Monsanto has agreed to settle some of the lawsuits brought by U.S. farmers who allege they lost money when an Oregon field was discovered to have been contaminated with an experimental genetically modified strain of wheat.
The ongoing turmoilÂ in Ukraine could impact the worldâ€™s wheat supply and with reports that fighting is edging closer to a key Black Sea trading port, farmers and commodity brokers are paying attention.
Pro-Russian rebelsÂ appear to be pushing closer to the Ukranian city of Mariupol, a strategic port city. As Ukraine is one of the worldâ€™s largest exporters of wheat, any disruption in the harvest or transport of the countryâ€™s wheat crop could put a kink in global supply lines and could raise grain prices across the world.
Spring may still seem far off, but now is the time to plan the garden, and in some cases it is time to start seeds indoors. Â Iowa State University Extension Horticulturists Richard Jauron and Cindy Haynes are guests and give advice and answer listener questions.
On a frigid winter day , Chad Hart tries to warm his economics students at Iowa State University to the idea of managing some of the risk of farming using the commodity markets. Because as he told them on the first day of class, farmers donâ€™t make money planting or harvesting crops; they make money selling them. And Hart knows that marketingâ€”managing those sales for the best profitâ€”can be intimidating.
Nearly all gasoline sold in the U.S. contains up to 10 percent of ethanolâ€”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.Â Harvest Public Media's Ames-based reporter Amy Mayer and host Ben Kieffer discuss the future of ethanol in the U.S.
Pam Johnson has just wrapped up a term as president of the National Corn Growers Association. She and her husband and two sons farm in Floyd County in North Iowa. Johnson testified in July before a U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy about the need to continue the Renewable Fuels Standard for ethanol.
Bailey Sweet, American Mother, Chieftain, Empire...there are many thousands of different kinds of apples in the world. And this year, Iowa apple growers are harvesting bumper crops. Today on Talk of Iowa, we talk apple history, apples in Iowa, heirloom apples, and your favorites.
Host Charity Nebbe speaks with Paul Rasch, owner of Wilsonâ€™s Orchard in Iowa City, Dan Bussey, orchard manager for the Seed Savers Exchange, Erika Janik, author of Apple: A Global History, and Patrick Oâ€™Malley, of Iowa State University Extension.
The U.S. Department of AgricultureÂ predicts the nationâ€™s farmerswill deliver a record 3.42 billion bushels of soybeans this year. TheÂ USDA is also forecastingÂ that this year for the first time Brazil will overtake the United States as the worldâ€™s leading producer of soybeans.
A Midwest summertime tradition is in full swing: corn detasseling.Â Every summer, seed corn companies hire thousands of seasonal workers to remove the top of the corn plant to produce hybrid varieties.Â The minimum age in Iowa to do the work is 14. Those as young as 12 can detassel in Illinois and Nebraska.Â Many crew leaders who started in their teens are now in their 50s and 60s.Â Workers say even thoughÂ it's often hot in the cornfield and the work is tedious,Â they return year after year because they are paid good money by the companies.
The wet spring has delayed the growth of corn used for seed by Iowa companies including the largest, DuPont Pioneer. That, in turn, has pushed back the schedule of hundreds of part time workers who make money in the fields by removing the top of the plant known as the tassel.Â Production manager for the Reinbeck facility, Colby Entriken says ,"we're hoping to start pulling tassels next week which is about a week behind schedule.
Many farmers say they would like to grow genetically engineered wheat to help them feed a hungry world, but itâ€™s not what everyoneâ€™s hungry for. And now, with the mysterious appearance of Roundup Ready wheatÂ in a farmerâ€™s field in OregonÂ a few weeks ago, consumer resistance may grow even stronger.
Most of the corn and soybeans grown in the United States are genetically modified, but GMO wheat has never been approved for farming.
Spring planting could linger into the summer for many Iowa soybean farmers. The state's trading partners and commodity markets areÂ keeping a close eye on what happens here and it could impact the economy down the road. Grant Kimberley is the market development director for the Iowa Soybean Association. He tells Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank, this year has been a challenge.
People have been cross-breeding plants for thousands of yearâ€¦ Manipulating traits in agricultural crops from generation to generation. When scientists discovered that they could actually modify the genes of these plants in a laboratory the landscape of agriculture changed dramatically and fast. Host Charity Nebbe, explores the science of seeds, as a continuation of the Harvest Public Media series.
We continue now with Harvest Public Mediaâ€™s three-part series on the Science of the Seed. Over the past two days weâ€™ve considered the beginnings of genetic modification and how control of the technology is changing as patents expire. Today, we wrap up with the question that drives seed company executives and farmers alike: how can we grow more crops?Â Iowa Public Radioâ€™s Amy Mayer looks at how seed innovations push the boundaries of what the land can produce.
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
Taylor credits abundant fall rains with helping mitigate the drought, at least for now.
The Dust Bowl of the 1930s is the subject of a new documentary from Ken Burns airing this month on PBS television stations. The man-made disaster left an indelible mark on the Midwest and on history â€” and, as Harvest Public Mediaâ€™s Grant Gerlock reports, todayâ€™s extensive corn production could make the region vulnerable once again.
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 theÂ crops and reduced fertilizer runoff.
Farmers and weeds are in a constant competition. When the herbicide called Roundup came along, farmers got a clear edge. But now weeds are beginning to catch up. Grant Gerlock of Harvest Public Media has more on how Roundup-resistant weeds are changing the game.
On today's River to River the 2012 World Food Prize laureate, Daniel Hillel, talks about his role bringing advanced irrigation techniques to crops in arid and dry regions in the Middle East. Hillel has impacted farming lands in more than 30 countries with his technique of â€śmicro-irrigationâ€ť that keeps the soil continuously moist without overusing the water supply.
While many farmers were bringing in this yearâ€™s harvest, they also were planting. Â Cover cropsâ€”like oats and winter ryeâ€”are becoming more popular, despite the time and expense involved in growing green fields that wonâ€™t ever make moneyâ€”directly.Â Together with Harvest Public Media, Iowa Public Radioâ€™s Amy Mayer explains why.
This yearâ€™s harvest is nearly complete, but some gardeners and farmers are planting right now. Horticulturist Ajay Nair talks about cover crops, how to plant them, and what they can do for your soil. Then, Richard Jauron joins the conversationÂ and he and Ajay answer listener questions.