farming

Talk of Iowa
11:42 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Midwest Farmer's Daughter

Zachary Michael Jack with his new book "The Midwest Farmer's Daughter" at IPR's Iowa City studio.
Sarah Boden / Iowa Public Radio

"Talk of Iowa" explores the roles of women on the farm in history, literature, popular culture and the present.  We talk with Zachary Michael Jack, author of "The Midwest Farmer's Daughter: In Search of an American Icon." Also joining the conversation, Cheryl Tevis of Iowa Women In Agriculture, and Denise O'Brien, founder of the

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
12:12 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

When Conservation Pays

Lindsey Price and father Bob Price look out on the land of their Gracie Creek Ranch near Burwell, in central Nebraska.The Price family recently sold the largest conservation easement in Nebraska history, covering about 40 square miles.
Credit Hilary Stohs-Krause/NET News

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.

And that’s the way the owners of Gracie Creek Ranch want it to stay.  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.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
7:13 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Corn Belt Farmland: The Newest Real Estate Bubble?

This field is part of a 160-acre tract in Saline County, Mo., that sold for $10,700 last year. Now this land is selling for around $13,000.
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

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.

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.

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Talk of Iowa
11:27 am
Wed October 31, 2012

A Study on Crop Rotation

Theresa Wysocki Flickr

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 the crops and reduced fertilizer runoff.

  

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Roundup Resistant Weeds
7:25 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Roundup resistance leading to more chemicals, study finds

Water hemp in this soybean field was not killed by Roundup. (Courtesy Bob Hartzler/Iowa State University)

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.

Cover Crops
2:18 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Cover Crops Use Expanding

Jeff Longnecker's cows will graze next spring on rye planted now.
Amy Mayer

While many farmers were bringing in this year’s harvest, they also were planting.  Cover crops—like oats and winter rye—are becoming more popular, despite the time and expense involved in growing green fields that won’t ever make money—directly.  Together with Harvest Public Media, Iowa Public Radio’s Amy Mayer explains why.

Politics
11:21 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Romney Focuses on Farm Policy in Van Meter

GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney focused on agriculture policy at his Tuesday campaign visit to Van Meter, Iowa but he also told some personal stories.
Clay Masters IPR

Still riding high off as many saw it, his first presidential debate win, Governor Mitt Romney focused on agriculture policy in a campaign stop at a farm near Van Meter Tuesday. While Romney focused primarily on farm policy, Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports the Republican presidential candidate also got a little personal.

Flanked by a John Deere tractor sporting the Romney/Ryan campaign’s trademark red, white and blue “R,” Mitt Romney addressed 1200 people on a corn field in windy northern Madison County. 

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
7:00 am
Wed September 26, 2012

My Farm Roots: Nathan Dorn

Nathan Dorn stands in front of the feedlot on his family’s farm in Adams, Neb.
Camille Phillips Harvest Public Media

Down a stretch of rural highway and country roads lined with fields, about an hour south of Lincoln, Neb., lies the Dorn family farm. That’s where Nathan Dorn grew up, where his grandfather farmed before him and where his father, uncles and cousin now farm beside him.

Dorn’s strong ties to the land made the decision to continue the family tradition of farming an easy one. But it also leaves him feeling misunderstood by the average American.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
7:22 am
Wed September 12, 2012

My Farm Roots:Rose Alderson

Rose Alderson and her husband Loren have farmed outside of Nickerson, Kan., for decades.
Frank Morris Harvest Public Media

This is the tenth installment of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s series chronicling Americans’ connections to the land. Click here to explore more My Farm Roots stories and to share your own.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
6:57 am
Wed September 5, 2012

My Farm Roots: Brandon Fahrmeier

Brandon Fahrmeier and his brother Bret Fahrmeier farm in Lexington, Mo., on land that has been in their family since the 1940s.
Jeremy Bernfeld Harvest Public Media

This is the ninth installment of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. Click here to explore more My Farm Roots stories and to share your own.

Brandon Fahrmeier had a nice job as a sales rep in Ohio for a large company. He and his wife had a nice suburban home. Then they had kids.  

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
5:52 am
Wed August 29, 2012

My Farm Roots: Barb and Lynn Handy

Barb and Lynn Handy have farmed in western Iowa for all of their married lives. They were married 52 years ago.
Camille Phillips Harvest Public Media

This is the seventh installment of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. Click here to explore more My Farm Roots stories and to share your own.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
7:16 am
Wed August 8, 2012

My Farm Roots: Nolan Strawder

Despite working full time as a mechanical engineer, 25-year-old Nolan Strawder is rehabbing his family's farm in his spare time.
Peggy Lowe Harvest Public Media

This is the fifth installment of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. Click here to explore more My Farm Roots stories and to share your own.

When a guy is a mechanical engineer at a nuclear power plant, you figure he puts in a pretty good day of work.

Not so for Nolan Strawder, whose day job, as he calls it, is at the Wolf Creek Nuclear Power Plant in Burlington, Kan.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
7:43 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Hog farmers worry as more consumers demand phaseout of gestation stalls

Craig Rowles (right), and one of his employees, Dan Sander, at Elite Pork Partnership.
Sarah McCammon IPR

North America’s largest food distributor, Sysco, is the latest company to announce it will phase out pork produced with a controversial technology known as gestation crates. A growing number of consumers say they want more humanely produced meat on their plates, but many farmers worry they’ll be left picking up the tab.

Craig Rowles grew up on an Iowa farm, and like a lot of farm kids, he’s done his share of heavy lifting.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
7:43 am
Wed August 1, 2012

My Farm Roots: Jan Phillips

When Jan Phillips was a baby, her parents said they knew by her laughter in response to a cow-driven buggy ride that she would be adventurous. Seventy years later, she's still proving them right. This is her last year on a trip to Asia.
Courtesy Jan Phillips Harvest Public Media

This is the fourth installment of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. Click here to explore more My Farm Roots (http://www.harvestpublicmedia.org/myfarmroots) stories and to share your own.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
7:38 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Hoop Barns Protect Cattle From Heat

Row of six hoop barns at Grand Meadow Feeders near Washta
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

Crops are not the only things wilting in the sweltering summer of 2012; cattle, the largest animals, on the farm are also under stress.

Some cattle producers are protecting their herds by putting them hoop barns, which are gaining acceptance across the Midwest. The simple structures are made from stretching fabric over strong metal arches, or hoops, providing vital shade and protection from rain, snow or sun.

Tanner Rowe, a cattle producer near Dallas Canter, Iowa, has found hoop barns can give cattle a much-needed break from sweltering heat.

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Business/Economy
5:54 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Drought sinks teeth into Iowa cities

A sign warning of a blue-green algae bloom is posted on Sandpiper beach on Saylorville Lake. The Des Moines Water Works could tap this lake for its water supply if water levels along the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers continue to decrease.
Clay Masters IPR

With drought conditions now gripping more than half the country, many farmers in Iowa are waiting to see if they’ll even have much of a crop to harvest. While farm country feels the brunt of the drought, those in the city are also being hit. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports.

Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
6:22 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Drought hurts grain farmers, but hits livestock producers hardest

Tom Woodward Flickr

It’s official: Iowa is deep in the throes of a drought. State climatologist Harry Hillaker is calling it the worst drought since 1988. Yesterday Hillaker joined Governor Branstad at a town hall in Mount Pleasant. Farmers from across the state came to share concerns—but the most worried? It wasn’t those with thirsty grain crops;  it was livestock farmers. 

Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
6:02 am
Wed July 18, 2012

My Farm Roots: Nan Gardiner

Caption: Nan Gardiner (front) with her husband Henry in Ashland, Kan.
Peggy Lowe Harvest Public Media

This is the second installment of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s new series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. Click here (http://harvestpublicmedia.org/myfarmroots)to explore more My Farm Rootsstories and to share your own.

It’s not every day that a trip to the drug store can change your destiny.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
7:43 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Bridging the Gap Between Rural, Urban Ag

Urban-Ag Academy Facebook

In the Iowa Statehouse, and in statehouses across the nation, representatives are finding themselves separated—not by party lines, but by whether they come from an urban or rural district.  This weekend, the first national Urban Ag Academy was held in Des Moines. The goal? To look at that divide and to give a voice to minority farmers.

Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
7:43 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Bridging the Gap Between Rural, Urban Ag

Urban-Ag Academy Facebook

In the Iowa Statehouse, and in statehouses across the nation, representatives are finding themselves separated—not by party lines, but by whether they come from an urban or rural district.  This weekend, the first Urban Ag Academy was held in Des Moines. The goal? To look at that divide and to give a voice to minority farmers. More than sixty state representatives from across the country came together to in an effort to help bridge the divide between city and country. 

Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
6:38 am
Wed July 11, 2012

My Farm Roots: Kate Edwards

Edwards grows all kinds of vegetables on her plot and delivers whatever is ripe to the participants in her Community Supported Agriculture program.
Andrea Silenzi Harvest Public Media

This is the first installment of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s new series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. Click here (http://harvestpublicmedia.org/myfarmroots) to explore more My Farm Roots stories and to share your own.

