6:00 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Field Notes: Antibiotics in meat and why Congress can't pass a farm bill

Leaders of the committee working on the farm bill announced they don't expect to pass a bill before they leave Washington for the year.
Credit andrewmalone/Flickr

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

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10:15 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Increasingly, Holstein beef is what’s for dinner

A registered Holstein at Brandt Dairy in Linn, Mo.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

This blog is part of ongoing coverage from Harvest Public Media, a public radio reporting project in the Midwest that focuses on important issues related to food production and agriculture.

When I dig into a burger, I might think about how the cow the beef came from was raised -- whether it was grass or grain fed, locally raised or imported -- but rarely do I consider what breed of cow the meat came from.

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Science, Health and Technology
8:13 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Researcher tests heating system at Mo. turkey farm

A researcher is testing a geothermal heating system at a turkey farm in central Missouri that could help trim utility costs.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that an engineering professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia is trying out the system, which uses the soil to regulate the temperature of water flowing through buried pipes. The water then transfers the warmth from the ground into the barn.

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12:47 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Boonville livestock auction barn to re-open next week

File Photo KBIA

Boonville’s livestock auction barn will re-open as the Missouri Valley Commission Company Tuesday, Oct. 23, under new ownership.

Jon Angell of Centralia owns the soon-to-be opened auction farm with his brother, Justin, and business partner, Mike VanMaanen.  Angell said with the previous owner, the company sold up to 60,000 head of cattle a year.

“There’s quite a need in this area to have a local barn for the cattlemen and farmers of the area to sell their livestock,” Angell said.

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5:50 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Here's the short story on cow tails

Scott Poock, veterinarian for the University of Missouri Extension, demonstrates an alternative to cow tail docking at Foremost Dairy: trimming the switch off of a cow's tail.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Many people who haven’t stepped foot on a dairy might think milking a cow is a sort of Emersonian back-to-the land moment, where a milker bonds with his or her cow while communing with nature. Just milk her for a while and voilà: fresh, creamy milk. But the truth is, milking can be a very dirty job.

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Business Beat
4:44 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Higher percentage: ethanol in gas, hogs sent to market

Some U.S. gas pumps feature gas with 15 percent ethanol in the gas.
File Photo KBIA

There’s a new kind of gas on the market, with more ethanol in it than the gas we usually put in our cars. That’s beneficial for corn farmers who grow the corn that ethanol is made from and want more of it in your gas. But while the ethanol industry fought for years to bring this fuel to the market, now that they’ve won… good luck finding it. Even in Corn Country, pickings are slim.

1:29 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Help us map out the drought in the Midwest

The nation’s worst drought in decades moved Harvest Public Media to look at how the drought is affecting livestock producers just starting out in the business.
Map by Abbie Fentress Swanson (Harvest Public Media). Data submitted by farmers and livestock producers through the Public Insight Network.

Parts of the Midwest got a reprieve from the drought this week, according to the latest US Drought Monitor report released on Thursday. The report found that last weekend’s cold front brought up to five inches of rain to southeastern Missouri, eastern Illinois and central Indiana.

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3:05 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Drought could edge livestock producers out of business

Alfred Brandt says he will have to pay $100,000 in out-of-pocket feed costs to get his 150 Holstein cows fed through next spring.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Brandt Dairy sits on Swan Creek at the end of a meandering gravel road in Linn, Missouri. The farm is bucolic with its twin silos, red barn and black-and-white Holstein cows. But the brown pastures, dry river bed and burnt corn fields are a reminder that there have been less than two inches of rain here in the last two months.

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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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9:42 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Ranchers battle suffocating drought

Nathan Pike was born on this land during the Dust Bowl, but he’s never seen it this dry. With little for his cattle to eat, he has been forced to liquidate most of his herd.
Frank Morris Harvest Public Media

It’s hot and dry out in western Kansas in a good year. South of Dodge City, the native grass is tough. So are the ranchers. But this year is not a good year.

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8:50 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Livestock farmers seek safety net, while Washington politics delay aid

Peggy Lowe Harvest Public Media

Farmers growing crops have insurance to ward off the financial failure of their season during this terrible drought. But there’s no safety net like that in place for livestock producers. And any emergency aid is tied up in Washington politics.

The rock and the hard place where Stacey McCallister now sits looks like this:

Rock: McCallister’s herd of 200 dairy cattle in south central Missouri have feed for about the next 60 days.

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6:08 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Nixon seeks to allow Mo. farmers to graze animals

KBIA File Photo

Gov. Jay Nixon is urging Missouri soil and water districts to allow farmers to briefly graze their animals on livestock exclusion areas.

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4:23 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Missouri still dealing with last year's drought

Kecko Flickr

In 2011, Missouri experienced its worst drought season since the 1950s, causing a shortage of grains and lowering the quality of feed for livestock.

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7:12 am
Thu January 19, 2012

FDA challenging the use of antibiotics in animals

Cows on Sally Angell's farm in Missouri eat feed without antibiotics.
Jessica Naudziunas Harvest Public Media

The Food and Drug Administration is publishing an order this month that limits the way farmers can use certain antibiotics to treat animals, and eggs.

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