Agriculture http://kcur.org en Study: Cellulosic Ethanol Production May Harm Climate http://kcur.org/post/study-cellulosic-ethanol-production-may-harm-climate <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;">Biofuels made in the Midwest from corn stover, the leftovers of harvested corn plants, may be worse for global warming than gasoline in the short term, according to a recent study. It’s casting doubt on the greenhouse benefits of cellulosic ethanol.</p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:25:07 +0000 Grant Gerlock 54660 at http://kcur.org Hog Farmers Required To Report Disease Outbreaks http://kcur.org/post/hog-farmers-required-report-disease-outbreaks <p>Hog farmers are now required to <a href="http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_health/2014/faq_ped_reporting.pdf">report outbreaks</a> of certain viral diseases that have spread across the country during the past year, according to the&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.538em;">U.S. Department of Agriculture</span><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">.</span></p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:35:33 +0000 Amy Mayer 54499 at http://kcur.org Hog Farmers Required To Report Disease Outbreaks Snowy Winter Not Causing Flood Concerns On Missouri River http://kcur.org/post/snowy-winter-not-causing-flood-concerns-missouri-river <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A long winter of brutally cold temperatures and seemingly endless snowfall led to a deep snowpack in the mountains at the headwaters of the Missouri River.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But that doesn’t necessarily mean a higher risk of flooding this spring.&nbsp;</span></p><p>2011 brought major flooding to many areas along the Missouri River. This year, the snow pack is comparable to those levels. But Kevin Low of the National Weather Service says even though the snow is starting to melt, there are a few differences this year.</p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:33:24 +0000 Suzanne Hogan 54275 at http://kcur.org Snowy Winter Not Causing Flood Concerns On Missouri River Chinese Market Could Help Rid Rivers Of Invasive Asian Carp http://kcur.org/post/chinese-market-could-help-rid-rivers-invasive-asian-carp <p></p><p>Water experts worried about Asian carp may have new hope. They’re turning their eyes to China, where a carp-hungry populace may be the key for stemming the tide of the invasive fish.</p><p>Asian carp are taking over U.S. waterways, including the Mississippi River and tributaries like the Illinois and Missouri Rivers, where they out-compete native fish.</p><p>In China, carp is cheap and a common meal-time fixture. Now, a carp fishing industry is springing up along carp-infested U.S. waters and processors are exporting the U.S. problem fish to Chinese diners.</p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Jacob McCleland 54414 at http://kcur.org Chinese Market Could Help Rid Rivers Of Invasive Asian Carp Precariousness For Pollinators: Monarch Butterflies & Honeybees In Decline http://kcur.org/post/precariousness-pollinators-monarch-butterflies-honeybees-decline <p>Insect ecologist Chip Taylor is a friend to both the monarch butterfly and the honeybee. He's been tracking monarchs and restoring their habitats since 1992. And he's worked with bees in French Guiana, Venezuela and Mexico.</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:35:57 +0000 Gina Kaufmann, Matthew Long-Middleton & Suzanne Hogan 54337 at http://kcur.org Precariousness For Pollinators: Monarch Butterflies & Honeybees In Decline Vertical Farming: Towering Vision, Uncertain Future http://kcur.org/post/vertical-farming-towering-vision-uncertain-future <p>Farmers are making inroads supplying local food to hungry city foodies, but many producers are trying to grow more food <em>in </em>urban centers. City real estate is at a premium, so some producers are finding more space by using what’s called “vertical farming,” and going up rather than spreading out.</p><p>Growers across the country are heading indoors, using greenhouses and hydroponics – growing plants in a water and nutrient solution instead of soil and using lamps to replace sunlight. Vertical farming takes that to a new level.</p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:27:40 +0000 Peter Gray 54181 at http://kcur.org Vertical Farming: Towering Vision, Uncertain Future While Farm Life Changes, FFA’s Blue Jacket Stays The Same http://kcur.org/post/while-farm-life-changes-ffa-s-blue-jacket-stays-same <p>The blue corduroy jacket worn by high school students in FFA, formerly the Future Farmers of America, is an icon of rural life. To the average city dweller the jacket is a vestige of dwindling, isolated farm culture, as fewer and fewer young people grow up on farms. The numbers tell a different story however. In spite of that demographic shift, a record number of kids are donning blue jackets this year.