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Iowa State University News

  • GM Records Show Co-Workers Stymied In-House Investigator

    For about two years, General Motors Co. engineer Brian Stouffer tried to figure out why faulty ignition switches now linked to at least 13 deaths were causing cars to stall. His quest was thwarted by uncooperative colleagues, inaccurate data and a rotating cast of managers.

  • Virus Killing 5 Million Pigs Spurs Hog-Price Rally: Commodities

    Almost every piglet born on Craig Rowles’ hog farms near Carroll, Iowa, died from the virus that swept through his herds in November, causing $462,000 of lost revenue in the first month of the outbreak. By the end of February, he expects to lose 15,000 animals, or 10 percent of annual sales.

  • Iowa Farms Minting Millionaires as Rich-Poor Gap Widens

    Pickup trucks lined a stretch of gravel road where 150 farmers mingled between 7-foot tall cornstalks and shimmering soybeans to see which of their wealthy brethren would bid on a swath of Iowa’s richest cropland. This was a farm -- table-flat and 314 acres -- so coveted that it drew three times the usual land-sale crowd.

  • Iowa, Indiana Hamlets Bleed as College Towns Boom, Census Finds

    The U.S. is draining residents from its rural areas and small factory cities, a shift showcased in 2010 census data from Iowa and Indiana released yesterday.

  • Soybean Switch on U.S. Corn Farms Expanding World Surplus

    Corn is no longer king on Todd Wachtel’s 5,500-acre farm in Illinois. After prices fell to a three-year low in January, he will cut planting by 20 percent in 2014 and devote half his land to soybeans, which are cheaper to grow and just as profitable for the first time in four years.

  • Corn Plummeting Spurs Talk of ’80s U.S. Farmland Bust: Mortgages

    Din Tai Fung, a restaurant in Shanghai’s Xintiandi district, is famous for its steamed pork dumplings. The pigs that keep those dumplings on the table are fattened with corn -- much of it imported from the U.S.

  • Record Pork Supply Seen as U.S. Farms Profit Again: Commodities

    U.S. hog farmers are making money for the first time in a year after prices surged to a two-decade seasonal high and feed costs fell, spurring them to expand herds that will yield the most pork on record.

  • The Hunt for Monsanto’s Rogue Wheat Wends Across Prairies

    Drive across America’s farm country -- across the vast plains of Kansas, across the prairies of North Dakota, and then out onto the parched, treeless expanse of the inland Northwest -- and the waves of grain can seem endless.

  • U.S. Grain Users Test for Corn Toxin as Drought Spurs Mold

    Grain elevators and milk processors are testing for a corn toxin that can be fatal to livestock and cause cancer in humans after the worst Midwest drought in 56 years spurred an increased risk of contamination.

  • Palin’s Iowa Crowd Shows Turmoil of Republican Primary

    On the eve of the Iowa Straw Poll of Republican presidential aspirants, non-candidate Sarah Palin was mobbed as she slowly worked her way through the Iowa State Fair after arriving in Des Moines as part of her periodic “One Nation” bus tour.

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