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Farmer Art Tanderup holds a handful of the sandy soil found on his farm. "There are times when you feel like you're in a blizzard when that sand is blowing," Tanderup says.
Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media file photo

Forecast Calls For Wet Midwestern Winter, Bringing Farmers Better Soil Conditions

Forecasters say the El Nino weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean should lead to slightly warmer and wetter conditions across the Midwest this winter. That’s good news for some farmers who struggled with drought over the summer.

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Cattle gather for a drink on a ranch in Nebraska. Some cattle producer say meatpacking companies have too much control over the market and the USDA needs stronger rules to ensure fair access.
Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media file photo

For the first time in seven years, rural America’s population is growing.

The annual U.S. Department of Agriculture report “Rural America at a Glance” found the increase — only 0.08 percent — mainly in scenic rural areas like the Rocky Mountains, more densely populated rural areas and rural communities that are within about an hour’s drive of a major city. Essentially, places where people still have access to urban amenities or can go hiking, biking, fishing or skiing.

For months, farmers from Mississippi to Minnesota have been waiting for the Environmental Protection Agency to make up its mind about a controversial weedkiller called dicamba.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Farmers started forming co-ops nearly a century ago, primarily to get better prices for their crops. They pooled their resources, put up storage bins and gained leverage with buyers.

Harvest Public Media file photo

The coalition behind a lawsuit challenging Missouri’s new meat-labeling law asked a federal judge this week to stop the state from enforcing it.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media file photo

President Donald Trump signed America's Water Infrastructure Act on Tuesday, which authorizes work on many projects around the U.S., ranging from water treatment to mitigating invasive species to transportation.

Courtesy USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to send hundreds of its employees out of Washington, D.C., to areas closer to stakeholders like farmers and with lower costs of living. As it turns out, there are a lot of people who think their town fits the bill.

The first set of barns for the Costco project was recently completed near the town of Hooper, Nebraska. Approximately 20,000 breeding hens will be raised here.
Fred Knapp / NET News Nebraska

A handful of companies — think Tyson and Perdue — all but control poultry production in the U.S. They’ll soon be joined by a retailer known more for selling rotisserie chickens: Costco, which is building a farm-to-table system based in Nebraska to supply itself.

Public Domain

After nearly a century of prohibition, Canada became the first major economy this week to legalize recreational marijuana (though Uruguay was the first in 2013), and it has U.S. companies lining up.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

On a busy football Saturday, fans on both sides of the Iowa-Nebraska line streamed into a tiny grocery store to pick up hamburger, soda and chips.

Store manager Nick Johnson, a third-generation store owner in far southwest Iowa, has long had a front-row seat to the local economy. Times have been tough since the recession, with lots of people losing their manufacturing jobs, though he says that it looks like some of those are coming back. 

And similar to the rest of the country, farm income is down thanks to low crop prices

Snare family / Field and Farm Co.

As life expectancy increases, farmers are staying in the business, but there’s still a need to plan for what happens when they die. At the same time, young farmers who come from non-farming backgrounds are looking for the space to grow their own careers.

A land transfer may seem simple, but challenges abound: How do retiring farmers connect with beginning farmers? When does a farmer confront death? How can smaller farm organizations fit into the ever-growing 1,000-acre farm scene?

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