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Katie Peikes / Harvest Public Media

Here's How One Cricket Farmer Is Trying To Get Insects Onto Your Plate

On a recent hot Saturday morning at the Des Moines Farmers Market, lots of people walked by a tent that had signs hanging from it: “dare to eat differently” and “eat prairie lobster.” Some people scrunched their faces in disgust. Others – like the Gohr family – were curious. “Should we try a cricket, guys?” Charles Gohr asked his daughters.

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Pittsburg State University

A new home for soybeans could be on the fairway as research is under way to make golf balls out of soybeans.

Researchers at Pittsburg State University in Kansas are working to see if they can replace the oil-based plastics that go into making golf balls with materials made from soybean oil. 

So far, they are off to a good start.

USDA via Flickr

An invasive bug recently found in Kansas could spell trouble for agriculture in the Midwest if more are confirmed. 

Seth Bodine / Harvest Public Media

More power lines could move underground as part of an effort included in the infrastructure bill to update the nation’s energy system, but rural energy providers still worry about the cost of installation and maintenance.

The $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which passed the Senate in August, includes $73 billion to modernize the electric grid. U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm says moving power lines underground, a practice called “undergrounding,” may be part of that effort.

Jonathan Ahl / Harvest Public Media

China’s corn output this year is expected to be a record for the country, but that won’t have a noticeable effect on Midwestern farmers.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, China will produce 273 million metric tons, up 5 percent from last year and the biggest corn harvest ever. 

But Midwest corn producers aren’t worried.

Jonathan Ahl / Harvest Public Media

Some Midwestern farmers are involved in a research project to help determine  how good some practices are for the environment, and it may help them take advantage of new attempts to establish a carbon credit trade market.

The project run by Missouri Corn Growers Association and Missouri Soybean Association is looking at quantifying the reduction of carbon emissions when farmers take on practices like no-till, planting cover crops and refining fertilizer application schedules.

Jonathan Ahl / Harvest Public Media

Agriculture is responsible for more than 10% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and some in the industry are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

One of those efforts is replacing the kind of crushed rock farmers use to neutralize their soil’s acidity, from limestone to basalt. 

Scientists are running tests in fields around the world to see if the swap will work to keep the soil healthy, increase yield and reduce agriculture's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. 

Esther Honig / Harvest Public Media

Tyson and Perdue Farms agreed to pay a total of $35.75 million to broiler chicken farmers to settle a class action lawsuit. It’s part of a larger antitrust lawsuit involving some of the country’s largest chicken processors, including Pilgrim’s Pride, Sanderson Farms and Koch Foods. 

Seth Bodine / Harvest Public Media

Jimmy Emmons has all sorts of things growing in his fields in Leedey, Oklahoma. There’s peas, beans, millets and varieties of grain sorghum, but none of it is for harvest. 

He’s growing what’s known as cover crops — plants meant to cover the ground and preserve it. Over the past seven years, he says he’s watched the difference in the soil. He’s often carrying a shovel on his fields, looking and even smelling the dirt.

“Smells real earthy and sweet,” Emmons says. 

Esther Honig / Harvest Public Media file photo

The Biden Administration is giving a historic, permanent boost to the amount of money people get each month through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but the effect that will have on food pantries is still unclear. 

Jonathan Ahl / Harvest Public Media

Feral hogs cause a myriad of environmental problems in a growing number of states, and a new study says they also are adding to climate change.

The wild pigs do not have natural predators in the Americas, Asia and most of Africa, so they are damaging agriculture and recreational land as well as threatening native plants and animals. 

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Change At The Climate Divide

Farms and communities are struggling to adapt as climate change has moved the line dividing the arid west and the rain-soaked east.

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