Agriculture

Dan Verbeck / KCUR Public Radio

By Jeremy Bernfeld (Harvest Public Media)

State investigators are still investigating the cause of the explosion at a grain elevator in Atchinson, KS, which killed six people Oct. 29.

Bigstock image

By Kathleen Masterson (Harvest Public Media)

Politicians aren't the only ones taking aim at farm subsidies these days. Some public health groups and foodies say subsidies drive overproduction of corn and soybeans.  And that, they say, enables the production of cheap fast food.   

Tech. Sgt. Oscar Sanchez USDA / Flickr

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Monday that it’s changing its short-term approach to managing water levels on the Missouri River, following devastating flooding this summer in Missouri, Iowa and North Dakota. 

Allegedly, there's a tsunami washing up on American shores. It originates in Chinese beehives and the American beekeepers who've spotted it are hopping mad.

Three hundred more acres of Mark Twain National Forest in Salem have burned since last night, in a fire that has burned 5,000 acres since Tuesday afternoon.

For a lot of farm kids, "learning to drive" means learning to drive a tractor before ever driving a car.

Photo by Boris Mann (bmann) / Flickr.com

A free-range chicken isn’t a free-agent. It may only spend a portion of its day in the great outdoors. The rest of the time? Anywhere but a cage. Though, that information is not something you'll find spelled out for you on a package of chicken breast. On this week's Field Notes: really listening to what food labels say, or don't say.

On the surface, it's easy to dismiss this menu as a mere Halloween stunt: duck hearts, cow tongues, lamb kidneys, pig ears and even testicles.

But chef Daniel O'Brien, who runs the Seasonal Pantry supper club in Washington, D.C., and hosted a "Scary Bits" dinner this weekend, is one of a growing number of innovative American chefs who are incorporating "variety meats," or offal, into everyday menus.

Some of the rarest of all North American Bison have now arrived at their new home in north Missouri.

At the fourth in a series of public input sessions Thursday night in Jefferson City, farmers and representatives of lawmakers shared opinions and criticism on how the corps handled the historic flooding last May, June and July.

Consider the last time you ordered a salad at a restaurant. What, precisely, was in it? Chances are you'll remember the biggest, brightest ingredients, like the lettuce, the tomato, maybe the grilled chicken.

But will you remember the little bits — the nuts, berries or toppings? In an age when salads increasingly aspire to be confetti-like piles of artistic greatness, you'd be pardoned if you didn't take note every morsel.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture has awarded more than $1 million in grants to local agricultural businesses. The funding will help businesses conduct studies to find the best way to turn by-products into more valuable end-products.

Commuters on Northern California's I-80, which connects the Bay Area to Sacramento, saw something unexpected early this morning. Two rigs collided and about 5,000 chickens spilled onto the highway near Vacaville.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Missouri is home to almost 400 vineyards that employ thousands of agricultural workers who pick, crush and nurture grapes like the Norton, the official state grape. Around $60 million worth of Missouri wine is sold each year. Today on Field Notes, we ask an expert to taste a little of that wine.

Missouri inmates have a green thumb when it comes to growing fruits and vegetables.
By Laura Davidson (Columbia, Mo.)

Edward Todd / iStockphoto.com

How much you are willing to pay for your favorite sandwich? If it has peanut butter in it, you may soon be recalculating. A looming shortage of U.S. peanuts is causing the price of peanut butter to soar. Even if you're willing to pay more for peanut butter, you should know what's driving up the cost of this American staple food. Listen to this episode of Fields Notes for the answer.

Jessica Naudziunas / Harvest Public Media

Think of the most natural, pristine place you've ever visited. You might envision a national forest or state park. These locales provide a landscape of solace, peace and quiet. We relate to these getaways as pure, real nature that's managed to stay untouched through centuries of human intervention. Now imagine your favorite hiking path or placid lake as a construction of wildlife: an outdoors reality based on someone else's idea of an anti-urban, off-the-beaten-path wilderness. On this episode of Field Notes, we explore nature conservation with environmental journalist Emma Marris.

Jessica Naudziunas / Harvest Public Media

The US Department of Agriculture this week announced it will test for more deadly strains of E. coli in ground beef beginning March 2012.

Floods plagued Missouri farmers in 2011 – but now they are getting some relief.

By Matt Noonan (Columbia, Mo.)

The second warmest summer on record is coming to a close, but states like Texas and Kansas are still gripped by high temperatures and extremely low rainfall.

Jessica Naudziunas / Harvest Public Media

The second warmest summer on record is coming to a close, but states like Texas and Kansas are still gripped by high temperatures and extremely low rainfall. Now, the drought has spread north to southwestern Missouri where farmers in the parched Ozark foothills haven't seen real moisture since May.

A $20 thousand grant will be used in an effort to advance urban agriculture and healthy food systems in Columbia.By Mychaela Bruner  (Columbia, Mo.)

Jessica Naudziunas / Harvest Public Media

When it comes to selling produce, farmers have a few options. There are grocery stores, then there are farmers markets. In Kansas City, mobile markets are even cropping up. Check out that story, here. Now, we bring you barebones farmers on wheels. Road bikes are the preferred form of travel and mode of commerce for the operators of Quail Bone Farm in Columbia, Mo.

Jessica Naudziunas / Harvest Public Media

Farm Aid’s “Homegrown Village” is a sort of cheesy title for something that’s really simple, and from what I saw and heard, rare.

Farm Aid

Farm Aid, the music festival to benefit American family farmers, is in its 26th year. With this year’s concert scheduled for Aug. 13 in Kansas City, Kan., it’s a good time to review the event’s relevancy. What began as a response to a farm crisis has changed over time, but the goal is the same: Support farmers who are struggling.

Lauren Hasler

Thousand Cankers Disease could create a $850 million problem for the state of Missouri. MU’s John Faaborg uses tail feathers to track migrating birds on “Call of the Wild.”

Hosted By Rebecca Wolfson (Columbia, MO)

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