4:26 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

USDA: US corn yields to offset lesser acreage

Credit 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.

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8:10 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Climate change: short-term benefits, long-term worries for farmers

Climate change has contributed to record corn yields, but over the long term it's likely to have a negative impact on agriculture.
Credit 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.

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6:00 am
Fri February 28, 2014

USDA predicts low corn prices here to stay

The price of corn, the mainstay of Midwest agricultural production, is expected to remain low in the coming years.
Credit 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.

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6:00 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Field Notes: More younger farmers and Low corn prices

Farmers received some gloomy news from the US Department of Agriculture earlier this month -- that lower corn prices are here to stay.
Credit 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. 

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8:13 am
Mon January 13, 2014

USDA figures show Missouri farmers grew more corn and soybeans last year

Credit 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.

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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.

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8:51 am
Wed May 8, 2013

It's tough going right now for Missouri, Illinois corn growers

(via Flickr/Dodo-Bird)

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 7:54 am

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.

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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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Business Beat
12:35 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Feeding your neighbors and the world

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.

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3:11 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Drought spells tough times for US corn exporters

This 20-barge flotilla will be pushed by Ingram towboats from the Upper Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico before the corn and soybeans in the cover-top barges and the metallic ore and shredded rubber in the open barges will be exported overseas.
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.

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Business Beat
3:35 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Drought-resistant corn tested; unemployment in women, minorities

Corn is facing a tough test during this summer's drought, but a hybrid strain could help production output during waterless times.
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.

3:21 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Drought-resistant corn faces real-life test

Corn has had a tough time thriving in this summer's drought. A new hybrid strain might solve that problem.
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.

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8:16 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Isaac rains help soybeans in Midwest

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.

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Under the Microscope
6:14 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Livestock producers want less corn in your gas

Corn being unloaded from a truck will begin the process of converting to ethanol at the Lincoln Energy Plant in Iowa.
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.

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2:36 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

MU professor: grazing drought-damaged crops and pasture can harm livestock

A parched corn field in Cass County, Illinois.
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.

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5:29 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

USDA releases crops progress report

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.

9:25 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Farmers talk drought at MU field day

Irrigation waters a field of soybeans at Bradford Research Center outside Columbia, Mo. on August 12, 2012.
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.

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8:55 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Crops hurting in dry, hot weather

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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5:34 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Calm before the corn

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.

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PM Newscasts
5:18 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Newscast for March 30, 2012

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • A lawsuit between southeast Missouri farmers and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • A battery acid leak affecting Columbia Police Department and Joint Operations
  • Missouri Gaming Commission new rule regarding casino exclusion list
  • More corn planted this year since end of Great Depression
  • State Auditor Schweich releases report about misuse of federal funds
3:40 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

More corn production this year

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.

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Science, Health and Technology
9:00 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Scientists say pesticide not fending off corn rootworm

jungmoon Flickr

Insect scientists say biotech corn is losing its ability to fend off a major insect pest known as the corn rootworm.  The scientists say continued widespread use of genetically-modified corn will only make the problem worse.

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AM Newscasts
8:52 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Newscast for March 12, 2012

Researchers at the University of Missouri say they have developed a way to extend electric car battery life.
Adam Procter flickr

Regional news coverage from the KBIA News room, including:

  • Rick Santorum, victorious in Kansas, makes a stop in Missouri.
  • MU researchers develop new form of electric car battery.
  • Scientists worry about corn protection after learning a pesticide is failing to fend off the corn rootworm.
1:41 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

A new source of biomass

Corn stalks, leaves and cobs like these at the Kansas State Southwest Research and Extension Center in Garden City, Kan., can be harvested as biomass.
Eric Durban Harvest Public Media

Corn has been the engine behind the ethanol industry for years, and that food vs. fuel debate doesn't look to end anytime soon.  But as researchers work to unlock the biofuels potential in crop residue and other biomass, a refinery is being built in Kansas may help take the industry to another level.

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