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
Oct 22, 2014
Health workers carry the body of a woman suspected of contracting the Ebola virus in Bomi county situated on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. (AP)

We’ll go to Liberia, and hear from a pastor and a physician at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis.

Oct 22, 2014
Authors Nicholas Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn attend the premiere of "Meena" at the AMC Loews Theater on Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York.

Author and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says regular folks like us can change the world. He explains how.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 21, 2014
This undated image provided by Google, shows an early version of Google's prototype self-driving car. For the first time, California's Department of Motor Vehicles knows how many self-driving cars are traveling on the state's public roads. The agency is issuing permits, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 that let three companies test 29 vehicles on highways and in neighborhoods. (AP)

The future of the car: from the fuels they’ll run on, to the materials they’ll be made of, to the computers that may drive them.

 
Oct 21, 2014
David Perdue, Michelle Nunn

Two weeks to go till Midterm Election Day. We’ll look at how the biggest issues are playing out around the country.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
1 Comment
 
Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

More »
Comment