Grant Gerlock http://kcur.org en Midwest A Cattle Paradise As Drought Stretches Beef Country http://kcur.org/post/midwest-cattle-paradise-drought-stretches-beef-country <p>Drought is re-shaping the beef map and raising the price of steak. Ranchers are moving herds <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_25773718/california-cattle-short-food-finding-way-colorado">from California to Colorado</a> and <a href="http://lubbockonline.com/agriculture/2014-03-02/texas-trails-nebraska-number-cattle-feeding#.U5dGJPmwJcQ">from Texas to Nebraska</a> seeking refuge from dry weather. And cattle producers in the Midwest are making the most of it.</p> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 12:58:59 +0000 Grant Gerlock 57385 at http://kcur.org Midwest A Cattle Paradise As Drought Stretches Beef Country A Signal To Hog Producers: Cargill To Stop Use Of Gestation Crates http://kcur.org/post/signal-hog-producers-cargill-stop-use-gestation-crates <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;">Cargill, one of the country’s largest pork producers,<a href="http://www.cargill.com/news/releases/2014/NA31657661.jsp" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(0, 98, 160); text-decoration: underline;">announced Monday</a>&nbsp;that it will stop using gestation crates, the&nbs Tue, 10 Jun 2014 12:52:05 +0000 Grant Gerlock 57069 at http://kcur.org A Signal To Hog Producers: Cargill To Stop Use Of Gestation Crates Farmers Taking Missouri River Flooding Worries To Court http://kcur.org/post/farmers-taking-missouri-river-flooding-worries-court <p>The Missouri River <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/03/us-missouri-flooding-idUSTRE78213720110903">burst out of its banks in epic fashion</a> three years ago. The flood covered thousands of acres of land and dredged up old debates about how the river should be run. Now, flooded landowners are suing the Army Corps of Engineers, saying the agency isn’t protecting their land.</p> Mon, 12 May 2014 13:25:08 +0000 Grant Gerlock 55588 at http://kcur.org Farmers Taking Missouri River Flooding Worries To Court Ag Census Points To Fewer U.S. Farms http://kcur.org/post/ag-census-points-fewer-us-farms <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;">The number of farms in the U.S. is shrinking, according to the latest&nbsp;<a href="http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2012/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(0, 98, 160); text-decoration: underline;">Census of Agriculture</a>, released Friday. Mon, 05 May 2014 13:00:41 +0000 Grant Gerlock 55225 at http://kcur.org Ag Census Points To Fewer U.S. Farms 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 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 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 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 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 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 New Crops Could Kill Insects By Targeting Their Genes http://kcur.org/post/new-crops-could-kill-insects-targeting-their-genes <p>With rootworms building resistance to genetically modified corn that makes its own pesticide, seed companies are working on new crops that target the insects’ genes. But some worry about unintended consequences when the technology moves from the lab to the field.</p> Mon, 30 Dec 2013 13:30:20 +0000 Grant Gerlock 49030 at http://kcur.org New Crops Could Kill Insects By Targeting Their Genes Farm Bill Set To Expire, But ‘Dairy Cliff’ Not Quite Imminent http://kcur.org/post/farm-bill-set-expire-dairy-cliff-not-quite-imminent <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;">No need to hoard milk and ice cream over New Year’s Day. Turns out, the “dairy cliff” isn’t as steep as we may have once thought.</p> Fri, 27 Dec 2013 14:17:59 +0000 Grant Gerlock 48933 at http://kcur.org Pheasants Losing Habitat To Farmland http://kcur.org/post/pheasants-losing-habitat-farmland <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As farmers across the Midwest have simplified the landscape and plowed up grassland to grow more corn and soybeans, habitat for pheasants, quail and other grassland birds has become increasingly scarce and their numbers are falling.</span></p> Mon, 09 Dec 2013 14:32:10 +0000 Grant Gerlock 48028 at http://kcur.org Pheasants Losing Habitat To Farmland Feds Propose To Reduce Ethanol Requirement In Gasoline http://kcur.org/post/feds-propose-reduce-ethanol-requirement-gasoline <p>The federal government proposed Friday to cut the amount of corn-based ethanol oil companies have to put in the gasoline supply, by more than a billion gallons. Much of the corn used to make that ethanol is grown right here in the Midwest.