agriculture

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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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
2:31 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Ethanol debate looks beyond short term gain

Josh Alexander stands next to a pile of distillers grain at his family’s feedlot near Pilger, Neb.
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

Livestock producers want to press pause on the federal mandate for corn-based ethanol. They’re seeking relief from corn prices pushed up by the drought. But as Harvest Public Media’s Grant Gerlock reports, this short-term debate has broader implications. 

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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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Talk of Iowa
11:08 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Farm Bill 2012

Kevin Dooley / Flickr

The Farm Bill is the primary agricultural and food policy tool of the federal government. The comprehensive bill is passed every five years in Congress. Recently, Congress decided to postpone action on the new bill until after the November elections.

Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
5:23 am
Tue October 9, 2012

New Amish Settlement Competes for Land in Delaware County

Members that started the Delhi Amish settlement moved to Delaware County, Iowa last year. Now, signs that read "Share the Road" are posted along rural county roads.
Clay Masters IPR

A new Amish settlement has sprung up in Delaware County, Iowa near Delhi. Members of the Amish community near Edgewood left the settlement because of economic differences they had with the Bishop  about how much time they could work off the farm. In the capital intensive agriculture industry it’s hard for anyone to work the land without a second income. As the Amish are forced to become more progressive it’s pitting them against the eroding Midsize American farms.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
5:44 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Gas with more ethanol headed to some pumps

The Zarco 66 gas station in Lawrence, Kan., is the first in the country to offer E-15.
Jeremy Bernfeld Harvest Public Media

Head to your local filling station and you might see a new blend of gas at the pump. After a three-year regulatory process, the Environmental Protection Agency approved E15 – gas made with 15 percent ethanol – this summer.

Most gas we pump is already blended with ethanol, sometimes it contains as much as 10 percent, but the ethanol industry fought hard to bring E15 to the market. For ethanol backers and the farmers who feed the ethanol industry, getting drivers to pump gas with 50 percent more ethanol is a big win.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
3:53 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Which presidential candidate is best for agriculture?

Former Iowa Lieutentant Governor Patty Judge debates Nebraska Republican Senator Mike Johanns in front of State Secretaries of Agriculture from across the country.
Sandhya Dirks

Despite a devastating drought Iowa has weathered a rough economy thanks to its agricultural base. On Wednesday night Ag leaders from across the country gathered in Des Moines for a forum on agriculture. The question up for debate? Which presidential candidate is best for farmers.  As Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports, the answer to that question could decide the election.  

Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
6:59 am
Thu September 13, 2012

Manager of Iowa Egg Farm Linked to Salmonella Admits Bribery

Shannon Miller

The manager at an Iowa Egg Farm implicated in a national salmonella outbreak will admit he tried to bribe a federal official to sign off on unsafe eggs.

In 2010 a salmonella scare spread across the country—500 million eggs were recalled and 2,000 people fell sick.

Now a federal prosecutor says the manager of the farm the bacterial outbreak was traced back to—Tony Wasmund—has agreed to plead guilty to attempting to bribe a public official. Wasmund apparently offered $300 to a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector to let eggs that didn’t pass muster go to market.

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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Health
4:43 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Salmonella found again on Iowa farm

The bacteria salmonella heidelberg found on an egg farm in Clarion, Iowa.
Shannon Miller

It’s been two years since a salmonella outbreak was traced back to several Iowa farms—including Centrum Valley Farms. As Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports, another strain of the deadly bacteria has re-appeared on that same farm.

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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
7:45 am
Wed August 22, 2012

My Farm Roots: Rhonda McClure

Rhonda McClure raises sheep for wool on a small farm outside Wahoo, Neb., and uses some of the wool in fiber art projects.
Grant Gerlock 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
7:01 am
Wed August 15, 2012

My Farm Roots: Ryan Brady

Ryan Brady has traveled widely, but says his farm north of Cimarron, Kan., remains the "most beautiful" place he has been.
Justine Greve Harvest Public Media

This is the sixth 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
11:24 am
Tue July 24, 2012

My Farm Roots: Tom Karst

Tom Karst feels right at home on a summer morning at a farmer's market in Overland Park, Kan.
Donna Vestal Harvest Public Media

In this week's installment, we meet Tom Karst. He's the national editor for "The Packer," a trade newspaper covering the fruit and vegetable industry. For more than 25 years, he’s been reporting on issues of importance to the produce industry, including immigration, farm policy, and food safety.

To explore more "My Farm Roots" stories, and share your own, visit: http://harvestpublicmedia.org/myfarmroots

River to River
1:45 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Summer Drought

Clint Alley / flickr

Most of Iowa is now experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions… along with more than half the country.  On today's "River to River' we hear from farmers, business owners and cities about how they’re being affected.  We talk with Elwynn Taylor about the prospects for turning the dry weather around.  And Harry Hillaker tells us how this drought compares with others in the state’s history. 

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
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
7:15 am
Thu June 7, 2012

ISU Climate Change Expert Briefing USDA on Implications for Agriculture

Iowa State University

Farmers are already making changes to adjust to global warming. A researcher from Iowa State University meets with agriculture officials, including USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, in Washington, D.C. Thursday.  ISU Climate Science Program Director Dr. Gene Takle is briefing Vilsack and other officials on how to prepare and plan for global warming.  He says climate change actually has some benefits for farmers, at least in the short-term. But he the greatest risk for the industry is unpredictability and wild fluctuations in weather patterns.

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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Talk of Iowa
3:49 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Farmers of the Future

The 2007 U-S Census of Agriculture reveals these trends… the percentage of women and Hispanic farmers is growing.  And farmers are getting older.  For today's Talk of Iowa, in cooperation with Harvest Public Media, we talk with Farmers of the Future.  Young farmers trying to break into the business tell us how they’re overcoming obstacles and planning for changes in agriculture.

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/Harvest Public Media
7:27 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Could the 'Farmer of the Future' Be...A Robot?

Brent Ware, a member of the robotics team at Kansas State, stands next to a planting robot that won a national competition.
Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

There’s always work to be done on the farm, but often it’s the same work day, after day, after day. Parts of the job must feel a bit like an assembly line.

While it’s impossible to automate farming like many manufacturers have automated their assembly lines, using robotic technology on the farm might not be so far off.

The biological and agricultural engineering robotics team at Kansas State University knows a thing or two about agricultural robots. They’ve won national robotics competitions in each of the last five years.

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