Weather stations that provide critical climate data are threatened by unstable funding

Accurate weather information is important for farmers, emergency responders and researchers managing extreme conditions. But many monitoring networks are limited by unstable, patchwork funding. VALPARAISO, Neb. — In fields and pastures across Midwestern and Great Plains states, unmanned weather stations quietly record data on temperature, precipitation, humidity, soil conditions, wind and other factors. It’s fed […]

Rural towns leave parents without child care options: ‘Talk about panic.’

STILWELL, Okla. — When Matthew Brunk took a job as a school principal in Stilwell, Oklahoma, he commuted to work from a larger community almost an hour away. He and his wife faced a major hurdle in moving back to Brunk’s hometown — there was no day care facility for their two-year-old. Listen to this […]

GMO food labeling has been required in the U.S. for a year. Have consumers noticed?

Take a look at the back of the cans and boxes in your cupboards and you’re likely to see some that say “contains bioengineered food ingredients.” A year ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began mandating labeling for foods that are genetically modified or contain GMO ingredients. The national standard was endorsed by some farm […]

The Supreme Court could end protections for some wetlands, threatening water and wildlife

The Environmental Protection Agency recently released new rules regarding the Waters of the United States that decide which bodies of water fall under federal protection. But a case the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on soon throws those rules into question and could mean less protection for wetlands. Listen to this story […]

Midwest cities have plenty of vacant lots. So why can’t urban farmers buy that land?

Urban farmers are trying to buy vacant lots for their farms to bring fresh, healthy food and green space to their neighborhoods, but they face challenges in acquiring that land. KANSAS CITY, Kan. — There’s a high demand for the vegetables Mediatrice Niyonkuru grows in her urban garden. Cassava leaves, muchicha and white eggplant are […]

Buffalo are being restored to tribal lands throughout the Midwest

Hundreds of buffalo raised in preserves throughout the Midwest will soon begin their journey to tribal lands across the country. It’s part of an effort led by the InterTribal Buffalo Council, a network of 79 tribal nations that work together to distribute buffalo. This year the group plans to relocate some 1,500 buffalo to member […]

John Deere says it will make the tractor of the future — no driver needed

Farm implement manufacturers, including giant John Deere, are well on their way to deploying autonomous tractors. Prototypes are in the field now, and they could be widely available by the end of the decade. Autonomous vehicles that drive themselves may come to farm fields long before they are common on roadways. John Deere intends to […]