Agriculture

Agriculture
4:57 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

With feral hogs the goal is control

A trapped feral hog huffs and puffs inside a corral near Piedmont, Mo. Conservation agents had been baiting this site for one week to lure the pig into the trap.
Credit Jacob McCleland / Harvest Public Media

 

Feral hogs are a big, expensive problem. The prolific procreators are responsible for $1.5 billion in damages and prevention each year —$800 million in damages to agriculture alone from destroying land and rooting up crops,according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Read more
Agriculture
4:42 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Farm Progress visitors worry about weather

isitors stroll through exhibits at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill.
Credit Bill Wheelhouse / Harvest Public Media

Hot weather has been greeting visitors to this year’s Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois, one of the country’s largest agriculture trade shows.

Read more
Agriculture
11:39 am
Wed August 28, 2013

My Farm Roots: Hardwired for hard work

Amy Konishi has lived in Fort Collins, Colo., her entire life. In the 1980s, a local newspaper profiled her and her husband’s long connection to the area. (Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media)

This is an installment of the 2013 edition of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. Click here to explore more My Farm Roots stories and to share your own.

Amy Konishi says when her obituary is written it’ll read, “All she knew was work.”

Read more
Agriculture
12:00 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Environmental group says drought losses avoidable

Farmer and rancher Gabe Brown in North Dakota cups a spade of his healthy soil.
Credit Credit Chad Sawyer/The SAWYER Agency (Courtesy of NRDC)

Farmers across the country received more than $17 billion in federal crop insurance payouts after last year’s drought. A report released on Tuesday by an environmental group blames farmers for not doing enough to shield the soil against the heat. 

Read more
Agriculture
9:39 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Scientists detect high levels of nitrogen in Midwest waterways

Joe Schatz, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, cranks up a sample of Missouri River water near Hermann, Mo.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

This spring and summer, U.S. Geological Survey scientists waded into 100 Midwest streams to test for hundreds of chemicals used in farming, including nutrients, pesticides like atrazine and glyphosate, and livestock hormones. The results from the study are trickling in. But preliminary findings indicate that from May through early July, 21 percent of the region’s streams contained very high levels of nitrogen in the form of nitrates.

Read more
Agriculture
4:45 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Test burn on grass for fuel program raises issues

Credit Wes Agresta / Argonne National Laboratory

A project to use a giant grass for a biofuel is back on the drawing board after several problems arose during a test burn.

Read more
Agriculture
5:35 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Farmers look to do more with less water

Tom Trout, a researcher at the U.S. Department of Agriculture who focuses on efficient and effective irrigation methods, checks sunflowers on a USDA research plot in Weld County, Colo.
Credit Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

The future of agriculture across the Great Plains hinges on water. Without it, nothing can grow.

Read more
Health & Wealth Update
11:10 am
Wed August 21, 2013

My Farm Roots: Wings

Kelly Hagler left her family’s farm in northwest Missouri for the bright lights of Chicago, but her family and the farm are never far from her thoughts. (Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media)

This is an installment of the 2013 edition of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. Click here to explore more My Farm Roots stories and to share your own.

Kelly Hagler, 25, is among the millions of young people who have left rural communities for the bright lights of the city, in this case Chicago.

But Hagler has not left completely.

Here’s what she told us last year when we asked people to share their “My Farm Roots” stories through the Harvest Network:

“The drought and fear of not making contract yields, mixed with the pressure of new house expenses, is aging my already Old Man,” she wrote. “It's also so strange to be detached from them. It's something that few other non-farming families have to deal with: The guilt of leaving behind older parents to work the farm, all because you're trying to make your own living where more opportunities exist.”

Read more
Agriculture
3:49 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Midwestern Farmland Values Continue To Rise

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 3:22 pm

Even though farm income only saw a slight increase between the second quarters of 2012 and 2013, there continued to be a rapid rise in the value of farmland, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which surveyed agricultural banks in parts of seven Midwestern states, including Missouri and Illinois. 

Kevin Kliesen, business economist and research officer with the Fed in St. Louis, says there’s anecdotal reports that some of the money is coming from big, institutional, including foreign, investors.

Read more
Agriculture
10:52 am
Mon August 19, 2013

State fairs: A summer tradition

The Missouri State Fair has everything from carnival rides to a mule show.

It’s August. The days are growing shorter, fall is approaching, but summer isn’t done just yet. All over the country folks are flocking to that ultimate summer tradition: the state fair.

Carnival rides and games, meat on a stick, livestock competitions – the Midwest does state fairs up right. And for many, summer in the Midwest isn't complete without a trip to the state fair. For others, a virtual visit will have to do.

Read more
Agriculture
7:35 am
Mon August 19, 2013

MU Extension warns of danger to crops

Credit USDA

The University of Missouri Extension is warning that recent wet weather increases the chances of diseases developing in corn and soybeans.

