agriculture http://iowapublicradio.org en The End of Session and Soil Conditions http://iowapublicradio.org/post/end-session-and-soil-conditions <p>Host Ben Kieffer sits down with Iowa Public Radio statehouse correspondent <a href="http://iowapublicradio.org/people/joyce-russell">Joyce Russell</a> about developments surrounding the confidential settlements within Governor Branstad's administration and the end of the legislative session.</p><p>Also, planting season is right around the corner. Iowa State University agronomist and ISU Extension climatologist <a href="http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/faculty/taylor.html">Elwynn Taylor</a> discusses soil conditions throughout Iowa.</p><p></p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 20:24:47 +0000 Ben Kieffer & Sarah Boden 39009 at http://iowapublicradio.org The End of Session and Soil Conditions News Buzz: All-Vet, Farm Fatalities, Drones http://iowapublicradio.org/post/news-buzz-all-vet-farm-fatalities-drones <p>Today on News Buzz Ben Stanton fills in as host.&nbsp; He tackles Iowa's All-Vet designation, farm accident fatalities and the use of drones in agriculture.</p><p></p><p></p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 18:45:34 +0000 Ben Stanton & Sarah Boden 37909 at http://iowapublicradio.org News Buzz: All-Vet, Farm Fatalities, Drones Cameras, Compromise, 'Codone, 'The Catch,' and Cold http://iowapublicradio.org/post/cameras-compromise-codone-catch-and-cold <p>In this 'News Buzz' edition of River to River, hear about new rules for traffic cameras in Iowa, a stopgap farm bill passed in the U.S. House, a new hydrocodone-related drug which is meeting opposition from Iowa's Attorney General, the Hawkeyes will meet LSU, and what's with the early bout of cold weather?</p><p></p><p></p> Fri, 13 Dec 2013 20:22:37 +0000 Ben Kieffer & Ben Stanton 33493 at http://iowapublicradio.org Cameras, Compromise, 'Codone, 'The Catch,' and Cold News Buzz: Ethanol and Harvest Wrap Up http://iowapublicradio.org/post/news-buzz-ethanol-and-harvest-wrap <p>Nearly all gasoline sold in the U.S. contains up to 10 percent of ethanol—a corn-based liquid often added to gasoline. As a renewable fuel ethanol reduces the amount of petroleum-based gasoline on the market and many farmers receive subsidies to grow corn for the biofuel. But now the Environmental Protection Agency is considering a reduction in the required amount of ethanol for the country's gasoline supply.&nbsp; Harvest Public Media's Ames-based reporter <a href="http://iowapublicradio.org/people/amy-mayer">Amy Mayer</a> and host Ben Kieffer discuss the future of ethanol in the U.S.</p> Fri, 22 Nov 2013 20:13:51 +0000 Ben Kieffer & Sarah Boden 32528 at http://iowapublicradio.org News Buzz: Ethanol and Harvest Wrap Up How Americans Eat with Tracie McMillan http://iowapublicradio.org/post/how-americans-eat-tracie-mcmillan <p>Recent movements addressing the obesity epidemic or industrial agriculture&#39;s dominance attempt to change how Americans eat.&nbsp; Tracie McMillan sets out to understand the American food system from the bottom-up in&nbsp; her book, <a href="http://traciemcmillan.com/books/american-way-of-eating/">&ldquo;The American Way of Eating: Undercover at WalMart, Applebees, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table.&rdquo;</a>&nbsp; Host Charity Nebbe asks McMillan where our food comes from and how we can eat healthier.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p></p> Tue, 15 Oct 2013 19:59:37 +0000 Charity Nebbe & Dennis Reese 30616 at http://iowapublicradio.org How Americans Eat with Tracie McMillan Preserving Iowa’s Freshwater Ecosystems http://iowapublicradio.org/post/preserving-iowa-s-freshwater-ecosystems <p>Since its beginning, the conservation movement has been focused on preserving the natural places we still have, but <a href="http://www.thefreshwatertrust.org/jsw-bio">Joe Whitworth</a>, president of the Freshwater Trust, says that is not good enough.&nbsp; Host Charity Nebbe talks to Whitworth about his work restoring freshwater ecosystems, how he believes that clean water can co-exist with profitable agriculture, and the future of conservation.