Agriculture

Agriculture
5:49 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

MU College of Agriculture receives grant for new laboratory

Illinois’ agricultural processing company Archer Daniels Midland, or ADM, has given one million dollars to the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

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Agriculture
12:44 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Field Notes: Making the most of cover crops

The green shoots of young cover crops come up through corn residue on a field in Boone County, Iowa.
Amy Mayer/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 Amy Mayer spoke with Tom Kaspar, a plant physiologist at the National Lab for Agriculture and the Environment, about the importance of cover crops in how our food is grown.

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Agriculture
3:29 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Work progressing on Mississippi River projects

Missouri Flooding
Credit Tech. Sgt. Oscar Sanchez USDA / Flickr

Flood protection projects are progressing on both sides of the Mississippi River in southeast Missouri and southern Illinois.

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Agriculture
4:41 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Roundup resistance leading to more chemicals, study finds

Water hemp in this soybean field was not killed by Roundup.
Bob Hartzler Iowa State University

Farmers and weeds are in a constant competition.

But with Monsanto’s introduction of Roundup herbicide and genetically engineered Roundup Ready crops in the mid-1990s, farmers gained a clear edge. The seeds, which were able to tolerate the herbicide, were adopted quickly. By 2011, more than 90 percent of soybeans and cotton, and more than 70 percent of corn were planted with Roundup Ready seeds.

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Agriculture
12:47 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Boonville livestock auction barn to re-open next week

File Photo KBIA

Boonville’s livestock auction barn will re-open as the Missouri Valley Commission Company Tuesday, Oct. 23, under new ownership.

Jon Angell of Centralia owns the soon-to-be opened auction farm with his brother, Justin, and business partner, Mike VanMaanen.  Angell said with the previous owner, the company sold up to 60,000 head of cattle a year.

“There’s quite a need in this area to have a local barn for the cattlemen and farmers of the area to sell their livestock,” Angell said.

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Agriculture
11:21 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Favorable weather leads to good urban deer hunting season

File Image KBIA News

According to Missouri Department of Conversation, hunters had a good harvest in the urban firearms deer hunting season, which took place from Oct. 5 - 8.

This year’s urban deer hunt had a harvest of more than 1,100 deer statewide, almost double the figure from last year.

Joel Porath, wildlife regional supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation, said because the urban season is so short, the harvest is almost exclusively tied to weather.

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Agriculture
9:51 am
Tue October 16, 2012

The struggle to trace produce from farm to table

The 62-year-old trucker Del Smith has survived rodeos, Vietnam and an industrial accident in Texas. But he never expected he'd meet his next brush with death in this very truck by eating a cantaloupe he bought in July at an Illinois farm stand.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

When he’s on the road, Del Smith’s home is his blue-and-silver 18-wheeler. The tidy cab has everything that Smith, who is a slight mustachioed man, needs for a long haul: a fridge for his iced tea, a bunk made with a blanket decorated with cowboy boots, a first-aid kit. In his 62 years of life, Smith’s survived near-death experiences riding rodeo, flying helicopters in Vietnam and, most recently, an industrial accident in Texas. He never thought his next brush with death would take place right here in his truck, after buying a cantaloupe in July from a Byron, Ill., farm stand.

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Agriculture
3:25 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

For Mo. caviar producer, Oklahomans provide harsh competition

Geishaboy500 FLICKR

Ahead of the holiday season, a Missouri fish farmer and black caviar producer faces challenges distributing and exporting his gourmet product.

The main challenge comes from the neighboring state of Oklahoma where there are no restrictions on wild fish catching. The co-owner of L’Osage Caviar Company, Steve Kahrs, said a state agency in Oklahoma accumulates caviar from all sturgeon fishermen catch and then sells it at a much cheaper price making the industry more difficult for farmers.

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Agriculture
2:36 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Field Notes: Farm bill delay no surprise for former ag secretary

The Farm Bill is still on the agenda for lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
katieharbath Flickr

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 Grant Gerlock spoke with Clayton Yeutter, a former agriculture secretary, about the difficulty in getting a farm bill passed.

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Agriculture
4:03 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

On marginal land, these grasses may be greener (VIDEO)

Wayne Vassar grows native grasses for biofuel as part of the federal Biomass Crop Assistance Program.
Kristofor Husted KBIA

In the parched, rolling hills of western Missouri, you might expect to see a desolate scene after this summer’s drought. But in this field, hip-high native grass sways across the landscape like seaweed in the ocean.

Wayne Vassar is growing these native plants for biofuel.