Agronomy specialist Jill Scheidt says rain carries funguses in the air, making it easier for the funguses to spread. She says diseases like rust, gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight, brown spot, crazy top and stalk and ear rots develop best in wet and humid conditions.

Read more
Agriculture
6:04 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Field Notes: Howard Buffett on organic and biological farming

Howard Buffett stands in front of a lab being built on his research farm in southeastern Arizona
Credit Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

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

A Midwestern farmer with a well-known last name has set out to fight hunger on a global scale. 

Read more
Agriculture
8:08 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Blunt, Hartzler call for new farm bill

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt spoke to an assembly of politicians and fair-goers at the annual Governor's Ham Breakfast, Missouri State Fair, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013.
Credit Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

Two Republican members of Missouri's Congressional delegation were at the State Fair Thursday, calling on Congress to pass a new federal farm bill, instead of extending the farm bill passed in 2008 by another year.  U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and Congressmember Vicky Hartzler told Missouri Farm Bureau members and the media that the hold-up centers on how much money to spend on food stamps.  The GOP-led U.S. House voted to cut the food stamp program, now known as SNAP, by $20 billion.  The Democratic-controlled U.S.

Read more
Agriculture
5:18 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Farmers battle thistle invading crops, pasture

Thistles have been popping up mainly in pasture land used for cattle grazing, but they also appear in fields with crops.
Jennifer Davidson KSMU

Last fall, after the drought had killed off most of the competition, a certain weed took advantage of the opportunity to germinate and flourish. And now, the thistle is hurting productivity on many Missouri farms.

Read more
Agriculture
5:06 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

No summer siesta for school gardens

At a farmer's market in Lawrence, Kan., science teacher Perry Kennard and student Claire Yackley sell produce from Southwest Middle School’s garden.
Payne Roberts Harvest Public Media

School gardens offer educators a chance to teach students about math and science through the hands-on experience of growing fruits and vegetables. But as these educational projects grow in popularity, they present unique challenges to teachers and communities — particularly in the summer.

Read more
Health & Wealth Update
3:18 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

A postcard from the Missouri State Fair

Marlys Peck and her family have sold corn dogs on under this tree at the Missouri State Fair since 1972. At the time, the dogs cost 50 cents, Marlys's father Earl said.
Credit Harum Helmy / KBIA News

This week for the show, I went to the Missouri State Fair and all you’re getting is this audio postcard.

First, I talked to Marlys Peck, who, along with her family, has been selling corn dogs at the fair for more than 41 years. Every year, Peck and her parents spend the state-fair week under the same tree near the historic Womens Building. 

Read more
Agriculture
2:36 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Legislators not giving up hope for farm bill

Credit /

With Congress in its August recess, the farm bill is stalled and many are pessimistic about getting a new bill passed before the current extension expires on Sept. 30. Still, farm country legislators aren’t exactly giving up hope.

Republican Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock was asked about the farm bill at a town hall style meeting in in his district this week.
He said that he thinks the most likely outcome is that the House will pass a “food stamp bill,” to go along with a agriculture portion it passed in June. That could put the farm bill back on track.

Read more
Intersection
5:04 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Mo. State Fair Director responds to rodeo clown incident

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

Read more
Agriculture
6:20 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Vilsack Says Immigration Reform Critical For Agriculture

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 2:54 pm

Comprehensive immigration reform is critical to sustaining the Midwest’s role as a global leader in agriculture.

That’s the message from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Vilsack told St. Louis Public Radio today that moving forward with the immigration reform plan recently passed by the U.S. Senate is key to retaining international talent that comes to this country to study in the plant sciences.

Read more
Agriculture
11:57 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Field Notes: Allan Savory makes case for holistic grazing

Allan Savory, known as the godfather of holistic grazing, pitched his ideas at the Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colo., recently.
Credit Luke Runyon/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 Luke Runyon spoke with Allan Savory, an activist and environmentalist who created a grazing practice known as “holistic management.”

Read more
Agriculture
8:00 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Field to tap: The impact of farm runoff on drinking water

Water treatment plant operator Fred Omer gets ready to do an iron test on water samples at the Clarence Cannon Wholesale Water Commission in Stoutsville, Mo.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

It doesn’t come as a major surprise that agricultural runoff is doing more harm than good to the environment. Agriculture is the nation’s leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Storms move pesticides, nutrients and sediment from farmers’ fields to nearby waterways. These will ultimately end up in the Gulf of Mexico where they can threaten aquatic life.

Read more
Agriculture
7:00 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Young dreams, huge obstacles

Eva Teague, 31, is trying to start her own pig farm but is having trouble breaking in to the business.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

While the farming community continues to age fewer young people are filling the ranks, prompting the question: Do young people even want to farm anymore?