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Mon, 30 Sep 2013 18:48:49 +0000 Charity Nebbe & Dennis Reese 29864 at http://iowapublicradio.org Preserving Iowa’s Freshwater Ecosystems Drought Conditions are Worsening Across the State http://iowapublicradio.org/post/drought-conditions-are-worsening-across-state <p><em> </em></p><p>The <a href="http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/">U.S. Drought Monitor</a>’s weekly update shows drought worsening and spreading across&nbsp; the state. The monitor’s report includes Iowa in a Midwest section badly needing rain.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Iowa State University Climatologist <a href="https://twitter.com/ElwynnTaylor">Elwynn Taylor</a> says this week’s report is listing more of Iowa in a severe drought category.</p><p>“And it includes now almost all of the southern part of Iowa, and almost all of the central,” he says.</p> Thu, 05 Sep 2013 20:59:01 +0000 Dean Borg 28638 at http://iowapublicradio.org Drought Conditions are Worsening Across the State Invasive Species: Air and Water http://iowapublicradio.org/post/invasive-species-air-and-water <p>The Emerald Ash Borer is spreading through Iowa. &nbsp;It has now been found in Burlington. &nbsp;Hear how the insect spreads and what is being done about it. &nbsp;New rules are in effect for boaters on Iowa's waterways aimed at preventing the spread of invasive plants and animals.</p><p>Also, in the second half of the program, we talk about a Cuban baseball player that defected to the U.S. while in Des Moines. &nbsp;And we wrap up the hour with a discussion about the weather and how Iowa's crops are reacting.</p><p></p> Thu, 18 Jul 2013 21:04:26 +0000 Ben Kieffer & Ben Stanton 24236 at http://iowapublicradio.org Invasive Species: Air and Water News Review: Health, Ag, Sports, and Entertainment http://iowapublicradio.org/post/news-review-health-ag-sports-and-entertainment <p>From infectious disease to sports and entertainment, River to River host Ben Kieffer has a news roundup show. &nbsp;He'll talk with the Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health about recent outbreaks of cyclospora and West Nile virus. Also, hear a little sports: Iowa’s&nbsp; Zach Johnson is competing as the defending champion at the John Deere Classic Golf Tournament in the Quad Cities, and many Iowans reacted to University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz being listed as one of the worst coaches by Sports Illustrated recently. Thu, 11 Jul 2013 20:41:49 +0000 Ben Kieffer & Ben Stanton 23835 at http://iowapublicradio.org News Review: Health, Ag, Sports, and Entertainment Horse Slaughter in Iowa http://iowapublicradio.org/post/horse-slaughter-iowa <p>A business in&nbsp;Sigourney Iowa could be one of the first the nation to slaughter horses after a previous ban was allowed to expire. &nbsp;Join Host Ben Kieffer to hear from the CEO of the company given approval by the USDA, and hear from two people with opposing views on the matter. &nbsp;Also hear a little about the politics of this issue and the horse-meat labeling scandal that came to light earlier this year in Europe.</p><p></p> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 18:33:24 +0000 Ben Kieffer & Ben Stanton 23680 at http://iowapublicradio.org Horse Slaughter in Iowa The Farm Crisis http://iowapublicradio.org/post/farm-crisis <p>The farm crisis of the 1980s meant high interest rates; it’s estimated that farmland values dropped nearly 60 percent in some areas of the Midwest during the early '80s.&nbsp; But it was not just an economic disaster. &nbsp;A new documentary also tries to capture the personal stories. Guest host Ben Stanton talks with the producer of "The Farm Crisis"&nbsp;Laurel Bower Burgmaier. &nbsp;Later in the show is an update to the flood-related weather outlook for Iowa, and hear about NPR's programing changes now in effect and how they will affect Iowa Public Radio.</p><p></p> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 21:05:16 +0000 Ben Stanton & Sarah Boden 23189 at http://iowapublicradio.org The Farm Crisis House rejects farm bill http://iowapublicradio.org/post/house-rejects-farm-bill <p></p><p>In a stunning move, the U.S. House voted against approving farm bill legislation Thursday, leaving the bill's future up in the air.