“They’ve had corn or soy on (this land) in the past,” he said, “and what’s happened was when you have these kinds of slope it erodes pretty rapidly and you lose a lot of your fertility as the top soil goes down the hill.”

Farmland experts call this kind of land “marginal land.” The hills make it difficult for the soil to hold onto the topsoil nutrients. And along the rivers and other flood plains, frequent flooding can deprive plants the oxygen they need to survive. It all adds up to an estimated 116 million acres in the central U.S.

Land like this might only produce a profitable harvest with traditional crops, like corn or soybeans, once or twice every five years. That’s quite a financial risk for farmers. So how can farmers avoid that risk factor and make sure such soils provide a consistent economic return?

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Agriculture
5:26 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Public sees plans for new sewer lines in Columbia

Columbia public works officials are removing private sewer lines from local neighborhoods.  

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Agriculture
12:07 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Drought and heat? Some farmers try hydroponics

Ule Summersted is the manager of Garden Fresh Vegetables' hydroponic greenhouse in O'Neill, Neb.
Hilary Stohs-Krause Harvest Public Media

Marv Fritz runs a 24-acre greenhouse in O’Neill, Neb., in the north-central part of the state. The 7-year-old greenhouse produces about 250,000 pounds of tomatoes a week during the height of summer.

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Agriculture
4:19 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Water resources are stretched

Water levels are down in some reservoirs thanks to a drought that forced farmers to heavily irrigate their crops.
File Photo KBIA

Nebraska irrigates more acres of farmland than any other state in the nation. Kansas is also near the top.

And that Irrigation infrastructure came in handy this summer. A University of Nebraska Lincoln studyfound the drought could shrink corn yields by 40 percent this year in dryland fields in Iowa. But yields for irrigated corn in Nebraska may end up only 8 percent lower than expected.

“We’ve been hearing reports over 200 (bushels/acre). Probably a lot of guys are hoping for 185-200. That’d be very good,” said Gib Kelly, who traveled from the north -central Nebraska town of Page to look at the newest irrigation equipment at the annual Husker Harvest Days farm show in Grand Island, Neb.

But irrigation has its limits. There were times over the hot summer months when Mark Scott’s groundwater wells couldn’t keep up.

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Agriculture
3:17 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Rediscovering my family farm

My dad, Mike Swanson, gets his first combine ride from our cousin, Darwin Swanson, during soybean harvest.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

This past weekend, for the first time in 25 years, my dad and I visited our family’s farm in Woodhull, Ill.

By family, I mean extended family. Brothers Doug and Darwin Swanson — my dad’s first cousins — run the farm, which got its start with land bought in 1890 by my great-great grandfather, Swan Swanson, when he moved to Illinois from Sweden.

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Agriculture
4:23 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Drought leads to lower beef prices in Missouri

Adam Kuban/flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/slice/482963344/

The worst drought in decades is set to lower beef prices for the state of Missouri. The rising cost of feed for cows has compelled ranchers to slaughter their herds, rather than pay significantly more for feed. The increase in slaughter of cattle creates more supply, while demand stays relatively the same. President of Missouri Legacy Beef, Mark Manken said it is a difficult time for ranchers.

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Agriculture
12:13 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Field Notes: Fractionated dairy ingredients may be ingredient of profit

Fractionated dairy ingredients are derived from milk and cheese.
SerialK/Flickr

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 week’s Field Notes, reporter Justine Greve spoke with Dr. Stephanie Clark, an associate professor of Food Science at Iowa State University about a segment of the dairy industry we’re all familiar with but probably don’t know much about.

You may not know what a “fractionated dairy ingredient” is, but I can almost guarantee you've eaten one.

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Agriculture
5:37 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Mud and Moonscape: Missouri towns struggle with flood recovery

"It is pure sand dunes," Atchison County Sheriff Dennis Martin said, of Corning, Mo. land still covered with sand a year after surging Missouri River waters receded. "Before the weeds started growing up, it looked like the moon."
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Back in April, Harvest Public Media’s Grant Gerlock headed to Tekamah, Neb., to see how planting was going for farmers on the Missouri River floodplain. The river's surging waters put thousands of farm acres in Nebraska under water last summer, causing more than $100 million in crop losses in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.

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Agriculture
4:49 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Missouri gets $1.2 million in federal food safety grants

Egg producers will gain a portion of the new Missouri grant to increase safety efforts.
Stacey Shintani Flickr

Missouri has received more than $1.2 million in federal grants for its food safety efforts.

