Dick Humes squinted and sweat as he moved down a row of corn. He sliced through the husk with a metal hook in his right hand, snapped the ear from its stalk with his left, and threw it over his shoulder into a wagon rolling alongside him.
Every other second, the corn hit the floor of the wagon with a thud. Humes was setting a steady pace for the men’s 50-and-older division at the 34th annual Illinois State Corn Husking Competition.
Iowa's grape harvest is underway in many parts of the state and the news from the field is not good. State Viticulturist Mike White says a cold and wet spring destroyed many of the vines and production statewide could be down between 30 and 40 percent. He says " there are some spots like Dubuque that seem to be fairing better, but mostly the cold damage is there and the yield is low."
Melanie Hoffert grew up on a farm in North Dakota. Like so many others, she left. But now she feels torn between the land and people she loves and the freedom to live an authentic life. Host Charity Nebbe talks with Hoffert about her memoir Prairie Silence: A Rural Ex-Patriot's Journey to Reconcile, Home, Love and Faith. In that book, she describes the month she returned to her family farm to help her father and brother during harvest. They also discuss what it was like to grow up as a gay woman in rural North Dakota.
The Iowa Department of Transportation is reporting 79 crashes and 5 fatalities involving farm equipment in 2013. Safety officials say drivers need to be alert especially at dusk and dawn when these huge machines tend to be more numerous. They also say farmers need to share responsibility by making sure motorists know when they're about to turn or make a sudden stop. Farmers are asked not to wave motorists by them, but instead pull off to the side of the road if possible.
If things went well in your vegetable garden this year you may find yourself elbow deep in home grown tomatoes. Or maybe you have a tree that is loaded with apples or plums. Host Charity Nebbe, talks with Horticulturists Linda Naeve and Richard Jauron about harvesting and storing your garden bounty.
While many farmers were bringing in this year’s harvest, they also were planting. Cover crops—like oats and winter rye—are becoming more popular, despite the time and expense involved in growing green fields that won’t ever make money—directly. Together with Harvest Public Media, Iowa Public Radio’s Amy Mayer explains why.
After the dry summer, this harvest offers a good look at what drought resistant corn can do. In conjunction with Harvest Public Media, Iowa Public Radio’s Amy Mayer reports the big companies may soon be touting their results, but farmers may not rush to plant drought resistant seed next year.
The current farm bill expires at the end of September and lawmakers won’t have a new one passed, thanks largely to election-year politics. Despite the partisan bickering in Washington, many in farm country are working together to keep their concerns on the front burner.
One of Iowa’s largest agribusiness companies has a huge investment riding on this year’s prolonged drought. A new hybrid seed corn developed by DuPont Pioneer is being touted for its ability to improve yields under the driest conditions.
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.