</p><p>The House rejected the farm bill on a final tally of 234-195 after a day of dramatic, tight votes on amendments to the bill.</p> Fri, 21 Jun 2013 10:59:21 +0000 Jeremy Bernfeld 22810 at http://iowapublicradio.org House rejects farm bill The Future of SNAP http://iowapublicradio.org/post/future-snap <p>The farm bill is legislation is worth more than $90 billion. It deals with everything from farm subsidies to crop insurance; but over 80% of this massive outlay goes to the <span class="st">Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP,) which was once called food stamps.&nbsp; M</span>ore than 45 million people depend on SNAP, especially since the economic downturn.&nbsp; However, in the current versions of the bill both Democrats and Republicans are discussing cutting funds from the program.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 18 Jun 2013 20:38:00 +0000 Katherine Perkins 22658 at http://iowapublicradio.org The Future of SNAP Smithsonian plows into farming history http://iowapublicradio.org/post/smithsonian-plows-farming-history <p></p> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 21933 at http://iowapublicradio.org Smithsonian plows into farming history Horticulture Day: Fresh Fish and Veggies http://iowapublicradio.org/post/horticulture-day-fresh-fish-and-veggies <p>Fish and fresh veggies make an appealing paring for dinner, but they can also be a great duo in the greenhouse.&nbsp; Host Charity Nebbe discusses <a href="http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/Travis/aquaponic.pdf">aquaponics</a>, which is the growing of crops with nutrient rich waste water from fish farming.&nbsp; Iowa State University Extension fisheries specialist <a href="http://www.extension.iastate.edu/author/allen-pattillo">Allen Pattillo</a> and horticulturist <a href="http://www.extension.iastate.edu/author/richard-jauron">Richard Jauron</a> join the program.</p><p></p> Fri, 24 May 2013 17:45:53 +0000 Charity Nebbe & Dennis Reese 21325 at http://iowapublicradio.org Horticulture Day: Fresh Fish and Veggies Women on the Farm: An Evolving Role http://iowapublicradio.org/post/women-farm-evolving-role <p>Women have worked in agriculture since agriculture began, but for many years they were limited to supporting roles. Talk of Iowa seeks out women's voices in agriculture, through history and today.&nbsp; Jenny Barker-Devine, author of <a href="http://www.uiowapress.org/books/2013-spring/behalf-family-farm.htm">"On Behalf of the Family Farm: Iowa Farm Women's Activism since 1945"</a> discusses how the roles of farm women changed during the 20th century. Mon, 13 May 2013 18:57:32 +0000 Charity Nebbe & Sarah Boden 20682 at http://iowapublicradio.org Women on the Farm: An Evolving Role Preserving Iowa's Soil After Flooding http://iowapublicradio.org/post/preserving-iowas-soil-after-flooding <p>After two major flooding events for Iowa in 1993 and 2008, and a number of significant flooding events in-between, Iowans need to ask hard questions about how we have altered our environment.</p><p>Today on "Talk of Iowa" we talk about agricultural and urban flooding. We'll take a look at changes we've made to our landscape that has made it more prone to flooding.&nbsp; We'll also discuss both the damage flooding can cause, and some innovative ways farmers, homeowners and city planners can prevent flooding or at least minimize the damage it can cause.</p> Thu, 25 Apr 2013 20:54:55 +0000 Charity Nebbe 19781 at http://iowapublicradio.org Preserving Iowa's Soil After Flooding Are Iowa Fertilizer Plants at Risk? http://iowapublicradio.org/post/are-iowa-fertilizer-plants-risk <p></p><p> The deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas is prompting questions about regulatory oversight there.&nbsp; In Iowa, officials say fertilizer is only produced at a handful of sites across the state, but many others store it.</p><p>A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spokesman says the agency regulates 700 retail facilities in Iowa that store more than 10,000 pounds of anhydrous&nbsp;ammonia fertilizer, an ingredient that can be particularly volatile.</p> Fri, 19 Apr 2013 13:13:49 +0000 Sarah McCammon 19453 at http://iowapublicradio.org Are Iowa Fertilizer Plants at Risk? Midwest Farmer's Daughter http://iowapublicradio.org/post/midwest-farmers-daughter-0 <p>"Talk of Iowa" explores the roles of women on the farm in history, literature, popular culture and the present.