Agriculture

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Inside a high tunnel at Berry Patch farm near Nevada, Iowa, strawberry baskets hang overhead and tomato plants stand tall already laden with fruit. Farm manager Lee Matteson picks several zucchini. Then, he stands there, holding the fresh squash while Will Weber, a sophomore environmental science student from Ames High School, takes a series of photographs.  Beside Weber, and holding another impressive-looking camera, Douglas Gayeton also takes pictures—and issues advice and suggestions to Weber.

At the farmers market, with food stamps

Jun 5, 2013
Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

April Segura is a regular at the Old Cheney Road Farmers Market in Lincoln, Neb. On a warm, May afternoon, the single, stay-at-home mother of three greeted friends and acquaintances while strolling past tables of lettuce and herbs. She hoped to find more asparagus for sale.

“I love asparagus season and it’s probably about to be over,” said Segura, holding two grocery bags with one arm and her one-year-old son, Jeriel, with the other.

Angie Smith/U.S. Missouri Army Corps of Engineers / Flickr

Farmers in a dozen Missouri counties could be eligible for emergency loans through the U.S. Agriculture Department for damage from severe spring weather.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

A University of Missouri plant scientist has launched a website that allows crop producers to track rainfall and the risk of nitrogen loss during the spring seasons. 

Farmland prices increase at concerning rates

May 30, 2013
Fishawk via Flickr

Farmland prices in mid-Missouri have reached record highs - more than doubling over the last 10 years. But historical trends may give farmers reason for concern.  

Cattle tramp through the mud on Nathan Martin’s Centralia farm.

There are about 360 head here.  There’s corn and soybeans growing, too.

Martin bought the land in 1983, and has been working it full-time since.

It was after prices started dropping, and bottomed out three years later.

Andrew Kauffman / KBIA

The Vietnamese ambassador to the United States is visiting Missouri for the first time this week to discuss trade opportunities and student growth.

Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Cuong met with US Congressmember Vicky Hartzler, Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid and University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe to discuss the opportunities for trade between Missouri and Vietnam.

During the discussion, Hartzler noted that the demand for agricultural products in Vietnam presents an opportunity for Missouri producers.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Visitors to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. only get small glimpses of farming, such as a mural display of immigrant farmworkers planting crops in a 19th century California town. The museum once had an Agriculture Hall, but it was removed in 2006.

heathervescent / Flickr

The Missouri Department of Agriculture says it has lessened licensing requirements for farmers' market merchants and roadside vendors selling eggs more directly to consumers.

Photo by Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which reporters talk to newsmakers and experts about important issues related to food production.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Consumers may soon know more about where their meat comes from because of a long-debated change made by the US Department of Agriculture on Thursday.

Federal funds flow to rural communities

May 22, 2013
Bill Wheelhouse / Harvest Public Media

In the small town of Staunton, Ill., the new $9 million water plant is a welcome addition. After all, when the 80-year-old facility it replaces seized up last year, the community’s 5,000 residents were without water for five days. 

But for Staunton’s part-time mayor Craig Neuhaus, the plant represents more than water security. He expects the water system upgrade to help bring business to this town about 40 miles north of St. Louis.  

twi$tbarbie/Flickr

Next year, Missouri voters will get a chance to consider a controversial constitutional amendment that would affirm the rights of farmers to engage in "modern" farming and ranching practices.

Would you feed your family genetically modified food? Chances are, you already have.

On Thursday's Central Standard, the science behind genetically modified (GMO) and genetically engineered (GE) food. The guests:

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

At a basin in central Iowa’s Onion Creek Watershed, Sean McCoy pulls a state truck up near a brand-new wetland. It looks like a construction zone, with lots of bare earth.

USDA

The Missouri House and Senate have passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee farmers and ranchers the right to farm and ranch using "modern methods."

Photo by Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which reporters talk to newsmakers and experts about important issues related to food production.

Farmers in Missouri, Illinois and much of the Midwest are having a tough time getting their corn planted.

The US Department of Agriculture says in Illinois just 7 percent of the corn crop is in the ground; while in Missouri it’s 22 percent.

Usually, nearly half of the nation’s corn has been planted by this time.

Say the words "crop insurance" and most people start to yawn. For years, few nonfarmers knew much about these government-subsidized insurance policies, and even fewer found any fault with them. After all, who could criticize a safety net for farmers that saves them from getting wiped out by floods or drought?

Cade Cleavelin / KBIA

At MU's Bradford Research and Extension Center, researchers are testing thousands of genetically unique variations of wheat. They'll ultimately insert the best of them into the market as more productive, profitable wheat varieties.

Kathleen Masterson/Harvest Public Media

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which reporters talk to newsmakers and experts about important issues related to food production.

For this edition of Field Notes, Harvest Public Media's Bill Wheelhouse spoke with Zachary Michael Jack, author "The Midwest Farmer's Daughter," about the shifting landscape of rural America.

Potato industry banks on 'Linda'

Apr 25, 2013
Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

At a Fort Collins, Colo., grocery store, Kristin Mastre paused for a minute in front a large bin of Russet and red potatoes. She picked out a few handfuls and continued on, her two boys, Carter, 4, and Logan, 7, in tow.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

There’s more than one way to sell a pig.

And when the hog market plunged to 8 cents a pound in 1998, Iowa producer Randy Hilleman decided it was time to make a change. Hilleman raises Berkshire pigs, a breed that’s fattier than traditional pigs and costs a little more to raise. Back then, that was hurting him.

MU researchers offer farmers tips to improve soil

Apr 24, 2013
Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

After the historic drought last year, farmers realized more than ever the importance of drought resistant soil.

If you really love your peaches and want to shake a tree, there's a map to help you find one. That goes for veggies, nuts, berries and hundreds of other edible plant species, too.

Seed companies fight to maintain independence

Apr 18, 2013
Bill Wheelhouse / Harvest Public Media

The window in Tom Burrus’ office gives him a good look at the wide expanse of Illinois River bottomland where his company produces seed corn for farmers across Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Two-Way coverage of the explosion resumes Thursday morning. For more information, please click on the latest AP report.

A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety says an unknown number of people were killed in a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant near Waco Wednesday night.

KWTX TV reports that the explosion at West Fertilizer plant in West, Texas, was reported around 7:50 p.m. The station reports:

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Six months ago, Kara Welter drastically changed her diet by eliminating food that contains wheat, rye or barley.

“I don’t eat gluten,” said Welter, a 41-year-old marketing executive in Kansas City. “I happened to just try it because I was having stomach issues for years. And it turns out within three days, I stopped having stomach issues.”

Welter’s gluten decision stemmed from what she read online. Medical tests showed that she did not have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, the disorder that causes the immune system to reject the gluten.

Scott Pham/KBIA

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which reporters talk to newsmakers and experts about important issues related to food production.

Child labor bill could help kids on the farm

Apr 9, 2013
farmland
File / KBIA

A proposed bill would change the child labor law requirements for Missouri children under the age of 16 who work on a family farm.

Flames fuel prairie revival [video]

Apr 9, 2013
Brendan Gibbons / KBIA

As a north wind rippled through the native grasses of Missouri’s Tucker Prairie on a sunny afternoon in April, the burn was about to begin.

Pages