Corn

5:00am

Fri October 17, 2014
Agriculture

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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11:14am

Fri July 25, 2014
Environment

Study: Powerful Insecticides Found Widespread In Midwest Waters

A new study found a class of insecticides popular with corn and soybean farmers in Midwest waterways.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Powerful chemicals used by many farmers to ward off insects are making their way into Midwest rivers and streams, according to a study by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

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6:00am

Sun July 20, 2014
Agriculture

Acres Of Genetically Modified Corn Nearly Doubled In A Decade

The USDA reports that 93 percent of the corn planted in the United States contains a genetically modified trait.
Credit Neil Palmer / Creative Commons

More than 90 percent of U.S. field corn is genetically modified, according todata recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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5:00am

Mon May 26, 2014
Environment

Is Corn Dust Killing Bees?

Farmer Nathan Anderson wears beekeeping gear to protect himself when he opens or closes the pollen traps on bee hives on his farm. He has allowed researchers to place three pairs of hives on his fields.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Nathan Anderson stops his red pick-up truck alongside a cornfield on his farm near Cherokee, Iowa. The young farmer pulls on a heavy brown hoodie, thick, long, sturdy gloves and a beekeeper’s hat with a screened veil. He approaches a pair of hives sitting on the edge of a field recently planted with corn and adjusts a yellow plastic flap that traps some of the pollen the bees bring back to their hive.

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6:00am

Mon January 20, 2014
Agriculture

Up Against Blend Wall, Ethanol At A Crossroads

Only about 2,500 gas stations offer E85 for flex fuel vehicles, primarily stations in the Midwest where most ethanol is produced.
Credit Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

A steady stream of semi-trailers rolls across the scales at the E Energy ethanol plant near the town of Adams in southeast Nebraska. The smokestack behind the scale house sends up a tall plume of white steam. The sweet smell of fermenting corn is in the air.

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