WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Soybeans

In the hopes of not repeating a problematic year for soybean crops, farmers across the U.S. are deciding how best to protect their crops and their livelihood next year from drift damage caused by the weed killer dicamba.

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.

T.J. Carson

Ron Moore of Roseville became the president of the American Soybean Association this month.  He will serve a one year term as president and then take over as the chairman of the Association's Board of Directors.

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.

Frank Morris for Harvest Public Media

China's rapid industrialization and economic expansion over the past few decades has been a boon for U.S. farmers, especially soybean farmers. But China's economy is slowing down, leaving American farmers exposed to the downside of being tied to the world's second largest economy.

Large Drop in Farm Income Predicted This Year

Jul 16, 2015
Matthias Ripp/flickr

Corn and soybean farmers in the Midwest are likely to earn far less money this year than they did last year, with some economists predicting that incomes could be less than one-tenth of what they were in 2014.

Abby Wendle

Driving down a two-lane highway in rural Missouri, Matt Plenge squinted at a patch of gray clouds hanging low over his farm fields in the distance.  "Does it look hazy up there?" he asked. "We only had a 20% chance today. We shouldn't get any rain."

Soybeans pile up at a grain elevator outside of Heartwell, Neb. Nationwide, farmers harvested record-breaking amounts of corn and soybeans in 2014.
(Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media)

American farmers grew more corn and soybeans in 2014 than ever before, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest crop production report.

Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

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

Grain Farming Gets More Expensive

Nov 4, 2014
Photo by Abby Wendle

Many Midwest farmers will be looking to cut costs as farming grows more expensive and commodity prices take a dip this harvest year.

Soon, Cheaper Meat at the Supermarket

Oct 16, 2014
Sam Breach

Farmers are harvesting a record corn and soybean crop this year causing the price of grain commodities to tumble, which is great news for livestock producers and people who love bacon.

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.

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.

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.

Drought Hit Western IL Crops Unevenly

Mar 5, 2013
ag.purdue.edu

Recently released numbers by the USDA show that the drought affected crop yields last hear differently across Western Illinois.

Corn yields in McDonough and Mason counties were down thirty bushels per acre from last year.  Adams and Pike County were down 60 bushels while Mercer County was actually up twenty.

How Bad was the Drought for IL Farmers in 2012?

Jan 15, 2013
ag.purdue.edu

It was fairly obvious  that the drought hit farmers hard this year, but how hard?
For Illinois, both corn and soybean yield were below expectations for 2012.  But Angie Peltier with the Monmouth office of University of Illinois Extension says soybeans fared much better than corn.

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