Harvest Desk http://wuis.org en Crop Insurance Programs Subject Of Intense Farm Bill Lobbying http://wuis.org/post/crop-insurance-programs-subject-intense-farm-bill-lobbying <p></p><p>After two years of debate, the U.S. Congress passed a Farm Bill this year that replaced direct subsidies to farmers with an ever increasing multi-billion dollar federal crop insurance program.</p><p>During that time, at least 80 groups spent more than $50 million in lobbying efforts that included ensuring their interests in the often criticized program were well-represented.</p> Sat, 19 Jul 2014 06:46:00 +0000 Pam Dempsey & Robert Holly 29546 at http://wuis.org Crop Insurance Programs Subject Of Intense Farm Bill Lobbying Out Of Public Eye, A Bitter Farm Bill Fight http://wuis.org/post/out-public-eye-bitter-farm-bill-fight <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>The “who” part of the Farm Bill is pretty clear.</p><p>With trillions dollars of government spending up for grabs, <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/lobbyists-all-kinds-flock-farm-bill">lobbyists from all ends of the spectrum</a> – representing environmental interests, biotech companies, food companies, farmers – flocked to Capitol Hill to find their piece of the Farm Bill pie.</p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:18:00 +0000 Jeremy Bernfeld 29233 at http://wuis.org Out Of Public Eye, A Bitter Farm Bill Fight Lobbyists Of All Kinds Flock To Farm Bill http://wuis.org/post/lobbyists-all-kinds-flock-farm-bill <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>When U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/years-making-new-farm-bill-becomes-law">announced passage of the Farm Bill</a> in February, she echoed a refrain from a car commercial.</p><p>“This is not your father’s Farm Bill,” she said.</p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 06:15:00 +0000 Peggy Lowe 29232 at http://wuis.org Lobbyists Of All Kinds Flock To Farm Bill Youth May Hold Key To Grain Safety http://wuis.org/post/youth-may-hold-key-grain-safety <p>A 9-year-old boy <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-wisconsin-farming-accident-20140710,0,5357982.story" target="_blank">died in a grain bin</a> last week in southwestern Wisconsin. While every situation is different, agricultural engineers continue to work on new ways to prevent such deaths. Those involved in the training industry say reaching the younger generation will be an important step to prevent entrapments.<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Rescue Tools</strong></p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 00:22:00 +0000 Jenna Dooley 29079 at http://wuis.org Youth May Hold Key To Grain Safety My Farm Roots: Smells Like Home http://wuis.org/post/my-farm-roots-smells-home <p>Most family vacations are remembered for endless car rides, packed tourist beaches and a string of poorly decorated hotel rooms.</p><p>But not former Nebraskan and current Coloradan Kari Williams. Her family vacation memories center on smells of cow manure, adventures on horseback and roosters with bad attitudes on farms in central Nebraska.</p><p></p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:59:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 28942 at http://wuis.org My Farm Roots: Smells Like Home EPA Promotes Water Rule To Farmers http://wuis.org/post/epa-promotes-water-rule-farmers <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is touring farm country, trying to assure farmers that the agency isn’t asking for more authority over farmers and ranchers’ lands.</p> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 23:06:00 +0000 Kristofor Husted 29121 at http://wuis.org EPA Promotes Water Rule To Farmers States Working Out Kinks In Agritourism http://wuis.org/post/states-working-out-kinks-agritourism <p>Colorado already draws thousands of visitors each year for skiing, hiking, beer drinking and, most recently, marijuana sampling. In 2012, those visitors spent more than $16 billion in the state. Tourism officials want more and they’re looking to do it by bringing well-educated “traveling foodies” to the state.</p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 13:20:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 28817 at http://wuis.org States Working Out Kinks In Agritourism Meat Prices Higher This Independence Day http://wuis.org/post/meat-prices-higher-independence-day <p>According to the USDA, beef prices have increased more than 10 percent and pork prices are up more than 12 percent over last summer. University of Missouri livestock economist Scott Brown says a combination of high feed prices, drought and a hog virus devastating the pork supply are to blame.</p><p>“I will say that we are at unprecedented levels in terms of where we are on consumer prices. We have been seeing growth over the last four or five years generally,” Brown said.</p><p>And soon, Brown predicts, you’ll see higher prices at restaurants as well.</p> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 09:56:07 +0000 Ben Palosaari 28589 at http://wuis.org Meat Prices Higher This Independence Day Agritourism A Growing Opportunity On The Farm http://wuis.org/post/agritourism-growing-opportunity-farm <p>Farms aren’t just for food any more. With the <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/content/local-food-challenge">local food movement growing</a>, more savvy farmers are putting a price tag on more than those organic tomatoes. They are instead marketing and selling the “farm experience” in the form of agritourism attractions.</p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 13:37:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 27226 at http://wuis.org Agritourism A Growing Opportunity On The Farm Farmers Hope For River System Improvements http://wuis.org/post/farmers-hope-river-system-improvements <p></p><p>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. &nbsp;</p><p>The nation’s rivers are essential for moving agricultural products to market.