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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Michelle Cesare / flickr Creative Commons

Genetically engineered crops are safe to eat, but they don’t deliver on all their promises: That’s according to a new analysis from a national scientific panel.

A National Academy of Sciences committee spent two years digging into the data on GMO crops. What they ended up with is a mixed bag. The GMO foods on the market are safe to eat, and they’ve reduced the use of certain pesticides, the panel says. But the varieties on the market haven’t delivered on their claims of dramatically increasing the yields farmers pull out of the field.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Millions of kids eat their lunch at school. Schools in the United States served more than 5 billion meals as part of the national school lunch program last year. Each meal has to meet federal rules for nutrition. As Harvest Public Media’s Grant Gerlock reports, those rules are up for debate and changes could be coming to the cafeterias.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

The antibiotics that keep us healthy are becoming less effective. Scientists say giving the drugs to farm animals is part of the problem.

That’s why researchers are looking into new ways to keep livestock healthy and profitable--especially the animals that become our steak and pork chops. As Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports, they’re turning to something you can probably find in your fridge.

Krisofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

Cotton fabric has been a staple in our closets for decades. But times are tough for farmers in the U.S. cotton belt: They’re caught in the middle of a storm of changing global demand. Harvest Public Media’s Kristofor Husted visited cotton farmers and found them hoping for a rebound.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

Americans are buying less beef. That’s why some ranchers want to pay for more ads to boost sales--but that has ignited a food fight in cattle country. Harvest Public Media’s Kristofor Husted walks us through the issues.

Charles Bassett wants you to buy hamburgers made from his Missouri cows. That’s why the Missouri rancher wants to pay an extra dollar into an industry-created fund every time he sells one of his cattle.

Lane Permian, flickr Creative Commons

Midwest farmers are expected to plant a huge corn crop this year. As Harvest Public Media’s Kristofor Husted reports, that could impact the farm economy.

Prices for staples like corn and soybeans have been sliding in recent years thanks to oversupply.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts farmers will plant nearly 94 million acres of corn this season. That’s up 6 percent from last year and is the third highest planted acreage in the U.S. since the 1940s.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Some of the most important medicines doctors prescribe to fight infections are losing effectiveness and the Obama administration is calling on farmers to help turn the tide against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A recent report by the president’s advisors on antibiotic resistance charts some progress but also left some critics urging for more immediate action.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Food waste is an expensive problem. The average U.S. family puts a couple thousand dollars worth of food in the garbage every year. But what some see as a problem, others see as a business opportunity. Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon reports on the promises and limitations of a technology that pledges to turn wasted food into electricity.

Food waste is an expensive problem. The average U.S. family puts upwards of $2,000 worth of food in the garbage every year.

Esther Honig / Harvest Public Media

After crossing the border from Mexico, tens of thousands of unaccompanied child immigrants were resettled in the U.S. while they await immigration proceedings.

While many young immigrants now live in big cities like Houston and Los Angeles, thousands were placed in rural towns. Reporting for Harvest Public Media, Esther Honig traveled to a rural community in western Kansas, where she found young immigrants struggling for security.

Suzanne Hogan / Harvest Public Media

Up before dawn, working the fields, feeding the cows…that’s a farmer’s life.

Farming is still thought of as a male-dominated field. But there are thousands of women farmers across the country, often left in the shadows. For Harvest Public Media, Suzanne Hogan met up with women farmers looking for the support they need to give their business an edge.

Aubrey Fletcher knew she wanted to work on a dairy farm ever since she was a little girl.

“I do remember my mom asking, ‘Are you sure that’s what you want to do?’” Fletcher recalls.

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