WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Corn

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Farmers in the U.S. like to point out that their products feed people all over the world. And while this is a diverse country, the people working on farms and elsewhere in agriculture often don't reflect the nation's demographics. Changing that is becoming a priority, in hopes new people will bring fresh ideas to meet some of our food system's greatest challenges.

Courtesy Elliot Chapman

Farmers across the Midwest are trying to figure out how to get by at a time when expected prices for commodities from corn, to wheat, to cattle, to hogs mean they'll be struggling just to break even.

Rich Egger

Fantasy farming gives high school students from western Illinois a chance to learn firsthand about the guesswork and gambles that farmers make every year.

Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

In a brightly-lit lab at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, workers with tweezers hunch over petri dishes scattered with sprouted sorghum seeds. Sorghum produces grain and also a sugary stalk.

Kristi Koser for Harvest Public Media

At the grocery store, processed foods such as cereal, crackers, and candy usually maintain the same price for a long time, and inch up only gradually. Economists call these prices "sticky" because they don't move much even as some of the commodities that go into them do.

Rich Egger

Galesburg aldermen came out on top after gambling on whether more money could be raised through renting land the city owns near Knoxville.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Hundreds of lawsuits against seed company Syngenta could develop into a major class-action potentially involving almost every corn farmer in the country.

(File: Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media)

U.S. energy policy that effectively promotes corn ethanol is holding back a generation of more environmentally sound fuels, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

How Much Corn Could You Pick by Hand in 20 Minutes?

Oct 30, 2015
Abby Wendle

I wiped my palms on my jeans, tugged at the bill of my baseball hat, and took a deep breath. It was my first time competing in the annual Illinois State Corn Husking Contest at the end of September and I was nervous.

Abby Wendle

All week, Harvest Public Media's series Choice Cuts: Meat In America is examining how the meat industry is changing the U.S. food system and the American diet.

Drive down a dirt road, a two-lane country highway, even many Interstates in the Midwest and the view out the window is likely to get monotonous: massive fields filled with acres of corn sprawled in all directions.

(Courtesy NET Television)

All week, Harvest Public Media's series Choice Cuts: Meat In America is examining how the meat industry is changing the U.S. food system and the American diet.

Americans have a big appetite for everything meat. We smoke it, grill it, slice it, and chop it.  The typical American puts away around 200 pounds of beef, pork, and poultry every year . That's true in many of the wealthiest countries. But developing countries are showing a growing appetite for meat.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

It’s planting time for Midwest farmers and much of the corn they grow will end up feeding livestock in China, which has become a huge importer of grain from the Corn Belt. That means the farmers can’t just select seeds based on which ones will get the best yield. They have to think about where their grain will be sold.

Courtesy USDA NRCS South Dakota

Scientists have noticed a change in the atmosphere.

Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

For the Midwest’s biggest crops, this harvest season was a big one.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

More than 90 percent of U.S. field corn is genetically modified, according to data recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Nathan Anderson stops his red pick-up truck alongside a cornfield on his farm near Cherokee, Iowa. The young farmer pulls on a heavy brown hoodie, thick, long, sturdy gloves and a beekeeper’s hat with a screened veil. He approaches a pair of hives sitting on the edge of a field recently planted with corn and adjusts a yellow plastic flap that traps some of the pollen the bees bring back to their hive.

Rich Egger

Farmers and ag groups in the Midwest say the U.S. river system needs an upgrade, and they’re hopeful it will come with proposed improvements in legislation recently passed by Congress.

eXtension Farm Energy/Flickr

Biofuels made in the Midwest from corn stover -- the leftovers of harvested corn plants -- might be worse for global warming than gasoline in the short term.

Flickr

The snow and freezing temperatures this week in the tri-state region should not have much of an impact on local corn planting.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

The U. S. Department of Agriculture is predicting fewer acres will be planted in corn this year, compared to last year, while soybean acreage will be up.

For Farmers Who Rent, 2014 Could Be a Tough Year

Jan 28, 2014
fishhawk/Flickr

With the price of farmland at record levels across the Corn Belt, many farmers have been renting acres to plant. Now, with the price of corn and soybeans in freefall, farmers that depend on renting risk big losses if they’re unable to negotiate lower rents.

Record US Corn Harvest in 2013

Jan 14, 2014
sss

U.S. farmers harvested more corn in 2013 than in 2012, while the soybean harvest declined slightly, according to newly released USDA reports.

Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

Nancy Friesen sat nervously at the controls of a giant John Deere combine that made the corn stalks look like match sticks.

Late Planting Means Late Harvest

Oct 10, 2013
Iowa Harvesting by vanhookc - Flickr

A wet spring put some farmers in the behind schedule and even forced some to replant their crops. Data on how the harvest is progressing in each of the Tri-States is harder to come by than usual.

US Corn Acres Up, Down for Iowa

Jul 1, 2013
SSS

The USDA has issued a report of saying despite a soggy planting season, farmers will still break records this year.

The extremely wet spring southeast Iowa is experiencing could hurt local corn production.

The rainfall from Hurricane Isaac is both good and bad news for southeast Iowa farmers.