90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
A Closer Look At Crop Migration

Our Nov. 19 hour on the gradual northern greening of North America — and by extension, the world — focused heavily on the trek of a few key crops inching toward the Canadian border. In theory, that sounds pretty bizarre, but on paper, it straightens out.

USA Today offered up a couple of telling maps in a story on the issue from this September.

(Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture data / Janet Loehrke and Julie Snider, USA TODAY)

(Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture data / Janet Loehrke and Julie Snider, USA TODAY)

Compare the above map with the average acreage of corn harvested from 2008 to 2012, as seen below.

(Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture data / Janet Loehrke and Julie Snider)

(Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture data /
Janet Loehrke and Julie Snider, USA Today)

Corn harvests are slowly inching ever northward, changing the way much of the Midwestern corn belt region looks.

It’s possible to trace a similar path with soybean harvests. Below, soy bean harvests from 1963 to 1967.

(Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture data Janet Loehrke and Julie Snider, USA Today)

(Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture data
Janet Loehrke and Julie Snider, USA Today)

And below, the same harvests from 2008 to 2012.

(Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture data Janet Loehrke and Julie Snider, USA Today)

(Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture data
Janet Loehrke and Julie Snider, USA Today)

What do you make of the changing trajectory of major crop harvests? Is it all a part of climate change, or a normal part of the North American continent’s shifting crop yields? Leave us your thoughts below, or on Facebook, Tumblr and @OnPointRadio.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jan 23, 2015
A Cuban flag and an American flag stand in the press room during the second day of talks between U.S. and Cuban officials, in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. (AP)

President Obama comes out swinging in his State of the Union. High level talks in Cuba. Japanese hostages. “American Sniper” controversy. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Jan 23, 2015
People enter the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colo., Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. The jury selection process in the trial of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes began Tuesday, and is expected to take several weeks to a few months. Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding more than 50 in an Aurora movie theater in 2012 (AP)

The Marathon bombing, the Aurora movie theater shootings, and the challenges of picking an impartial jury.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jan 23, 2015
People enter the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colo., Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. The jury selection process in the trial of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes began Tuesday, and is expected to take several weeks to a few months. Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding more than 50 in an Aurora movie theater in 2012 (AP)

The Marathon bombing, the Aurora movie theater shootings, and the challenges of picking an impartial jury.

 
Jan 23, 2015
A Cuban flag and an American flag stand in the press room during the second day of talks between U.S. and Cuban officials, in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. (AP)

President Obama comes out swinging in his State of the Union. High level talks in Cuba. Japanese hostages. “American Sniper” controversy. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: January 23, 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

New thoughts on Facebook, new analysis of State of the Union twitter activity and new weekend excitement. New! And exciting!

More »
Comment
 
Meet On Point’s Interns: Spring 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

Good news! We have interns, and they are wonderful, and here they are for the spring term. Meet them digitally, right here.

More »
2 Comments
 
Caller To Author Ron Rash: ‘You Cared About People Like Me’
Thursday, Jan 22, 2015

An unexpected caller from South Carolina brings back guest Ron Rash’s years as a community college professor in a movingly real way.

More »
Comment