The quick answer is yes, just not in the same numbers as they used to. And surveys indicate many of them don’t want to farm in conventional ways.

Read more
Agriculture
7:00 am
Thu August 8, 2013

A civic lesson for rural towns

Pittsfield, Ill., is dealing with an aging population and what that means for the social fabric of the rural community.
Creative Commons

It’s hard not to use the phrase “quintessential small town” when you describe Pittsfield, Ill. 

The western Illinois community of 4,500 people has a picturesque downtown square with an historic courthouse sitting in the center.  The small city is the county seat of Pike County and for many years has called itself the Pork Capital of the World in homage to an important sector of farming in this region.   Every year the town holds a two day festival known as “Pig Days,” which, true to its name, features pig tail and hog calling contests.

Read more
Agriculture
12:03 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Turmoil in farm transitions

Farm succession plans can strain family relationships. Devan Green rents his family’s farmland and has to answer to family shareholders.
Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Driving out of the western Iowa town of Panora, the winding roads offer broad vistas of rolling hills. Many of the mailboxes along Redwood Road show the name Arganbright. Jim Arganbright grew up in this area, one of 10 children. He and his wife, Beverly, have eight kids.

Though Jim Arganbright farmed here his whole life, three years ago at the age of 80 he started renting his cropland to his son Tom, the only one of his children who farms full-time. Now, all Jim Arganbright has to worry about is the livestock — and he doesn’t have too much of that.

Read more
Agriculture
11:43 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Retirement? Not on the farm

The Hawthorn farm has been in the family for four generations since it was founded in the late 1870s by Bob Hawthorn’s great-grandfather who went by the name “Trapper.”
Ray Meints for NET News

Working beyond retirement is a fairly common refrain these days. In 2012, 5 percent of the U.S. workforce was beyond retirement age. But farmers seem to work longer than most. In the last Agriculture Census 25 percent of all farm operators were over 65 years old.

Why do farmers keep working? For one thing, modern machinery makes it easier to work longer.

“It’s more you use your mind rather than your back, so you can go longer,” said Mike Duffy, an agricultural economist at Iowa State University.

Read more
Agriculture
4:31 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

New gluten-free standard will help those with celiac disease

A gluten-free brownie mix.
Credit Courtesy of glutenfreewilltravel.com

Try walking down a grocery aisle or opening a restaurant menu without stumbling upon foods with claims that they’re “gluten-free.”

Up until now, you basically had to take the manufacturer or chef at their word. There was no widely accepted definition of what makes a food “gluten-free.”

That changed last week when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its new standard for food producers that want to label their goods as being without gluten.

Read more
Agriculture
3:53 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Missouri State University's beef now sold at specialty meat store

Credit File Photo / KBIA

Springfield-area residents can now dine on beef raised at Missouri State University's cattle ranch.

The meat from the school's 3,300-acre working cattle ranch went on sale Friday at a specialty meats store in Springfield.

Missouri State President Clif Smart says the move is intended to help students understand the retail side of animal production.

Read more
Agriculture
10:14 am
Mon August 5, 2013

WTO ruling could boost US chicken exports

Last year, the US poultry industry exported a record 8.1 billion pounds of chicken, including chicken feet, which are considered a delicacy in China.
Credit Credit: DanBruell/Flickr

The nation’s poultry industry exported a record 8.1 billion pounds of chicken last year, according to the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council. But a recent decision from the World Trade Organization in the latest skirmish between the US and China could drive up that number dramatically. It’s the latest volley in the export battle between the world’s top two economic superpowers.

Read more
Agriculture
9:48 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Going on a picnic? Pack the refrigerator pickles and slaw

Mike Odette, chef and co-owner of Sycamore Restaurant, finds beets and turnips that will make tasty refrigerator pickles at the Columbia, Mo. farmers market.
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Most Saturdays, Chef Mike Odette, who is co-owner of Sycamore Restaurant in Columbia, Mo., is talking to farmers and customers at the farmers market and searching for food to work into his next menu. Odette makes a point of getting the best local, seasonal food that he can for Sycamore, which is one of the most popular restaurants in town. But today, his mission is a little different.

“We're looking for some veggies that would make good slaw to take on a picnic, and some veggies that would make good refrigerator pickles,” he says.

Read more
Agriculture
5:17 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

How secure is the Fort Knox of seeds?

Dave Dierig, research leader at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, stands among the ceiling-high shelves that hold the 600,000 seed packets in this cold storage vault.
Credit Grace Hood / KUNC

When unapproved genetically modified wheat was found growing in Oregon earlier this year, it didn’t take long for accusations about how it ended up there to start flying. A flurry of initial finger-pointing cast potential blame on a federal seed vault in Fort Collins, Colo., which housed the same strain of wheat, developed by Monsanto Corp., for about seven years up until late 2011.

Read more

Pages