Agriculture and Harvest Public Media

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.

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.

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. 

Tougher Times Put Young Farmers' Dreams on Hold

Nov 14, 2014
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.

Who Stole the Beans?

Nov 12, 2014
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.

Premium Processing

Nov 11, 2014
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. 

Amy Mayer/IPR

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

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.

Grain farming gets more expensive

Nov 4, 2014
Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

 

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

Wikimedia Commons

Have you started getting your garden ready for winter? 

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

 

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

Roadsidepictures / Flickr

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

Usually Melancholy / flickr

They are easy to grow, decorative and delicious.

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. 

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.

Get Ready for Cheaper Meat at the Grocery Store

Oct 16, 2014
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.

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."

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. 

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.

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.

At Harvest, These Corn Huskers Still Pick By Hand

Oct 15, 2014
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.

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.

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.

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. 

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

Don't Blame the Farmers

Oct 10, 2014

  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.

Less Pain for Propane

Oct 9, 2014
IPR's Pat Blank

   State agriculture and energy officials are working together in the event that there's high demand for liquid propane this harvest season. Iowa Propane Gas Association Executive Director Deb Grooms says customers were asked to top off their tanks this summer. She says farmers got the same message from Ag Secretary Bill Northey.

Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

Several hundred Iowa corn farmers will soon be asked to share their fertilizer and pesticide use with the US Department of Agriculture. 

Produce Premium

Oct 7, 2014
IPR's Pat Blank

Iowa farmers and gardeners harvesting a bumper crop of produce can now get a tax credit when they make a donation to their local food bank.

Will Curran/Flickr

A federal district court has upheld a California law requiring eggs sold in the state to come from hens housed in more spacious cages.

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