Fri October 17, 2014

At Harvest, Corn Huskers Still Shuck By Hand

Competitor Harlan Jacobson races to pick rows of corn at the annual Illinois State Corn Husking Competition in September.
Abby Wendle Harvest Public Media

Dick Humes squinted and sweat as he moved down a row of corn. He sliced through the husk with a metal hook in his right hand, snapped the ear from its stalk with his left, and threw it over his shoulder into a wagon rolling alongside him.

Every other second, the corn hit the floor of the wagon with a thud. Humes was setting a steady pace for the men’s 50-and-older division at the 34th annual Illinois State Corn Husking Competition.

While farmers across the Midwest harvest billions of bushels of corn using giant machines called combines, the competitors at this contest opted for a more primitive technology: their hands.

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Thu October 16, 2014

As Vesicular Stomatitis Spreads, What's The Impact On Colorado's Livestock Industry?

Vesicular Stomatitis is a viral disease that primarily affects cattle, horses, and swine and occasionally sheep, goats, llamas, and alpacas. Humans can also become infected with the disease when handling affected animals, but is rare.
Credit Drs. Brent Thompson and Fred Bourgeois / Colorado Department of Agriculture

Over 320 properties have been quarantined in 14 counties along Colorado's Front Range and eastern plains since the start of an outbreak of a virus mainly affecting horses. The outbreak of vesicular stomatitis began in Texas in May 2014, and was reported in Colorado in July of the same year. As the number of animals and the geographic area continues to grow, the economic impact on Colorado is beginning to take shape.

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Wed October 15, 2014
The Salt

New GMOs Get A Regulatory Green Light, With A Hint Of Yellow

Corn farmer Jerry McCulley sprays the weedkiller glyphosate across his cornfield in Auburn, Ill., in 2010. An increasing number of weeds have now evolved resistance to the chemical.
Seth Perlman AP

Government regulators have approved a new generation of genetically engineered corn and soybeans. They're the latest weapon in an arms race between farmers and weeds, and the government's green light is provoking angry opposition from environmentalists.

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Fri October 3, 2014

‘Ag-Gag’ Law May Have Hindered Report Of Animal Cruelty At Missouri Hog Farm

A partial shot of one of the photos PETA submitted to Mercer County law enforcement depicting alleged cruelty.
Credit Courtesy PETA

A recent Missouri law meant to protect farmers may be making it harder to report alleged animal abuse, as animal welfare organizations have feared.

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Thu October 2, 2014

Cold Snaps Bookend Shortest Front Range Growing Season In 30 Years

Front Range farmers are attuned to how quickly weather can change. Fort Collins this year saw the earliest freeze since 1974.
Luke Runyon KUNC and Harvest Public Media