Harvest Public Media

Harvest Public Media reports on food systems, agriculture and rural issues through a collaborative network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest and Plains.

Our goal is to provide in-depth and unbiased reporting on complex issues for a broad, diverse audience, often connecting the Heartland to the rest of the country. Primary topics include, but are not limited to, agribusiness, biofuels, climate change, farming and ranching, food safety, rural life and public policy.

Support for Harvest Public Media reports on KOSU comes from Oklahoma's Electric Cooperatives, powering and servicing Oklahoma and committed to bringing rural communities to life. Find out more at oaec.coop.

Harvest Public Media reports on KOSU sponsored by Oklahoma Farm Bureau, supporting family farmers and ranchers to improve the lives of all Oklahomans. More at okfarmbureau.org.

Ways to Connect

JONATHAN AHL / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA

Missouri and Oklahoma are both trying to help reduce the supply chain problems in the meat industry seen during the coronavirus pandemic by directing federal grant dollars to meatpacking plants.

Coronavirus outbreaks at meatpacking plants led to shortages and higher prices.

“During COVID-19, our food supply was tested from farm to fork. Farmers and ranchers saw tight livestock supplies on their farms, while consumers saw their choices of certain cuts of meat shrink or go away,” said Chris Chinn, Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Unsolicited packages of seeds from China are arriving in mailboxes around the country. More than 20 state departments of agriculture, including Oklahoma, Iowa and Nebraska are warning that the seeds could potentially be harmful.

FRANK MORRIS / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA

Seven states have seen animals infected with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), which causes blister-like lesions in and around the mouth of horses and other livestock. 

Seth Bodine / KOSU

The U.S. Census efforts have been interrupted by COVID-19, forcing the Bureau to push back deadlines and adjust to the pandemic. That's left rural community leaders struggling to adapt.

U.S. House

As COVID-19 isolates many children and families in their homes, many youth mentorship programs like 4-H have been forced to online formats.

More than 40 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to House leadership, advocating for more than $260 million in grant funding to support mentorship programs.

KRISTOFOR HUSTED / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA

Large meatpacking plants across the country shut down after outbreaks of COVID-19 among employees, causing supply chain disruptions for farmers, ranchers and consumers. But a new bill in the U.S. House seeks to address the problem by boosting small scale meat processors.

According to new quarterly crop data from the USDA, farmers planted about 92 million acres of corn this spring, a 5 million acre decrease over the agency's March acreage report. The decrease could slash this season’s corn harvest by around a billion bushels, providing some much-needed price increases for commodity farmers. 

SHERI GLAZIER

Sheri Glazier is used to seeing dry conditions on the family farm in central Oklahoma around wheat harvesting time in June. But this year, the heat came faster than normal. She remembers the unusually early heat one day while driving the combine in the wheat field.

“I was extremely worried about heat strokes that day, and I don't ever remember truly being that early in June, being that extremely concerned about ‘where's the water, where's the Gatorade, where's the fire extinguishers?’ All in one day, that early in wheat harvest,” Glazier says.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

KOSU, the public radio station licensed to Oklahoma State University, welcomes a new reporter to cover agriculture and rural issues. At a time when local journalism is reeling from years of newsroom cuts and unforeseen challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, KOSU is expanding its newsroom to be of better service to the Oklahoma community.

Rachel Hubbard / KOSU

Farmers in Oklahoma and across the Great Plains are in the middle of cutting their wheat crops. Even as more people bake during the pandemic, some wheat farmers may need help to break even this year.

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