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Business Beat

Wednesdays at 5:20pm and Thursdays at 8:21am

A weekly look at business issues important to mid-Missouri.

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Business Beat
5:37 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Conservation or ag land; climate change and Missouri wine

Wine grapes.
Credit rustinpc / flickr

With a new farm bill, farmers may have access to fewer dollars for conservation. For 27 years, the popular Conservation Reserve Program has transformed small parcels of land, contributing to cleaner water, more habitat for migrating birds and less soil erosion. But as Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports from Iowa, the program has been enrolling fewer acres in recent years and it’s not just budget cuts that could make it smaller still.

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Business Beat
10:54 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Endangered pallid sturgeon; new downtown grocery store

Renovations are already underway for Lucky’s Famers Market, set to open in October. The owners chose the old Osco building site because of the accessible location from downtown.
Credit Andrew Yost / KBIA

Coming up we’ll hear about the new grocery store opening up show in downtown Columbia. But first, more than 20 years after being listed as an endangered species, the pallid sturgeon is just treading water in the Missouri River. Manmade channels, impounds and dams, commercial fishing and environmental contaminants all had been fingered in the demise of the species.

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Business Beat
5:23 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Rural Kansas tries to entice businesses; Community rallies to stop fort's job cuts

 Photo 3: Members of the communities surrounding Fort Leonard Wood gathered Tuesday to discuss the U.S. Army proposal to remove troops from the fort. Under the proposal, the fort could lose as many of 4,000 of its troops.Edit | Remove

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Business Beat
5:13 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Niche market for hog farmers; financial tips from former US treasurer

Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

The pork business certainly has its challenges. Hog farmers continually grapple with high feed prices, environmental hiccups and criticism from animal welfare groups. But some producers are creating a path to profitability by pursuing smaller, more specialized markets. From Iowa, Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer has the story of Eden Farms.

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Business Beat
9:57 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Gluten-free diet trend; Gunther's Games reincarnated

Gluten-free products are all the rage in the dieting world right now.
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

Gluten-free diets. They bar most beers, breads and cakes among other foods, because they contain wheat, rye and barley. The trendy diet is wildly popular today which is surprising, given that experts estimate only about 1 percent of the U.S. population suffers from Celiac disease, the disorder that causes their immune systems to reject the pesky gluten. But as Harvest Public Media’s Abbie Fentress Swanson reports, this diet fad and others are largely driven by Americans’ growing appetite for food solutions to their health woes.

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Business Beat
6:01 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

'Big Tree' struggles during drought; Web doc explores reinvention

The Big Tree of Boone County, Mo., is 90-feet tall, has a 287-inch circumference and a 130-foot limb spread.
Credit Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Before the American Revolution, before the Civil War, before Lewis and Clark came through here, a huge tree has been standing in central Missouri, growing to 90-feet tall. The beloved bur oak – which everybody calls "The Big Tree" -- has survived floods, lightning strikes and all kinds of punishments during her 350 years on the prairie. But, as Harvest Public Media’s Peggy Lowe reports, last year’s record drought was especially hard on the Big Tree.

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Agriculture
5:16 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

GM animals; tax day for farmers

Over the last year or so, at least 20 states have introduced bills that would require labeling of genetically modified food. The common point of contention is the pervasiveness of grains that have had their DNA altered. But some of these proposed laws – including one in Missouri – take aim specifically at genetically engineered meat or fish. And that got Harvest Public Media’s Abbie Fentress Swanson wondering: How close are we to actually eating genetically engineered animals? What she found out might surprise you.

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Business Beat
6:01 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Grain elevator explosions; school bond on ballot for third time

Coming up we’ll delve into a small school district trying to get a bond passed for the third time.

But first, grain elevators across the country store billions of bushels of farm products like corn and wheat. They’re a staple of rural communities. But the dust that piles up in grain storage facilities is highly combustible – it can be six times more explosive than gun powder. Just one spark can send a blast that will shake the ground for miles.

