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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Emerson ends tour with visit to Hamra Hydroponics Farm

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Steve Hamra with Hamra Hydroponics Farm of Sikeston shows Eighth District Representative Jo Ann Emerson how the water filters through the trays helping the Bibb lettuce grow. Pictured from left are: Hamra, Emerson, Ellen Warfield, Christy Nitsch and Lucy Bequette. Jill Bock, Staff
SIKESTON - Eighth District Rep. Jo Ann Emerson's annual farm tour took her to some unusual stops this year - an alpaca farm, a deer farm near Poplar Bluff, a field full of peanuts in Ripley County and then at her last stop in New Madrid County where there wasn't a field at all. Emerson closed out her tour Tuesday afternoon at Hamra's Hydroponics farm - where lettuce and tomatoes are grown in irrigated bags and trays.

Owners Steve and Michelle Hamra were eager to show Emerson the changes in the operation since she last visited some four years ago before they moved the operation to a farm outside of Sikeston.

However, like all Southeast Missouri farmers, Hamra told the Congresswoman this year has tested his farming skills. He, too, struggled to raise a crop with the unusually long hot days and lack of water.

Typically, Hamra pointed out, lettuce isn't grown in the hot summer months. Walking into his greenhouse, however, visitors saw tables filled with green Bibb lettuce along with a new venture - Romaine lettuce. The farmer checked plants as he walked by with the tour, looking for signs of stress.

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