Farming is "not easy and it's a lot of risk," says Iowa soybean producer

"Soybeans are down 18 cents today and then they could go up 50 tomorrow. Who knows?" said April Hemmes, a soybean farmer in Iowa.
Heavy rains have meant some farmers have had to replant hundreds of acres, says farmer April Hemmes.
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Why the cost of coffee beans is climbing

May 27, 2024
Higher global demand for the drink and climate change's effect on supply are behind the upward trend.
A coffee producer in Minas Gerais, Brazil, holds up a handful of robusta beans. Vietnam and Brazil, the top growers of robusta, are suffering droughts. 
Douglas Magno/AFP via Getty Images

With low wool prices, Midwestern sheep farmers are innovating with the fiber

May 16, 2024
Some are looking for new uses for fleeces while others shift to breeds that don’t produce much wool at all.
Newly shorn sheep bask in the spring sunlight at the Cory Family Farm in Polk County, Iowa.
Rachel Cramer/Harvest Public Media

Honeybee populations are hitting record numbers. Weren't they dying off before?

Scientists were ringing alarm bells about colony collapse disorder a decade ago. Brian Walsh of Vox explains what happened.
Honeybees were too valuable to fail.
Barbara Gindl/APA/AFP via Getty Images

Will egg prices go up amid more bird flu outbreaks? 

Apr 11, 2024
Retail egg prices rose between 7.2% and 9.2% from the 2022 outbreak, according to a University of Arkansas paper.
Egg prices more than doubled at the beginning of 2023, after the bird flu infected tens of millions of hens, compared to the same period the previous year.
krblokhin/Getty Images Plus

Most of the Colorado River's diverted water goes to agricultural uses, study finds

Apr 1, 2024
A whopping three quarters of the river's water that is used by humans goes to irrigation for farms and livestock, according to the journal Communications Earth & Environment.
Water flows from irrigation pipes for cattle grazing land near Whitewater, Colorado.
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Farmworkers are making — and enforcing — the strongest heat protection rules in the country

Feb 29, 2024
Farms that participate in the Fair Food Program ensure workers have access to things like shade and water. In return, they're first in line to sell to big buyers.
Farms participating in the Fair Food Program ensure farmworkers receive certain heat protections, including access to shaded areas and water.
Photo Courtesy of Eva Marie Uzcategui for The Washington Post

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America's farmers are getting older

Feb 20, 2024
The average age of farmers is increasing as young aspiring farmers face financial barrier to starting up.
Things like a shortage of child care, rural housing and the burden of student loans could be keeping younger people back from farming.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The trend of small farmers selling to big ag companies continues

Feb 14, 2024
And, diversity is still a challenge in the agricultural industry. According to the census, 95 percent of American farmers are white and on average, are just over 58 years old.
Federal crop insurance, subsidies and lending practices favor large operations, says Phil Howard, a professor of food and agriculture at Michigan State University.
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Hundreds of food brands linked to hidden prisoner workforce, AP reports

The Associated Press uncovered a workforce of prisoners producing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of agricultural products and goods by popular food brands.
Nationwide, U.S. prisoners produce hundreds of millions of dollars worth of agricultural products and goods sold on the open market, AP reporters found. Above, a man walks through part of the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a maximum security prison with its own farm.
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