USDA http://hppr.org en Canada feeding the American appetite for hemp http://hppr.org/post/canada-feeding-american-appetite-hemp <p></p> Fri, 16 May 2014 18:06:56 +0000 Luke Runyon 31907 at http://hppr.org Canada feeding the American appetite for hemp Ranchers Wringing Hands Over Possible Brazilian Beef Imports http://hppr.org/post/ranchers-wringing-hands-over-possible-brazilian-beef-imports <p>Sharon Harvat drives a blue pick-up truck through a field of several hundred pregnant heifers on her property outside Scottsbluff in western Nebraska and notes, “On a warm day they’ll lay out flat like that...”.</p><p>Harvat and her husband John run their cattle here in the Nebraska panhandle during the winter and take them back to the mountains in northern Colorado when the calves are born. Harvat says, when she heard about a proposal to open up beef trade with Brazil, she felt a pit in her stomach.&nbsp; “On an operation like ours, where we travel a lot with our cattle, that would probably come to an abrupt halt if there was an outbreak.”</p><p> Fri, 25 Apr 2014 05:00:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 30957 at http://hppr.org Ranchers Wringing Hands Over Possible Brazilian Beef Imports 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 Research units to help farmers respond to climate change http://hppr.org/post/research-units-help-farmers-respond-climate-change <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Looking to help farmers adapt to climate change, the U.S Department of Agriculture is&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&amp;contentid=2014/02/0016.xml" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">setting up seven new research hubs</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, including a handful that will cover the Great Plains and Midwest.</span></p> Fri, 14 Feb 2014 06:00:02 +0000 Luke Runyon 27974 at http://hppr.org Research units to help farmers respond to climate change The uneasy marriage of farm bill and food stamps http://hppr.org/post/uneasy-marriage-farm-bill-and-food-stamps <p></p><p>Both farmers and food stamps advocates sighed in relief Friday when President Obama signed the &nbsp;<a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/new-farm-bill-may-be-sight">long-overdue Agriculture Act of 2014</a>&nbsp;– the $956-billion farm bill – into law on Friday during a visit to Michigan State University. &nbsp;The farm bill process was fraught with ups and downs and the loose coalition tying nutrition and farm programs seemed barely able to survive.</p> Sat, 08 Feb 2014 06:00:59 +0000 Amy Mayer 27749 at http://hppr.org The uneasy marriage of farm bill and food stamps New farm bill changes U.S. ag policy http://hppr.org/post/new-farm-bill-changes-us-ag-policy <p></p><p>Not everyone likes the farm bill signed into law on Friday, but at least farmers will be able to start making informed decisions.</p><p>The biggest change in the 2014 farm bill is that the subsidies known as direct payments are gone. Instead of the government paying a known amount to farmers each year—at a fixed budget of $5 billion—the new system of subsidies will fluctuate, partly with market forces. That makes it really hard to predict how much the program will cost each year, says Iowa State University ag economist Chad Hart.</p> Sat, 08 Feb 2014 06:00:02 +0000 Amy Mayer 27750 at http://hppr.org New farm bill changes U.S. ag policy 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 Vilsack to China: Get up to speed on GMOs http://hppr.org/post/vilsack-china-get-speed-gmos <p>Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to China this week to ask Chinese regulators to get on the same page as the U.S. when it comes to evaluating genetically modified crops.</p> Wed, 18 Dec 2013 14:49:43 +0000 Grant Gerlock 25711 at http://hppr.org Vilsack to China: Get up to speed on GMOs 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 Another deadline passes without a farm bill deal http://hppr.org/post/another-deadline-passes-without-farm-bill-deal <p>If it seems like Congress just can’t get the farm bill done, well… that’s because it can’t. The massive food and agriculture package used to be relatively easy thanks to bipartisan and urban-rural alliances. But this year, progress was a slow slog. A nine-month extension passed in January bought some time. This summer, the Senate passed its bill, but the House didn’t. Then it sent two bills to the conference committee, one for agriculture and the other for food stamps. Just before Thanksgiving, Iowa Republican Steve King, a conference committee member, remained optimistic. Fri, 13 Dec 2013 02:17:54 +0000 Amy Mayer 25513 at http://hppr.org Another deadline passes without a farm bill deal Push for GMO labeling comes to Colorado http://hppr.org/post/push-gmo-labeling-comes-colorado <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Colorado could be the next battleground state in the debate over labeling rules for genetically-modified foods. Activists are trying to get the issue in front of voters in 2014.</span></p> Mon, 09 Dec 2013 03:17:51 +0000 Luke Runyon 25308 at http://hppr.org Push for GMO labeling comes to Colorado Filling a hole in the organic pipeline http://hppr.org/post/filling-hole-organic-pipeline <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Organic food is a hot market in the U.S. The Organic Trade Association says that sales over the last five years have grown 35 percent. But there’s a problem in the supply chain – not enough organic grain.