River to River
1:10 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Agricultural Reporters Roundtable

Dow Chemical’s so-called “Agent Orange Corn” is being criticized by some in the agriculture community but is being praised by others as weed resistance plagues farmers. Corn producers fret about a possible decline in corn prices in a record planting year, and beef producers are concerned about affects of the controversy regarding “lean finely textured beef.” This hour we talk with Rob Swoboda, the editor of Wallace’s Farmer, Dan Piller of the Des Moines Register and Iowa Public Radio correspondent Clay Masters about issues facing Iowa’s agriculture industry.

7:44 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Fixing Farmland along the Missouri River

Last fall, officials predicted that farmland along the Missouri River might be out of production for at least a year. The flood of 2011 piled up sand dunes, gouged out deep holes and killed off many of the microbes that help crops grow.

But now it’s spring, and farmers are back on the land trying to fix what nature broke.

There’s something not quite picture-perfect about this picturesque farmland, known as Blackbird Bend, along the Missouri River near Onawa.   A 24-row corn planter is brushing over the tops of an already stunning winter wheat crop, twelve inches high. 

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8:17 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Early Planting of Lots of Acres Could Mean Record Corn Crop

Across the Corn Belt, farmers are hoping this fall’s harvest could be one for the record books. With planting season already off to a roaring start, farmers say they’re putting in more acres of corn than they have since the Great Depression.

8:11 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Wild Horses Come to Iowa

You have to weave between Amish buggies on the gravel road that leads to the Davis County Fairgrounds.

There, this weekend, corrals are holding more than 30 burros and wild horses.

Most of the animals quietly munch on hay. They pay little attention to the families and kids coming up to stalls.

Dave Berg is a specialist for the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM.

“If they have good food and clean water, they’re happy campers," he says. "And out in the wild, they do not have good food and clean water that readily available.”

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Around the Nation
9:23 pm
Sun April 22, 2012

Women Take Over The Farm



Staying in the middle of the country, you might have heard that America's farmers are getting older. Something else you probably know: women tend to outlive men. So do the math and what do you get? More women in charge of land and some who aren't really sure how to take care of it. So as Iowa Public Radio's Sarah McCammon reports, female conservationists are reaching out to this growing group.

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Harvest Public Media/Agriculture
5:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Dairy industry pushes for reform

Many dairymen are calling the government price support system broken, but just how to fix it isn't clear. There's debate over how much the government should step in to help in tough times and as to what degree it should let the free market govern.  

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Talk of Iowa
11:00 pm
Sun March 25, 2012

Symphony of the Soil

Charity talks with filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia about her new documentary "Symphony of the Soil". The film explores the world of soil- how it's formed, its life cycle, human uses and misuses in agriculture. Koons Garcia, the widow of legendary Grateful Dead lead singer Jerry Garcia, is in Iowa this week screening the film. Joining the soil conversation is Leopold Center Distinguished Fellow Fred Kirschenmann and Fairfield farmer and former National Program Leader for Soil Science Francis Thicke.

Talk of Iowa
11:00 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Spring Planting with Record Warmth

It’s too early to plant, but it’s not too early for farmers to get out in their fields. This hour we discuss strips of prairie that can strengthen a field of corn or soybeans and other soil conservation techniques. We’ll also talk about how farmers decide when to plant in a year that's turned out be one of the warmest late winters in Iowa history. Guests include Jim Gillespie of the Iowa Department of Agriculture; Dr. Richard Cruse of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University; and Forest City-area farmer, Riley Lewis.

Talk of Iowa
11:00 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Encore Edition: Seed Savers co-founder Diane Ott Whealy

For more than 35 years, Diane Ott Whealy has been a national leader in the heirloom seed movement and a strong advocate for the protection of the earth's genetic food stocks. In 1986, she helped to develop Heritage Farm, Seed Saver's scenic 890-acre headquarters near Decorah. In a program that originally aired last October, Diane talks about her book Gathering: Memoir of a Seed Saver. It tells the story people's dream that became reality with the help of like-minded individuals and led to the establishment of the Seed Savers Exchange.