corn

Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
7:43 am
Mon February 10, 2014

For Farmers Who Rent, 2014 Could Be a Tough Year

With the price of corn down, farmers that rent land risk big losses if they don’t tread carefully.
fishhawk/Flickr

With the price of farmland at record levels across the Corn Belt, many farmers have been renting acres to plant. Now, with the price of corn and soybeans in freefall, farmers that depend on renting risk big losses if they’re unable to negotiate lower rents.

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River to River
3:16 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

The Renewable Fuel Standard

E Energy in Adams, Neb., takes in corn from local farms to make 65 million gallons of ethanol each year.
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

A decade ago ethanol was touted as an eco-friendly biofuel that would not only decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil, but also boost the Midwest's economy. Today however, ethanol’s future is a matter of debate.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed reducing the ethanol mandate for the nation’s fuel supply. Many Iowa and around Midwest believe a reduction to the RFS would be economically devastating. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Mon December 16, 2013

New crops could kill insects by targeting their genes

Southern corn rootworm beetles eat corn laced with RNA in a lab at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Scientists want to know how long it takes for rootworms to evolve resistance to RNA-interference technology.
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

With rootworms building resistance to genetically modified corn that makes its own pesticide, seed companies are working on new crops that target the insects’ genes. But some worry about unintended consequences when the technology moves from the lab to the field.

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River to River
2:13 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

News Buzz: Ethanol and Harvest Wrap Up

Nearly all gasoline sold in the U.S. contains up to 10 percent of ethanol—a corn-based liquid often added to gasoline.
Stefanie Seskin

Nearly all gasoline sold in the U.S. contains up to 10 percent of ethanol—a corn-based liquid often added to gasoline. As a renewable fuel ethanol reduces the amount of petroleum-based gasoline on the market and many farmers receive subsidies to grow corn for the biofuel. But now the Environmental Protection Agency is considering a reduction in the required amount of ethanol for the country's gasoline supply.  Harvest Public Media's Ames-based reporter Amy Mayer and host Ben Kieffer discuss the future of ethanol in the U.S.

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Environment
3:20 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Iowa Politicians Critical of Investigative AP Report on Ethanol

Credit Sarah McCammon

Critics are challenging an investigative report by the Associated Press that says ethanol production is damaging the environment. As Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports, the debate comes as the Environmental Protection Agency is getting closer to finalizing how much ethanol will be blended into gasoline in 2014. 

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
2:05 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Bringing in the Harvest

North Iowa farmer Pam Johnson helps bring in the crops Sunday
Credit IPR's Pat Blank

Pam Johnson has just wrapped up a term as president of the National Corn Growers Association. She and her husband and two sons farm in Floyd County in North Iowa. Johnson testified in July before a U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy about the need to continue the Renewable Fuels Standard for ethanol.

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Talk of Iowa
3:12 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Turn Here Sweet Corn

Univeristy of Minnesota

Through high winds and hail, dry years and wet, and through the pressures of development and corporate interests Atina Diffley and her husband Martin ran one of the first certified organic produce farms in the Midwest.

Diffley has written about her farm and her life in the book, "Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works."

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
3:59 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Drought Conditions are Worsening Across the State

Many cornfields, like this one in Cedar County near Lisbon, Iowa are prematurely crisp because of expanding drought conditions.
Credit Dean Borg

The U.S. Drought Monitor’s weekly update shows drought worsening and spreading across  the state. The monitor’s report includes Iowa in a Midwest section badly needing rain.  

Iowa State University Climatologist Elwynn Taylor says this week’s report is listing more of Iowa in a severe drought category.

“And it includes now almost all of the southern part of Iowa, and almost all of the central,” he says.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
12:11 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Dust Bowl memories offer present warning

A corn field withered and broken by drought and wind in Shawnee County, Kan., 1936
courtesy kansasmemory.org Kansas Historical Society

The Dust Bowl of the 1930s is the subject of a new documentary from Ken Burns airing this month on PBS television stations. The man-made disaster left an indelible mark on the Midwest and on history — and, as Harvest Public Media’s Grant Gerlock reports, today’s extensive corn production could make the region vulnerable once again.

