Agriculture

Agriculture
8:24 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Corn production up, price down in SE Missouri

Credit Photo courtesy Andy Trupin

Corn farmers in southeast Missouri are expecting high yields — but low profits.

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Agriculture
6:58 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Some Food Companies Are Quietly Dumping GMO Ingredients

General Mills' original Cheerios are now GMO-free. But you won't find a label on the box highlighting the change.
David Duprey AP

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 6:03 pm

A tour of the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury, Vt., includes a stop at the "Flavor Graveyard," where ice cream combinations that didn't make the cut are put to rest under the shade of big trees.

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Agriculture
4:46 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Missouri governor tours Iowa ethanol plant

Spencer Thomas Flickr

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon traveled to Iowa to get a personal look at the latest methods in ethanol production.

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Intersection
1:03 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Intersection: What are CAFOs and how do they affect Missouri

Host Ryan Famuliner with guests Raymond Massey and Teng Lim
Credit KBIA / KBIA

 

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs, are prevalent in Missouri’s agriculture industry. The large farms are very controversial, and many have concerns about the environmental impact of the farms and humane treatment of animals living there. In Callaway County, plans for a new CAFO have prompted very vocal opposition. But CAFOs are also a mainstay of the agriculture industry, and are legal if maintained correctly.On this Intersection we addressed CAFOs in-depth: about what they are, how they’re used in Missouri, about the controversy surrounding them, and about the future of the operations in the state.

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Agriculture
8:03 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Farm country tires of waiting for EPA ethanol ruling

Credit File Photo / KBIA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in November proposed a reduction in the amount of ethanol made from corn in the nation’s gas supply, much to the dismay of Corn Belt farmers. The agency has twice postponed its ruling, and the delay is vexing many Midwest farmers and politicians.

The EPA wants to reduce the amount of corn-based ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply—though the exact amount of this reduction hasn’t been decided.

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Agriculture
7:57 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Recent USDA figures show 90 percent of corn is GM

Credit jungmoon / Flickr

Recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that over 90 percent of U.S. field corn is genetically modified. That figure has nearly doubled over the past 10 years.

Most of the corn farmers plant has been embedded with a gene—usually from a bacteria—that protects the corn from pests or herbicides.

Ten years ago, less than half of the corn planted had a genetically modified trait. Today, 93 percent of all field corn does, up from 90 percent last year.

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Agriculture
9:20 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Lobbyists Of All Kinds Flock To Farm Bill

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., (in green), watches as President Barack Obama signs the Farm Bill at Michigan State University on Feb. 7, 2014.

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 2:06 pm

When U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow announced passage of the Farm Bill in February, she echoed a refrain from a car commercial.

“This is not your father’s Farm Bill,” she said.

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Agriculture
6:10 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

EPA promotes contentious water rule to farmers

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaks to reporters at Heffernan Farm in Rocheport, Mo., July 9, 2014.
Credit Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media/KBIA

 

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is touring farm country, trying to assure farmers that the agency isn’t asking for more authority over farmers and ranchers’ lands.

 


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Agriculture
4:05 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

A.G. Koster backs Right to Farm

Credit Grant Suneson

Missouri's Attorney General put his support behind a controversial amendment on the primary ballot. Chris Koster officially announced his endorsement of Amendment one, also known as the Right to Farm act.

In a short statement at the Missouri Farm Bureau in Jefferson City today, Koster cited the states reliance on agriculture, saying that failing to pass the measure could inhibit the success of Missouri farmers.

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Agriculture
8:18 am
Wed July 9, 2014

'Take honest look' at Amendment 1, says former Lt. Governor Joe Maxwell

Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

Former Missouri Lieutenant Governor Joe Maxwell says the ‘Right to Farm’ question before voters in August would give more protection to foreign corporations and take away from small farmers.

Maxwell, a Democrat, told reporters in Springfield Tuesday that Amendment 1 will give more liberty to corporations to buy and operate Missouri farmland.

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Agriculture
5:12 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Nixon vetoes legislation that would have changed who regulates Missouri deer ranches

dishfunctional Flickr

Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation that would have shifted responsibility for regulating Missouri deer ranches to the Department of Agriculture instead of the Department of Conservation.

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Agriculture
2:17 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Raw Milk Producers Aim To Regulate Themselves

Charlotte Smith, of Champoeg Creamery in St. Paul, Ore., says raw milk may offer health benefits. But she also acknowledges its very real dangers.
Courtesy of Champoeg Creamery

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 8:45 am

A growing number of Americans are buying raw milk. That's milk that has not been pasteurized to kill bacteria.

