Antique tractor sells for $1.47 million in Illinois, shattering the world record

The 1913 CASE 30-60 is one of just five that still exist, making the model highly sought after by antique tractor enthusiasts. A century-year-old tractor just became the most expensive tractor ever sold. The 1913 CASE 30-60 model tractor sold at an auction house in Illinois for a whopping $1.47 million. It’s one of only […]

As bird flu sweeps across U.S. even small, backyard flocks are at risk

In fall 2020, Leah Shaffer ordered four chickens from a Missouri hatchery — a pandemic impulse purchase to get her two children outside, she said. “I wanted them to have a reason to go out basically into the backyard and just have some real life sort of experience with nature instead of just computer time,” […]

Local farmers started selling online during the pandemic. That trend is here to stay

PLEASANTVILLE, IA — When the pandemic first hit, Maureen Schletzbaum had to figure out how to sell her produce while avoiding human contact. Normally, she’d set up a booth at two different farmers markets near Pleasantville, Iowa, where she and her daughter operate Straw Hat Farms. But as COVID-19 continued to spread, Schletzbaum opted to […]

Winters are getting warmer across the Midwest

In Illinois, the average winter temperature is about 5 degrees warmer than it was in 1970. In Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa, it’s about four degrees, and farmers are starting to feel the effects. ROCK PORT, Mo. — When Richard Oswald was growing up in northwestern Missouri in the 1950s, his dad had a firm […]

Corn ethanol is fueling our cars and climate change, study says

Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2005, mandating a certain amount of renewable fuel – namely corn ethanol – be mixed in with traditional gasoline. The goal was to minimize emissions and the country’s dependence on foreign fossil fuels. Instead, the policy caused a chain reaction of events that has likely led to even […]

The air in rural areas may be just as toxic as the pollution in cities

URBANA — A new study suggests the notion of clean, country air might be misleading. Traditionally, air quality has been measured by the size of pollution particles or, more scientifically, particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less. Considered that way, urban air tends to be more polluted than rural air because the […]

Billions are at stake in how the government defines a place as rural

HOUSTON, Mo. — A town of 1,000 people feels like a rural place to someone from Chicago. To a person living in a town of 200 people, that population of 1,000 feels almost urban. But what the government defines as rural determines tens of billions of dollars a year in spending aimed at propping up […]

Food banks scramble to overcome snags in the supply chain and inflation

Clogged supply chains and budget-busting food prices have food banks scrambling to stock pantry shelves. That crunch comes as food banks see increased demand from families struggling to afford meals. Food banks saw a huge increase in demand at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. And while that’s leveled off somewhat, demand remains higher than […]

More agricultural guest workers came to the Midwest this year than ever before

The Midwest saw a record rise in the number of agricultural guest workers this year helping out on farms, in meatpacking plants and with landscaping companies. That jump fits with a national trend. The Department of Labor says the U.S. let in a record number of H-2A visa workers this year. Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas […]