(Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media)

Charles Bassett wants you to buy hamburgers made from his Missouri cows. That’s why the Missouri rancher wants to pay an extra dollar into an industry-created fund every time he sells one of his cattle.

(Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media)

There are mounting concerns about the direction of the farm economy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects farm income to fall for the third year in a row in 2016. At the same time, farmers are borrowing billions more from banks to get by.

The change in farm fortunes follows a drop in prices for corn and soybeans, the top Midwest crops. Supply and demand are both working against the commodity markets. Farmers have raised an oversupply of grain, while at the same time the slow global economy has brought down demand.

(File: Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media)

  If you want a front row seat to the national fight over GMOs head to Boulder County, Colorado.

GMOs, or more precisely, genetically-engineered crops, are lightning rods in discussions of our food. For the farmers who grow them and the scientists who create them, they’re a wonder of technology. For those opposed, the plants represent all that’s wrong with modern agriculture.

The Western Farm Show in Kansas City, Missouri, is a long way from Silicon Valley.

But here in a huge arena, set in what used to be the Kansas City Stockyards, the high-tech future of agriculture is for sale.

Southern Illinois Farmers Stuck in Limbo Amid Levee Breach

Mar 11, 2016
Marissanne Lewis-Thompson/KRCU


 A massive winter flood cracked the Len Small levee wide open and left thousands of acres of Missouri and Illinois farmland damaged. With planting and flood season around the corner, Alexander County, Illinois farmers like Adam Thomas are in limbo.

Thomas drove through his field along the rough and muddy gravel roads. Lodged in the middle of what was once a rich and pristine soybean field was an upended mess of tubes, wheels and hoses from a nearby farmer’s irrigation system.