Harvest Public Media http://kcur.org en 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 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 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 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 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 Making The Leap: How Niche Crops Go Mainstream http://kcur.org/post/making-leap-how-niche-crops-go-mainstream <p>In the Midwest, crop agriculture often gets divided between the major commodities – corn, soybeans and wheat – and everything else. Diverting acres away from a major commodity to an un-tested crop is risky, but sometimes agronomics and market forces meet in a sweet spot and farmers can reap the benefits of innovation.</p> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 15:28:18 +0000 Amy Mayer 51138 at http://kcur.org Making The Leap: How Niche Crops Go Mainstream Spike In Propane Price Worries Midwest Farmers http://kcur.org/post/spike-propane-price-worries-midwest-farmers <p style="margin-bottom: 12px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 15px;">Residents across the Midwest are struggling with tight propane supplies, especially in this bitterly cold, snowy winter. But it’s not just homes in rural counties that are lacking adequate heating fuel. Farms that put bacon and eggs on your breakfast plate are also feeling the supply pinch.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 13:56:50 +0000 Peter Gray 51039 at http://kcur.org Spike In Propane Price Worries Midwest Farmers Years In The Making, New Farm Bill Becomes Law http://kcur.org/post/years-making-new-farm-bill-becomes-law <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>President Barak Obama signed the new farm bill into law Friday at Michigan State University in East Lansing, ending years of negotiations and wrangling.</p><p>With farm equipment, hay bales and crates of apples setting the stage, the president told the crowd that this farm bill – <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/new-farm-bill-may-be-sight">officially called the Agriculture Act of 2014</a> – will save taxpayer dollars while also offering support to farmers and ranchers. And he says that helps the whole country.</p> Fri, 07 Feb 2014 22:37:08 +0000 Amy Mayer 50959 at http://kcur.org Years In The Making, New Farm Bill Becomes Law USDA Will Set Up Hubs To Help Farmers Adapt To Climate Change http://kcur.org/post/usda-will-set-hubs-help-farmers-adapt-climate-change <p>The U.S Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday it plans to set up seven new research hubs across the country to help farmers adapt to climate change.</p><p>In the past few years, farmers across the Midwest have grappled with epic drought, mega-blizzards and crippling heat.</p><p>“The combination of all those factors convinces me that the climate is changing and it will have its impact,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.</p> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 14:14:37 +0000 Luke Runyon 50868 at http://kcur.org Why Cutting The Ethanol Mandate May Not Ruin The Rural Economy http://kcur.org/post/why-cutting-ethanol-mandate-may-not-ruin-rural-economy <p style="margin-bottom: 12px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 15px;">The EPA wants to roll back the amount of ethanol mixed into the fuel supply for 2014, worrying farmers across the Corn Belt. Ethanol supporters warn that if the EPA follows through, the rural economy will take the fall. But many economists predict a soft landing.</p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 13:28:42 +0000 Grant Gerlock 50808 at http://kcur.org Why Cutting The Ethanol Mandate May Not Ruin The Rural Economy Senate Passes Farm Bill, Sends It To President http://kcur.org/post/senate-passes-farm-bill-sends-it-president <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;">The U.S. Senate passed the farm bill Tuesday by a vote of 68-32, sending it to the president’s desk and ending years of political wrangling.</p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 21:31:15 +0000 Jeremy Bernfeld 50776 at http://kcur.org Senate Passes Farm Bill, Sends It To President 2014 Farm Bill Would Change U.S. Ag Policy http://kcur.org/post/2014-farm-bill-would-change-us-ag-policy <p style="margin-bottom: 12px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 15px;">It’s getting so close now … Last week the U.S. Mon, 03 Feb 2014 14:05:56 +0000 Amy Mayer 50679 at http://kcur.org 2014 Farm Bill Would Change U.S. Ag Policy Senate To Consider Farm Bill http://kcur.org/post/senate-consider-farm-bill <p>The U.S. Senate is set to take up the long overdue farm bill Monday.</p><p>The bill passed the U.S. House last week and if it makes it through the Senate, many Midwest farmers will be taking a close look at how they spread the risk of growing commodities. Sstarting immediately, direct payments would not be available to prop up the bottom line.</p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 13:57:31 +0000 Peter Gray 50677 at http://kcur.org Colorado Creates Food Safety System To Regulate Marijuana Industry http://kcur.org/post/colorado-creates-food-safety-system-regulate-marijuana-industry <p>Colorado made history when it opened up <a href="http://kunc.org/post/colorados-mountain-resorts-gear-recreational-marijuana">licensed marijuana retail shops this year</a>. Aside from just legalizing the purchase of smoke-able marijuana, it also means pot brownies have the potential to be big business. Food products infused with marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, THC, are available in stores across the state.