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Agriculture
4:47 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

American Medical Association seeks stricter rules for antibiotics in farm animals

Credit Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

 

 

The largest association of U.S. physicians is calling for tighter rules on antibiotic use in livestock. 

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Agriculture
2:49 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Callaway County hog farm opponents start petition

Opponents of a proposed hog breeding operation in central Missouri are circulating petitions against the plan.

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Agriculture
8:57 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

'The Great Fish Swap': How America Is Downgrading Its Seafood Supply

Paul Greenberg says the decline of local fish markets, and the resulting sequestration of seafood to a corner of our supermarkets, has contributed to "the facelessness and comodification of seafood."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 11:09 am

What's the most popular seafood in the U.S.? Shrimp. The average American eats more shrimp per capita than tuna and salmon combined. Most of that shrimp comes from Asia, and most of the salmon we eat is also imported. In fact, 91 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad, but one-third of the seafood Americans catch gets sold to other countries.

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Agriculture
10:56 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Drought hammers winter wheat across the Plains

Farmer Jim Haarberg of Imperial, Neb., compares the heads of wheat from two different stalks to demonstrate the stunting effects of drought.
Credit Ariana Brocious / Harvest Public Media

 

Much of the Midwest and the Plains have been battling drought for years. And the current winter wheat crop looks like it will be one of the worst in recent memory, stressing farmers in the heart of the Wheat Belt – from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.

In Nebraska, a full quarter of the winter wheat crop is rated poor to very poor, and Nebraska farmers are doing comparatively well. More than 40 percent of the wheat acres in Colorado are poor or worse; nearly 60 percent in Kansas and Texas; and an incredible 80 percent in Oklahoma.

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Agriculture
5:29 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Drought hammers winter wheat across the Plains

Farmer Jim Haarberg of Imperial, Neb., compares the heads of wheat from two different stalks to demonstrate the stunting effects of drought.
Credit Ariana Brocious / Harvest Public Media

 

Much of the Midwest and the Plains have been battling drought for years. And the current winter wheat crop looks like it will be one of the worst in recent memory, stressing farmers in the heart of the Wheat Belt – from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.

In Nebraska, a full quarter of the winter wheat crop is rated poor to very poor, and Nebraska farmers are doing comparatively well. More than 40 percent of the wheat acres in Colorado are poor or worse; nearly 60 percent in Kansas and Texas; and an incredible 80 percent in Oklahoma.

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Agriculture
2:28 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Tequila Nation: Mexico Reckons With Its Complicated Spirit

Blue agaves grow in a plantation for the production of tequila in Arandas, Jalisco state, Mexico, in December 2010. In the past 20 years, tequila has become fashionable all over the world, demonstrating that producers' international sales strategy has been a great success.
Hector Guerrero AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 4:54 pm

The Mexican town of Tequila in the western state of Jalisco is the heart of a region that produces the legendary spirit. Any bottle of tequila must be made from the Weber Blue species of agave, grown and distilled in this region.

Field after field of agave gives this land a blue hue, defining an economy and its traditions.

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Agriculture
5:29 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Midwest a cattle paradise as drought stretches beef country

Cattle come to Van Housen Feed Yard to be fattened up before heading to one of the nearby meat packing plants. Drought in beef states like Texas and Oklahoma has led to growth feedlots in Nebraska.
Credit Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

 

Drought is re-shaping the beef map and raising the price of steak. Ranchers are moving herds from California to Coloradoand from Texas to Nebraska seeking refuge from dry weather. And cattle producers in the Midwest are making the most of it.

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Agriculture
8:10 am
Thu June 19, 2014

'Right to Farm' opponents plan Capitol rally

Credit Camille Phillips / Harvest Public Media

Opponents are planning to rally at the Missouri Capitol against a proposed amendment to the state Constitution establishing a "right to farm ."

The question on the state's Aug. 5 ballot asks voters whether the right "to engage in farming and ranching" should be "forever guaranteed" in the Missouri Constitution.

Critics contend the measure will lead to lawsuits over what farming practices are permitted, and to special protections for large agricultural special interests.

Supporters of the proposal say their goal is to protect and promote agriculture.

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Agriculture
8:06 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Callaway County residents consider fighting hog CAFO proposal

Credit Frank Morris/Harvest Public Media

Some residents of central Missouri's Callaway County say they're exploring legal strategies to fight a proposed indoor hog farm near Kingdom City.

