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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.