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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Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Shareholders of agricultural seed and chemical giant Monsanto agreed to a merger on Tuesday, moving the controversial deal one-step closer to fruition.

German drug and chemical maker Bayer plans to pay shareholders $66 billion to take over Missouri-based Monsanto. That breaks down to $128 per share if the merger closes.

Derek Gavey / flickr Creative Commons

While the average U.S. farm continues to grow larger, the vast majority are still family-owned. Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon reports on a new look at our farmers.

Meriwether Lewis Elementary / flickr Creative Commons

Changes to the $22 billion federal program that distributes free meals at schools won’t be coming any time soon.

A bipartisan U.S. Senate bill would have delayed requirements to reduce sodium in school meals, expanded summer meal programs and grown the Women Infants and Children (WIC) food program.

A House committee passed a sharply different bill and negotiators couldn’t hammer out differences. That leaves the child nutrition programs operating under the policies set in 20-10.

EPA Ups Corn Ethanol Targets

Nov 27, 2016
Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media/File photo

The Environmental Protection Agency has increased the amount of renewable fuels that must be blended into the nation’s fuel supply next year, by nearly six percent. For Harvest Public Media, Sarah Boden reports on what this means for corn and soybean producers.

Every year, the EPA adjusts the amount renewable fuel it requires oil refiners to pump into our gas. After initially signaling lower renewable fuel goals, the agency reversed course.

deirdren / flickr Creative Commons

Americans may find more meat on their holiday tables this year. As Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports, large supplies of pork and beef are pushing down prices.

Typically, it takes a while for changes in commodity or wholesale prices to reach us at the grocery store. But the expansion of the nation’s beef herd and increased pork production are now making both meats more affordable than they have been in recent years.

Victor / flickr Creative Commons

A new report from the Department of Agriculture shows rural parts of the country are still struggling more than eight years after the Great Recession. 

While the economy has improved marginally in rural areas since the recession, cities continue to do better. The rural employment rate still hasn’t returned to its pre-2008 level, and economic growth has been slow: An average rural worker made significantly less last year than an urban one.

Natalie Keyssar for NPR

Now that Donald Trump is elected, he must go on a hiring spree for his cabinet. Harvest Public Media’s Peggy Lowe reports that farm country is wondering just who the Secretary of Agriculture will be.

Donn Teske is a Kansas farmer and vice president of the National Farmers Union. He says the joke in farm country before the election went something like this: Who knows who Donald Trump would put in as Ag Secretary? It might even be Hank Kimball.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Many low-income families struggle to afford enough food. Moms and kids who qualify can participate in a federal program geared toward early development. Once kids turn five, though, they are no longer eligible for the benefits. Harvest Public Media’s Kristofor Husted reports on how that puts families at risk.

It’s 7:30 in the morning at Battle Elementary School in Columbia, Missouri. Students hop off of their buses, head down the hallway past a few folding tables with crates of milk, fruit juice and warm muffins sitting on top.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

When Don Stull first heard the news that the FBI had foiled a domestic terrorism plot in Garden City, Kansas, aimed at the city’s Somalis, he thought: oh, no.

“It was so unlike the Garden City that I know,” he says.

Wikipedia

The next Congress may take up the farm bill a year ahead of schedule.

The current five-year farm bill became law in 2014. Congressional debate was contentious, including whether to keep nutrition assistance programs in the massive legislation that also funds the farm safety net, rural development and a myriad of U.S. Department of Agriculture priorities.

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who sits on the agriculture committee, says low commodity prices and falling farm incomes could spur Congress to get started on the next law soon.

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