Agriculture

10:30am

Fri March 8, 2013
The Salt

We Like 'Em Big And Juicy: How Our Table Grapes Got So Fat

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 3:37 pm

Left to their own devices, many seedless grapes would be puny and soft. But these Thompson seedless got pleasingly plump after a little girdling and hormone treatment.
Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

It's no secret that many Americans have a fetish for big food. Whether it's a triple-decker cheeseburger or a 128-ounce Big Gulp, some portions in the U.S. have gotten freakishly large.

But not all of our supersizing is unhealthy.

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6:00am

Wed March 6, 2013
Agriculture

Health Insurance Unknowns Loom For Farmers As Affordable Care Act Approaches

Marilyn Andersen, who raises angora goats and llamas for wool near Story City, Iowa, is one of many farmers and ranchers entering the individual health insurance marketplace.
Amy Mayer Harvest Public Media

2:46pm

Fri March 1, 2013
Agriculture

Drought-Stricken Plains Farmers 'Giddy' Over Heavy Snow

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 3:34 pm

Kirk Sours says heavy snow creates extra work on his ranch, but he's thrilled that the pending melt will bring his otherwise dry pastures much-needed moisture.
Frank Morris/KCUR

Two rapid-fire snowstorms belted Kansas with more than 2 feet of snow this week. They caused thousands of accidents and all kinds of hardships — but they also produced very broad smiles from some quarters.

That's because in a place as dry as Kansas has been lately, a blizzard can be a blessing for farmers and ranchers.

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11:42am

Fri February 22, 2013
The Salt

Despite Lingering Drought, USDA Predicts A Flood Of Grain

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 12:51 pm

Economists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, gazing into their crystal ball, see American farmers planting and harvesting huge amounts of corn, soybeans, and wheat this year. They're predicting a record harvest of corn: 14 billion bushels, up nearly 40 percent over last year's drought-crippled level.

With supply up, prices will fall. The USDA thinks that the price of the average bushel of corn could fall by a third. And soybean production and price are expected to follow a similar track.

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6:34am

Fri February 22, 2013
Agriculture

Seed Science Pushes Toward Higher Yields

Researchers at DuPont Pioneer’s facility near Des Moines, Iowa, test these varieties of corn.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

At an open house at DuPont Pioneer’s Dallas Center Corn Research Center near Des Moines, Iowa, retired corn breeder Bill Ambrose marveled at the tools available today to do the job he did for nearly 40 years.

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