</p><p>“It’s our third coast, if you will,” said Jim Tarmann, field services director with the Illinois Corn Growers Association. “Over 60 percent of our grain exports move via the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. That’s how things get to our world markets.”</p> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 11:04:00 +0000 Rich Egger 26434 at http://wuis.org Farmers Hope For River System Improvements Canada Jonesing For Piece Of American (Hemp) Pie http://wuis.org/post/canada-jonesing-piece-american-hemp-pie <p></p><p></p><p>The U.S. market for foods and beauty products that contain <a href="http://www.agmrc.org/commodities__products/fiber/industrial-hemp-profile/">hemp is growing</a>, but American manufacturers that use hemp have their hands tied. The crop is still illegal to cultivate, according to federal laws, which means the current American hemp industry, <a href="http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32725.pdf">estimated at $500 million per year</a>, runs on foreign hemp.</p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 11:38:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 26035 at http://wuis.org Canada Jonesing For Piece Of American (Hemp) Pie Now Appearing: Hemp, For The First Time In Decades http://wuis.org/post/now-appearing-hemp-first-time-decades <p></p><p>A<a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/content/colorado-hemp-growers-begin-historic-planting-season#.U208cPldUrU"> handful of farmers</a> are set to plant the country’s first hemp crop in decades, despite federal regulations that tightly restrict the plant’s cultivation.</p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 10:34:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 26034 at http://wuis.org Now Appearing: Hemp, For The First Time In Decades Is Corn Dust Killing Bees? http://wuis.org/post/corn-dust-killing-bees <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></p><p>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.</p> Thu, 29 May 2014 18:07:00 +0000 Amy Mayer 26033 at http://wuis.org Is Corn Dust Killing Bees? Chinese Market Could Help Rid Rivers Of Asian Carp http://wuis.org/post/chinese-market-could-help-rid-rivers-asian-carp <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>Water experts worried about Asian carp may have new hope. They’re turning their eyes to China, where a carp-hungry populace may be the key for stemming the tide of the invasive fish.</p><p>Asian carp are taking over U.S. waterways, including the Mississippi River and tributaries like the Illinois and Missouri Rivers, where they out-compete native fish.</p> Tue, 06 May 2014 18:28:37 +0000 Sean Crawford 24542 at http://wuis.org Chinese Market Could Help Rid Rivers Of Asian Carp Public, Private Partners Key To Local Food Success http://wuis.org/post/public-private-partners-key-local-food-success <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>As FoodCorps service member Ashley Turk navigates her way through a brand-new greenhouse in the courtyard at Waukon High School in the northeast corner of Iowa, she points to a robust supply of red and green lettuce leaves growing neatly in rows.</p><p>“It’s huge,” she says. “We cut it off and it just keeps growing.”</p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 12:48:00 +0000 Amy Mayer 24013 at http://wuis.org Public, Private Partners Key To Local Food Success Empowering Women Farmers In Central Illinois http://wuis.org/post/empowering-women-farmers-central-illinois <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(74, 23, 108); font-family: Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif; line-height: 20px;">An area organization with the goal of propelling women entrepreneurs into "economic and social spheres of power" wants to do the same for female farmers.&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 14:46:18 +0000 Peter Gray 22632 at http://wuis.org Empowering Women Farmers In Central Illinois While Farm Life Changes, FFA’s Blue Jacket Stays The Same http://wuis.org/post/while-farm-life-changes-ffa-s-blue-jacket-stays-same <p>The blue corduroy jacket worn by high school students in FFA, formerly the Future Farmers of America, is an icon of rural life. To the average city dweller the jacket is a vestige of dwindling, isolated farm culture, as fewer and fewer young people grow up on farms. The numbers tell a different story however. In spite of that demographic shift, a record number of kids are donning blue jackets this year.</p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 11:45:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 22023 at http://wuis.org While Farm Life Changes, FFA’s Blue Jacket Stays The Same Drones: Coming Soon To A Farm Near You? http://wuis.org/post/drones-coming-soon-farm-near-you <p style="margin-bottom: 12px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 15px;">Unmanned aerial vehicles aren’t just for spies or for the battlefield. Farmers all over the country think drones can give them a leg up, too.</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Peter Gray & Jeremy Bernfeld 21353 at http://wuis.org Drones: Coming Soon To A Farm Near You? Harvest Blog: Certified Organic Food Sector Growing http://wuis.org/post/harvest-blog-certified-organic-food-sector-growing <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday announced new data on certified organic food, showing the industry grew just over four percent in 2013, with a record breaking 18,513 farms and businesses in the United States.