USDA http://wuis.org en 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 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 Harvest Blog: Crop Insurance To Cover Midwest Cucumbers, Cherries http://wuis.org/post/harvest-blog-crop-insurance-cover-midwest-cucumbers-cherries <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Passage of the </span><a href="http://wuis.org/post/obama-signs-farm-bill-announces-rural-export-initiative?nopop=1" style="line-height: 1.5;">Agriculture Act of 2014</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> brought with it good news for fans of </span><a href="http://firm.msue.msu.edu/uploads/files/Budgets/E3166_2010_MACHINE_HARVESTED_PICKLING_CUCMBER_VARIABLE_COST_OF_PRODUCTION.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">pickles</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and </span><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/13/midwest-tart-cherry-crop_n_1670226.html" style="lin Mon, 10 Feb 2014 20:59:31 +0000 Peter Gray 18689 at http://wuis.org Harvest Blog: Crop Insurance To Cover Midwest Cucumbers, Cherries Illinois Led Nation In Soybean Yields In 2013 http://wuis.org/post/illinois-led-nation-soybean-yields-2013 <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">U.S. farmers harvested more corn in 2013 than in 2012, while the soybean harvest declined slightly, according to USDA reports released Friday.&nbsp;</span></p> Fri, 10 Jan 2014 22:05:53 +0000 Peter Gray & Jeremy Bernfeld 16700 at http://wuis.org Illinois Led Nation In Soybean Yields In 2013 Study: Cover Crops Can Ward Off Soybean Diseases http://wuis.org/post/study-cover-crops-can-ward-soybean-diseases <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;">Midwest farmers who rely on healthy soybean harvests have one more reason to consider adding cereal rye into their crop rotation in 2014.</p> Wed, 08 Jan 2014 23:10:00 +0000 Peter Gray 16550 at http://wuis.org Study: Cover Crops Can Ward Off Soybean Diseases New Labeling Rules Could Help Consumers Learn More About Meat http://wuis.org/post/new-labeling-rules-could-help-consumers-learn-more-about-meat <p>A new labeling rule that went into full effect Saturday requires meatpackers and retailers to provide consumers with more information about where their meat comes from.</p><p>The country-of-origin labeling mandate (COOL) forces retailers and meatpackers to detail where the livestock from which meat came was born, raised and slaughtered. It applies to certain cuts of beef, veal, chicken, pork, lamb and goat sold in the supermarket. Processed, deli and ground meats are exempt from the new rules.</p> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 14:08:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 14422 at http://wuis.org New Labeling Rules Could Help Consumers Learn More About Meat Families In Rural America Brace For Food Stamps Cuts http://wuis.org/post/families-rural-america-brace-food-stamps-cuts <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As farm bill negotiations continue in Washington, D.C., it’s fairly certain that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, will be cut. &nbsp;One proposal would trim the food stamp program by $4 billion over the next decade; the other would cut roughly ten times that much.&nbsp;</span></p><p>That’s after the Obama Administration’s recession-era boost to SNAP expired November 1st, leaving the average family with about $30 less to spend each month.</p> Mon, 25 Nov 2013 13:00:00 +0000 Peter Gray 13695 at http://wuis.org Families In Rural America Brace For Food Stamps Cuts Illinois Pumpkins On Thanksgiving Tables http://wuis.org/post/illinois-pumpkins-thanksgiving-tables <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This Thanksgiving, hungry families all over the country will finish off their holiday meal with a little slice of the Midwest. That’s because the vast majority of all pumpkin that comes from a can and winds up in a pie got its start on a vine in Illinois.</span></p> Wed, 13 Nov 2013 12:00:00 +0000 Peter Gray 12875 at http://wuis.org Illinois Pumpkins On Thanksgiving Tables Report: Rural Illinois Continues Losing Jobs, Population http://wuis.org/post/report-rural-illinois-continues-losing-jobs-population <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Data collected between 2010 and 2012 indicate Illinois' </span>nonmetro<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> areas had the second highest losses of jobs in the nation.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The state of Arizona also saw a 1.8 percent decline in rural employment over the past two years, while losses were especially large in Arkansas - down 4.1 percent. &nbsp;</span></p> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 16:00:21 +0000 Peter Gray 12780 at http://wuis.org Report: Rural Illinois Continues Losing Jobs, Population Government Shutdown Slows USDA http://wuis.org/post/government-shutdown-slows-usda <p>The U.S. Department of Agriculture was forced to send home tens of thousands of employees because of Tuesday&rsquo;s government shutdown.</p><p>As a result, the agriculture department and its nearly two dozen agencies are operating at limited capacity &ndash; or not at all.</p><p>But even though important agencies such as the Farm Service Agency and the Risk Management Agency will be shut down almost entirely, agriculture officials said that Midwest farmers and producers won&rsquo;t be affected that much.</p> Thu, 03 Oct 2013 16:18:12 +0000 Robert Holly/Midwest Center For Investigative Reporting 10200 at http://wuis.org Government Shutdown Slows USDA Schools Feed Kids Over Summer Months — For Free http://wuis.org/post/schools-feed-kids-over-summer-months-free <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">District 186 students might be on break, but many are still showing up at schools. </span><a href="http://www.sps186.org/downloads/blurbs/27125/2013%20Summer%20Food%20Program.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">Six different schools</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> offer free meals to students during the summer months. In this story we take you to Butler Elementary, where lunch is being served:</span></p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 14:30:00 +0000 Rachel Otwell 5836 at http://wuis.org Schools Feed Kids Over Summer Months — For Free Rural Development In The Farm Bill http://wuis.org/post/rural-development-farm-bill <p></p><p>As Congress fiddles with major farm legislation, there’s a portion of it that gets very little attention. Some say it is a difference-maker for job creation in small rural communities,and provides a boost those towns need.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 21 May 2013 18:36:46 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 3006 at http://wuis.org Rural Development In The Farm Bill