Amy Mayer en Pig Virus Continues To Spread, Raising Fears Of Pricier Bacon Pork producers across the country are grappling with a virus that's going after piglets. Livestock economists estimate the porcine epidemic diarrhea, or PED, virus has already killed about 1 million baby pigs in the U.S. since it was first found in Iowa last spring.<p>Canada <a href="">reported</a> its first case Thursday, and the disease shows no sign of abating. Sun, 26 Jan 2014 10:05:00 +0000 Amy Mayer 33513 at Pig Virus Continues To Spread, Raising Fears Of Pricier Bacon Record High Corn Prices Coming Back Down, With Mixed Effects Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>When it comes to commodities, corn is king. About a third of U.S. cropland is planted with corn and prices have been high but that's changing. As Amy Mayer of Iowa Public radio reports, farmers have seen prices drop to their lowest point in three years.<p>AMY MAYER, BYLINE: On a clear fall day in central Iowa, Aaron Layman(ph) climbs into the cab of his green combine to do some maintenance. He's hoping his corn has a couple more weeks to grow before harvesting. Thu, 10 Oct 2013 21:45:00 +0000 Amy Mayer 26812 at Agriculture's Waning Influence In Washington Hinders Farmers Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.<p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And I'm Renee Montagne.<p>Farmers were shocked and dismayed when the farm bill failed to pass in the House last week. For decades, major farm programs have flown through Congress with relative ease, partly because nutrition programs, mainly food stamps, got lumped in with agriculture policy to attract the votes of urban, mostly Democratic lawmakers. Thu, 27 Jun 2013 08:04:00 +0000 Amy Mayer 19740 at Pork Producers Root Out Market Niche With Berkshire Pigs Raising pork can be a tough business for producers, who've lately been watching feed prices rise along with the <a href="">cost of corn</a>. That's one reason why a small but growing number of former commodity pork producers are trying their luck with specialty breeds instead. These premium pigs, raised on small farms with methods that appeal to consumers, can also fetch a premium price.<p>Take Iowa farmer Randy Hilleman. Mon, 29 Apr 2013 17:57:00 +0000 Amy Mayer 15757 at Pork Producers Root Out Market Niche With Berkshire Pigs Farmers Cautious Of Drought-Resistant Seeds Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>Here in the United States, the corn harvest is nearly complete. It was earlier and much smaller than in recent years, which means stockpiles are lower and prices will likely be higher. Now, while this summer's drought is largely to blame, the dry weather did offer perfect conditions to test drought-resistant corn. As Iowa Public Radio's Amy Mayer reports, seed companies and farmers are now crunching the yield numbers to see what these new varieties could mean in coming years.<p>AMY MAYER, BYLINE: Gary Plunkett feels giddy with anticipation. Wed, 17 Oct 2012 08:39:00 +0000 Amy Mayer 3218 at