Agriculture and Harvest Public Media

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.

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. 

Grain Glut Could Hurt Rural Economies

Jan 15, 2015
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.

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.

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.

Corey Seeman/Flickr

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

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.

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. 

Courtesy of Leon Wilkinson

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

California Dairies Look to Midwest’s Greener Pastures

Dec 22, 2014
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. 

Wikimedia Commons

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

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.

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.

Amy Mayer/IPR

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

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.

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.

Biodiesel Boost

Dec 5, 2014
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.

Wikimedia Commons

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

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. 

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. 

Diesel Dilemma

Dec 2, 2014

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

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. 

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.

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.”

Deere Decline

Nov 26, 2014
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.

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.

Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media file photo

After spending years pushing for immigration reform, the agriculture sector has mixed reviews on changes to the immigration system that President Obama announced Thursday.

Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media file photo

The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that it won’t release rules for how much ethanol oil refiners have to mix in to our gasoline supply this year.

The ethanol rules, called the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), are meant to prop up the U.S. biofuels industry by creating demand for ethanol. Without the rules, both oil companies and the biofuel sector will be left in the dark as to what the demand for ethanol will be.

Wikimedia Commons

Poinsettia are beautiful holiday plants, but if you’re given one as a host or hostess or pick up one in the store, how do you care for it after the holidays?  

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

When farmer Sondra Pierce had her first child, she decided to forgo daycare. During harvest on her sugar beet farm in rural Boulder County, Colo., she’d buckle him up in the seat right next to her.

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