Agriculture

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

Agriculture
1:29 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Help us map out the drought in the Midwest

The nation’s worst drought in decades moved Harvest Public Media to look at how the drought is affecting livestock producers just starting out in the business.
Map by Abbie Fentress Swanson (Harvest Public Media). Data submitted by farmers and livestock producers through the Public Insight Network.

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 that last weekend’s cold front brought up to five inches of rain to southeastern Missouri, eastern Illinois and central Indiana.

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Agriculture
3:21 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Drought-resistant corn faces real-life test

Corn has had a tough time thriving in this summer's drought. A new hybrid strain might solve that problem.
Peter Blanchard Flickr

The sub-par corn harvest of 2012 is coming in early, after the worst growing conditions in more than 2 decades.

“We’ve been really dry all summer," farmer Bill Simmons says. "I talked to an older gentleman some time ago that said he had taken  47 crops off of his farm and this was about the worst that he’d ever seen it."

Simmons is combining 13-hundred acres of corn on the Clan Farm outside Atlantic, Iowa. Multiple varieties were planted, but one field turned out to be especially interesting: a 300-acre section devoted to AQUAmax, a new drought-resistant product from DuPont Pioneer.

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Agriculture
6:01 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Food stamps dividing support for farm bill

Margo Rush goes to FoodNet in the basement of the Lakeview Methodist Church in Lincoln, Neb., to make her budget and SNAP benefits last through the month.
Grant Gerlock Harvest Public Media

With Congress going back into session, farm groups are demanding action on a new farm bill. The current law expires at the end of September. But an issue that goes beyond the farm is edging in on the debate.

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Agriculture
5:16 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Nixon extends drought declaration

Nixon speaking at a previous event.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is extending his declaration of a state of emergency until mid-November because of drought, heat and the risk of fire.

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Agriculture
10:05 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Even after Hurricane Isaac, some Midwest farmers mired in drought

Hurricane Issac in Wisconsin.
MaryLouiseEklund/flickr

Heavy rains from Hurricane Isaac provided relief to some – but not all – farmers and ranchers in the drought-stricken Midwest, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor’s weekly report, which came out on Thursday.

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6:48 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Drought could edge livestock producers out of business

Lead in text: 
Currently, the USDA expects the prices of beef, pork, poultry and dairy to shoot up five percent next year. You can blame the drought for a lot of that increase as this summer a lot of small livestock producers are struggling just to stay in business. A version of this story ran on KBIA's Business Beat, a weekly program about business and economics in mid-Missouri.
Brandt Dairy sits on Swan Creek at the end of a meandering gravel road in Linn, Missouri. The farm is bucolic with its twin silos, red barn and black-and
Read More: http://kbia.org
Prime
2:03 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

A pitch for getting more ranchers to produce higher-quality beef

Consumers are willing to pay more for prime grade steaks than they have in the past. Production hasn’t kept up with demand, which could mean more money in cow-calf producers’ pockets.
Adam Kuban/flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/slice/482963344/

As part of a new project called “Quality Beef by the Numbers,”  the University of Missouri is hoping to get more cow-calf operators in Missouri and neighboring states to produce higher-quality beef from their herds. The university says the move, announced in Columbia, Mo., last week, will make ranchers more money.

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Agriculture
8:49 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Corn harvest continues to speed ahead of schedule

jungmoon Flickr

The U.S. corn harvest continues ahead of schedule with some states nearly half-finished at a time when they usually are just getting started.

The USDA said Tuesday in its weekly crop update that little has changed in the condition of drought-damaged corn and soybeans. That's because the plants are too far along for recent rain to make a difference.

Corn was planted several weeks earlier this year and matured more quickly in the summer heat, allowing farmers to start harvesting early.

Agriculture
8:16 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Isaac rains help soybeans in Midwest

Clay Masters Harvest Public Media

Several days of rain brought some relief to farmers in the nation's midsection as they contend with the worst drought in the U.S. in decades.

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Agriculture
4:59 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Premium Standard Farms reaches settlement in Northern MO

USGS Wikimedia Commons

Attorneys for Premium Standard Farms and hundreds of northern Missouri residents have reached a settlement of lawsuits over odors from large hog operations.

