agriculture

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

As agriculture intensified in the 20th century, summers in the Midwest became wetter and cooler.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

The two federal agencies tasked with enforcing the nation’s food safety laws agreed this week to collaborate better, update biotechnology regulations and implement new safety inspections on produce farms.

Kansas Department of Agriculture/Twitter

Kansas-made agricultural products and food items were on display at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka Tuesday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the state's agricultural trademark program, From the Land of Kansas.

Frank Morris / KCUR and NPR

  

It’s a time of low unemployment across the Midwest, leading to a labor shortage that’s stunting the growth of urban and rural businesses. Given that Donald Trump campaigned on a staunchly pro-business platform, one would think he’d have instituted policies benefiting everything from high-tech startups to huge dairy operations.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media, File Photo

The recent frigid weather across the Midwest has slowed river barges carrying grain to shipment ports, especially those destined for the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi, Ohio and Illinois rivers.

AgriLife Today, flickr Creative Commons

The latest drought report shows that all of Kansas is drying out, with the southern parts of the state now being considered in extreme drought.

But what impact could this weather pattern have if it sticks around?

More than 50 percent of the state is currently seeing drought conditions, up from only 1.5 percent three months ago. And assistant state climatologist Mary Knapp says the outlook for the next three months isn't much better.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

An investigator with the Kingman County Sheriff’s Office is trying to find out who stole four baby calves from a ranch this week.

The case is one of several active cattle theft investigations across Kansas.

Investigator Dustin Cooke says cattle thefts have increased in the last few years, and the crime is hitting ranchers hard.

"It’s a high dollar theft," he says. "Higher dollar than a car sometimes."

Cooke says the missing calves are valued at about $400 a piece right now and will triple in value in six months as they grow.

Austin Kirk, flickr Creative Commons

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. However, eggs are a different story.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File Photo

After pushing for changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), President Donald Trump earlier this year kicked off negotiations among the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Any major changes to the agreement could have a big impact on Kansas.

Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts and Sen. Jerry Moran have said they’re open to updates but emphasize that the agreement needs to preserve or expand export opportunities.

USDA / flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will withdraw a final rule about how animals on organic farms are raised. The implementation of the rule has been delayed several times.

Supporters saw it as a way to certify that organic meat came from humanely raised animals.

The USDA said Friday it’s withdrawing the rule because it exceeds the agency’s authority under the existing Organic Foods Production Act.

The Organic Trade Association’s Nathaniel Lewis says he is dismayed.

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