Agriculture and Harvest Public Media

Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
3:48 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Ag Groups Mixed on Immigration Plan

Immigrants often work on farms where fruits and vegetables are grown. Dairies also often employ immigrants.
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.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
1:03 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

EPA: No Final Ethanol Rules This Year

Ethanol plants, like this one in Adams, Neb., use corn from Midwest farms to pump out millions of gallons of biofuel.
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.

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Horticulture
12:39 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Caring for Holiday Houseplants

Poinsettia blooms
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?  

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Women Have Always Farmed; Now They’re Being Counted

The co-owner of a dairy near Fort Morgan, Colo., Mary Kraft says the skills needed to be a successful farmer have changed in recent years.
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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River to River
3:40 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

The Modern Harvest: Managing "by the square foot instead of by the field"

Jim Sladek and Ben Kieffer on the combine
Emily Woodbury

This year, U.S. farmers are bringing in what is expected to be a record breaking harvest. On this edition of River to River - the modern day harvest.

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Horticulture
5:13 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Preserving the Nests of Bald-Faced Hornets

Monika Schnell IPR Listener, Iowa City

If you look closely at the trees right now, you can see things previous hidden, like the nests of bald-faced hornets.

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News Buzz
2:29 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Do Pesticides Cause Depression?

Seven pesticides commonly used by farmers may be linked to depression.
jetsandzeppelins Flickr

Mining 20 years of data, a new study by the National Institutes of Health has found a link between some pesticides and depression. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Tougher Times Put Young Farmers' Dreams on Hold

Like many beginning farmers, Grant Curtis wants to invest in his operation but expectations of low prices are tying his hands.
Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

Grant Curtis remembers the day he went shopping for his first tractor. “It was an eye opening experience,” he said.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
11:23 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Who Stole the Beans?

A farmer harvests soybeans in 2013. This year, an unknown driver combined 18 acres of an Illinois soybean field without permission. A criminal investigation is ongoing.
Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

It may not be a classic “Whodunnit” but the mystery of who stole soybeans from a field in western Illinois certainly has intrigue.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:39 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Premium Processing

Iowa Premium Beef CEO Jeffrey Johnson stands outside the new 200, 000-square- foot beef processing plant in Tama
IPR's Pat Blank

Central Iowa is about to get a much needed economic shot in the arm as a long awaited beef processing plant opens its doors providing hundreds of new jobs. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Promised Farm Bill Savings Look Elusive Today

Paul Sauter pulls two wagons full of corn into the Heartland Coop elevator in Alleman.
Amy Mayer/IPR

The Farm Bill enacted earlier this year was supposed to save taxpayers money, in part by reducing subsidy payments to farmers.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Colorado's Growing Marijuana Industry Creates Real Estate Rush

Commercial real estate agent Jason Thomas connects clients with possible marijuana grow locations in the Denver metro area.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

The showing starts inside an empty office building, the kind you’d see in any humdrum workplace sitcom, stripped of its cubicles and ceiling tiles, leaving just a bare, dusty shell.

Jason Thomas with Avalon Realty Advisors, a commercial real estate firm that deals with the marijuana industry’s entrepreneurs, shows off the building’s features: a fully operational HVAC system, fire sprinklers, heavy duty warehouse doors, equipped with locks.

It’s a blank slate for a marijuana grower, ready to be outfitted with thousands of lights and complex water delivery systems.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
12:13 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Grain farming gets more expensive

Grain farmers face slim margins this harvest. Some farms might lose money in 2015, experts say.
Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

 

Farming has gotten more expensive, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

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Horticulture
2:45 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Late Fall Tasks in the Garden

gourds
Wikimedia Commons

Have you started getting your garden ready for winter? 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
8:02 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Like food, yarn goes local, too

Lorrae Moon of Yampa Valley Fiberworks coils alpaca fiber into a neat stack.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

 

Northwestern Colorado has a rich heritage of raising sheep – either for their meat or for wool.

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Hort Day
12:16 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

How Many Spiders Do You Swallow in Your Sleep?

Wolf spiders are one of the largest and most commonly seen spiders in Iowa.
Roadsidepictures Flickr

The answer is: probably zero. ISU entomologist Donald Lewis says fears and myths about spiders are overblown.

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Horticulture Day
3:09 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Autumn Plant Harvest: Pumpkins, Squashes, and Gourds

Usually Melancholy / flickr

They are easy to grow, decorative and delicious.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
8:00 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Farmers Gear Up for Record Harvest, Brace for Lower Prices

Nationwide, farmers are expected to harvest record-breaking amounts of corn and soybeans this year.
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

U.S. farmers are bringing in what’s expected to be a record-breaking harvest for both corn and soybeans. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
9:56 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Vilsack Fustrated With Beef Industry

Cattle in Rowntree, MI.