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Business Beat
5:30 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

GMO labeling and possible answer to end meth labs

Zephrex-D is produced by Westport Pharmaceuticals, a suburban St. Louis company. Westport officials say the pseudoephedrine product is tamper-resistant, meaning it cannot be used to make meth.
Credit Maria Altman / St. Louis Public Radio

Whole Foods Market recently announced that by 2018, all products in its U-S and Canadian stores containing genetically modified organisms will be clearly labeled as such. The decision by the grocery chain -- which has been labeling some products as non-GMO for years now -- has pushed this strongly debated food labeling issue into the shopping aisle.

The real action, though, is heating up in state legislatures across the country. Harvest Public Media’s Abbie Fentress Swanson explains.

Not many of us are chemists.

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Business Beat
10:10 am
Thu February 28, 2013

How sequestration leads to cuts in research, Medicare

Credit Andrew Magill

Coming up we’ll tackle sequestration which is set to occur March 1. But first, when a large group of farmers in the Southeast banded together to sue a powerful dairy cooperative a few years ago, many hoped that the case would bring big changes to the industry. But as Peggy Lowe of Harvest Public Media reports, the recent settlement of the case involving Kansas City-based Dairy Farmers of America has resulted in some money for small farmers in the short term but little long-term reform.

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Health & Wealth Blog
6:36 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Sequestration would hit rural hospitals harder than their urban counterparts

Credit 401kcalculator.org

Listen to the report.

Barring a congressional miracle,  Medicare payments to health care providers throughout the country will see a 2 percent reduction come Friday. That amount might not sound like much, but rural hospitals and their surrounding communities are the ones that would feel most of the pinch.

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Business Beat
4:52 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

GM seeds and a new Columbia housing ordinance

Researchers at Monsanto chart the progression of a corn plant over 10 weeks: seed, immature plant, callus, early shoot, shoots, early rooting and advanced rooting. Monsanto fills growth chambers reflecting diverse climate conditions with myriad seed samples.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Coming up we’ll kick off a three-part series from Harvest Public Media on the Science of the Seed. For the introductory report, Amy Mayer explores the origins of gene transformation.

But let’s first start in Columbia where as of February, landlords are required to maintain a list of all tenants. It’s part of a new occupancy limitation disclosure ordinance recently passed by the City Council. KBIA’s Andrew Yost reports that the ordinance deals with several overcrowding issues concerning neighbors.

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Business Beat
4:43 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Rural Mo. town: Population zero

MU Professor Brian Dabson stands in a tattered workshop of the defunct Joe Gilliam Mining Company, which used to mine clay. Former owner, Bob Gilliam, said he bought up the property as the residents of Goss moved away.
Credit Lukas Udstuen / KBIA

The most recent U.S. census shows the nation’s population is in flux. While some cities across the country are growing, many small towns are dwindling. KBIA’s Lukas Udstuen takes us to Goss, one of the smallest towns in Missouri. You might miss it if it weren’t for a few road signs marking its location along Route 24 in Monroe County. And you’re most likely out of luck if you stop in Goss for directions because the 2010 Census reported the town has zero residents.

Check out more details about how Goss came about and see an audio slide show here.

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Business Beat
5:20 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Why EPA and USDA are tweaking standards

USDA poultry inspection changes have been in the works for some time now.
Credit Kathleen Masterson / Harvest Public Media

Later, we check in with a revised Environmental Protection Agency standard that could help some wastewater treatment facilities struggling to comply with part of the Clean Water Act’s deadline.

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Business Beat
5:08 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

For dairy and organic farmers, Farm Bill extension not much help

Liz Graznak, who runs Happy Hollow Farm in Jamestown, Mo., is one of many farmers who may not re-certify her operation organic without federal support.
Credit Abbie Fentriss Swanson / Harvest Public Media

Farmers and ranchers across the country expected to start the New Year with a new farm bill, the all-important legislation setting agricultural policy for the next five years.

As House and Senate negotiators worked feverishly at the turn of the year to come to a fiscal cliff deal, word leaked that the Agriculture Committees had finally come to an agreement on a long-awaited new farm bill. But the final fiscal cliff deal ditched new legislation and merely extended parts of the bill that expired in October. Jeremy Bernfeld reports the extension left many farmers frustrated.

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