So far, USDA has spent $430 million on the system, a project known by the acronym MIDAS for Modernize and Innovate the Delivery of Agricultural Systems.
Many farmers are receiving their first government payments under the new Farm Bill enacted last year, and taxpayers are spending more than projected.
There's more to housing hens than square inches. Some egg farmers argue the cage-free barns are less humane than traditional hen housing.
Part of the problem in filling these jobs is location. Many recent college grads look to major cities for their first jobs, not the rural Midwest.
The people pushing insect cuisine make compelling arguments. They say insects are high in protein and calcium, and they’re easier on the environment.
Nitrogen fertilizer on farm fields helps crops grow, but if there’s too much left over in the soil, it can pollute water supplies as nitrates.
Some farmers make business calls behind the wheel or listen to sports radio. One man in Illinois has gotten attention for writing poetry while harvesting.
The most recent dietary guidelines recommend most Americans eat about .21 pounds of meat per day. Most Americans average about .36 pounds of meat per day.
Oxfam America released a report calling on consumers to help better working conditions for the people who work at the four largest poultry producers.
Jonathan Lundgren’s work has included extensive examination of neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides widely used by farmers to control pest damage to corn.
It’s just one more chapter in a long line of agricultural speculative bubbles, from emus to chinchillas to Berkshire hogs to Dutch tulips.
To ensure we still have antibiotics to treat diseases in both humans and livestock, doctors and farmers need to use them carefully.
In a surprise move, some U-S Senate Democrats have joined Republicans in support of a bill that requires labeling food with genetically-modified ingredients.
Our appetite for meat, which began growing exponentially in the U.S. after World War II, is one of the reasons farmers in the Midwest grow so much corn.
“We have all these people from other places in the world and we have one thing in common: soccer," says Nick Ng, soccer coach at Fort Morgan High School.
The benefits of no-till and cover crops abound. Still, there are hurdles to making the move away from traditional farming.
By the time 2050 comes around, the meat on your plate may not be that different, but the story of how it got there could be.
The USDA recently put $10 million behind grants to establish environmental markets, including one in Iowa to reduce nitrogen runoff.
The TPP is expected to give U.S. farmers easier access to markets in countries like Japan and Australia by reducing tariffs on products like beef and rice.
American farmers are the world’s largest soybean exporters and China is the largest buyer. If that market collapsed it would trigger a global decline in prices.