</span></p> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 02:14:05 +0000 Clay Masters 24291 at http://hppr.org Filling a hole in the organic pipeline Largely unpopular, direct payment subsidies persist http://hppr.org/post/largely-unpopular-direct-payment-subsidies-persist <p>Congress is&nbsp;<a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/content/house-passes-snapped-farm-bill#.UkGtFIash8E">bitterly divided on food stamps and other </a><a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/content/house-passes-snapped-farm-bill#.UkGtFIash8E">issues</a>&nbsp;contained in the farm bill, but both political parties agree on something: the $5 billion-a-year farm subsidy called Direct and Countercyclical Payments has got to go.</p><p> Mon, 30 Sep 2013 02:29:17 +0000 Frank Morris 22273 at http://hppr.org Largely unpopular, direct payment subsidies persist What was your county’s crop insurance payout in 2012? http://hppr.org/post/what-was-your-county-s-crop-insurance-payout-2012 <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>At $200 per acre, Trego County, KS topped the list of High Plains counties in per acre crop insurance payments in 2012.&nbsp; Other top counties were Wallace County, KS at $157 per acre and Rawlins County, KS at $127 per acre.&nbsp; All three are in Northwest Kansas.&nbsp; At the bottom is the list was Hemphill County, TX in the northeast corner of the Panhandle with just $1 per acre on only 13,400 planted acres.</p> Fri, 06 Sep 2013 05:50:00 +0000 Quentin Hope 21240 at http://hppr.org What was your county’s crop insurance payout in 2012? What $154 million in payouts means to a county http://hppr.org/post/what-154-million-payouts-means-county <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Farmer Doug Wilson has been buying crop insurance since 1980.&nbsp;</span></p><p>“You carry home insurance, hoping your house doesn’t burn down. We carry crop insurance, hoping our crops don’t burn down,” Wilson said on a sweltering day in mid-August as he walked among the healthy 8-foot corn stalks in one his fields in central Illinois. “But last year, they burned down — kind of literally.”</p> Thu, 05 Sep 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Darrell Hoemann 21185 at http://hppr.org What $154 million in payouts means to a county COOL too cumbersome for meat labeling? http://hppr.org/post/cool-too-cumbersome-meat-labeling <p></p> Wed, 04 Sep 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 21124 at http://hppr.org COOL too cumbersome for meat labeling? The "digital divide" in now about adoption http://hppr.org/post/digital-divide-now-about-adoption <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The “digital divide” between urban and rural areas used to be all about </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">access</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to broadband internet service.&nbsp; Today it is much more about </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">adoption</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> where access is now available.&nbsp; </span></p> Tue, 03 Sep 2013 05:48:03 +0000 Quentin Hope 21071 at http://hppr.org The "digital divide" in now about adoption How secure is the Fort Knox of seeds? http://hppr.org/post/how-secure-fort-knox-seeds <p></p> Wed, 07 Aug 2013 05:00:01 +0000 Grace Hood 19837 at http://hppr.org How secure is the Fort Knox of seeds? How are decisions made about projects that benefit rural America? http://hppr.org/post/how-are-decisions-made-about-projects-benefit-rural-america <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The U.S. Department of Agriculture first began designating funds for rural development in 1933 as part of the New Deal. More federal funds were allocated in the Agricultural Act of 1970. During this fiscal year, the rural development program is administering approximately $38 billion in loans, loan guarantees and grants. It’s being used to construct or improve 48 rural libraries, assist 243 projects in the delivery of healthcare and help more than 270,000 low income families get affordable housing, according to the USDA.</span></p> Mon, 17 Jun 2013 05:01:02 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 17156 at http://hppr.org How are decisions made about projects that benefit rural America? Budget cuts and wider competition for USDA's 'rural' dollars http://hppr.org/post/budget-cuts-and-wider-competition-usdas-rural-dollars <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">As lawmakers debate the Farm Bill in Washington, millions of dollars are at stake for small businesses across the country. Rural development grants go out to everything from home loans to water projects to small co-ops.</span></p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 05:01:01 +0000 Luke Runyon 17155 at http://hppr.org Budget cuts and wider competition for USDA's 'rural' dollars Lifeblood for rural communities: federal funds http://hppr.org/post/lifeblood-rural-communities-federal-funds <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. Harvest Public Media’s Bill Wheelhouse reports.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In the small town of Staunton, Ill., the new $9 million water plant is a welcome addition. After all, when the 80-year-old facility it replaces seized up last year, the community’s 5,000 residents were without water for five days.&nbsp;</span></p> Thu, 13 Jun 2013 05:01:01 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 17153 at http://hppr.org Lifeblood for rural communities: federal funds SNAP cut, direct payments out, insurance in and provisioned http://hppr.org/post/snap-cut-direct-payments-out-insurance-and-provisioned <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The U.S. Senate approved a new comprehensive farm bill Monday, its plan for everything from food and nutrition assistance to disaster aid for livestock producers to crop insurance for farmers. But before you go popping champagne corks and celebrating the creation of five-years of agricultural policy, know this: The U.S. House has yet to weigh in.</span></p> Tue, 11 Jun 2013 21:45:02 +0000 Jeremy Bernfeld 17273 at http://hppr.org SNAP cut, direct payments out, insurance in and provisioned