corn

Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

Driving down a two-lane highway in rural Missouri, Matt Plenge squinted at a patch of gray clouds hanging low over his farm fields in the distance.

“Does it look hazy up there?” he asked. “We only had a 20 percent chance today. We shouldn't get any rain.”


Under the Microscope: Record-Breaking Spring Storms could be the New Normal

Jul 2, 2015
Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

 Driving down a two-lane highway in rural Missouri, Matt Plenge squinted at a patch of gray clouds hanging low over his farm fields in the distance.

“Does it look hazy up there?” he asked. “We only had a 20 percent chance today. We shouldn't get any rain.”

Plenge, like most farmers, always keeps one eye on the weather. But this spring, it’s been his primary and constant concern.

 


BerntRostad / Flickr

  Missouri farmers averaged less than a day of fieldwork last week because of above-average rainfall that has caused corn and soybean planting to lag behind.

Amy Mayer

It’s planting time for Midwest farmers and much of the corn they grow will end up feeding livestock in China, which has become a huge importer of grain from the Corn Belt. That means the farmers can’t just select seeds based on which ones will get the best yield. They have to think about where their grain will be sold.

China has its own rules for the kind of crops it wants and when American farmers don’t comply, China can close off its market.

In 2013, China discovered in U.S. corn a genetically engineered trait that, although permitted in the U.S., had not yet been approved in China. Chinese regulators rejected American corn because some of it contained the trait.

“When you hear China has banned all US corn,” said Ward Graham, a farmer in South-Central Iowa, “a person in my position? That’s not good.”


CraneStation / Flickr

  On this week's Under the Microscope, scientists have noticed a change in the atmosphere.

cornfield
bionicteaching / Flickr

Scientists have noticed a change in the atmosphere. Plants are taking in more carbon dioxide during the growing season and giving off more carbon in the fall and winter. Recent research shows the massive corn crop in the Corn Belt may be contributing to that deeper breath.

dok1 / Flickr

To support a growing population, farmers worldwide need to emphasize the sustainable growth of three major foods: corn, wheat and rice, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization

U.S. farmers are bringing in what’s expected to be a record-breaking harvest for both corn and soybeans. But all that productivity has a big financial downside: plunging prices that have many Midwest farmers hoping to merely break-even on this year’s crop.

bottlerocketprincess / Flickr

Can there be too much of a good thing?

When money is concerned probably not, but corn on the other hand is certainly a yes.

Fishhawk via Flickr

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Missouri farmers are on track to harvest record crops of corn and soybeans.

In an updated forecast Tuesday, the agency predicted Missouri's corn production this year will total 533 million bushels — the highest on record for the state and a 22 percent increase from last year.

Yields are now forecast at 160 bushels of corn per acre. The USDA said that would be the highest since 2004, when Missouri producers averaged 162 bushels per acre.

Rastoney/Flickr

The nation's corn and soybean farmers are on track to produce record crops this year as a mild summer has provided optimum growing conditions.

Photo courtesy Andy Trupin

Corn farmers in southeast Missouri are expecting high yields — but low profits.

bottlerocketprincess / Flickr

A government report says the nation's corn growers should have banner production this year despite lesser acreage devoted to the grain. But corn prices later in the year may suffer a bit.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its first World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report of the year.

The report estimates that corn producers will harvest 165.3 bushels of corn per acre, up 6.5 bushels from the previous year. Corn acreage is expected to slip to 91.7 million acres, from 95.4 million acres.

field
Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

The White House’s new climate change report predicts threats to agriculture, including severe weather, more pests and greater demands for water and energy.

dok1/Flickr

The days of record high corn prices are gone, at least for now, and they’re only going to continue their decline, according to projections released earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (PDF)

You can pin part of the blame on the 2012 drought, when corn hit an all-time high of $8.31 per bushel. The dry conditions made corn a limited commodity.

Farmers received some gloomy news from the US Department of Agriculture earlier this month -- that lower corn prices are here to stay.
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which we talk about important issues related to food production. 

Farmers received some gloomy news from the US Department of Agriculture earlier this month. As Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon reports in this week's Field Notes, the USDA is predicting that lower corn prices are here to stay. 

Photo courtesy Andy Trupin

Missouri farmers appear to have grown more corn and soybeans last year than in 2012.

Figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show Missouri farmers produced an estimated 435 million bushels of corn last year, up 76 percent from 2012. Soybean production rose 25 percent to an estimated 197 million bushels.

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.

Farmers in Missouri, Illinois and much of the Midwest are having a tough time getting their corn planted.

The US Department of Agriculture says in Illinois just 7 percent of the corn crop is in the ground; while in Missouri it’s 22 percent.

Usually, nearly half of the nation’s corn has been planted by this time.

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?

Now that it’s Thanksgiving, the eating season has begun. Coming up we’ll take a look at how the U.S. helps feed the world, but first, let’s take a look in our own back yard. The local food banks, pantries, shelters and soup kitchens have picked up in business. KBIA’s Ben Mahnken reports that volunteerism and donations are up this year.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

While the U.S. remains the world’s biggest supplier of corn, American farmers will lose a portion of the global corn market this year.

The Midwest drought devastated the normally robust corn harvest, which has led to higher corn prices and plummeting corn stocks. In a normal year, the U.S. exports more than 1 billion bushels of corn to markets worldwide, but with low domestic supply it’s a tough year for corn exporters – the USDA predicts U.S. corn exports will be at a 40-year low this year.

CraneStation / Flickr

Growing across the Midwest is a strain of hybrid corn that should perform well under the driest conditions. Harvest Public Media’s Rick Fredericksen says this summer’s parched farmland is providing an ideal test.

Drought-resistant corn faces real-life test

Sep 12, 2012
cornfield
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.

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.

Todd Post / Bread for the World

Livestock producers are watching their feed costs rise with corn prices and taking their concerns to Washington D.C. The Environmental Protection Agency is under pressure from livestock groups and some rural lawmakers to curb corn prices and ease livestock producer worries by suspending the federal ethanol mandate.

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.

USDA releases crops progress report

Jul 31, 2012
CraneStation / Flickr

According to the USDA's crops progress report, which was released on Monday, in Missouri, 83 percent of the corn acreage and 72 percent of soybeans are in very poor or poor condition. Both figures are the worst for any major agricultural state. Optimism for a good corn yield is dwindling, but Southeast Missouri State University’s Michael Aide says there is still hope for soybeans.

Farmers talk drought at MU field day

Jul 13, 2012
drought farm field soybeans
Camille Phillips / Harvest Public Media

Missouri is in the midst of the worst drought since 1988 – that was the buzz on the MU campus yesterday, as more than 200 farmers and researchers gathered for the annual Pest Management Field Day. Although they came to learn about the latest research on pesticides and herbicides, conversation frequently turned to the bone-dry conditions on Missouri's farms.

molamoni / Flickr

High heat and a lack of rain have taken a big toll on Missouri corn and soybean crops, with nearly half of both reported in poor to very poor condition.

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