Topics

Agriculture

  • Jim AndersonUnchecked irrigation threatens to sap Minnesota groundwater
    An MPR News investigation shows that several hundred Minnesota farmers are probably pumping groundwater to irrigate their crops without required permits, making it harder for the state to understand and regulate what's happening to a water resource increasingly seen as vulnerable.April 7, 2014
  • Harvesting corn in IllinoisAg census shows boom in farm sales
    Continuing a long-term trend, the number of U.S. farms dropped to 2.1 million in 2012, about a 4 percent drop from five years earlier. But some of the bigger farms got bigger. The average farm grew from 418 to 434 acres.February 21, 2014
  • Jim AndersonBig rise in irrigation pumping draws DNR attention to Minnesota's 'Bonanza Valley'
    A 175 percent increase in irrigation pumping over 25 years has caused the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to single out this west central Minnesota area as one of three places to focus on groundwater management.February 19, 2014
  • New restrictions on Wis. county fair swine
    The spread of virus that has killed millions of pigs across the country has caused Wisconsin officials to impose new restrictions on showing swine at county fairs this year.February 13, 2014
  • Irrigation boosts potatoes, but Park Rapids pays more for water
    Increased irrigation pumping is driving up the cost of water for residents in Park Rapids, Minn., and is a big reason the state has established one of three groundwater management areas here.February 13, 2014
  • EU moves to approve GMO corn from US
    Despite efforts by two-thirds of its 28 member states to block the move, the European Union took a large step toward approving a new genetically modified corn Tuesday.February 11, 2014
  • Fatal pig disease continues to spread in Minn.
    The number of Minnesota hog barns with the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, increased 14 percent over the past week, representing an additional 50 cases confirmed.February 6, 2014
  • How American food companies go GMO-Free in a GMO world
    Many American food companies, responding to consumer demands, are looking for grain that's not genetically modified. It turns out that non-GMO corn and soybeans aren't hard to find. Years ago, grain traders set up a supply chain to deliver non-GMO grain from U.S. farmers to customers in Japan.February 4, 2014
  • Agriculture on the cusp of a drone boom
    Many farmers are technologically savvy, using remote sensors and satellite images to monitor their fields. As soon as the FAA passes new rules, drones are expected to be another tool adopted by agriculture.January 22, 2014
  • Whole Foods bans produce grown with sludge. But who wins?
    Whole Foods recently decided it would not buy produce from farmers who use treated sewage sludge, also known as biosolids, on their fields. But scientists say this is a mistake; the material is safe and benefits the environment in lots of different ways.January 21, 2014
  • Researchers, lawmakers see growing interest in protecting bees
    In recent years, bees have become victims of a perfect storm and two Minnesota state agencies are working on ways to make the environment healthier for bees. The issue is likely to be a hot topic during the upcoming Legislative session.January 13, 2014
  • This GMO apple won't brown. Will that sour the fruit's image?
    The non-browning trait was created by inserting extra copies of genes that the apple already possessed. These genes normally create an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase, which is responsible for the chemical reaction that causes browning.January 8, 2014
  • Government might deregulate corn, soybean seeds
    Farmers have been eager for a new generation of herbicide-resistant seeds because of the prevalence of weeds that have become immune to Monsanto's Roundup. But skeptics are concerned that use of the new seeds and 2,4-D will only lead to similar problems as weeds acquire resistance to that chemical too.January 4, 2014
  • Drug companies accept FDA plan to phase out some animal antibiotic uses
    The two biggest veterinary drug companies, Elanco and Zoetis, say they will follow the FDA's advice and make it illegal for farmers to use their drugs for growth promotion. The Animal Health Institute, which represents most of the industry, likewise expressed enthusiastic support for the FDA's move.December 12, 2013
  • Book: We got the meat industry we asked for
    Historian Maureen Ogle's new book examines the rise of our modern industrial meat system by examining its roots.December 9, 2013

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