</p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 13:48:03 +0000 Luke Runyon 53972 at http://kcur.org While Farm Life Changes, FFA’s Blue Jacket Stays The Same Kansas Congressman Introduces Ban on GMO Labels http://kcur.org/post/kansas-congressman-introduces-ban-gmo-labels <p>State efforts to label genetically-modified food would be outlawed under a bill unveiled by a Kansas congressman Wednesday – a plan immediately criticized as a “legislative Hail Mary” that won’t pass.</p><p>The bill by Rep. Mike Pompeo, a Republican from Wichita, would also bar the Food and Drug Administration from labeling efforts, a move highly popular with consumers, and allow so-called “natural” foods to contain bio-engineered ingredients. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 18:42:47 +0000 Peggy Lowe 53920 at http://kcur.org Kansas Congressman Introduces Ban on GMO Labels Genetic Mapping Gives Endangered Missouri River Pallid A Boost http://kcur.org/post/genetic-mapping-gives-endangered-missouri-river-pallid-boost <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Missouri River has turned into a harsh home for the pallid sturgeon — commonly known as the "Missouri River dinosaur." </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The white flat-nosed fish has been on the planet for more than 70 million years, and it’s been on the federal endangered species list since 1990. But genetic research and stocking efforts are helping these ancient bottom feeder species.</span></p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 15:27:08 +0000 Suzanne Hogan 53893 at http://kcur.org Genetic Mapping Gives Endangered Missouri River Pallid A Boost Corn Farmers Fight Rootworm Resistance http://kcur.org/post/corn-farmers-fight-rootworm-resistance <p>After a long battle with corn rootworm, Midwest farmers thought they’d found relief in genetically modified seeds engineered to produce toxins deadly to the pest. But recent research confirms what farmers have been noticing for several years: the western corn rootworm has been evolving to outwit the technology.</p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 13:32:18 +0000 Amy Mayer 53791 at http://kcur.org Corn Farmers Fight Rootworm Resistance Hog Farmers Differ On Packer-Owned Pigs http://kcur.org/post/hog-farmers-differ-packer-owned-pigs <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Nebraska hog farmers aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on a proposal that would allow meatpacking companies more control over the state’s hog industry. And farmers all over the country are watching.<o:p></o:p></p><p>Currently, a 1998 state law bans meatpacking companies from owning and raising the hogs the process. But lawmakers have proposed an end to the ban, which would allow for more vertical integration of the hog industry.<o:p></o:p></p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 12:49:23 +0000 Grant Gerlock 53446 at http://kcur.org Hog Farmers Differ On Packer-Owned Pigs Food Hubs Could Provide Crucial Link For Amish Farmers http://kcur.org/post/food-hubs-could-provide-crucial-link-amish-farmers <p>Lacking the infrastructure of traditional suppliers, many local farms that want to connect to restaurants, schools and other big buyers are using the Internet to reach customers.</p><p>Groups of farms are banding together to form <a href="http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/foodhubs">regional food hubs</a>, leveraging online ordering, tracking and marketing tools to cut down on costs and to try to keep local food systems viable for growers and affordable for consumers.</p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 13:06:20 +0000 Peter Gray 53163 at http://kcur.org Food Hubs Could Provide Crucial Link For Amish Farmers Drones: Coming Soon To A Farm Near You? http://kcur.org/post/drones-coming-soon-farm-near-you <p>Unmanned aerial vehicles aren’t just for spies or for the battlefield. Farmers all over the country think drones can give them a leg up, too.</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 12:58:32 +0000 Peter Gray 53101 at http://kcur.org Drones: Coming Soon To A Farm Near You? Bring Home The Bacon: Virus Cutting Pork Supplies http://kcur.org/post/bring-home-bacon-virus-cutting-pork-supplies <p>Bacon-loving shoppers prepare yourselves: A <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/ped-virus-continues-rip-through-hog-farms">virus that has devastated piglets</a> for nearly a year is causing lower pork supplies and higher prices.</p><p>Farmer Phil Borgic of Nokomis, Ill., knows firsthand what happens when porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus infects a hog barn. He walked through one in late January, pointing out the differences among litters.</p><p>“This is a PED litter. See how dirty they are?” he said, pointing to a sow whose little piglets had dirty hooves.