</span></p><p>Certified organic food has seen a 245 percent increase since 2002, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service's National Organic Program. &nbsp;Last year the federal government certified 763 producers. &nbsp;</p><p>The following is from USDA:&nbsp;</p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 19:06:34 +0000 Peter Gray 21274 at http://wuis.org Harvest Blog: Certified Organic Food Sector Growing Padlock The Milk! The FDA's Push To Safeguard The Food Supply http://wuis.org/post/padlock-milk-fdas-push-safeguard-food-supply <p></p><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> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 10:25:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 20623 at http://wuis.org Padlock The Milk! The FDA's Push To Safeguard The Food Supply Could Our Food Supply Be A Target For Terrorism? http://wuis.org/post/could-our-food-supply-be-target-terrorism <p>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> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 17:45:02 +0000 Luke Runyon 20622 at http://wuis.org Could Our Food Supply Be A Target For Terrorism? Hog Virus Causing Pork Price Spike http://wuis.org/post/hog-virus-causing-pork-price-spike <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>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> Sat, 08 Mar 2014 15:13:14 +0000 Sean Crawford 20444 at http://wuis.org Hog Virus Causing Pork Price Spike U.S. Wastes Nearly One Third Of Food Produced http://wuis.org/post/us-wastes-nearly-one-third-food-produced <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>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 03:10:00 +0000 Grant Gerlock 20113 at http://wuis.org U.S. Wastes Nearly One Third Of Food Produced Farmers Bid Farewell To Big Expense Tax Write-Offs http://wuis.org/post/farmers-bid-farewell-big-expense-tax-write-offs <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>It could be yet another sign that the good times are over.</p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 07:49:00 +0000 Amy Mayer 19938 at http://wuis.org Farmers Bid Farewell To Big Expense Tax Write-Offs Changing Dairy Industry Leaves Some Farmers In The Dust http://wuis.org/post/changing-dairy-industry-leaves-some-farmers-dust <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>Donnie Davidson’s family has been producing bottled milk in Holden, Mo., since the 1930s. But the 63-year-old farmer decided to sell his herd of 50 milking cows in November after the roof on one of his barns collapsed from last winter’s snow.</p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 00:01:26 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 19633 at http://wuis.org Changing Dairy Industry Leaves Some Farmers In The Dust Are Low Corn Prices Here To Stay? http://wuis.org/post/are-low-corn-prices-here-stay <p>The days of record high corn prices are gone, at least for now, and they’re only going to continue their decline, according to projections released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (<a href="http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/ers/94005/2014/OCE141.pdf">PDF</a>)</p><p>You can pin part of the blame on the 2012 drought, when corn hit an all-time high of $8.31 per bushel. The dry conditions made corn a limited commodity.</p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 00:18:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 19303 at http://wuis.org Are Low Corn Prices Here To Stay? Meat Labeling Advocates Back New Farm Bill http://wuis.org/post/meat-labeling-advocates-back-new-farm-bill <p>Proponents of a <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/new-labeling-rules-could-give-consumers-more-information-about-their-meat-COOL">new labeling rule that gives consumers more information about where their meat comes from </a>say they are pleased with the new farm bill President Obama signed into law on Friday. That’s because the bill does not include any significant changes to current country-of-origin labeling rules, known as COOL.</p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 12:01:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 18737 at http://wuis.org Meat Labeling Advocates Back New Farm Bill Harsh Winter Freezing Out Some Crop-Devouring Pests http://wuis.org/post/harsh-winter-freezing-out-some-crop-devouring-pests <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Despite what they may be thinking now, Midwest grain farmers and backyard gardeners alike may be thankful for the recent arctic temperatures before 2014 is out.</span></p><p>That’s because soil that’s frozen solid from weeks of below average temperatures isn’t exactly a cozy spot for hibernating insects that <a href="http://www.insectforecast.com/">feed on crops</a> as soon as the spring thaw comes.</p> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 18:41:32 +0000 Peter Gray 18833 at http://wuis.org Harsh Winter Freezing Out Some Crop-Devouring Pests Retailers Look To Sell Sustainability Of Food http://wuis.org/post/retailers-look-sell-sustainability-food <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>Consumers are increasingly willing to pay more for foods they believe were sustainably produced, like free-range chicken, fair-trade coffee and pesticide-free wine. But what does “sustainable” actually mean?</p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 15:16:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 18690 at http://wuis.org Retailers Look To Sell Sustainability Of Food Why Cutting The Ethanol Mandate May Not Ruin The Rural Economy http://wuis.org/post/why-cutting-ethanol-mandate-may-not-ruin-rural-economy <p>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> Sat, 08 Feb 2014 20:21:00 +0000 Grant Gerlock 18323 at http://wuis.org Why Cutting The Ethanol Mandate May Not Ruin The Rural Economy