• John Vogel

    Six Next Big Farm Tech Things

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on April 2, 2013

     Last week's blog highlighted some of the coming farm changes that I shared recently with a farmers club. This is the exciting sequel, and the reason I'd love to be farming over the next 10 years. Soon, 300-bushel corn numbers are likely to pop up on your combine yield monitors. And, you're going to discover new ways to make those numbers pop up more and more frequently. Here are five farm technologies that'll make that once mythical high-yield mark a whole lot…

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  • John Vogel

    Farming Amid An Ag Tech Shift

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on March 27, 2013

    At a recent farmers' club, I confessed that I sold our family farm to my cousin. So credential-wise, I was a former farmer – but still a wanna-be. My proudest accomplishment was in 1989, when we had a whole farm average corn yield of 209 bushels an acre. While it was on only 190 acres, it was one of Iowa's highest whole farm averages. And there were solid agronomic reasons for it. Our management scheme was simple: My cousin did all the work. And, I helped him manage the…

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  • John Vogel

    Germany's Farm Potentials For The Northeast

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on September 19, 2012

    My wife and I are very glad to be home again after two weeks of traveling my ancestral homeland in southern Germany. In the 1860’s, my great grandfather bravely left the house/barn he was born in to come to America. We went to the region in hope of finding that original home and enjoying learning more about my heritage. In the process, we learned a few things that may be in the future of agriculture in the Northeast. While I couldn’t find that home, many such combination…

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  • John Vogel

    4 Reasons For Older Farm Owners To Retire Earlier

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on May 24, 2012

    This week, our Farm Progress editorial staff engaged in an intensive conference to gear up our technical know-how to better serve you our readers over the coming years. Our bosses happily pointed out that our cumulative years of editorial experience and understanding of agriculture are unmatched. Normally, you might expect our egos to swell with pride. But the oldsters among us raised our eyebrows in suspicion – rightfully due to Boss No. 1’s next comment that went something like…

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  • John Vogel

    Expect More Farm Weather Extemes? Yes!

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on March 26, 2012

     Wow and Whoa! That pretty much describes the weather we’ve experienced since last summer. I hope you’re preparing for more of the same because it’s likely to test your management flexibility. On March 10 I stepped out the front door to be greeted by a butterfly. Spring didn’t just spring; It was flung upon us! My yard grass was nearly a half-a-foot high before I even had a chance to pray over my 60-something tractor mower. (No, I don’t mean 60 h.p. I mean…

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  • John Vogel

    Where To Place Your Farm Bets

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on February 8, 2012

    Agriculture is an exceptional industry with many exceptional businesses and an even greater number of exceptional people. Yes, that’s a double affirmation. That’s why America’s farmers are world leaders in food productivity and in return on farm investment. Even before the current economic downswing (We’re not supposed to call it a recession anymore.), agriculture was one of the hottest places to reinvest farm revenues. And as you know, it has solidly withstood…

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  • John Vogel

    In Case You Haven't Noticed . . .

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on January 13, 2012

    If you’re planning to market remaining grain inventories on your “usual” schedule, you’re likely to lose what I call “opportunity income”. There’s good reason why grain trucks have been speeding by my office on their way to markets at a much higher rate than normal. If you intend to forego crop insurance coverage because you’ve never liked laying out that extra cash, you’re probably going to lose out on guaranteed revenue from crops plus…

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  • John Vogel

    Did You Feel That?!

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on August 24, 2011

      Last night, I returned home after a two-day run down into Delaware and Eastern Shore Maryland. It was memorable for three reasons. First, I visited with a lot of very good people – all in agriculture. Didn't meet a sole I didn't like and didn't have something in common with. And when you talk with people outside of agriculture, you get an idea of how unusual it is. Second, as I pulled up next to the farm shop at Chesapeake Farms about 1 p.m., near Chestertown, Md., my SUV was…

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  • John Vogel

    Got The 'Right Stuff'

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on July 13, 2011

      "Experts" contend that numbers are a barometer of success and that figures don't lie. Trouble is, they don't always tell the whole truth, either. That's because we human creatures have tremendous potential to improve. How else can you explain the following contradictory evidence: More than 50% of all Fortune 500 company chief executives had C or C- averages in colleges. 65% of all U.S. senators were in the bottom half of their classes. [That one's not hard to imagine…

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  • John Vogel

    It's Been A Heckuva Spring!

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on May 20, 2011

      You probably suffered from sticker shock at the price of the last planter you bought. Hopefully, you didn't down-size planter capacity because of it. And here's why: This year, most farmers in the Northeast are needing every bit of planting speed and machine capacity they can muster – and maybe more. Those who socked corn into the ground last week saw the fruits of their labor pop through the ground this week. On Tuesday, I was so excited to spot my first field of corn breaking…

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