</p> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 12:57:46 +0000 Amy Mayer 52750 at http://kcur.org Bring Home The Bacon: Virus Cutting Pork Supplies USDA Announces 'Concerted Effort' To Help Small Farms http://kcur.org/post/usda-announces-concerted-effort-help-small-farms <p>The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday that it is launching what it calls “a concerted effort” to help small and mid-sized farms.</p><p>The announcement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack comes after a recent census pointed to a reduction in the number of smaller farming operations.</p><p>Speaking with reporters from the National Farmers Union Convention in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Vilsack says his department is working to assist these farmers in finding markets for their products.</p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 12:52:29 +0000 Harvest Public Media 52444 at http://kcur.org Padlock The Milk! FDA’s Push To Safeguard The Food Supply http://kcur.org/post/padlock-milk-fda-s-push-safeguard-food-supply <p>Many of the food terrorism scenarios outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration involve liquid.</p><p>And there’s good reason for that.</p><p>Liquids like orange juice and milk go through many processing steps -- farm, bottling plant, delivery – before reaching the consumers who drink them. And these liquids are moved, manufactured and stored in huge batches that get distributed and consumed quickly. Should a toxin be injected somewhere along the supply chain, experts believe it could have devastating human health and economic consequences.</p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 12:45:02 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 52443 at http://kcur.org Padlock The Milk! FDA’s Push To Safeguard The Food Supply Could Our Food Supply Be A Target For Terrorists? http://kcur.org/post/could-our-food-supply-be-target-terrorists <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster. Villains in trench coats scheme ways to cause the most destruction and chaos. They settle on a food company, an easy target, and plan to lace the products with a chemical or pathogen. The hero finds out the plan with enough time to save the day.</p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 13:27:28 +0000 Luke Runyon 52380 at http://kcur.org Could Our Food Supply Be A Target For Terrorists? Hog Virus Causing Spike In Price Of Bacon http://kcur.org/post/hog-virus-causing-spike-price-bacon <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;">Shoppers are already paying more for pork and bacon than they did last year and many economists expect those prices to continue climbing for the next few months.</p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 13:18:15 +0000 Peter Gray 52378 at http://kcur.org Hog Virus Causing Spike In Price Of Bacon Missouri Among States Suing California Over Henhouse Restrictions http://kcur.org/post/missouri-among-states-suing-california-over-henhouse-restrictions <p></p><p></p><p>By most measures David Kesten's hens are living the good life.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"They can act like chickens, they can run around," says </span>Kesten<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, who's raising hens in an old wooden shed in the open countryside near Concordia, Mo. "They can go out and catch bugs, they can dig in the ground."</span></p><p>But most U.S. hens live crammed into very close quarters, according to Joe Maxwell, with the Humane Society of the U.S. And he says that's just wrong.</p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 15:18:34 +0000 Frank Morris 52279 at http://kcur.org Missouri Among States Suing California Over Henhouse Restrictions Egg Wars: California Versus Missouri http://kcur.org/post/egg-wars-california-versus-missouri <p>Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster along with five other attorneys general have filed a lawsuit against the State of California for its regulations regarding cage sizes for chickens.</p><p>The original legislature, <a href="http://www.smartvoter.org/2008/11/04/ca/state/prop/2/">Proposition 2</a>, was passed in 2008, which required cages to be nearly twice as large as most standard chicken cages. The follow up law requires all eggs sold in California to comply to these same conditions.</p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 19:00:15 +0000 Jeremy Bernfeld, Matthew Long-Middleton & Kate Baxendale 52397 at http://kcur.org Ag Data Could Generate Prescriptions For Fields http://kcur.org/post/ag-data-could-generate-prescriptions-fields <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;">A couple of seeds, some fertilizer, a little sunshine – just add water and you’re ready to harvest your crops, right?</p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 15:57:34 +0000 Jeremy Bernfeld 52170 at http://kcur.org U.S. Wastes Nearly A Third Of Food Produced http://kcur.org/post/us-wastes-nearly-third-food-produced <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;">Nearly a third of the food available to be eaten in the U.S. is thrown out instead. And all of that wasted food comes with a steep price tag.