Agriculture

Agriculture
10:18 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Gluten-free by popular demand

Eliminating certain foods from a diet can be risky, says Paula Vandelicht, a nutritionist at a Hy-Vee grocery store in Columbia, Mo. Among other things, she advises customers about the shortcomings of a gluten-free diet.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Six months ago, Kara Welter drastically changed her diet by eliminating food that contains wheat, rye or barley.

“I don’t eat gluten,” said Welter, a 41-year-old marketing executive in Kansas City. “I happened to just try it because I was having stomach issues for years. And it turns out within three days, I stopped having stomach issues.”

Welter’s gluten decision stemmed from what she read online. Medical tests showed that she did not have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, the disorder that causes the immune system to reject the gluten.

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Agriculture
4:17 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Field Notes: Using drones to capture a prairie burn in Missouri

Brendan Gibbons uses a drone to capture the controlled burn at Tucker Prairie near Kingdom City, Mo.
Scott Pham/KBIA

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.

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Agriculture
5:54 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Child labor bill could help kids on the farm

Credit File / KBIA

A proposed bill would change the child labor law requirements for Missouri children under the age of 16 who work on a family farm.

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Harvest Public Media
3:49 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Flames fuel prairie revival [video]

The size of Tucker Prairie has been slightly reduced since the construction of I-70; the area is 145 acres.
Brendan Gibbons KBIA

As a north wind rippled through the native grasses of Missouri’s Tucker Prairie on a sunny afternoon in April, the burn was about to begin.

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Agriculture
10:22 am
Thu April 4, 2013

MU gets USDA grant to help farmers build resilience to drought

MU researchers measure soil water infiltration.
Photo courtesy of Tim Reinbott.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will announce that it will fund a University of Missouri project focused on building drought resiliency through soil health.  

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Agriculture
5:16 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

GM animals; tax day for farmers

Over the last year or so, at least 20 states have introduced bills that would require labeling of genetically modified food. The common point of contention is the pervasiveness of grains that have had their DNA altered. But some of these proposed laws – including one in Missouri – take aim specifically at genetically engineered meat or fish. And that got Harvest Public Media’s Abbie Fentress Swanson wondering: How close are we to actually eating genetically engineered animals? What she found out might surprise you.

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Agriculture
10:36 am
Mon April 1, 2013

MU scientist plays key role in new GE salmon

The Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to approve AquAdvantage Atlantic salmon for the U.S. market.
Barrett & MacKay Photography Inc.

Kevin Wells has been genetically engineering animals for 24 years.

“It’s sort of like a jigsaw puzzle,” said Wells recently as he walked through his lab at the University of Missouri - Columbia. “You take DNA apart and put it back together in different orders, different orientations.”

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Agriculture
4:46 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Field Notes: The aftermath of a grain explosion

Bartlett Grain Co. rebuilt the greain elevator that exploded in 2011 in Atchison, Kan.
Jeremy Bernfeld/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.

Who knew storing grain could be so dangerous?

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Agriculture
9:48 am
Fri March 29, 2013

There's a burning problem at the Bridgeton Landfill - it stinks, but is it unsafe?

(Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 7:29 am

Things have been heating up at the Bridgeton Landfill, a few miles west of the St. Louis airport.

Whether you call it an underground fire, a smoldering event, or just a chemical reaction, it’s causing temperatures inside the landfill to reach well over 200 degrees.

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AM Newscasts
10:02 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Newscast for March 28, 2013

Regional news coverage from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

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Agriculture
6:02 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

When grain elevators explode

Zoe Bock’s son, Chad Roberts, was killed when the Bartlett grain elevator exploded in Oct. 2011. (Courtesy Todd Feeback/Kansas City Star)
Credit Courtesy Todd Feeback/Kansas City Star

When the Bartlett Grain Co. elevator exploded in Atchison, Kan., in October 2011, the town’s 11,000 residents knew it immediately. People who live miles away from the elevator still talk about pictures jumping off walls.

Chad Roberts, 20, was among six people killed in the explosion, one of the deadliest workplace accidents in the last decade. The victims also included elevator employees John Burke, Ryan Federinko and Curtis Field, as well as grain inspectors Travis Keihl and Darrek Klahr. Two others were injured.

Zoe Bock, Roberts’ mother, is still grieving.

