WIUM Tristates Public Radio

USDA

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

After years of work, U.S. negotiators on Monday announced agreement on a trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim nations that is expected to expand export opportunities for U.S. farmers. The 11 countries included in the deal, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP, already import some 42 percent of U.S. agricultural exports at a value of $63 billion, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.

Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media

National public health officials are urging their state counterparts to be alert for avian flu infections in humans.

brian.ch/Flickr

After years of bureaucratic delays and opposition from the meat industry, the federal government finally moved to require consumer safety labels on mechanically tenderized beef products.

USDA Aims to Combat Climate Change

Apr 26, 2015
Abby Wendle

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's new plan offers incentives to farmers who volunteer to take steps that would help cut agriculture's contribution to climate change.

Speaking to an audience at Michigan State University, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the new plan will give farmers, ranchers, and foresters the technical support and financial incentive to implement more conservation measures on their land and in their operations.

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.

Abby Wendle

Big farms are collecting taxpayer dollars that they haven’t necessarily earned by taking advantage of a loophole in government subsidy rules, according to regulators, members of Congress and the U.S. Government Accountability Office. 

Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

Walking through the warehouse of food processor Heartland Gourmet in Lincoln, Neb., shows how complicated the food safety system can be. Pallets are stacked with sacks of potato flour and the smell of fresh baked apple-cinnamon muffins is in the air.

Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

After years of negotiations, a dozen countries – from New Zealand up to Canada –are on the verge of a trade agreement that could be worth billions of dollars to the U.S. agriculture industry. Many American farmers and ranchers are eager to see the expected benefits of the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

Credit ImagesMoney
Flickr Creative Commons

Home loans are available for low-income households in western Illinois, many of which require little to no down payment.

Potential home buyers can get more information Tuesday during a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Home Resource Fair. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Spoon River College Community Outreach Center at 2500 E. Jackson.

Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

You’ve probably seen, but may not have noticed, labels on the meat at your grocery store that say something like “Born, Raised, & Harvest in the U.S.A.” or “Born and Raised in Canada, Slaughtered in the U.S.”

These country of origin labels, as they are known, are part of an ongoing international trade dispute that has swept up Midwest ranchers. And they may not be long for store shelves.

Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

When it comes to organic certification, there are strict guidelines for food producers to follow.

Wikipedia

2014 was the year even the lunch ladies got political.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Rules that require more information on meat labels may be on the outs.

taryn/Flickr

Americans had to dig deep into their wallets to cover costs associated with foodborne illnesses, according to new estimates from the U.S. Department Agriculture.

Overduebook/Flickr

The Farm Bill was passed in February. But now, piece by piece, it’s taking effect. We’re beginning to see how parts of the farm bill are doing more to help farmers go small.

Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

President Obama announced at the United Nations Climate Summit last Tuesday that part of the U.S. action plan on climate change will focus on the U.S. agriculture industry.

Grocery Stores Waste Tons of Food as They Woo Shoppers

Sep 24, 2014
Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

Grocery stores and restaurants serve up more than 400 million pounds of food each year, but nearly a third of it never makes it to a stomach.

BigStock image

Jennifer Brdar’s dream job was to be a meat inspector for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, watching out for unwary consumers and making sure the meat on their dinner tables was clean and disease-free.

Lauren Tucker/Flickr

Monsanto has agreed to settle some of the lawsuits brought by U.S. farmers who allege they lost money when an Oregon field was discovered to have been contaminated with an experimental genetically modified strain of wheat.

foodstorageandsurvival.com

The USDA said farmers markets can play a significant role in strengthening local food systems by accepting SNAP benefits.

July's Mild Temperatures Benefit Crops

Jul 28, 2014
Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

This summer's cooler than average temperatures are keeping crops in good condition.

ImagesMoney / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is ready to help potential low-income home buyers. The agency plans to spend millions this year on rural home loans.

Pietro Izzo/Flickr

The former operators of a large egg farm in Iowa have agreed to plead guilty to federal charges in connection with a major salmonella outbreak in 2010.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Recognizing that the demand for local food is growing to between $5 and 7 billion a year, the USDA announced a new effort aimed at connecting farmers with urban shoppers.

A summit that brings together business, government and community leaders from throughout the tri-state region reached a milestone on Wednesday, May 7.

Stephen D/Flickr

An alarming number of farmers in the U.S. take their own lives, according to the magazine Newsweek.

File: Peter Gray/Harvest Public Media

Hog farmers are now required to report outbreaks of certain viral diseases that have spread across the country during the past year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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.

Pages