Grant Gerlock http://hppr.org en Hog farmers split on packer-owned pigs http://hppr.org/post/hog-farmers-split-packer-owned-pigs-0 <p></p><p>Nebraska hog farmers aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on a proposal that would allow meatpacking companies more control over the state’s hog industry. And farmers all over the country are watching.</p><p>Currently, a 1998 state law bans meatpacking companies from owning and raising the hogs they process. But lawmakers have proposed an end to the ban, which would allow for more vertical integration of the hog industry.</p> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 05:00:02 +0000 Grant Gerlock 29707 at http://hppr.org Hog farmers split on packer-owned pigs Lack of land thwarts aspiring young farmers http://hppr.org/post/lack-land-thwarts-aspiring-young-farmers <p></p><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/retirement-not-farm-farmers-working-later" target="_blank">average age of American farmers has been climbing for decades</a>, and many say rural towns are at-risk without new blood. There are enough people who want to farm, but there’s trouble connecting beginning farmers and the communities that need them.</p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 06:00:02 +0000 Grant Gerlock 28342 at http://hppr.org Lack of land thwarts aspiring young farmers Farmers worry about sharing Big Data http://hppr.org/post/farmers-worry-about-sharing-big-data <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">When it comes to keeping data secure, farmers are worried about some of the same issues as the rest of us. Precision data from the farm could help drive new levels of productivity, but farmers have to decide just how much they want to share.</span></p><p>Precision agriculture started with satellite-guided tractors and maps recording pinpoint levels of grain yields during harvest. But farmers like Dave Beck are taking the next step.</p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 05:42:08 +0000 Grant Gerlock 28149 at http://hppr.org Farmers worry about sharing Big Data USDA one step closer to approving new Roundup resistant crops http://hppr.org/post/usda-one-step-closer-approving-new-roundup-resistant-crops <p>New herbicide-resistant corn and soybeans are a step closer to reaching farm fields in the U.S. They would help farmers control weeds that are no longer killed by the popular herbicide, Roundup.</p><p>Roundup resistant crops dominate corn, soybean and cotton production in the U.S. But the list of weeds that have evolved to withstand Roundup is growing, and as a result,&nbsp;<a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/1460/roundup-resistance-leading-more-chemicals-study-finds/5">farmers are using more chemicals to keep up.</a></p> Mon, 13 Jan 2014 03:36:46 +0000 Grant Gerlock 26675 at http://hppr.org USDA one step closer to approving new Roundup resistant crops Beef herd poised for growth … and cheaper steak eventually http://hppr.org/post/beef-herd-poised-growth-and-cheaper-steak-eventually <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For the first time in nearly 10 years, the nation’s beef herd may be poised for growth, which could mean relief from rising meat prices. But with the fewest cattle in the beef supply since the 1960s, slow growth won’t cut prices anytime soon.</span></p> Thu, 09 Jan 2014 06:00:02 +0000 Grant Gerlock 26543 at http://hppr.org Beef herd poised for growth … and cheaper steak eventually RNAi corn entering the rootworm chase http://hppr.org/post/rnai-corn-entering-rootworm-chase <p></p><p>With rootworms building resistance to genetically modified corn that makes its own pesticide, seed companies are working on new crops that target the insects’ genes. But some worry about unintended consequences when the technology moves from the lab to the field.</p> Mon, 16 Dec 2013 06:00:02 +0000 Grant Gerlock 25612 at http://hppr.org RNAi corn entering the rootworm chase Pheasants losing habitat to farmland http://hppr.org/post/pheasants-losing-habitat-farmland <p></p><p>As farmers across the Midwest have simplified the landscape and plowed up grassland to grow more corn and soybeans, habitat for pheasants, quail and other grassland birds has become increasingly scarce and their numbers are falling.</p><p>In Nebraska, wild pheasant concentrations have fallen 86 percent since their peak in the 1960s. The pheasant harvest during hunting season in Iowa is off 63 percent from the highs reached in the 1970s. In areas that used to be overrun, you’ll struggle to find a pheasant now.</p> Fri, 29 Nov 2013 06:00:59 +0000 Grant Gerlock 24838 at http://hppr.org Pheasants losing habitat to farmland 'Degeneration of the family farm' in photos http://hppr.org/post/degeneration-family-farm-photos <p>Rural roadsides are littered with neglected homesteads, long-ago abandoned. I see them all the time driving across Nebraska. Fallen farmhouses. Blighted barns. Overgrown fencerows. They even have a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/NeglectedNebraska" target="_blank">fanclub on Facebook</a>.</p><p>For Randy Waln, a graphic design professor at Peru State University in Peru, Neb., there’s something about a rusted-out truck or weed-covered roadway that stokes the imagination.</p><p> Fri, 18 Oct 2013 05:17:27 +0000 Grant Gerlock 23099 at http://hppr.org 'Degeneration of the family farm' in photos Farm Families Pick Massive Corn Harvest As Prices Shrink http://hppr.org/post/farm-families-pick-massive-corn-harvest-prices-shrink Corn prices are down and the farm bill is stalled in Congress. So there's a lot of uncertainly in the air as harvest season gets into full swing across the Midwest. But this is a time of year when farm families like the Friesens in Henderson, Neb., come together to focus on the big task at hand: the corn harvest.<p>Everyone in the family has a job to do.<p>"Like my dad — he drives auger wagon," Curt Friesen says. "He drives auger wagon only. That's all he's done since 1976, I think. ... My wife, Nancy, she drives the combine; that's her job."<p>Curt drives a truck. Tue, 15 Oct 2013 14:34:00 +0000 Grant Gerlock 22959 at http://hppr.org Farm Families Pick Massive Corn Harvest As Prices Shrink Harvest Brings Farm Families Together, Redefines Commitment http://hppr.org/post/harvest-brings-farm-families-together Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Now, here's a reality about farming. From the earliest days of this country, it's been an uncertain business, and for many decades, national policies have been designed to smooth out that risk. But, of course, the risk never entirely goes away. You can never control the rain, for example, and lately the uncertainty has been growing. Corn prices are down. Tue, 15 Oct 2013 08:50:00 +0000 Grant Gerlock 22948 at http://hppr.org Drought raises stakes on Republican River http://hppr.org/post/drought-raises-stakes-republican-river <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There’s a border war going in the Midwest and it’s over water. Kansas and Nebraska have been battling for years over the water in the Republican River, which runs from Colorado to Kansas, through Nebraska.</span></p> Fri, 25 Jan 2013 05:12:55 +0000 Grant Gerlock 11506 at http://hppr.org Drought raises stakes on Republican River