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Agriculture
2:25 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Idle ethanol plants wait for new fuel standards

A semi rolls past NEDAK ethanol. The plant shut down when corn prices peaked during the summer of 2012 and new demand from E15 failed to materialize.
Grant Gerlock Harvest Public Media

Ethanol is an up and down industry, and right now it’s down. Ethanol plants in at least 13 states have stopped running over recent months because of higher corn prices and lower demand for the biofuel. The industry is trying to change the equation by putting more of the ethanol in gasoline. But as Grant Gerlock of Harvest Public Media reports, ethanol critics are pushing back.

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Agriculture
2:11 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

BIFAD meeting focuses on agriculture research in Missouri and abroad

University of Missouri faculty presented their agriculture research at the BIFAD meeting in Columbia, Mo.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) heard about University of Missouri (MU) research on Friday on subjects such as genetically-modified cassava, food contamination in the global supply chain and root biology in relation to drought. About three dozen professors, economists, students and scientists attended the public meeting at the university's Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute in Columbia, Mo.

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Agriculture
10:16 am
Mon March 18, 2013

GMO labeling laws on deck in the Midwest

Labels at Swiss Meat and Sausage Co. near Hermann, Mo., do not indicate if products contain genetically modified organisms.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Just south of Hermann, Mo., Swiss Meat and Sausage Co. processes 2 million pounds of meat a year -- everything from cattle to hogs to buffalo to elk.

And everything gets a label.

“No antibiotics added, raised without added hormones, all natural, minimally processed," Glenn Brandt, the production manager for Swiss Meat, reads from a hefty roll of hickory smoked beef sausage stickers.

What this label does not indicate, however, is whether or not the sausage contains genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

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Agriculture
9:38 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Ag officials search for Missouri century farms

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

Agriculture officials want to recognize more Missouri farms that have been in the same family for at least 100 years.

More than 8,000 century farms have been honored since Missouri began the program in 1976 as part of the nation's bicentennial celebration.

The University of Missouri Extension says farms that have been in the same family since December 31st, 1913, can receive the distinction. Applications must be postmarked by May 15th.

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Agriculture
3:29 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Field Notes: Missouri farmer lands starring role

Chris Chinn, of Clarence, Mo., was chosen as one of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance's 'Faces of Farmers and Ranchers.'
Photo courtesy of USFRA

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.

Missouri farmer Chris Chinn is taking on a high-profile role as one of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance’s “Faces of Farming and Ranching.” 

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Agriculture
2:00 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Why are there 50,000 snow geese in mid-Missouri?

Birds flock at the 4,400-acre Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area.
Sally French Missouri Drone Journalism Program

On Saturday as many as 50,000 snow geese congregated at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, a 4,400-acre wildlife refuge southwest of Columbia.

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Agriculture
8:20 am
Fri March 15, 2013

National group tackling global food problems meets today at MU

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton was appointed by President Obama to chair the Board of International Food and Agriculture Development in May 2011. The Board meets today on MU campus.
Credit Eric Staszczak / KBIA

An international group that presents research aimed at solving global agriculture issues, is meeting at The University of Missouri today. A public meeting of the Board of International Food and Agriculture Development, or BIFAD, gathers on MU’s campus to draw upon university research to help solve the world’s food problems.    

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Agriculture
2:58 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Mississippi Passes 'Anti-Bloomberg' Bill

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:11 pm

Mayor Mike and his public health edicts are having a rough ride.

On Monday, a state judge in Manhattan struck down New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's rule capping soda sizes. And lawmakers in Mississippi are taking the backlash against government regulation on food marketing one step further.

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Agriculture
5:01 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Snowfall and rain reduce drought's impact

New UM System President Tim Wolfe spoke with reporters on his first official day in charge.
File KBIA

Climatologists say recent rain and snowstorms are slowly easing the grip of the worst U.S. drought in decades. But the wet weather also is creating some potential headaches.

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Agriculture
4:47 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Gluten Goodbye: One-Third Of Americans Say They're Trying to Shun It

Michele Kelly, owner of Pure Knead bakery in Decatur, Ga., is one of many businesspeople catering to soaring demand for gluten-free baked goods.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 4:47 pm

Sure, we know that gluten-free is the Jennifer Lawrence of food trends. But we were still startled to hear that one-third of Americans say they're trying to avoid gluten. Really?