For several years, the beef industry has struggled over how and whether to collect additional funds for industry promotion and research. The money is part of a program called the Beef checkoff.   

Last month U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack proposed a second, supplementary checkoff, implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
2:00 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Get Ready for Cheaper Meat at the Grocery Store

Agriculture economist Chris Hurt said in 2007, the average pork price was $2.87 a pound. Now, we're paying a record high price of $4.20 a pound on average.
Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

Farmers are harvesting a record corn and soybean crop this year causing the price of grain commodities to tumble, which is great news for livestock producers and people who love bacon.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
9:39 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Food Security Since Ebola

A woman drys cocoa beans in Liberia, 10/25/2010.
Laura Elizabeth Pohl

West African leaders attending the World Food Prize symposium in Des Moines discussed steps to prevent a food crisis in Ebola-affected countries, Wednesday.

President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development Kanayo Nwanze said 40 percent of farms in affected areas have been abandoned, thus dramatically harming food production.

"I think the regional trade is going to be very, very serious," Nwanze said.  "Like any other situation...where you have a crisis you should begin to plan for the aftermath."

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Food
4:59 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

PBS New Show “Food Forward” Features Iowa “Food Rebels”

Bison roaming on Bob Jackson's farm near Promise City
Screenshot

There are lots of opinions about how to eat and grow healthy food. The new PBS show Food Forward takes a look at some of them. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
4:00 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Foodborne Illnesses Could Cost Us $15 billion a Year

Pathogens that can cause foodborne illness are often ingested by incorrectly cooked meat.
taryn/Flickr

Americans had to dig deep into their wallets to cover costs associated with foodborne illnesses, according to new estimatesfrom the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
12:41 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Ag Careers an Opportunity Few Latinos Pursue

High school senior Melissa Garcia Rodriguez has managed the barn at the Des Moines ag campus for the past two summers.
Amy Mayer/IPR

In a dimly-lit lab on the Des Moines public schools’ agricultural science campus, students in aprons, safety goggles and plastic gloves poke and probe chicken wings. About 15 girls and just one boy in this vet careers class are looking for ligaments, tendons, cartilage and other features of this animal part that teenagers more often experience cooked and covered in barbecue sauce.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Wed October 15, 2014

At Harvest, These Corn Huskers Still Pick By Hand

Competitor Harlan Jacobson races to pick rows of corn at the annual Illinois State Corn Husking Competition in September.
Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

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.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
2:14 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Humanitarian Recognized at Iowa Hunger Summit

Governor Terry Branstad presents Merry Fredrick with the Robert D. Ray Iowa SHARES Humanitarian Award at the Iowa Hunger Summit on 10/14/2014.
Sarah Boden Iowa Public Radio

Merry Fredrick was awarded the second annual Robert D. Ray Iowa SHARES Humanitarian Award, Tuesday in Des Moines at the Iowa Hunger Summit.

Fredrick is the former executive director of Self-Help International.  The Waverly-based organization helps farmers in Ghana and Nicaragua grow high protein maize.

"I'm very humbled by the award," said Fredrick, who hopes the award will heighten Self-Help International's profile so that it may grow and eventually end hunger. 

Self-Help International also provides micro-credit loans to women for starting small-scale businesses.

Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
10:58 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Young Immigrants Search for Home on the Farm

Dutch immigrant Teun Boelen works with his family on a dairy farm they bought after selling the family land in The Netherlands.
Amy Mayer/IPR

Bear Creek Dairy in Brooklyn, Iowa, is home to more than 1,100 cows, who provide about 100,000 pounds of milk each day.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Mule Jumping: The County Fair Tradition You Didn’t Know You Loved

Competitor Becky Manees leads a mule at the East Perry Community Fair in Altenburg, Mo.
Jacob McCleland for Harvest Public Media

 

Fair-goers pack the stands at the East Perry Community Fair in Altenburg, Mo., on a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
4:00 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

EPA Holds Meetings with Farmers to Quell Fears Over Water Rule

A proposed change to the Clean Water Act has some farmers worried they'd be subject to more regulation. (Amy Mayer/IPR file photo)

Proposed changes to the Clean Water Act have some Midwest farmers worried that, if enacted, they could be subject to additional regulation. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
3:12 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Don't Blame the Farmers

  An Iowa energy expert says farmers are often unfairly blamed when propane supplies are low and prices are high. Farmers use LP to dry their corn before it's stored to avoid spoilage. Harold Hommes with the State Department of Agriculture says  farm use is only part of the picture. He says international customers also draw down supplies, " we now export around 400 thousand barrels a day and probably will for the foreseeable future.

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