Harvest Public Media

Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri, Harvest covers agriculture-related topics through a network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.

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Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media, File Photo

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it wants feedback on how to get a certain segment of Americans out of poverty and off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

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

LEIGH PATERSON / Harvest Public Media, File Photo

About 16.4 million people who receive federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits would not have a say in how to spend about half of their monthly benefits under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year.

Low-income Americans who receive at least $90 a month would see "about half" of their benefits come in the form of a nonperishable, American-grown “USDA Foods package,” or a "Harvest Box," according to a news release Monday from the USDA, which runs SNAP.

The. U.S. Department of Agriculture

Farm income will likely drop nearly 7 percent from last year to $59.5 billion, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released Wednesday. The drop is due to continued low prices for crops like corn and soybeans, as well as higher fuel and labor costs.

“It’s not a rosy picture,” University of Missouri market analyst Scott Gerlt says. “Anyone who has been around agriculture knows that the past few years haven’t been as good.”

Already, it’s tough for producers to turn a profit on grain, due to good weather and large harvests in recent years, Gerlt says.

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.

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.

Erica Hunzinger / Harvest Public Media

Since the George W. Bush administration, the federal government has doled out millions of dollars with the promise to expedite access to broadband service in remote parts of the country.

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.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

In places where the unemployment rate is well below the national average—states like Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa—one would think it’d be easier for communities to recruit new residents to fill open jobs.

But the housing market works against rural towns and cities where jobs often stay open because there are too few affordable homes and apartments to buy or rent, or the ones that are affordable need lots of TLC. It’s a situation that threatens to turn low unemployment from an advantage into a liability.

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