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Agriculture
9:09 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Health insurance unknowns loom for farmers as Affordable Care Act approaches

Marilyn Andersen, who raises angora goats and llamas for wool near Story City, Iowa, is one of many farmers and ranchers entering the individual health insurance marketplace.
Amy Mayer Harvest Public Media

Marilyn Andersen raises angora goats and llamas for wool that she spins and weaves in her studio at Two Cedars Weaving in Story City, Iowa. She also has a part-time job coordinating distribution of local produce through a service called Farm to Folk. Neither effort comes with health insurance.

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Agriculture
9:00 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Exploring our global food system at the Natural History Museum

“Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture,” on view now at the American Museum of Natural History, explores how our food is produced, distributed and eaten.
Mansoor Khan for Harvest Public Media

Can a watermelon be grown in the shape of a square? What do Olympic athletes like Michael Phelps eat for breakfast? Which island nation produces the most lamb in the world? Consumers interested in pulling back the curtain on our food system will get these and many other questions answered at “Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture.” The exhibition, on view now at the American Museum of Natural History, explores how our food is produced, distributed and eaten.

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Agriculture
8:30 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Mo. House OKs farming constitutional amendment

File Photo KBIA

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a measure that supporters say will help protect farmers.
The proposed state constitutional amendment would prohibit laws that limit what it calls modern farming and ranching practices unless they're passed by the Legislature. The measure would add that the right to engage in modern farming and ranching practices are "forever guaranteed."

House members endorsed the measure Wednesday. It needs another vote before moving to the state Senate. If it passes the Legislature, the amendment would go to a statewide vote.

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Agriculture
5:30 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Dairy settlement doesn't deliver reform

airy cows on a Missouri farm are fed early one December morning.
Credit Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

When a group of small farmers in the southeastern U.S. banded together to sue a powerful dairy cooperative a few years ago, many hoped that the case would bring big changes to the milk industry.

But the recent settlement of the case involving Kansas City-based Dairy Farmers of America Inc., resulted in little long-term reform, even as the farmers received some monetary damages.

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Agriculture
9:14 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Mo. Senate endorses bill letting kids work on farm

Children younger than 16 could avoid future federal regulation and continue to work on their parent's farm under a bill scheduled for a vote this week in Missouri's Senate.

In 2012, the federal government proposed rules that would have prevented children from doing certain agricultural work. The plans were scrapped after opposition from lawmakers, but Missouri's Senate is looking to pass a law just in case.

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Agriculture
6:24 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Seed science pushes toward higher yields

Researchers at DuPont Pioneer’s facility near Des Moines, Iowa, test these varieties of corn.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

At an open house at DuPont Pioneer’s Dallas Center Corn Research Center near Des Moines, Iowa, retired corn breeder Bill Ambrose marveled at the tools available today to do the job he did for nearly 40 years.

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Agriculture
6:10 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Generic seeds could have a short lifespan

Potted soybean plants line the tables in a research greenhouse at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Researchers are trying to understand the ways different genes control plant growth.
Grant Gerlock Harvest Public Media

The patent rights on the first genetically modified seeds expire next year, but it’s not clear how the introduction of “generic” seeds fits into the science and business of GM crops.

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Agriculture
5:54 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Winter storm could provide some short-term drought relief in Missouri

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:57 pm

The winter storm that dumped several inches of snow and ice across much of Missouri may bring some short-term relief to the state’s drought conditions.


Kelly Smith is Director of Marketing and Commodities for the Missouri Farm Bureau.  He says the winter storm arrived on the heels of recent rain events, helping saturate the soil.


“This snow is gonna slowly melt into the ground," Smith said.  "We will get some runoff from it in some areas because they got a 10 to 13-inch snow…we had areas in our state as high as 13, maybe even 15, inches up in north of (the) Kansas City area.”

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Agriculture
4:13 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

The seeds of genetic modification

Researchers at Monsanto chart the progression of a corn plant over 10 weeks: seed, immature plant, callus, early shoot, shoots, early rooting and advanced rooting. Monsanto fills growth chambers reflecting diverse climate conditions with myriad seed samples.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

The vast majority of the corn and soybeans in United States grow from seeds that have been genetically modified. The technology is barely 30 years old and the controversy surrounding it somewhat younger. But how did it even become possible?

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