agriculture

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

 

 

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

dnl777 / Flickr

The Saint Louis Zoo is joining a national coalition of commercial agriculture producers, conservation groups and seed companies working to address the dramatic recent decline of honeybees.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently announced $3.9 million in funding toward developing a vaccine for a disease crushing hog farms.

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.

drought farm field soybeans
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.

Hope Kirwan / KBIA

  The Columbia Farmer’s Market brings many different people together on Saturday mornings. Thanks to a local food program run by Sustainable Farms and Communities, this includes low-income families who can receive extra help to purchase fresh and locally-produced foods.

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.

tractor on farmland
(tpsdav/pixabay)

Coming up we’ll take a look and how big data and agriculture are finding themselves intertwined with questions about privacy.

Kristofor Kusted / 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.

wobble-san/Flickr

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

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Farmers can expect more challenges, thanks to climate change. That’s according to a recent report released by the White House.

Iowa State University professor Gene Takle co-authored the chapter on agriculture in the 2014 National Climate Assessment. He says expected changes in humidity, precipitation and temperature may produce more extreme weather events.

“We need to be thinking forward as to the kinds of adaptation strategies that we need to adopt while at the same time we are looking for measures to mitigate the underlying cause of climate change,” Takle says.

agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack
Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Recognizing that the demand for local food is growing to between $5 and 7 billion a year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a new effort Thursday aimed at connecting farmers with urban shoppers. 

bottlerocketprincess / Flickr

A government report says the nation's corn growers should have banner production this year despite lesser acreage devoted to the grain. But corn prices later in the year may suffer a bit.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its first World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report of the year.

The report estimates that corn producers will harvest 165.3 bushels of corn per acre, up 6.5 bushels from the previous year. Corn acreage is expected to slip to 91.7 million acres, from 95.4 million acres.

State Archives

When Joseph Teasdale ran for governor in the mid-70s, he walked a thousand miles en route to winning the tightest gubernatorial race in the nation, handing a popular incumbent governor a stunning defeat. His margin of victory over Missouri Republican Gov. Christopher S. “Kit” Bond, by whom he had been defeated in the previous election, was a mere 12,000 votes out of more than 1.9 million cast. Even members of the Teasdale campaign cabinet were stunned.

Staff / Missouri Department of Conservation

The White House released a new climate change report Tuesday. It predicts threats to agriculture including severe weather, more pests and greater demands for water and energy. Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports.

field
Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

The White House’s new climate change report predicts threats to agriculture, including severe weather, more pests and greater demands for water and energy.

farm
isnapshot / flickr

The number of farms in the U.S. is shrinking, according to the latest Census of Agriculture, released Friday. The census is taken every five years and shows the changing landscape for farmers.

Our Abbie Fentress Swanson (second from left) reported stories while hip-deep in water and on the road across the Midwest.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

When I was offered this job nearly two years ago, I jumped at the opportunity to move to Columbia, Mo., from Brooklyn, N.Y., to cover agriculture and food production in the Heartland.

Missouri Farm Bureau holds annual Commodity Conference

Feb 25, 2014
Xiaosu Tian / KBIA

  The Missouri Farm Bureau’s annual Commodity Conference and Legislative Briefing brought over 200 Missouri farmers to Jefferson City Monday and Tuesday. Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst said the event is meant to help inform Missouri farmers of current issues in agriculture.

“Well we hope that they leave here both better prepared for the coming year to try and anticipate what the weather and markets might do, and also better informed about the policy issues that affect them, their farms and their local communities,” Hurst said.

Hope Kirwan / KBIA

The Ronald McDonald House in Columbia received a donation of food from the Missouri Farm Bureau on Friday, February 7.

farmland
File / KBIA

Opposition is starting to form around a ballot measure that would enshrine a "right to farm" in Missouri's Constitution.

Photo courtesy Andy Trupin

Missouri farmers appear to have grown more corn and soybeans last year than in 2012.

Figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show Missouri farmers produced an estimated 435 million bushels of corn last year, up 76 percent from 2012. Soybean production rose 25 percent to an estimated 197 million bushels.

rustinpc / flickr

The University of Missouri  has raised half of the $3 million it needs to build a teaching winery.

The Columbia Missourian reports that the university now is seeking matching money from the state for the facility. Plans calls for a research building and wine and food education facility to be added in later phases.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Farmers and scientists have long understood that what lives beneath the soil affects how crops grow. Often, they work to fight plant diseases—warding off infectious viruses and damaging fungi, for example. But now some microbiologists are focused on how to harness the good things microbes can do, with the goal of increasing farmers’ yields and diminishing their dependence on chemical inputs.

Flickr / Natalie Maynor

Walk into a grocery store these days and you’re likely to find whole sections devoted to organic foods. The organic label gives insight into how the food was produced, usually without the aid of synthetic chemicals, antibiotics and food additives.

Produce aisle of grocery store
File Photo / KBIA

Limited access to nutritious food is an issue facing rural communities in Missouri and the nation at large, according to University of Missouri specialists. 

Frank Morris/Harvest Public Media

Normally, Friday, Oct. 11, would be a big day for the commodity markets. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Report is due, providing what is widely excepted to be the most trusted and complete snapshot of farm markets in the middle of harvest season.

But, with the government shut down the report is not coming out. In fact, farmers and ranchers aren’t getting any of the USDA information they rely on, and in this case, ignorance is not bliss.  

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Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones is planning a statewide tour that will focus on agricultural issues.

The Eureka Republican will make about a half-dozen stops Oct. 15-17 with visits to farms, agricultural products plants and bioenergy facilities. Jones wants to talk with farmers and gather information for the 2014 legislative session.

Communities on the schedule include California and Sedalia.

Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

The disconnect between consumers wanting to know more about where their food comes from and farmers producing that food is nothing new to Harvest Public Media.

drought farm field soybeans
Camille Phillips / Harvest Public Media

The driest August across northern Missouri since 1984 has the United States Department of Agriculture revising crop yield projections downward for the upcoming harvest.  In addition, a continued drought plagues the northern part of the state, with 20 counties affected by what the National Weather Service calls a “severe drought”.

“Drought has and always will be a part of the Missouri landscape,” said University of Missouri Climatologist Pat Guinan.  However, he characterizes the last few weeks as a flash drought, and a “drought on steroids.”

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