The bitterly cold winter is making things tougher for Ohio growers - and that could translate to higher food prices later in the year.
The sub-zero temperatures have caused Ohio wine-grape, blackberry and peach growers to lose much of this year's crop, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
The value of the crops lost to the cold weather hasn't been determined. Laboratories are analyzing grapevines, blackberry canes and strawberry plants for damage. And, of course, the winter is not over yet.
Conservative leaders from Ohio are headed to Washington this week to lobby for immigration reform in a collaboration between businesses, evangelicals, and law enforcement. Twenty Ohio leaders are among the hundreds who have meetings set with House Republicans Tuesday. While the Senate passed a comprehensive bill earlier this year, the House has yet to bring a bill to the floor.
U.S. Senator Rob Portman met with farmers in the Dayton area Wednesday to talk about the farm bill. The bill, which is up for renewal, subsidizes both agribusiness and food stamps.
The farmers want a new bill passed soon to protect crop insurance, a federally-subsidized program that helps farmers cope when nature destroys their crops. But Portman recently voted against the Senate version of the omnibus bill.
U.S. Senator Rob Portman will meet with farmers in the Dayton area today to answer questions about the farm bill.
For most farmers, the first concern about the farm bill is making sure there is a farm bill. The bill expires every five years, and the U.S. House and Senate have until October to agree on a new version or extend the old one.
Governor John Kasich has signed an executive order he says will help farmers affected financially by Ohio's recent drought conditions.
The order signed Wednesday instructs state agencies to help farmers seeking federal assistance on loans. That includes emergency low-interest loans for crop losses, relief payments for non-insurable losses and temporary deferral payments on federal loans.
The order also gives farmers permission to cut hay for livestock from land set aside for conservation.