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Agriculture
1:16 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Longhorns, bluegrass and corn combining at the Farm Progress Show [Slideshow]

This 10-year-old Watusi steer named Stevie, who is owned by Garland Ranch, was on view at the Farm Progress Show. Stevie has horns that span more than five feet.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Thousands of farmers from the heartland braved the 97-degree heat in Boone, Iowa on Wednesday for the 2012 Farm Progress Show.

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Agriculture
8:06 am
Tue August 28, 2012

Mo. drought relief program totals $29M for farmers

A Missouri program to improve the water supplies of drought-stricken farmers could end up costing nearly 15 times the original estimate.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced a $2 million program a month ago in which the state would cover 90 percent of the cost for farmers to drill or deepen wells or expand their irrigation systems. But demand far exceeded expectations, and the governor expanded the program.

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Agriculture
3:05 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Drought could edge livestock producers out of business

Alfred Brandt says he will have to pay $100,000 in out-of-pocket feed costs to get his 150 Holstein cows fed through next spring.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Brandt Dairy sits on Swan Creek at the end of a meandering gravel road in Linn, Missouri. The farm is bucolic with its twin silos, red barn and black-and-white Holstein cows. But the brown pastures, dry river bed and burnt corn fields are a reminder that there have been less than two inches of rain here in the last two months.

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Agriculture
5:52 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

The Midwest's version of Bernie Madoff gets 9 years

Asbury's cattle rustling schemes netted him 9 years in federal prison.
Jessica Naudziunas Harvest Public Media

A former central Missouri man has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for a pair of cattle fraud schemes that cost investors nearly $8 million.

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Agriculture
4:22 pm
Sun August 19, 2012

Elected officials talk farm policy on the campaign trail

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill made a campaign stop at a massive granary and fertilizer distributor on the banks of the Missouri River as part of her six-day "Fighting for our Farmers" tour.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Thirty-five farmers and agricultural workers applauded at the site of Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill’s big blue RV pulling up to the back of AGRI Services on Wednesday. The campaign stop at the massive granary and fertilizer distributor on the banks of the Missouri River in Brunswick, Mo. is part of the Democratic incumbent senator’s "Fighting for our Farmers" project.

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Agriculture
5:43 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Mo. approves 4,900+ water supply requests

jetsandzeppelins Flickr

Missouri has approved more than 4,900 requests from farmers for help in improving their water supplies amid Missouri's extreme drought.

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Agriculture
8:22 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Mo. department seeks to oust feral pigs

The Missouri Department of Conservation has been working to rid its lands around the state of feral hogs.

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Agriculture
4:54 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

What if Congress doesn't pass a farm bill?

Ed Greiman, a cattle producer and president-elect of the Iowa Cattlemen, climbs onto the front of a truck hauling silage on his ranch near Garner, Iowa. Like other ranchers, he's getting a feel for what life would be like without a farm bill.
Clay Masters Harvest Public Media

Roy Pralle is an 85-year-old retired farmer from Latimer, Iowa. He spends most afternoons playing cribbage with other retired farmers at Dudley's Corner, a diner attached to a gas station in north-central Iowa.

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Agriculture
2:36 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

MU professor: grazing drought-damaged crops and pasture can harm livestock

A parched corn field in Cass County, Illinois.
Adam Allington St. Louis Public Radio

A University of Missouri veterinary professor says farmers need to be careful when feeding drought-damaged corn to their livestock.

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Agriculture
8:29 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Milk Board reinstates NW Mo. dairy's permit

Shatto Milk Company logo
shattomilk.com

A northwest Missouri dairy has resumed operations less than a week after some of its products were recalled by the state Department of Agriculture.

Missouri's Milk Board on Tuesday reinstated the plant permit for Shatto Dairy of Osborn after tests showed its pasteurization process was working.

Agriculture officials temporarily suspended the dairy's operations Aug. 8 after test results showed some of its milk products may have been unpasteurized or improperly pasteurized.

