USDA

Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Fri December 5, 2014

At USDA, Vilsack's Longest-Serving Secretary Since 1969

Tom Vilsack travels all over, but frequently returns to Iowa. He’s shown here in Ames in the summer of 2013 pushing for support of the farm bill.
Amy Mayer/IPR

The U.S. Department of Agriculture touches Americans from the field to the cafeteria, with a bevy of programs that include subsidies for farmers and for school lunches. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Tue September 9, 2014

U.S. meat inspection system in disarray, watchdogs say

Jennifer Brdar worked as a temporary federal meat inspector at a big beef packing operation in Liberal, Kan.
John McGrath/Hale Center for Journalism

Jennifer Brdar’s dream job was to be a meat inspector for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, watching out for unwary consumers and making sure the meat on their dinner tables was clean and disease-free.

After earning an associate’s degree in meat science, Brdar was hired in March as a temporary federal meat inspector at a big beef packing operation just up the road in Liberal, Kan.

She lasted barely a month, walking away in frustration.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Mixed Reception for Poultry Inspection Rules

ISU animal science professor Dong Ahn says consumers could benefit from mandatory microbial testing in the new poultry inspection rule, intended to reduce foodborne illnesses.
Amy Mayer/IPR

Change is coming to the poultry industry, but not everyone is happy about it.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
9:40 am
Mon January 6, 2014

USDA one step closer to approving new herbicide resistant crops

Water hemp is one of several weeds building resistance to Roundup herbicide.
Bob Hartzler/Iowa State University

New herbicide-resistant corn and soybeans are a step closer to reaching farm fields in the U.S. They would help farmers control weeds that are no longer killed by the popular herbicide, Roundup.

Roundup resistant crops dominate corn, soybean and cotton production in the U.S. But the list of weeds that have evolved to withstand Roundup is growing, and as a result, farmers are using more chemicals to keep up.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
12:57 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Schools buying local produce, but room to expand

The USDA recently surveyed school districts nationwide to measure how much of their food dollars go toward buying local or regional products.
USDA

Iowa’s school districts spent six percent of their food budgets buying from local farms in the 2011-2012 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Census. That means efforts to fill cafeteria trays with local foods have plenty of room to grow.

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Talk of Iowa
11:27 am
Wed October 31, 2012

A Study on Crop Rotation

Theresa Wysocki Flickr

A lot of Iowa farmers use a two-year rotation of corn one year and soybeans the next. But what if a longer rotation could yield better crops and was good for the soil? Host Charity Nebbe talks with researchers from Iowa State University whose research found longer crop rotations improved the crops and reduced fertilizer runoff.

  

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Agriculture/HPM
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.