At an open house at DuPont Pioneer’s Dallas Center Corn Research Center near Des Moines, Iowa, retired corn breeder Bill Ambrose marveled at the tools available today to do the job he did for nearly 40 years.
“We could do a few hundred things and they do mega thousands of things,” Ambrose said.
In his day, he said, much more was done by hand—a team of five might harvest 250 plots in a day, while now “these guys that work in this place here have got huge combines that they can harvest 250 plots an hour,” he said.
Kansas Senator Pat Roberts said in an interview Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security will announce on Thursday its plans to release funds to get the stalled National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility started.
The so-called NBAF has had difficulty getting off the ground. Senator Roberts chairs an NBAF steering committee and is the project's guiding light in Congress. The new funding is expected to enable the start of construction on a central electric plant -- a requirement for the billion dollar lab.
$90 million in federal funds are available for the NBAF.
Researchers at Monsanto chart the progression of a corn plant over 10 weeks: seed, immature plant, callus, early shoot, shoots, early rooting and advanced rooting. Monsanto fills growth chambers reflecting diverse climate conditions with myriad seed samples.
The vast majority of the corn and soybeans in United States grow from seeds that have been genetically modified. The technology is barely 30 years old and the controversy surrounding it somewhat younger. But how did it even become possible?
At the crossroads of industry, railroads and farm country Kansas City has long been a capital of the plains. In recent years, though, Kansas City and other agriculture hubs have seen technology chip away at their importance.
Retired federal chicken inspector Phyllis McKelvey worked with Change.org and Whistleblower.org to gather signatures on a petition opposing the proposed new poultry slaughter rule. She delivered over 177,000 signatures to the U.S. Department of Agriculture office in Washington, D.C. last fall.
Retired federal inspector Phyllis McKelvey spent 44 years looking for blemishes and other defects on chicken carcasses. She started as an inspector’s helper, worked her way up, and in 1998, became part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture trial.
“I was one of the first group of inspectors ever put on HIMP,” she said in an interview from her home in north Alabama.