Agriculture

6:00am

Mon January 6, 2014
Agriculture

New Direction For Beef Herd Could Ease Meat Prices

Even if the beef herd begins expanding again in 2014 it could take two years for the effects to show up in consumer prices.
Credit Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

For the first time in nearly 10 years, the nation’s beef herd may be poised for growth, which could mean relief from rising meat prices. But with the fewest cattle in the beef supply since the 1960s, slow growth won’t cut prices anytime soon.

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3:22am

Thu January 2, 2014
The Salt

How Mass-Produced Meat Turned Phosphorus Into Pollution

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 8:27 am

A dead carp floats in water near the shore at Big Creek State Park on Sept. 10 in Polk City, Iowa. Like many agricultural states, Iowa is working with the EPA to enforce clean-water regulations amid degradation from manure spills and farm-field runoff.
Charlie Neibergall AP

It's a quandary of food production: The same drive for efficiency that lowers the cost of eating also can damage our soil and water.

Take the case of one simple, essential chemical element: phosphorus.

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1:04am

Wed January 1, 2014
The Salt

Malawian Farmers Say Adapt To Climate Change Or Die

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Villages in the Lower Shire valley of Malawi, like this one named Jasi, rely heavily on subsistence farming and steady rainfall, and are struggling to produce steady harvests.
Jennifer Ludden/NPR

Rain is so important in Malawi's agriculture-based economy that there are names for different kinds of it, from the brief bursts of early fall to heavier downpours called mvula yodzalira, literally "planting rain." For generations, rainfall patterns here in the southeast part of Africa have been predictable, reliable. But not now.

In the village of Jasi, in the hot, flat valley of Malawi's Lower Shire, farmer Pensulo Melo says 2010 was a disaster.

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3:15pm

Tue December 31, 2013
The Salt

Here's How Young Farmers Looking For Land Are Getting Creative

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:02 pm

Chris and Sara Guerre are among a growing number of farmers who have made the choice to rent land to farm instead of buy because of increasing property values.
Zac Visco for NPR

Across the country, there's a wave of interest in local food. And a new generation of young farmers is trying to grow it.

Many of these farmers — many of whom didn't grow up on farms — would like to stay close to cities. After all, that's where the demand for local food is.

The problem is, that's where land is most expensive. So young farmers looking for affordable land are forced to get creative.

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1:13pm

Tue December 17, 2013

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