pesticides

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

In an effort to turn away from chemical pesticides, which have the potential to damage the environment, some farmers are looking in a new direction in the age-old, quiet struggle on farm fields of farmers versus pests. They’re warding off intruding insects and noxious weeds with bugs and chickens. Gary Wenig and his wife bought 40 acres in central Missouri to grow organic vegetables. The land was full of weeds and insects, he says, and going organic meant the Wenigs couldn’t use conventional...

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including: Concerned Student 1950 members organize Million Student March at MU Peabody, St. Louis Coal Miner, Seeks Bankruptcy Protection Ortho plans to stop using chemicals widely believed to harm bees 1840s Malta Steamboat found in Missouri River

Wikimedia commons / Ken Hammond

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing stricter regulations for pesticide applicators. Under the guidelines, workers who spray some of the most hazardous pesticides would need to be at least 18 years old, renew their certifications every three years and take specialized training for certain chemicals.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media/KBIA

Chert Hollow Farm sits nestled between rows of tall trees and a nearby stream in central Missouri. Eric and Joanna Reuter have been running the organic farm since 2006. That means they don’t plant genetically modified crops and can only use a few approved kinds of chemicals and fertilizers .

It has been about a decade since beekeepers and scientists began documenting a decline in honeybee populations and other important pollinators. Even if you're not a lover of bees or honey, you should know that bees are critically important to our food supply. They help pollinate billions of dollars of crops each year, from apples and carrots to blueberries and almonds. So if bees are threatened, ultimately, the production of these crops will be threatened, too. Scientists have shown that a...

Monsanto will continue selling soybean seeds coated with pesticides that have been linked to honey bee deaths, even though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found the seeds do not improve yields. The seeds in question are treated with a class of chemicals called neonicotinoids , which are chemically similar to nicotine. Last week, the EPA released an analysis that concluded that "these seed treatments provide negligible overall benefits to soybean production in most situations." The...

flickr/ingridtaylar

The government shutdown is creating a backlog of chemicals needed to produce the steady supply of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides American farmers count on to keep pests from destroying their crops. Many of the ingredients needed to produce these pesticides are imported. Normally, once these chemicals arrive at U.S. ports, Environmental Protection Agency personnel review and process the shipments before they are released to customs officials and shipped out to manufacturing companies....

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Eleven miles northeast of Centralia, Mo., five U.S. Geological Survey scientists don waders and bright reflective life jackets to wade into Goodwater Creek. Plenty of fish live in the stream’s murky slow-moving waters, along with snakes, crayfish, mussels and snapping turtles. On this overcast morning, the team collects water samples and checks submerged cages of fathead minnows for eggs. “The fish will be spawning every few days and the eggs will be hatching in say, four or five days,” said...

Ron Dauphin / Flickr

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has pleaded guilty in Missouri to violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act by failing to properly handle pesticides that had been returned by customers at its stores across the country.