Drought
8:30 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Crops, soil dry out further in Missouri

Irrigation waters a field of soybeans at Bradford Research Center outside Columbia, Mo. on August 12, 2012.
Camille Phillips Harvest Public Media

The recent break from Missouri's oppressive summer heat has done little to help crops and pastures.

In its weekly update, the Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that supplies of topsoil and subsoil moisture were just 1 percent adequate — with the 1 percent due to irrigation in southeastern Missouri.

Ninety-eight percent of pastures throughout Missouri were ranked in poor to very condition, and livestock producers are still coping with massive shortages of stock water.

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Agriculture
11:36 am
Fri August 10, 2012

My Farm Roots: "Little Miss Janice Ann Robinson and the Cow"

When Jan Phillips was a baby, her parents said they knew by her laughter in response to a cow-driven buggy ride that she would be adventurous. Seventy years later, she's still proving them right. This is her last year on a trip to Asia.
Courtesy Jan Phillips

Ninety years ago this May, my grandfather, Ronald Merle Phillips, and his twin brother, Robert Earl, were born on a farm near Chetopa, Kan. His twin died of influenza before their second birthday, but my grandpa is still alive and well. To celebrate that fact, 150 family and friends gathered at the community center in Parsons, Kan. last month.

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Agriculture
10:11 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Crate question looms over pork producers

Elite Pork Partnership keeps sows and piglets inside in facilities like this one Carroll, Iowa.
Sarah McCammon Harvest Public Media

Craig Rowles grew up on an Iowa farm, and like a lot of farm kids, he’s done his share of heavy lifting.

“I know what that means to carry feed in 5-gallon buckets through the mud and through the snow and through the heat,” he said. “And I understand what it takes to try to keep animals alive in those extreme kinds of temperatures.”

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Agriculture
9:42 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Ranchers battle suffocating drought

Nathan Pike was born on this land during the Dust Bowl, but he’s never seen it this dry. With little for his cattle to eat, he has been forced to liquidate most of his herd.
Frank Morris Harvest Public Media

It’s hot and dry out in western Kansas in a good year. South of Dodge City, the native grass is tough. So are the ranchers. But this year is not a good year.

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Agriculture
8:36 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Mo. approves 3,700 applications for well projects

Grant Gerlock Harvest Public Media

Gov. Jay Nixon says Missouri officials have approved more than 3,700 applications totaling $18.7 million to help drought-stricken farmers and ranchers get more water.

The emergency program provides for the state to pay 90 percent of the cost of drilling or deepening a well or expanding an irrigation system. The state's match is capped at $20,000 per project.

Nixon announced the program in late June. Monday was the deadline for farmers and livestock producers to apply.

1:35 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

57 days till the Farm Bill Expires and "The uncertainty is mind boggling."

Lead in text: 
So says Brent Boydston, vice president of the Colorado Farm Bureau. Congress takes a 5-week break and meanwhile, the clock ticks down on the Farm Bill. It's Day 57 and our colleagues at Harvest Public Media are on the watch:
The farm bill is stuck. It's set to expire on Sept. 30, but Congress can't get new legislation on track. The U.S. Senate passed its version () of the farm bill in June, but the House has yet to take up the legislation.
Conservation
8:53 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Drought affects Mo. elk herd

A juvenile elk - one of the first to be held in Missouri.
Missouri Department of Conservation

Drought and stressful moving conditions are killing off some reintroduced elk in the Missouri Ozarks.

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Conservation
8:48 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Mo. agency to hold meetings on deer disease

dishfunctional Flickr

Officials have scheduled a series of open houses in north-central Missouri to discuss a disease that's fatal to deer.

The Missouri Department of Conservation will hold six public meetings this month in towns near areas where chronic wasting disease has been found. The events will include presentations on the disease and actions that have been taken to prevent its spread.

Agriculture
6:58 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Drought forces some to rethink crop insurance

A parched corn field in Cass County, Illinois.
Adam Allington St. Louis Public Radio

Corn prices surged to a new record high on Monday, as the worst drought in more than 50 years continues to plague more than half the country.

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