. A first step -- the 250 thousand-square-foot Walmart plant, announced last week and set to open in 2017.

Officials aren't saying yet just how much raw milk it'll turn into bottles of white and chocolate.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

A lot of places have claimed to be the so-called “Shrimp capital of the world,” including Brunswick, Georgia, Morgan City, Louisiana, and, most recently, Mazatlán, Mexico.

More than 2000 miles north of Mazatlán, though, shrimp farmers in Indiana are working to add the Hoosier State to that list. The state is home to a growing number of what are known as “inland shrimp farms.”

Jonathan Nightengale / https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnath/

State lawmakers and small farmers appear to have reached a compromise over previously contentious legislation regarding who can sell chickens to restaurants and other institutions.

Currently, producers slaughtering 20,000 birds of fewer annually are limited to “household consumer” sales…that means they can sell through farmers markets, at roadside stands or directly out of their operations.

Buttery Crop Goes Pop

Feb 5, 2016
Ingrid Taylar / https://www.flickr.com/photos/taylar/

After riding high for a few years on a wave of butter-flavored prosperity, Indiana’s popcorn production dropped by more than a quarter last year.

In 2014, Hoosier farmers planted and harvested more popcorn than they ever had before, producing more than 430 million pounds of the stuff. But last year, they produced only 310 million pounds.

Greg Matli, a statistician for the US Department of Agriculture’s Indiana field office, says Indiana popcorn became a victim of its own bounty.

the Indiana Insider Blog / VisitIndiana.com

Indiana is the fifth-largest pork producing state in the nation as measured in sales, producing $1.3 billion worth of pork annually. Pork tenderloins are considered by many to be the unofficial Hoosier state food. So this week’s much-talked-about report showing a link between processed meats and cancer could strike fear into the hearts of pork producers. Except...it's not.

Purdue Agricultural Economics professor Jim Mintert says one report probably isn’t going to affect consumer attitudes toward processed meats. But depending on what happens in the future, that might change.

Ben Loehrke / https://www.flickr.com/photos/benloehrke/

Agribusiness executives and researchers are describing Indiana as an area poised to become a global heavyweight in food-science research.

Elanco president Jeff Simmons says Indiana is building a roster of companies working on ways to boost food production to meet the needs of a world population projected to hit 10-billion in 35 years.

For instance, Simmons says, it’ll take a 60-percent increase in milk production to serve that many people.

Mike Loizzo / WBAA News

Experts appear divided on how much corn the state’s fields will yield this year, but there are some who are predicting record-high production.

They’re crediting this summer’s cool weather, combined with a lot of rain early in the season.

Purdue agricultural economist Chris Hurt says a corn surplus means lower prices on everything from cooking oil to animal feed – prices that will eventually translate into higher profits for meat producers.

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