Agriculture

5:00am

Tue May 20, 2014
Cattle

Drought And Foreign Markets Keep Beef Prices High

A calf outside of Scottsbluff Nebraska, an area that is seeing a cattle boom.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC

California ranchers, despite near-record beef prices, are shrinking their cattle herds in response to one of the most severe droughts the state has ever faced, and many Colorado ranchers are taking advantage.

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6:00am

Fri May 16, 2014
Agriculture

National Geographic's 5 Steps To Feed The World

On the Vulgamore farm near Scott City, Kan., each combine can harvest up to 25 acres of wheat an hour—as well as real-time data on crop yields. Most of the food Americans eat is now produced on such large-scale, mechanized farms, which grow row after row of a single crop, allowing farmers to cover more ground with less labor.
Credit © George Steinmetz / National Geographic

With the world’s population exploding, we’ll have many more mouths to feed in the near future. But agriculture already uses up tons of resources and land. So how can we grow more food and how can we limit its damage to the environment?

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6:20am

Wed May 14, 2014
Around the Nation

Too Young To Smoke, But Not To Pick Tobacco

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 7:30 am

Eddie Ramirez, 15, outside his mobile home in Snow Hill, N.C. He's been working in tobacco fields during the summer for several years.
Will Michaels for NPR

Kids under 18 can't buy cigarettes in the U.S., but they can legally work in tobacco fields when they're as young as 12.

One of those kids is Eddie Ramirez, 15, who works the fields in the summer.

"It just sticks to my hand," he says of the plant. "It's really sticky, you know, and really yellow." It's nearly impossible to wash off, he says.

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3:55pm

Fri May 2, 2014
Agriculture

Six Cool Maps From The Farm Census

Rural pockets of the country still lack internet connectivity, the agricultural census shows.
Credit USDA-NASS

Remember that scene from the 1979 movie The Jerk where Steve Martin’s character leaps with glee over the delivery of new phone books? That same sequence plays out every five years when the U.S. Department of Agriculture drops its agricultural census and ag data nerds everywhere rejoice.

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12:08pm

Wed April 30, 2014
Agriculture

Colorado Hemp Growers Begin Historic Planting Season

Industrial hemp can grow more than ten feet tall. The plant, which can resemble marijuana grown for medical or recreational use, usually lacks THC, the chemical that gives users a high.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

An historic planting of Colorado’s first state regulated industrial hemp crop is underway. More than 70 applications to grow the towering cousin of marijuana have come in to the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

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