KUNC     Tri States Public Radio

         

Welcome to Harvest Public Media

Local food and farmers markets are springing up everywhere. 

The poultry industry fears that highly pathogenic avian flu this fall could hit broilers, or meat chickens, as the outbreaks have been triggered and carried by wild birds, which will be flying south in great numbers this fall through several U.S. flyways.

The answer to the lack of robots in meat processing gives insight into the limits of robotic technology, and the economics of what it takes to put meat on American tables. 

St. Louis-based agricultural giant Monsanto has its eyes on Syngenta, the world's largest producer of chemicals used on farms. If the deal went through the new company would control a large share of the market for global farm inputs. The potential deal has kicked off a lot of activity in the sector.

The fight over food containing genetically modified ingredients is at a fever pitch. The U.S. House recently passed a bill limiting labels for GMO food, but the policy debate is not over and includes a little science, lots of money and a food system under fire.

Farmers use millions of pounds of pesticides every year to protect their crops from weeds and insects. But when those chemicals drift to neighboring property, they can ruin crops on organic farms.

While fewer people are needed to actually work in farm fields thanks, advances in technology are also creating scores of new jobs in agriculture. 

A global panel of scientists recently determined that a pair of common herbicides could possibly cause cancer, leaving U.S. farmers to re-examine their chemical usage.

Many of the more than 3 million migrant farmworkers that plant and pick the fruits and vegetables we eat live on the farms they work for. The rules for their housing may be changing, however, throwing the industry into flux.

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