&nbsp;</p><p>Cutting the amount of corn ethanol required in the Renewable Fuel Standard essentially puts a cap on demand for corn from the Midwest.</p> Mon, 18 Nov 2013 13:56:29 +0000 Grant Gerlock 47010 at http://kcur.org Farm Families Follow Drought With Record Harvest http://kcur.org/post/farm-families-follow-drought-record-harvest <p>Nancy Friesen sat nervously at the controls of a giant John Deere combine that made the corn stalks look like match sticks. It was her second day in the driver’s seat of the giant machine and she normally works in the garden, not the field. But during harvest time, everyone in the family pitches in.</p><p>One year after the worst drought in decades, farm families all over the Midwest are preparing to bring in a record-breaking corn crop. While there’s some uncertainty in the air thanks to falling corn prices, this is a time of year when farm families focus on the task at hand.</p> Mon, 21 Oct 2013 13:54:17 +0000 Grant Gerlock 45531 at http://kcur.org Farm Families Follow Drought With Record Harvest Farm Families Pick Massive Corn Harvest As Prices Shrink http://kcur.org/post/farm-families-pick-massive-corn-harvest-prices-shrink Corn prices are down and the farm bill is stalled in Congress. So there's a lot of uncertainly in the air as harvest season gets into full swing across the Midwest. But this is a time of year when farm families like the Friesens in Henderson, Neb., come together to focus on the big task at hand: the corn harvest.<p>Everyone in the family has a job to do.<p>"Like my dad — he drives auger wagon," Curt Friesen says. "He drives auger wagon only. That's all he's done since 1976, I think. ... My wife, Nancy, she drives the combine; that's her job."<p>Curt drives a truck. Tue, 15 Oct 2013 14:38:00 +0000 Grant Gerlock 45227 at http://kcur.org Farm Families Pick Massive Corn Harvest As Prices Shrink Harvest Brings Farm Families Together, Redefines Commitment http://kcur.org/post/harvest-brings-farm-families-together Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Now, here's a reality about farming. From the earliest days of this country, it's been an uncertain business, and for many decades, national policies have been designed to smooth out that risk. But, of course, the risk never entirely goes away. You can never control the rain, for example, and lately the uncertainty has been growing. Corn prices are down. Tue, 15 Oct 2013 08:50:00 +0000 Grant Gerlock 45212 at http://kcur.org Farmers Plowing Up More And More Of The Prairie http://kcur.org/post/farmers-plowing-more-and-more-prairie <p>In recent years, farmers in the Midwest have transformed millions of acres of prairie grass to rows of corn. High crop prices are a big motivation, but some also believe crop insurance is encouraging farmers to roll the dice on less productive land.</p><p>Rod Christen and his sister Kay farm corn, soybeans and wheat on their land near the small town of Steinauer, Neb. But their main crop is grass.</p><p>&ldquo;Big bluestem is our big producer,&rdquo; said Rod Christen. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s kind of our Cadillac grass.&rdquo;</p> Mon, 14 Oct 2013 13:45:33 +0000 Grant Gerlock 45172 at http://kcur.org Farmers Plowing Up More And More Of The Prairie Obamacare Could Be Tough Sell In Rural Areas http://kcur.org/post/obamacare-could-be-tough-sell-rural-areas <p style="margin-top: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', sans-serif; font-size: 12.727272033691406px; line-height: 20px;">&nbsp;</p> Mon, 23 Sep 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Grant Gerlock 44044 at http://kcur.org Obamacare Could Be Tough Sell In Rural Areas Herbicide Drift Threatens Midwest Vineyards http://kcur.org/post/herbicide-drift-threatens-midwest-vineyards <p>As Midwest vineyards move in next door to longstanding fields of corn or soybeans, they don’t always make good neighbors. Occasionally, herbicides like 2,4-D drift beyond their target, and for nearby vineyards the results can be devastating.</p><p>2,4-D is a common herbicide used by farmers because it kills weeds but doesn’t kill their corn. Landscapers and golf courses use it on lawns and fairways. Highway crews often spray 2,4-D on road ditches.</p> Mon, 02 Sep 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Grant Gerlock 42873 at http://kcur.org Herbicide Drift Threatens Midwest Vineyards My Farm Roots: Born To Farm http://kcur.org/post/my-farm-roots-born-farm-0 <p>One sign that you have strong farm roots is when your rural road is named for your family.</p><p>I met Steve Quandt on Quandt Road, north of Grand Island, Neb., on the farm that used to belong to his grandfather. It’s the place he remembers spending days as a kid, from morning to night, helping milk cows, work the fields and repair machinery.