Why China is building its very own Iowa farm.
The Des Moines Register
In 1979, the Register's publisher went to see a more open China. 38 years later, much has changed.
Des Moines Register journalists Kyle Munson and Kelsey Kremer are traveling to China to report on Iowa's role in the relationship between America and China.
Under Feed the Future, the Obama administration is spending more than $1 billion a year to increase food production in 19 target countries. For Ethiopia, the method is bags of nonbiotech hybrid seed.
"Locally grown," can be a hard sell when the Chinese government admits that nearly 20 percent of the nation's soils are polluted.
Global poultry genetics giant Hy-Line is positioning itself to have a greater role as China's egg industry moves from 10,000-hen farms to U.S.-style operations of 1 million birds or more.
In the wake of scandals involving tainted milk, Chinese officials are pushing for U.S.-size dairy farms with thousands of cows. But consolidation has costs.
Chinese agriculture, long dominated by lawn-sized plots of land harvested by hand, is rapidly growing larger. These big dreams mean big opportunities for U.S. and Iowa agribusinesses.
Corn — not rice or wheat — is the largest crop in China, and the country has a glut of the grain now. But more corn doesn't equal more food security, experts argue.
Chinese hog farms were notoriously inefficient, unsafe and environmentally damaging. Can they change to compete with U.S. pork producers?
It helps to have an "old friend" in China. Especially if he's the paramount leader.
You can lose perspective quickly amid all the signs of wealth in China. The realities for middle-class Chinese aren't as easy to see.