crops

Photo of Bret Davis
NICK EVANS / WOSU

Farmers in Ohio and many other parts of the country are rushing to get their crops planted after a long, wet spring. The late start means many acres intended for corn won’t get planted, and farmers are running far behind on soy beans as well. WOSU's Nick Evans visited a few farms throughout Central Ohio to see how farmers are trying to get back on track.

The last time I visited Bret Davis’ farm in Delaware County, I was asking him about a program helping farmers bit by the trade war.  It was raining then, and it was wet when I spoke to him this week, too.

PROF. CHRISTOPHER CULLIS / CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY

What if I described a plant that has nutrient-rich beans, protein-rich roots, produces high quality oil, and, grows in desert regions where rural communities desperately need a drought-resistant crop? Sound too good to be true? Maybe not. I’ve just described the wild Marama bean, native to Africa.

“It has never been grown as an organized crop, it’s just collected out of the bush. The idea is can we find ways of developing a set of lines that give you decent yield which we can give to farmers,” Christopher Cullis, professor of biology at Case Western Reserve University, said.