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 delivery of federal food benefits for millions of low-income people is likely to change after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last week it will allow states more flexibility in how they dole out the money.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media/File photo

The farm economy is showing some stability, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says, but the upswing doesn’t extend to all agricultural sectors.


A congressional watchdog agency called on the federal government this week to better protect meatpacking workers, who are often exposed to dangerous chemicals, not allowed bathroom breaks and refused medical treatment.

Frank Morris / Harvest Public Media

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.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media/File Photo

The tax reform bill passed Nov. 16 by the U.S. House could slow development in the wind energy sector by reopening a two-year-old deal.

One industry leader says they’ll need the Senate in their court to protect their current agreement, which phases out production and investment tax credits through 2020.

Shoppers, check your receipts when you buy Thanksgiving dinner ingredients. It’s likely the total cost will be lower than what you paid in 2013.

American Farm Bureau Federation volunteers scoured stores in 39 states to record prices for traditional Thanksgiving fixings. The survey found that for a party of 10, an average dinner runs $49.12 — 75 cents less than last year.


For the first time in its annual survey of rural America, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that mortality rates of working-age adults are on the rise because of opioid and heroin overdoses.

Continuing longtime trends, rural areas are still seeing declining populations, the rebound from the Great Recession is slow and poverty remains a persistent problem, according to the USDA’s “Rural America at a Glance,” released Thursday.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media/File Photo

Large livestock farms likely will have to report high levels of two types of emissions as of Wednesday, despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s last-minute effort to further delay a federal rule it’s been trying to modify for years.

The EPA tried to exempt most farms, including concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, from having to report emissions of two air pollutants — hydrogen sulfide and ammonia — that are considered hazardous.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media/File Photo

The World Health Organization released recommendations this week to curb the use of antibiotics in livestock, saying it could help reduce the risk of drug-resistant infections in humans.

But the U.S. Department of Agriculture says some of the guidelines from the United Nations’ public health agency would place “unnecessary and unrealistic constraints” on farmers and veterinarians. It's a disagreement that could have an impact on farm exports.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

On a feedlot in far southwest Kansas, two cowboys on horseback move cattle on the high dusty plains, spread out like dozens of football fields stitched together with miles of fences. Their “Buenos dias! Buenos dias!” greetings mix with moos on a hot summer morning.

They’re two of the 400 employees who work on the feedlot, which is one of the largest in the U.S. in a state that ranks third in meat production.