</p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 14:08:22 +0000 Grant Gerlock 52106 at http://kcur.org Farmers Bid Farewell To Big Expense Tax Write-Offs http://kcur.org/post/farmers-bid-farewell-big-expense-tax-write-offs <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;">It could be yet another sign that the good times are over.</p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 14:20:03 +0000 Amy Mayer 52053 at http://kcur.org Climate Change Could Be Good News For Some Invasive Plants http://kcur.org/post/climate-change-could-be-good-news-some-invasive-plants <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Most <a href="http://www.hprcc.unl.edu/publications/files/HighPlainsClimateChangeGuide-2013.pdf">climate models paint</a> a bleak picture for the Great Plains a century from now: It will likely be warmer and the air will be more rich with carbon dioxide. Though scientists don’t yet know how exactly the climate will change, new studies show it could be a boon to some invasive plant species. &nbsp;</p><p><strong>A growing problem</strong></p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 14:18:01 +0000 Luke Runyon 51965 at http://kcur.org Climate Change Could Be Good News For Some Invasive Plants The Business Of Meat In America http://kcur.org/post/business-meat-america <p>This country's meat industry no longer includes the picturesque red barn and white picket fences. Instead, the meat we buy at the supermarket is likely processed by one of the four large meat packing companies that controls the majority of the industry.</p><p>On today's <em>Central Standard</em>, journalist and author Christopher Leonard discusses his book "The Meat Racket: The Secret Takeover of America's Food Business." Also, Mark Dopp of the American Meat Institute weighs in on what he perceives&nbsp;as the benefits of having a more centralized&nbsp;system.</p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 22:01:00 +0000 Jeremy Bernfeld, Matthew Long-Middleton & Kate Baxendale 51800 at http://kcur.org Farmers Play The Markets, Learn To Avoid Risk http://kcur.org/post/farmers-play-markets-learn-avoid-risk <p>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 don’t make money planting or harvesting crops; they make money selling them. And Hart knows that marketing—managing those sales for the best profit—can be intimidating.</p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 14:06:07 +0000 Amy Mayer 51790 at http://kcur.org Farmers Play The Markets, Learn To Avoid Risk Young Farmers Wait For Their Opportunity http://kcur.org/post/young-farmers-wait-their-opportunity <p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/retirement-not-farm-farmers-working-later">average age of American farmers has been climbing for decades</a>, and many say rural towns are at-risk without new blood. There are enough people who want to farm, but there’s trouble connecting beginning farmers and the communities that need them.</p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 14:02:16 +0000 Grant Gerlock 51716 at http://kcur.org Young Farmers Wait For Their Opportunity Preliminary Data From Ag Census Shows Aging Farmers, Declining Farms http://kcur.org/post/preliminary-data-ag-census-shows-aging-farmers-declining-farms <p>The U.S. Department of Agriculture is beginning to release figures from its 2012 Census of Agriculture. An early standout in the data is the value of products being sold.</p><p>Greg Thessen, with the USDA’s agricultural statistics service, says sales figures come shining through in the preliminary data.</p><p>"The biggest thing it showed was the large increase in the market value of products that farmers sold in 2012," he said.</p> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 13:10:42 +0000 Amy Mayer 51603 at http://kcur.org Missouri Reclaims Second Highest Beef Cow Count in US http://kcur.org/post/missouri-reclaims-second-highest-beef-cow-count-us Missouri has retaken its position as the number two beef cow producer in the nation. Tue, 18 Feb 2014 23:15:13 +0000 Joseph Leahy 51475 at http://kcur.org Missouri Reclaims Second Highest Beef Cow Count in US Farmland Real Estate 'Bubble' May Be Ready To Pop http://kcur.org/post/farmland-real-estate-bubble-may-be-ready-pop <p>The so-called farmland real estate bubble appears to be starting to deflate. After years of steep property values, a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City shows the high times may be coming to an end.</p><p>Since 2011, the price for a plot of a farmland across the Midwest has been growing at breakneck speed. Most of that has been due to the same trajectory in the price of major commodity crops like corn and soybeans. Now, with crop prices slipping, farmers are set to bring in less money. Money they could be using to buy or rent more land.</p> Mon, 17 Feb 2014 14:15:30 +0000 Luke Runyon 51391 at http://kcur.org