Farm service assesses impact of heat wave

Jun 26, 2012
Kecko / Flickr

The Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency is beginning an assessment of damages inflicted upon Missouri livestock and crops by recent high temperatures across the state.

Is the agriculture industry being bullied?

Jun 13, 2012
Sandhya Dirks / Harvest Public Media

There is a culture war raging in the heartland. It’s not about abortion or religion or gay marriage, it’s about how food is produced in this country.

As in any war, language is playing a big role. Take, for instance, the way Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad defended the beef product that came to be known as “pink slime.”

“It’s just tragic that people use smear language against products,” Branstad said. “We would never let people smear somebody because of who/what they look like, or their race, or their religion.”

Farmers and environmentalists faced off at a hearing today in Jefferson City over a water project on the Missouri River west of Boonville.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to build a new chute at Jameson Island designed to protect the pallid sturgeon and other native fish species.  Building it would involve dredging along the Missouri River, and the Corps wants to dump the sediment back into the river.  The move is strongly opposed by farm interests.  Dale Ludwig with the Missouri Soybean Association says up to a million cubic yards of sediment could be dumped into the Missouri River.


Wes and Simone Sorenson pledged to donate their house and the 400 acre farm it sits on 10 years ago, but the University wouldn’t take ownership until after they had died. Wes died in May, and now the University is discussing how to best use the land.

In late May, thieves stole thirteen cows from a Walnut Grove, Missouri farm. Rural Greene County in southwest Missouri has reported at least four cattle rustling cases with more than 100 missing cows this year. Kelly Smith is marketing and commodities director of the Missouri Farm Bureau. She says cattle rustling is a problem that has recently resurfaced: "It kind of peaked itself out probably in 2008 and 9, went away and has come back again. Where we see cattle rustling take place, typically is Southwest Missouri, where we see it happen a lot.”

Better breeding through cow genetics

Jun 6, 2012

For cattle breeders, buying a new bull or cow can be a risk—its offspring will bring home the profit. Jared Decker, a phD student in genetics at the University of Missouri, thinks he’s found a way to manage some of that risk through the manipulation of cow genetics.

lake of the ozarks
bsabarnowl / flickr

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved Ameren Missouri's plan to reduce the land it owns and manages along the shore of the Lake of the Ozarks.

Missouri conservation officials are holding a public meeting Saturday to discuss a disease affecting deer in the northern part of the state.

Calm before the corn

May 30, 2012
Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

Corn has been good to farmers. Helping fuel a boom in the ag sector. And as this year’s record corn forecast indicates, Midwestern farmers can’t seem to plant enough of the grain. Even with concerns growing about the effectiveness of today’s high-tech genetically engineered seeds, farmers aren’t backing down.

Kathleen Masterson / Harvest Public Media

Sioux County, in northwest Iowa, is known for its Dutch pastries. The landscape is dotted with Lutheran and reform churches.  But today, Catholic churches and tortillerias are creeping into the landscape — signs of the new residents joining this vibrant community.

In Sioux County, as in a scattering of communities across the Midwest, Hispanic immigrants are working in meat processing plants, dairies, egg-laying facilities and hog barns. In fact, the majority of U.S. farm laborers today were born outside the U.S.

A most unusual planting season

May 16, 2012
Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

On this bright spring morning at Blackbird Bend, along the Missouri River, the scene is a little odd.  A 24-row corn planter is brushing over the tops of a stunning winter wheat crop, 12 inches high.

Missouri National Guard agribusiness team returns home

Apr 27, 2012

Agribusiness Development Team Five has returned home, after an 11-month tour in Afghanistan. The Missouri National Guard team was tasked with helping was improve agricultural practices in Afghanistan.

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.

There's a Missouri bill moving through the statehouse that essentially would lock in the legality of current animal production methods in the state. 

More corn production this year

Mar 30, 2012
jungmoon / flickr

Farmers intend to plant 96 million acres of corn this year, according to a new study by the National Agricultural Statistic Service, or NASS. That’s a 4 percent increase over last year, and the most land dedicated to corn since 1937. Here are the factors for this year's record amount of corn production.

Kansas City District / flickr

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit by more than 140 southeast Missouri farmers over damage caused by last year's intentional breach of a levee at the height of spring flooding.

With ground beef selling for record prices, you might think cattle ranchers are raking in the profits.

While only 2 or 3 percent of people in the U.S. are vegetarians, more than 40 percent of Americans age 18-29 choose to eat meatless once a week, according to market research firm Innova Insights.

Harum Helmy / KBIA

How do consumers make decisions about what they consume? And, how are the various stakeholders attempting to shape those thoughts about food? Host Reuben Stern spoke with four experts with diverse views about the messages and motives behind these controversies in this special Intersection event, 

Harum Helmy / KBIA

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.

Repeat of last year's flooding unlikely

Mar 16, 2012
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Missouri experienced record flooding last year along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. But this year, experts say water levels are likely to return to normal.                

Columbia is considering fixing up some of the city’s major street problems. Due to this year’s mild winter, Columbia has 400 thousand dollars leftover from its snow-removal budget.

New bus service to farmers market

Mar 8, 2012

Columbia residents who want to buy local fruits and vegetables, but have trouble getting to the farmers market will be able to get there more easily by bus starting next month, thanks to a new USDA grant.

When it comes to food, it’s often hard to know what’s fact, fiction, or exaggeration. Join KBIA and Harvest Public Media for Digest This: a public discussion looking at the messages behind how our food is produced. Experts will examine the arguments -- and emotions -- that go into our food choices, and consider what’s at stake.

Maybe you’ve noticed that the price of beef is going up, rather dramatically. No matter what supermarket aisle you’re in, don’t look for relief from any time soon.

Portions of I-70 to be resurfaced in Boone County

Mar 1, 2012

Portions of I-70 in Boone and Callaway Counties will be resurfaced this year following the award of a construction contract by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission at a meeting today.


 Missouri lawmakers have rejected a plan that would have increased property taxes on the state's best farmland.

Property taxes for farms are based on the land's "productive value." Farms are divided into eight categories based on land quality. The State Tax Commission recommended increasing productive values for the four highest grades.

The Senate voted 19-8 on Thursday to reject the proposal. The property tax changes were for 2013 and 2014.

Kecko / Flickr

In 2011, Missouri experienced its worst drought season since the 1950s, causing a shortage of grains and lowering the quality of feed for livestock.

Jessica Naudziunas / Harvest Public Media

Scientists researching complex topics often come up empty-handed when it comes time to explain their findings. It’s hard to distill years of intricate, complex research into tiny bytes a layman can understand.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

It’s been eight months since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released massive amounts of reservoir water from locations north of the Missouri River. Those reservoirs were filled to the brim with historic rainwater and melted snow that accumulated over a long winter of inclement weather across the Midwest.

Most of that released water poured over valuable farmland and residential areas in northwest Missouri. The resulting financial and family devastation has opened up a huge Missouri-style feud that will likely last as long as it will take the flooded land to return to normal.