Kate Edwards hasn’t always been a farmer. No, she came back to the farm after college, grad school and a stint as an environmental engineer.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
1:10 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Farmers question farm bill restrictions

Marc Benson stands in one of his corn fields near Winfield, Iowa.
Clay Masters IPR

Next week the farm bill makes its way to the House. That’s the big piece of legislation that sets food and agriculture policy for the next 5 years. How does this impact the average Iowan that isn’t on the farm?  Iowa State Agriculture economist Bruce Babcock says for the most part it doesn’t… except for one thing. 

"Are the taxpayer dollars being well spent subsidizing really well managed farms, very smart farmers and very wealthy farmers?" he said.

Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
10:50 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Water Control Fight Continues Along Missouri River Part 2

Jim Redmond, with the Northwest Iowa Sierra Club, stands along the Missouri River in Sioux City, Iowa. Redmond said the river could handle the rainfall of the 2011 flood, but not when it’s cutoff from the flood plain.
Clay Masters IPR

The mighty Missouri River flows through 7 states and drains one-sixth of the water in the United States.  It’s a powerful force that gives life to the land.  But last year’s flood that lasted over 110 days has people talking… and fighting for the future. Here’s Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters, with part two of our special report.

Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
12:16 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Water Control Fight Continues Along Missouri River

A row of soybeans planted in Missouri river bottom sand and silt near flood damaged grain bins in Atchison County, Missouri. (Photo by Clay Masters/Iowa Public Radio)
Clay Masters IPR

The floodwaters that ravaged homes, businesses and farms along a vast stretch of the Missouri River last year are not a distant memory. And as the difficult cleanup and recovery continues, concerns have intensified between those who want there to be more control of this river, and those who believe it should flow freely. In part one of a two-part report, Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters finds that common ground has yet to find traction.

Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
1:00 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Calm before the Corn

Clay Masters IPR

Corn has been good to farmers. Helping fuel a boom in the ag sector. And as this year’s record corn forecast indicates, Midwestern farmers can’t seem to plant enough of the grain. Even with concerns growing about the effectiveness of today’s high-tech genetically engineered seeds, farmers aren’t backing down.

The land is dry and the wind blows hard in Sac County, Iowa.  For Darwin Bettin it’s a good day to be inside selling insurance. He also farms 500 acres of corn and soybeans in western Iowa.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
7:38 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Making it in the Middle: the mid-sized farmer

Eric Neill always wanted to be a farmer. So in 2008, he made the leap, launching a mid-size grazing dairy operation in western Missouri.
Frank Morris Harvest Public Media

A few years ago, things were going smoothly for Eric Neill and his family.

Neill was making good money as a construction superintendent for a commercial contractor in Kansas City, traveling the country, running challenging job sites. But he wasn’t satisfied.

“I decided I wanted to be a farmer,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be a farmer.”

So Neill and his wife, Julie Neill, met with an extension agent and asked how they could make a living with a farm.

That is a tall order.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
6:54 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Who are you calling a corporate farmer?

Chris Boeckmann grows turkeys for Cargill on his Loose Creek, Mo., farm. But he also raises grass-fed all-natural beef for his private label.
Peggy Lowe Harvest Public Media

A surprising thing happens while touring Chris Boeckmann’s turkey farm, where 50,000 birds are grown each year for Cargill Inc.

After seeing the huge brooder barn, after looking into a second enormous facility for the older birds and after spying the Cargill sign, the obvious conclusion is that this is a corporate farm.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
7:46 am
Wed May 23, 2012

What does "sustainable" agriculture really mean?

Dan Howell, a farmer-rancher in Marshall County, Kan., is experimenting with his land like an idealistic young farmer.
Jessica Naudziunas Harvest Public Media

The farmer of future will grow food and raise animals with tomorrow in mind. They’ll know contributing to the food supply is not enough. If the soil, air and water they use to produce food is damaged, good luck feeding anyone.  

That’s the idea, anyway, behind “sustainability” — one of the big buzz words in agriculture today. It’s all about making sure natural resources are not depleted or permanently damaged so that we can farm into the future.

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Agriculture/HPM
5:30 am
Thu April 12, 2012

For women farmland owners, a place at the (decision-making) table

Sarah McCammon

You’ve probably heard that America’s farmers are getting older. Something else you may know: women tend to outlive men. So, do the math, and what do you get? More women coming into agricultural land – and some who aren’t really sure what to do with it. Conservationists say this shift is both a challenge – and an opportunity – for Iowa’s farmland.

Harvest Public Media/Agriculture
5:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Dairy industry pushes for reform

Many dairymen are calling the government price support system broken, but just how to fix it isn't clear. There's debate over how much the government should step in to help in tough times and as to what degree it should let the free market govern.  

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