</p><p>He followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, building his own farming operation. But that path was suddenly interrupted nearly six years ago.</p> Wed, 21 Aug 2013 13:40:40 +0000 Grant Gerlock 42320 at http://kcur.org My Farm Roots: Born To Farm Why E85 Is The Cheapest Gas At The Pump http://kcur.org/post/why-e85-cheapest-gas-pump <p>Ilya Protopopov stopped at a U-Stop station in Lincoln, Neb., on his way to the track to fuel up his truck and a few dirt bikes. His fuel of choice, 91 octane unleaded, was selling for $4.01 per gallon.</p><p>“I used to complain about $1.50 gas, now it’s over $4,” Protopopov said. “Pretty steep.”</p><p>But on the same pump there was another fuel selling for under $3. E85 was going for $2.53.</p> Thu, 15 Aug 2013 12:53:23 +0000 Grant Gerlock 42007 at http://kcur.org Why E85 Is The Cheapest Gas At The Pump Aging Farmers Reluctant To Retire, Pass On Land http://kcur.org/post/aging-farmers-reluctant-retire-pass-land <p style="margin-bottom: 12px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 15px;">Working beyond retirement is a fairly common refrain these days. In 2012, 5 percent of the U.S. workforce was beyond retirement age. But farmers seem to work longer than most. In the last Agriculture Census 25 percent of all farm operators were over 65 years old.</p> Mon, 08 Jul 2013 13:03:39 +0000 Grant Gerlock 39754 at http://kcur.org Aging Farmers Reluctant To Retire, Pass On Land After The Oregon Discovery, What's The Future Of GMO Wheat? http://kcur.org/post/after-oregon-discovery-whats-future-gmo-wheat <p style="margin-bottom: 12px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 15px;">Many farmers say they would like to grow genetically engineered wheat to help them feed a hungry world, but it’s not what everyone’s hungry for. Mon, 01 Jul 2013 13:01:22 +0000 Grant Gerlock 39406 at http://kcur.org After The Oregon Discovery, What's The Future Of GMO Wheat? At The Farmer's Market, With Food Stamps http://kcur.org/post/farmers-market-food-stamps <p style="margin-bottom: 12px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 15px;">April Segura is a regular at the Old Cheney Road Farmers Market in Lincoln, Neb. On a warm, May afternoon, the single, stay-at-home mother of three greeted friends and acquaintances while strolling past tables of lettuce and herbs. She hoped to find more asparagus for sale.</p> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 12:53:41 +0000 Grant Gerlock 38024 at http://kcur.org At The Farmer's Market, With Food Stamps Missouri River Home To Endangered Pallid Sturgeon http://kcur.org/post/missouri-river-home-endangered-pallid-sturgeon <p>The volunteer crew members pulled on their life jackets and climbed into a flat-bottomed aluminum boat at a ramp near Nebraska City, Neb. They came out early on a cold, gray April morning hoping to catch an endangered pallid sturgeon.</p> Mon, 06 May 2013 13:00:10 +0000 Grant Gerlock 36246 at http://kcur.org Missouri River Home To Endangered Pallid Sturgeon Seeking Profits In Private Labels http://kcur.org/post/seeking-profits-private-labels <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p></p><p>You may not think much about store brands as you shop for groceries, but it’s a business worth nearly $60 billion per year. ConAgra, a company based in Omaha, Neb., made a splash recently in what the industry calls private label food when it paid $6.8 billion to buy Ralcorp, based in St. Louis, Mo. The merger created the biggest private label food company in the country.</p> Mon, 15 Apr 2013 06:01:00 +0000 Grant Gerlock 35075 at http://kcur.org Seeking Profits In Private Labels Generic Seeds Could Have Short Lifespan http://kcur.org/post/generic-seeds-could-have-short-lifespan <p></p><p>The patent rights on the first genetically modified seeds expire next year, but it’s not clear how the introduction of “generic” seeds fits into the science and business of GM crops. Wed, 20 Feb 2013 15:26:30 +0000 Grant Gerlock 32165 at http://kcur.org Generic Seeds Could Have Short Lifespan Drought Takes Head Start Into 2013 http://kcur.org/post/drought-takes-head-start-2013 <p>2012 was a drought year for the record books. It was the warmest year ever recorded in <a href="http://www.crh.noaa.gov/images/dmx/2012%20DSM%20MonthlyTables.pdf">Des Moines, Iowa</a>, <a href="http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=top&amp;storyid=91143&amp;source=0">Topeka, Kan.</a>, and <a href="http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=lsx&amp;storyid=81645&amp;source=0">Columbia, Mo.</a> and the driest ever in <a href="http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=gid&amp;storyid=91110&amp;source=0">Grand Island, Neb.</a> Mon, 07 Jan 2013 05:38:35 +0000 Grant Gerlock 29965 at http://kcur.org Drought Takes Head Start Into 2013