Eichelberger Farms of Iowa plans to buy 20 acres from a private owner just south of Interstate 70 for a 10,000-hog confined animal feeding operation.

Residents who oppose the project tell the Columbia Missourian they will "explore all legal options available to protect our health, lifestyles and property rights."

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Agriculture
4:06 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

MU researchers develop soybean database

Credit Carol Von Canon / Flickr

Researchers at the University of Missouri have developed a new all-inclusive web database for collecting soybean information.

The Soybean Knowledge Base is a public database that will store and integrate information on a variety of soybean topics, such as genes and genomes.  Although the ability to collaborate information was important, the University mostly developed the database to store their own information.

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Agriculture
4:29 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

In The Making Of Megafarms, A Mixture Of Pride And Pain

When families give up farming and move away, it drains life out of small communities.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 10:37 am

It seems that everybody, going back at least to Thomas Jefferson, loves small family farms.

Yet those beloved small farms are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Big farms are taking over.

According to the latest census of American agriculture, released this year, there are two million farms in America. But just four percent of those farms account for two-thirds of all agricultural production.

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Agriculture
3:29 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Growing Worker Shortage Looms Over Logging Industry's Future

Michael Redfern's family has been logging Tennessee forests for four generations. But it's hard, dangerous work in a volatile industry, so fewer young people are pursuing the trade.
Bobby Allyn Nashville Public Radio

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 12:10 pm

Timber is big business in Tennessee. About $1 billion worth of the state's tree products is shipped abroad every year. But within the industry, there is concern that there may soon be too few loggers to keep the profession going.

The Redfern family has been working the state's forests for four generations, but it isn't sure it will see a fifth.

Michael Redfern, 57, runs a three-man operation with his two sons on a 25-acre property in Cedar Hill, near Tennessee's northern border with Kentucky.

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Agriculture
8:21 am
Mon June 16, 2014

So-called 'Right to Farm' amendment wording creates confusion

Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

The wording of a proposed amendment to Missouri's Constitution that would guarantee residents' right to "engage in agricultural production and ranching practices" is leading to questions from both sides of the issue – including a question of whether the amendment would have any impact at all.

Supporters of the so-called "right to farm" measure on the August ballot say it gives farmers more legal standing to challenge unfair regulations. Opponents fear it could unravel environmental and animal welfare laws.

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Agriculture
3:19 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Lawsuit seeks to block subdivision near state park

A residential development under construction near Rock Bridge State Park in Boone County is being challenged in court by environmental groups that say the project threatens water quality and wildlife.

The Parkside Estates subdivision south of Columbia is on 35 acres next to the state park. Developer Southside Trails Estates is clearing land for 76 homes on the site.

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Agriculture
11:27 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Can Farmed Fish Feed The World Without Destroying The Environment?

Carp are collected at a breeding farm near the Belarus village of Ozerny in November 2013. Researchers say there's a lot the aquaculture industry can do to be more efficient.
Viktor Drachev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:19 am

We Americans love our fried shrimp, our sushi and our fish sticks. And a lot of other people around the world count on fish as a critical part of their diet, too. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, fish now accounts for almost 17 percent of the world's intake of protein — in some coastal and island countries it's as high as 70 percent.

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Agriculture
12:09 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

What does the ‘right to farm’ mean in Missouri?

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler supports the proposed "right to farm" amendment to Missouri's constitution.
Credit Kristofor Husted / KBIA

U.S. Congress members are throwing their support behind a proposed “right to farm” amendment in Missouri’s constitution. But critics are pointing to the measure’s ambiguous language as problematic.

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Agriculture
8:55 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Republican Mo. Congressmembers to join push for "right to farm"

Credit wobble-san/Flickr

Several Missourians in the U.S. House are backing a proposed amendment to the state Constitution on farming.

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Agriculture
8:00 am
Tue May 13, 2014

MDC seeks input on deer population

Credit secondtree / Flickr

When the Conservation Department was started in 1936, there were only a few thousand deer in Missouri.  The 1980s and 90s saw a rapid growth in the state’s deer population, and regulations were set to try to stabilize that growth.Now, the Missouri Department of Conservation wants to know what you think about the state’s deer population.  The Department is hosting public meetings around the state this summer.  Jason Sumners, a resource scientist with the Conservation Department, says the regulations have reduced deer numbers in many places, and it’s time now to assess the situation.  That’s

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