Agriculture and Harvest Public Media

Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
9:28 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Obama Proposes More Funding to Fight Superbugs

Iowa State's Hans Coetzee says increased funding for veterinary research on antibiotic use on the farm will be welcome.
Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

In the budget President Obama is sending to Congress he’s asking for more than a billion dollars to combat antibiotic resistance, and some of that money would focus on animal agriculture.

Antibiotic resistance can make common medications ineffective, meaning sick people don’t get better and doctors have fewer options to treat bacterial infections.  

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
9:22 am
Wed January 28, 2015

What Farming Fish "Organically" Could Mean

Troutdale farmhand Vince Orcutt pulls out rainbow trout ready to harvest in Gravois Mills, Mo.
Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

When it comes to organic certification, there are strict guidelines for food producers to follow. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Ranchers Rebel Over Beef Checkoff

Kansas rancher David Pfrang is one of thousands of small beef producers challenging the oversight of the multimillion dollar “beef checkoff” fund, which is used to promote the beef industry.
Courtesy Jill Toyoshiba/The Kansas City Star

From their small farms set in the rolling hills of northeast Kansas, two ranchers are raising a few cattle, and a lot of Cain.

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Horticulture
1:50 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Stop and Smell the Orchids

Just because its January, doesn't mean there aren't flowers in bloom. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Poultry Industry Worried by Bird Flu Outbreak

The turkeys in this barn on Noel Thompson’s farm in central Iowa are tested routinely for disease, including avian influenza. No bird flu has been found in the commercial poultry industry in this country.
Amy Mayer/IPR

Since a highly contagious strain of bird flu was found in the U.S. in December, many countries have closed their doors to American poultry.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Colorado Farmers Work to Ensure Diversity in Rare Sheep Breed

Black Welsh Mountain sheep, a rare breed, graze at Desert Weyr, a farm near Paonia, Colo.
Laura Palmisano for Harvest Public Media

Federal researchers are on a mission to back up the genetic material of the plants and animals that the nation’s food supply depends on. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
11:58 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Grain Glut Could Hurt Rural Economies

Soybeans pile up at a grain elevator outside of Heartwell, Neb. Nationwide, farmers harvested record-breaking amounts of corn and soybeans in 2014.
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media file photo

American farmers grew more corn and soybeans in 2014 than ever before, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest crop production report.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
3:59 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Water Works Lawsuit Disappoints Ag Groups

Conservation practices, such as this wetland in Boone County, can help reduce nutrient runoff and prevent erosion. They are mostly voluntary.
Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

A group representing many Iowa farmers is decrying the Des Moines Water Works’ decision to sue three Iowa counties over water quality.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
8:56 am
Thu January 8, 2015

United Nations: Major Crops Must Become More Sustainable

Corn, wheat and rice contribute about half of the world diet's calories each day, according to the United Nations.
Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

To support a growing population, farmers worldwide need to emphasize the sustainable growth of three major foods: corn, wheat and rice, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization

Corn, wheat and rice make up some of the most crucial ingredients to diets across the world. With a booming global population, FAO says in the next 35 years farmers will need to ratchet up production of these three commodities to 3 billion tons – that’s half a billion tons more than the record harvest of 2013.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
12:17 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

West Coast Labor Dispute Hitting Midwest

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the transit point for conatiners carrying goods into the United States and across the Pacific.
Corey Seeman/Flickr

An ongoing labor dispute at the California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is starting to impact Iowa.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
10:08 am
Tue January 6, 2015

High Plains Aquifer Continues Decline

A center-pivot irrigation system waters a winter wheat field in southwest Kansas.
Eric Durban/Harvest Public Media file photo

The High Plains Aquifer lost enough water over a recent two-year period to cover the entire state of Iowa in a foot of water.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
10:07 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Midwest Recruiters Luring California Dairies

California's drought, regulations and high feed costs have sent some dairy owners looking for greener pastures to the east. This Nebraska dairy is run by an ex-Californian.
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

As drought, feed costs, and urban development wear on West Coast milk producers, states like Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa are pitching themselves as a dairy heaven. 

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History
10:34 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Encore: Rural Iowa Women of the 1920s

Vetra, left, and sister Reva Padget, appear ready for a trip to town, circa 1930.
Courtesy of Leon Wilkinson

Before the Great Depression there was the farm recession, and times were tough for farm families in Iowa. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Mon December 22, 2014

California Dairies Look to Midwest’s Greener Pastures

Dairy farmer Brian Azevedo plans to sell his dairy in Merced, Calif., and move to South Dakota.
Ezra David Romero for Harvest Public Media

California is branded as the state with happy cows, but increasingly, the dairy owners are not necessarily so happy. 

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Horticulture
2:10 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Greenhouse Poinsettias Created with a Virus

poinsettia blooms grown in greenhouses in the United States
Wikimedia Commons

The poinsettia, traditionally given as a gift around the holidays, is native to Northern Guatemala and Northern Mexico. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
11:34 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Politics Dominates the Top Ag and Food Stories of 2014

The Jamie L. Whitten Building in Washington, home to the USDA.
Wikipedia

2014 was the year even the lunch ladies got political.