&nbsp; We talk with <a href="http://www.zacharyjack.org/?page_id=39">Zachary Michael Jack</a>, author of <a href="http://www.thepress.purdue.edu/titles/midwest-farmers-daughter-search-american-icon">"The Midwest Farmer's Daughter: In Search of an American Icon."</a> Also joining the conversation, Cheryl Tevis of <a href="http://www.iowawomeninag.org/">Iowa Women In Agriculture</a>, and <a href="http://www.wfan.org/Denise_OBrien.html">Denise O'Brien,</a> founder of the <a href="http Mon, 15 Apr 2013 16:42:23 +0000 Charity Nebbe 19236 at http://iowapublicradio.org Midwest Farmer's Daughter A new frontier in genetically engineered food http://iowapublicradio.org/post/new-frontier-genetically-engineered-food <p>Kevin Wells has been genetically engineering animals for 24 years.</p><div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>“It’s sort of like a jigsaw puzzle,” said Wells recently as he walked through his lab at the University of Missouri - Columbia. “You take DNA apart and put it back together in different orders, different orientations.”</p> Mon, 01 Apr 2013 11:54:40 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 18534 at http://iowapublicradio.org A new frontier in genetically engineered food GMO labeling laws on deck in the Midwest http://iowapublicradio.org/post/gmo-labeling-laws-deck-midwest <p></p><p>Just south of Hermann, Mo., <a href="http://www.swissmeats.com/"><u><b>Swiss Meat and Sausage Co.</b></u></a> processes 2 million pounds of meat a year -- everything from cattle to hogs to buffalo to elk.</p><p>And everything gets a label.</p><p>“No antibiotics added, raised without added hormones, all natural, minimally processed," Glenn Brandt, the production manager for Swiss Meat, reads from a hefty roll of hickory smoked beef sausage stickers.</p><p>What this label does not indicate, however, is whether or not the sausage contains genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.</p> Fri, 22 Mar 2013 12:04:14 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 18059 at http://iowapublicradio.org GMO labeling laws on deck in the Midwest The Future of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles http://iowapublicradio.org/post/future-unmanned-aerial-vehicles <p>Often when we hear about unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, it pertains to military strikes and surveillance.&nbsp; However unmanned aerial vehicle technology is bringing UAVs into our everyday lives right here in Iowa.&nbsp;&nbsp; Today on "River to River" we explore the domestic uses of UAVs.</p><p></p> Tue, 19 Mar 2013 19:43:13 +0000 Dean Borg 17910 at http://iowapublicradio.org The Future of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Does Drought Have an Upside? http://iowapublicradio.org/post/does-drought-have-upside <p>Over the past several months, we’ve been reporting on lots of problems caused by a lack of rain. And for good reason – the historic drought plaguing Iowa and much of the nation has dried up crops, destroyed landscaping, and killed off fish.</p><p>But like with most things, there can be a silver lining.</p><p>John Larson makes wine at <a href="http://snushillwine.com/">Snus Hill Winery</a> in Madrid, Iowa. This time of year, he’s not growing grapes – but he is mixing wine in giant, silver tanks.</p> Thu, 24 Jan 2013 13:52:24 +0000 Sarah McCammon 13959 at http://iowapublicradio.org Does Drought Have an Upside? When Conservation Pays http://iowapublicradio.org/post/when-conservation-pays <p></p><div class="article-body"><p>Along the winding road to and through Grace Creek Ranch, a 25,537-acre yearling cattle ranch in central Nebraska, there are no houses in sight – no buildings, for that matter. Just acres and acres of gold and amber grass, punctuated by patches of sand and lines of barbed wire fence.</p><p>And that’s the way the owners of Gracie Creek Ranch want it to stay.&nbsp; Lindsey Price, a fourth-generation rancher, her brother Aaron and their father Bob recently sold the largest conservation easement in Nebraska history, covering about 40 square miles.</p> Mon, 07 Jan 2013 18:12:51 +0000 Hilary Stohs-Krause. 