</p> Mon, 27 Jan 2014 13:59:08 +0000 Luke Runyon 50322 at http://kcur.org Colorado Creates Food Safety System To Regulate Marijuana Industry More Than One In Seven Americans Receive Food Stamp Benefits http://kcur.org/post/more-one-seven-americans-receive-food-stamp-benefits <p>Fifteen percent of Americans received federal food stamp benefits in the 2013 fiscal year, according to a <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/annual.htm">new U.S. Department of Agriculture report</a>. That includes about 936,000 people in Missouri and 316,000 in Kansas. The program is the most controversial issue for negotiators working on a new farm bill.</p> Mon, 27 Jan 2014 13:52:06 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 50321 at http://kcur.org Virus Continues To Rip Through Hog Farms http://kcur.org/post/virus-continues-rip-through-hog-farms-0 <p>Pork producers across the country are continuing to grapple with a virus that’s killing their piglets. Experts estimate Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus has already killed about 1 million baby pigs and the disease shows no sign of abating.</p> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 14:45:36 +0000 Amy Mayer 50047 at http://kcur.org Virus Continues To Rip Through Hog Farms Missouri Ag Director Says He Wants To Increase Exports http://kcur.org/post/missouri-ag-director-says-he-wants-increase-exports <p>The director of Missouri’s agriculture department says he wants to increase agricultural exports from the state.</p><p>Exports are already a big deal for Missouri farmers. In 2012, the state sent almost $4 billion worth of farm products overseas, a figure that more than doubled over the previous ten years.</p><p>Richard Fordyce, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, says capitalizing on foreign markets is vital for producers here.</p> Mon, 20 Jan 2014 13:59:48 +0000 Jeremy Bernfeld 50010 at http://kcur.org Abundance Of Wheat Drives Down Prices For Midwest Farmers http://kcur.org/post/abundance-wheat-drives-down-prices-midwest-farmers <p>The world is growing a lot more wheat, and that’s having an effect on the prices farmers get for their crop in Kansas and other states in America’s wheat belt.</p><p>Bumper wheat crops in Canada, Russia and Australia will likely make this year’s haul the largest harvest on record. With all that wheat flooding the market, prices are declining.</p><p>“It’s hard not to pay attention when the price is dropping," says Darrell Hanavan, director of the Colorado Wheat Growers Association. He says farmers can expect prices to dip even further, barring a drought on the other side of the globe.</p> Mon, 20 Jan 2014 13:49:04 +0000 Luke Runyon 50009 at http://kcur.org Beef Herd May Be Poised For Growth, And Cheaper Steak http://kcur.org/post/beef-herd-may-be-poised-growth-and-cheaper-steak <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>For the first time in nearly 10 years, the nation’s beef herd may be poised for growth, which could mean relief from rising meat prices. But with the fewest cattle in the beef supply since the 1960s, slow growth won’t cut prices anytime soon.</p> Mon, 13 Jan 2014 13:45:11 +0000 Grant Gerlock 49589 at http://kcur.org Beef Herd May Be Poised For Growth, And Cheaper Steak Herbicide-Resistant Crops One Step Closer To US Fields http://kcur.org/post/herbicide-resistant-crops-one-step-closer-us-fields <p>New herbicide-resistant corn and soybeans are a step closer to reaching farm fields in the U.S. They would help farmers control weeds that are no longer killed by the popular herbicide, Roundup.</p><p>Dow Agrosciences has engineered new crops that can withstand the herbicide 2,4-D, giving farmers a new tool against weeds resistant to Roundup.</p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 14:30:13 +0000 Grant Gerlock 49382 at http://kcur.org Herbicide-Resistant Crops One Step Closer To US Fields The New Wheat Behind Whole Grain White Bread http://kcur.org/post/new-wheat-behind-whole-grain-white-bread <p style="margin-bottom: 12px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 15px;">A new wheat variety may have cracked the code to marry the fluffiness of white bread with whole grain nutrition.</p> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 12:46:10 +0000 Luke Runyon 49322 at http://kcur.org The New Wheat Behind Whole Grain White Bread Sub-Zero Temperatures Have Farmers Worried About Wheat Crop http://kcur.org/post/sub-zero-temperatures-have-farmers-worried-about-wheat-crop <p>In parts of Kansas, forecasts of biting cold temperatures with lows five or ten degrees below zero has farmers worried about the wheat crop that’s in the ground.</p><p>Hard red winter wheat is the most common wheat variety grown in the United States. It’s often used to make bread. Planted in the fall, it lays dormant underground in the winter months. It’s hardy. But bitter cold temperatures for a few consecutive days can lower the temperature of the soil to dangerous levels.</p> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 12:20:18 +0000 Jeremy Bernfeld 49316 at http://kcur.org Sub-Zero Temperatures Have Farmers Worried About Wheat Crop Food Hubs Try To Grow Local Farms http://kcur.org/post/food-hubs-try-grow-local-farms <p style="margin-bottom: 12px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 15px;">Restaurants across the country have jumped on the local food bandwagon. They’re trying to source more of their produce from nearby farms, but it's not easy. Enter: Food hubs.</p> Thu, 02 Jan 2014 15:29:19 +0000 Sean Powers 49167 at http://kcur.org Food Hubs Try To Grow Local Farms