Harvest Public Media was created four years ago to report on agriculture and food production in the geographic area where the majority of that takes place – the Midwest. This year, my third of counting the top ag stories of the year, I find that the issues taking center stage were set not here, but in the politics, policies and processes of Washington D.C., state legislatures or the ballot box.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
8:56 am
Thu December 18, 2014

At this Abbey, "The Lord is My Cowboy"

Sisters Ann, left, and Elizabeth tend to Yoda, a young water buffalo calf during his morning feeding at the Abbey of St. Walburga.
Sonja Salzburg for Harvest Public Media

Many beer aficionados are familiar with the rare breweries run by Trappist monks. The beer is highly sought after, but it’s not the only food or drink made by a religious order.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Wed December 17, 2014

What's Behind the "Non-GMO" Label?

In a lab at Food Chain ID in Fairfield, technician Tammy Raman works with samples that will be tested to determine if they contain any genetic modifications.
Amy Mayer/IPR

Demand for products that don’t contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, is exploding.  

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
2:47 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Report: Obama's Immigration Action Won't Help Agriculture Much

Harvesting produce is a seasonal job employing more immigrants in other regions than in the Midwest.
Big Stock Photo

new report says President Obama’s executive action on immigration likely won’t have a huge impact on Midwest agriculture. 

Stephanie Mercier, who wrote the report for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, says the presidential order does not address the needs of Midwest employers. They often want year-round temporary workers, something current law does not permit.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Grain Glut Clogs Railways, Rivers, Roads

An MFA Agriservices worker monitors the soybean chute as the barge fills up on the Missouri River in Glasgow, Mo.
Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

For the Midwest’s major crops, this harvest season was a big one. With winter setting in, the race is on for farmers to ship out their harvest so it’s not left out to spoil.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
6:13 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Biodiesel Boost

Credit Iowa Biodiesel

  The U.S. House this week overwhelmingly passed a package of tax incentives retroactively for 2014. Among the incentives was the reinstatement of the $1 per gallon biodiesel blenders tax credit that expired on Dec.31, 2013.

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Horticulture
11:57 am
Fri December 5, 2014

‘Tis the Season… For Ordering Garden Seeds

seed packets on display
Wikimedia Commons

For the seasoned gardener, seed catalogs have already begun to arrive in the mail.

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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
7:56 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Food "Cluster" Hopes to Boost Local Food’s Economic Heft

Ashley Colpaart is the Northern Colorado Food Cluster's coordinator.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

More cities want to take eating local food from just a hip trend to an economic generator, but as in many grassroots movements, there can be some growing pains along the way. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
6:45 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Diesel Dilemma

Diesel prices are nearly a dollar more expensive than gasoline

  Drivers of diesel-powered vehicles may be wondering why they aren't enjoying the same low prices as those who fill up with gasoline. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Climate Change Could Send Cost of Crop Insurance Soaring

Taxpayers subsidize crop insurance for farmers, and the expense is predicted to soar by mid-century as the climate changes.
Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

Climate change could double losses to crops and property by the year 2100 according to a recent report from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
4:00 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Turkey Economics, Plus Fun Facts and a Recipe on the Side

According to farmer Ann Knowles, turkeys can change the color of their waddles at a moment's notice, flushing from pale pink to candy-apple red.
Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

Farmers raised fewer turkeys this year than they have in the past three decades - about 235 million gobblers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Ann Knowles raised 70 broad breasted bronze and white turkeys on her small farm in western Illinois.

She coops up the plump birds at night to guard against predators, but lets them roam freely during the day.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
3:00 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Deere Tractor & Engine Museum to open in Waterloo

The John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum in Waterloo opens to the public on Tuesday, December 2nd.
Credit Deere and Company

The John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum in Waterloo opens to the public next Tuesday, Dec. 2.

Project  Manager Dawn Hendershot says it took four years to plan and renovate the structure which features 19 tractors from different eras and more than two dozen “hands-on “ interactive exhibits. She says “they’ll get to see examples of tractors, the engine design and manufacturing and how the tractors here have had a global impact.”

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
11:17 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Deere Decline

Credit IPR's Pat Blank

Quad Cities based Deere and Company is reporting fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations.

The agricultural and construction equipment manufacturer says earnings per share were $1.83 on revenue of $8.9 billion. That topped predictions of $1.57 on $7.75 billion in sales. 

But when compared with the previous year, the company's earnings and revenue both declined.  Deere officials say they don’t expect that trend to improve in 2015.

Deere expects sales to decline in  both its agriculture and turf equipment lines.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Crop Dusting Pilots Navigate Dangerous Airspace

A pilot for Earl’s Flying Service sprays chemicals on a field in southeastern Missouri.
Courtesy of Mike Lee

Mike Lee steers his plane over the Missouri-Arkansas state line, checking out a checkerboard of green and brown fields of rice, cotton, corn and soybeans.

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