agriculture

After reports last year that the popular weed–killer Dicamba had killed off soybeans in Missouri and other states, its manufacturer, Monsanto, revised their use guidelines. 

In the coming months, Congress will map out how it’ll spend upwards of $500 billion on food and farm programs over the next five years.

The massive piece of legislation known as the farm bill affects all taxpayers — whether they know it or not — and runs the gamut from farm safety net and conservation programs to food stamps and loan guarantees for rural hospitals. Since the bill hasn’t been introduced yet, now is the time when interest groups, farmers and others clamor to ensure their desires will be heard.

A few years ago, Kansas City restaurateur Anton Kotar surveyed the local and national restaurant scenes and concluded his town’s reputation as a steakhouse paradise had slipped.

The problem, he says, is the way conventional beef is raised – bulked up with grain on feedlots, making it cheap and plentiful and changing what Americans expect to taste.

Egg Prices Expected To Rise In First Months Of 2018

Jan 2, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts consumers will be paying less for beef, pork, lamb, chicken and turkey in early 2018 than at the start of 2017. Not so for eggs.

Farmers Explore Cover Crops to Aid Winter Losses

Dec 5, 2017
Agriculture
Illinois Public Radio/WILL

Farmers in Central Illinois are experimenting with cover crops to stop soil erosion. Cover crops can also help stop an environmental threat hundreds of miles away. But, do cover crops cut into a farmer’s finances—or even solvency?

Agriculture
submitted / Blue River Technology

Cameras and machine learning may eventually save farmers a lot of money on chemicals. They may even help prevent water pollution and reduce the need for genetically-modified seeds. That's according to the CEO of Blue River Technology, a company based in California's Silicon Valley that John Deere just bought for $305 million.

WVIK's Michelle O'Neill reports the acquisition may have wide-ranging effects on agriculture and other industries.

There’ve been five rounds of negotiations over the decades-old North American Free Trade Agreement in recent months, but little movement toward a re-imagining of the treaty with Canada and Mexico from which U.S. agriculture benefits greatly.

With President Donald Trump still threatening to pull the country out of NAFTA if his preferred updates aren’t made, senators in farm-intensive states increasingly are speaking out.

If you drive along the two lane back roads of northern Illinois these days, you’re likely to see farm fields that just a few weeks ago had row upon row of corn. Now, in those fields machines are turning laps leaving just the stub of a corn stalk. Illinois Public Radio's Brian O'Keefe has a look at this years whiskey crop...

Images
Illinois Farm Bureau

Governor Bruce Rauner has declared a “harvest emergency” across Illinois.

The designation means trucks carrying grain can exceed weight limits by 10 percent.

New Non-Native Fly Harms Illinois Fruit

Aug 9, 2017
University Of Illinois Extension Service.

The U of I Extension service held a public workshop this past Monday for fruit growers, and one of the topics was how to control a small, non-native fruit fly which can cause heavy damage.  According to the Extension Service,  the Spotted-Wing Fruit Fly, is native to east Asia and was first detected in the United States in 2008. 

High Tunnel at Shade Tree Farm
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

Farmers usually plant in the spring and harvest through the summer and fall, then take the winter off.

Some local farmers have found a way to grow year round.

It’s called High Tunnel Farming.

While the current presidential administration has vocalized goals to deport all undocumented immigrants, some farmers are trying to bring more documented, migrants into the U.S. to work for them.

Ten years ago, Cindy Bonnet found out she was getting new neighbors in Nora, Illinois: 10,000 cows. It’s what’s known in the industry as a “concentrated animal feeding operation,” or CAFO: basically a big cow warehouse, with a giant trough under it to catch their waste.


Peach Bud
Flamm Orchards / WSIU

When temperatures dipped into the teens in mid March, area growers grew concerned.

“Well we’ve got some damage in the peaches, but at this point we still have peaches."

Sudden Winter Weather Shift Could Kill Crops

Mar 10, 2017

Local farmers are bracing for winter weather expected to hit Friday night, and early growth of peaches and apples has them worried.

A group of Illinois legislators are pushing an agenda intended to help farmers who sell at local markets.

The world’s largest seed companies have their eye trained on Africa’s farming industry. A few, including St. Louis-based Monsanto, see drought-resistant corn as the key to an untapped market.

But some African civil service organizations are wary of the genetically modified seeds Monsanto hopes to introduce.

Shawnee Health Services Outreach Event
Shawnee Health Services / WSIU

As harvest time is in full swing, we take a look at the people performing the hard labor of collecting the produce that ends up in lunch boxes and dinner tables

Farm work is not the easiest job.

Its long hours, extreme weather conditions and physically demanding.

Farm
Illinois Farm Bureau

The Illinois Humanities Council will host a special program this weekend in Cobden, highlighting the future of agriculture in rural areas like southern Illinois. WSIU’s Jennifer Fuller has this preview of “Seeding Change”.

Apple
Jennifer Fuller, WSIU

Last weekend's excessive rain is hurting some local apple harvests.

DuQuoin State Fair
IL Dept of Agriculture

Efforts in the Illinois Legislature to create a private foundation that would support state fairgrounds in Springfield and Du Quoin remain stalled as the Illinois State Fair kicks off this year.

Rendleman Orchards
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

While most people are taking time off in the summer to relax and take vacations, local orchard farmers are keeping very busy.

Rendleman Orchard in Union County is in the middle of harvesting vegetables and peaches during their 143rd season.

Numerous media outlets are reporting that increased amounts of ‘corn sweat’ could be affecting the heat index across the U.S. increasing rates of heat exhaustion. Paducah National Weather Service Meteorologist Kelly Hooper says there might be some confusion.

Gardeners would lose a weapon against insects under a measure recently introduced in the Illinois legislature.

High interest rates have the potential to slow an economy and drop prices. So when the Federal Reserve Board raised the interest rate last week for the first time in seven years, farmers and ranchers likely wondered how it would affect their outlook.

Governor Bruce Rauner has named a longtime Republican state representative -- Raymond Poe of Springfield -- to head the state's agriculture department. 


It's pumpkin-selling season, and crowds are flocking to farms to pick out their own jack-o'-lanterns. But this year, challenging weather conditions have cut the supply of pumpkins — both for carving and canning.

Heavy summer rains in parts of the Midwest and elsewhere have left many farmers short on pumpkins. And in California, drought has squeezed the crop.

GMOs -- genetically modified organisms -- are not exactly a controversial subject at the Ag Innovation Showcase.

The three-day annual event is the place where the agriculture industry comes together to talk about new trends and startups to present to potential investors.

Just under 2 million people a year are fed by food banks in Illinois, according to the 2015 report of the Illinois Commission to End Hunger, which released its annual analysis last week.

DuQuoin State Fair
IL Dept of Agriculture

The DuQuoin State Fair opened Friday in southern Illinois, even as state leaders are trying to explain a dramatic decrease in attendance at the State Fair in Springfield earlier this month.

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