12967 at http://iowapublicradio.org When Conservation Pays Drought Update: Iowa Soil Still Drier Than Normal http://iowapublicradio.org/post/drought-update-iowa-soil-still-drier-normal <p style="margin-left:.5in;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;">Like many Midwestern states, Iowa is closing the 2012 calendar year with soil moisture deficits after this summer's drought. But with the new crop year at least four months away, Iowa State University Climatologist Elwynn Taylor is seeing some spotty</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;">Taylor credits abundant fall rains with helping mitigate the drought, at least for now.</p> Mon, 31 Dec 2012 14:37:18 +0000 Dean Borg 12698 at http://iowapublicradio.org Drought Update: Iowa Soil Still Drier Than Normal Low Mississippi River levels could leave farmers in fertilizer crunch http://iowapublicradio.org/post/low-mississippi-river-levels-could-leave-farmers-fertilizer-crunch <div class="article-body"><p></p><p></p><p>Southbound barges on the Mississippi River carry grain destined for world markets. Those barges regularly pass northbound tows with thousands of tons of fertilizer heading to Midwestern ports and, later, to farmers’ fields.</p><p>But this year’s drought is adding an element of uncertainty to those shipping patterns, as Mississippi River levels reach record lows. Water levels have fertilizer shippers scrambling to get their product to market before low water dries up their most important shipping route.</p> Thu, 27 Dec 2012 14:01:50 +0000 Jacob McCleland 12553 at http://iowapublicradio.org Low Mississippi River levels could leave farmers in fertilizer crunch Oh Christmas Tree http://iowapublicradio.org/post/oh-christmas-tree <p>Danny Moulds owns Kris Kringle’s Trees just north of Cedar Falls. He says the hot dry summer took a harsh toll on newly planted seedlings. He says he lost around 15 thousand Christmas &nbsp;trees on his 46 acre farm.</p><p>Had those young trees survived they would have been ready for harvest in 2019. Because the drought was so widespread, Iowa Department of Natural Resources District Forester Mark Vitosh says it may be harder to find the more popular varieties in the future.</p> Thu, 22 Nov 2012 00:03:43 +0000 Pat Blank 11112 at http://iowapublicradio.org Oh Christmas Tree In the food wars, opposing sides take their message across the aisles http://iowapublicradio.org/post/food-wars-opposing-sides-take-their-message-across-aisles <p></p><p></p><p>Debate surrounding what we eat and how it’s made is nothing new, but in this year of outcry over pink slime, criticism regarding gestation crates and questions about the value of organic food, the various sides are reaching out in new ways and new places. Even when the opposing camps actually speak with each other, though, middle ground is still proving hard to find.</p> Tue, 20 Nov 2012 22:58:10 +0000 Sandhya Dirks 11055 at http://iowapublicradio.org In the food wars, opposing sides take their message across the aisles Corn Belt Farmland: The Newest Real Estate Bubble? http://iowapublicradio.org/post/corn-belt-farmland-newest-real-estate-bubble-1 <p></p><p>Howard Audsley has been driving through Missouri for the past 30 years to assess the value of farmland. Barreling down the flat roads of Saline County on a recent day, he stopped his truck at a 160-acre tract of newly tilled black land. The land sold in February for $10,700 per acre, double what it would have gone for five years ago.</p><p>Heading out into the field, Audsley picked up a clod of the dirt that makes this pocket of land some of the priciest in the state.</p> Tue, 13 Nov 2012 13:13:46 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 10678 at http://iowapublicradio.org Corn Belt Farmland: The Newest Real Estate Bubble? Ethanol debate looks beyond short term gain http://iowapublicradio.org/post/ethanol-debate-looks-beyond-short-term-gain <p>Livestock producers want to press pause on the federal mandate for corn-based ethanol. They’re seeking relief from corn prices pushed up by the drought. But as Harvest Public Media’s Grant Gerlock reports, this short-term debate has broader implications.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 12 Nov 2012 20:31:28 +0000 grant gerlock 10648 at http://iowapublicradio.org Ethanol debate looks beyond short term gain