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Cover Crops
2:18 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Cover Crops Use Expanding

Jeff Longnecker's cows will graze next spring on rye planted now.
Amy Mayer

While many farmers were bringing in this year’s harvest, they also were planting.  Cover crops—like oats and winter rye—are becoming more popular, despite the time and expense involved in growing green fields that won’t ever make money—directly.  Together with Harvest Public Media, Iowa Public Radio’s Amy Mayer explains why.

Drought Resistant Corn Yields
8:30 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Drought Resistant Corn Yields

Syngenta's drought resistant corn just before harvest in Maxwell, IA.
Amy Mayer/Iowa Public Radio

After the dry summer, this harvest offers a good look at what drought resistant corn can do. In conjunction with Harvest Public Media, Iowa Public Radio’s Amy Mayer reports the big companies may soon be touting their results, but farmers may not rush to plant drought resistant seed next year. 

Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
7:47 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Drought Means Mixed Harvest for Pumpkin Growers

Pumpkin harvests are varied across Iowa - another effect of this summer's severe drought.
Dean Borg Iowa Public Radio

With Halloween approaching, attention is turning to pumpkins. But not all pumpkin fields are filled with orange.

Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
5:44 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Gas with more ethanol headed to some pumps

The Zarco 66 gas station in Lawrence, Kan., is the first in the country to offer E-15.
Jeremy Bernfeld Harvest Public Media

Head to your local filling station and you might see a new blend of gas at the pump. After a three-year regulatory process, the Environmental Protection Agency approved E15 – gas made with 15 percent ethanol – this summer.

Most gas we pump is already blended with ethanol, sometimes it contains as much as 10 percent, but the ethanol industry fought hard to bring E15 to the market. For ethanol backers and the farmers who feed the ethanol industry, getting drivers to pump gas with 50 percent more ethanol is a big win.

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River to River
12:51 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Drought And The Economy

Theresa Wysocki Flickr

What is the economic impact of this year’s drought? When it comes to food prices, agricultural experts and analysts say it means a spike due to soaring corn prices, but consumers may not see higher prices in the grocery store until 2013. Then we look at other economic factors in the Midwest, including how the 2012 Presidential Election could affect crude oil prices.

Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
5:30 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Dry Summer Means Real-Life Test for Drought-Resistant Corn

An AQUAmax corn field in drought-plagued southwest Iowa is yielding more bushels than traditional varieties on the Clan Farm near Atlantic.
Rick Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

One of Iowa’s largest agribusiness companies has a huge investment riding on this year’s prolonged drought. A new hybrid seed corn developed by DuPont Pioneer is being touted for its ability to improve yields under the driest conditions.

Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
6:22 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Drought hurts grain farmers, but hits livestock producers hardest

Tom Woodward Flickr

It’s official: Iowa is deep in the throes of a drought. State climatologist Harry Hillaker is calling it the worst drought since 1988. Yesterday Hillaker joined Governor Branstad at a town hall in Mount Pleasant. Farmers from across the state came to share concerns—but the most worried? It wasn’t those with thirsty grain crops;  it was livestock farmers. 

Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
1:00 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Calm before the Corn

Clay Masters IPR

Corn has been good to farmers. Helping fuel a boom in the ag sector. And as this year’s record corn forecast indicates, Midwestern farmers can’t seem to plant enough of the grain. Even with concerns growing about the effectiveness of today’s high-tech genetically engineered seeds, farmers aren’t backing down.

The land is dry and the wind blows hard in Sac County, Iowa.  For Darwin Bettin it’s a good day to be inside selling insurance. He also farms 500 acres of corn and soybeans in western Iowa.

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Agriculture/HPM
8:17 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Early Planting of Lots of Acres Could Mean Record Corn Crop

Across the Corn Belt, farmers are hoping this fall’s harvest could be one for the record books. With planting season already off to a roaring start, farmers say they’re putting in more acres of corn than they have since the Great Depression.