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10:21 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Help us map the drought

Lead in text: 
The skies have been cloudy this week but a little rain can't erase the effects of this last summer's drought, widely considered to be the worst in decades. Like most things, some fare better than others and some even worse. Help us map the drought What does your farm and rangeland look like? How has your year been? Are you going to survive the drought? Send us some details and a picture by clicking below.
Parts of the Midwest got a reprieve from the drought this week, according to the latest US Drought Monitor report released on Thursday. The report found
Agriculture
4:15 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

National Pork Month is on the horizon

October is National Pork Month, but Missouri has already begun its celebrations.

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My Farm Roots
11:53 am
Tue September 25, 2012

From pastime to passion

Aaron Troester farms about 5,000 irrigated acres in north-central Nebraska.
Hilary Stohs-Krause Harvest Public Media

Aaron Troester’s life both did, and didn’t, turn out exactly the way he planned.

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Agriculture
9:02 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Crop, livestock price increases drive up rent costs

In southwest Kansas, baled hay sits in an open field.
Eric Durban Harvest Public Media

It cost more to rent an acre of cropland or pasture land in 2012, according to new figures from the USDA.

The average cost to rent an acre of cropland in Missouri went up by 4 percent. Pastureland increased by 10 percent.

Ron Plain is an agricultural economics professor at the University of Missouri. He says rental rates and a land’s market value are both tied to the value of what is being produced on that land.

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Agriculture
5:50 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Here's the short story on cow tails

Scott Poock, veterinarian for the University of Missouri Extension, demonstrates an alternative to cow tail docking at Foremost Dairy: trimming the switch off of a cow's tail.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Many people who haven’t stepped foot on a dairy might think milking a cow is a sort of Emersonian back-to-the land moment, where a milker bonds with his or her cow while communing with nature. Just milk her for a while and voilà: fresh, creamy milk. But the truth is, milking can be a very dirty job.

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Agriculture
4:31 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Low feed means more hogs sent to market

This little piggy went to market. So did a lot of the others.
USGS Wikimedia Commons

The gravel road leading to Harrison Creek Farms is sandwiched between one field of withering corn, and one field of stunted soybeans. The drought has hurt farmers like Kenny Brinker who owns Brinker Farms and Harrison Creek Farms in Auxvasse, Mo.

“The hog farm we have here in Callaway County is what you call your standard feral to finish operation," he says. "We own the hogs ourselves."

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Agriculture
4:02 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Gas with more ethanol available at some pumps

Gas with 15 percent ethanol is making its way to some U.S. gas stations.
File Photo KBIA

Head to your local filling station and you might see a new blend of gas at the pump. After a three-year regulatory process, the Environmental Protection Agency approved E15 – gas made with 15 percent ethanol – this summer.

Most gas we pump is already blended with ethanol, sometimes it contains as much as 10 percent, but the ethanol industry fought hard to bring E15 to the market. For ethanol backers and the farmers who feed the ethanol industry, getting drivers to pump gas with 50 percent more ethanol is a big win.

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Agriculture
2:56 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Are you afraid of melons? [Results]

In the produce section of the Schnucks grocery store in Columbia, Mo., the store posted a statement about the watermelon recall on a box of non-recalled watermelons.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

Last week we asked you two simple questions: are you avoiding cantaloupes or melons?

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Agriculture
11:35 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Debate this: Which presidential candidate is better for agriculture?

Former Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge (left) and Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns stand in for the presidential candidates in a Presidential Forum on Agriculture in Des Moines in mid-September.
Sandhya Dirks Iowa Public Radio

The presidential candidates have yet to meet in a face-to-face debate. But last week in Des Moines, Iowa, ag leaders witnessed a preview of sorts during a Presidential Forum on Agriculture held in advance of the annual meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

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Agriculture
8:47 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Red fire ants could be hitching a ride to Missouri

In southwest Kansas, baled hay sits in an open field.
Eric Durban Harvest Public Media

Missouri livestock producers are looking beyond the Show Me State’s borders for hay, and many are buying it from southern states where red imported fire ants are prevalent.

The stinging insects are known to hitch rides on hay bales, and that makes some agriculture officials nervous.

Red imported fire ants are originally from South America, but are now found throughout the south.

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Field Notes
4:22 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Talking science, decision-making and the Green Revolution with Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.

Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. speaks to a group on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Field Notes is a regular feature by Harvest Public Media, in which reporters talk to newsmakers and experts about important issues related to food production.

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Agriculture
12:07 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Tell us: are you afraid of melons?

Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

An Indiana farm issued a voluntary recall of cantaloupe and watermelons because the fruit could be contaminated with Salmonella. Let us know: is this affecting your eating and buying habits?

Click here to take survey

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