• T.J. Burnham

    Adieu 2013, auld lang syne, Guy Lombardo and Times Square

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on December 31, 2013

    Tomorrow: Michigan State vs. Stanford in the granddaddy of all them bowls, the Rose Parade from Pasadena, and lots of good snacks and candy thanks to Santa's bounty (and Wisconsin Cheese Company). Headlong we dive into a new one of those things called a "year." Ready or not, a new, clean page in the calendar to make promises to ourselves about change we know simply are too unrealistic to achieve. I am going to lose weight. I am. Really. I am. I even have a plan to start dieting…

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  • Fran O

    Congress Has Earned Its Reputation

    Badger View

     by Fran O'Leary
     on December 31, 2013

    A Gallup poll was released in early December that asked Americans to rank professions they believe are the most honest and trustworthy. The top profession was nurses with 85% saying they are very honest – 15% above doctors who scored 70%. Not surprisingly at the bottom of the list were members of Congress with 10%. Even bankers, journalists (yes, journalists), business executives, lawyers, stock brokers, and advertisers all ranked higher than members of Congress. The only profession…

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  • Curt Arens

    Curt's Crystal Clear Ag Predictions for 2014

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on December 31, 2013

    You know Nostradamus. The reputed seer living in 1500s France published a collection of prophecies that have since become famous. Of course, most folks attribute any resemblance of Nostradamus predictions to real life happenings as tenuous at best, but still, his often cryptic predictions have captured the imaginations of many. Well, in the spirit of the infamous seer, I have looked long and hard into my own pastures for inspiration, hoping to make predictions for the coming year that are just…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Oil Trains Up Risks In Rural North Dakota

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on December 31, 2013

    In November, I was stopped at a railroad crossing in Leeds, N.D., as a mile-long oil train roared by. I wondered then when a North Dakota would have an oil train disaster like the one in Quebec. It didn’t take long. An oil train collided with a derailed grain train outside of Casselton, N.D. on Dec. 30 and several of the oil tankers exploded. The oil is still burning a day after the collision and the town of Casselton is evacuated. Fortunately, the accident occurred about ½ mile…

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  • Josh Flint

    The Great Tool Purchase of 2006

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on December 31, 2013

    After a little more than a year of marriage, I happened upon one of the sweetest deals ever. Unfortunately, my wife didn’t think it was so sweet. A coworker was moving to Chicago. In the process, he was clearing out his garage, i.e. he was selling all of his tools. Rather than have a garage sale, he needed to get rid of this stuff fast. I was definitely interested.  One Saturday, I borrowed dad’s truck and headed over to his house. Several years of suburban living meant he…

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  • Holly Spangler

    New Year: Weather, Combinations and Favorites

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 31, 2013

    Well. It's the end of 2013. And while many of my social media and blogger friends are posting fabulous lists highlighting the highs and lows of 2013 and all that they wish to happen in 2014, I have but two things I'd like to see happen in 2014: 1/ Normal weather. Seriously. Is it asking so much to plant in April, spray in June, have nice rainfall and heat units through the summer and a harvest that starts in September and ends in October, with a lovely November for tillage and tiling…

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  • Paula Mohr

    End of An [Equipment] Era

    Northstar Notes

     by Paula Mohr
     on December 30, 2013

    As hokey as this sounds, I have feelings for machinery. Maybe some farmers can relate. You've got this favorite, dependable, sentimentally-valued tractor or implement in your machinery shed. It's not efficient or fast anymore at all. Yet, you hang onto it because you share some history. It has been there for you through the seasons. It's been reliable. It's your go-to bud and you feel secure in how it operates. When it needs repairs, they are basic. Tweaks are done with what…

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  • Don McCabe

    A look back with Nebraska Farmer, 1956

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on December 30, 2013

    I was a youngster during the 1950s on our farm in northeast Nebraska. I hold no special memories of 1956, although my father did buy a blue 1956 Chevy, a car I wished I had today. I bring up that particular year because during a noon break in our small office library recently I happened to pull from the shelves the 1956 bound volume of Nebraska Farmer. I lost track of time leafing through the pages, reading about Nebraska agriculture trends and issues the staff reported on back then. It's…

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  • Tom Bechman

    A Farmer's Wish List for 2014

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on December 30, 2013

    What would you like to happen around your farm and in your community during the New Year? Here are a few ideas. Even though I mainly raise sheep, I've thrown in a few ideas of my own too. The caution word for this list probably should be to be careful what you wish for. If some of these things really happened, things might not turn out as rosy as you might think. And it's quite possible that maybe one or two of these things will happen. One. The fertilizer dealer calls you up and…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Christmas Comes and Goes, But Memories Are Forever

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on December 28, 2013

    Has anybody else noticed that time goes faster and faster the older you get? My 6-year-old grandson just said, “Grandma, you know what? It is 363 days until next Christmas. If I got a calendar big enough to hold all the days, how tall would it be?” When I was his age, it seemed that Christmases were far, far apart. Now, I think that maybe 363 days is enough time to actually get everything done if I start right now. I have to admit that Christmas is my absolutely favorite time of…

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  • John Vogel

    Even A Tree Can Have A Shining Moment

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on December 27, 2013

    At least once in your life, you’ve probably been struck by the awesome beauty of a simple tree. A couple weeks ago, my wife and I were stopped in our tracks by such a tree – naturally flocked by wintery white flakes. We in agriculture are blessed with many such moments for reveling in nature’s beauty. That’s one of the most awesome benefits of rural America – if we take the time. Yes, I know some of you may be groaning, especially after surviving two or three…

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  • Mindy Ward

    The Farmer Gets A Christmas Bonus

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on December 27, 2013

    As I sat Christmas Eve in an emergency veterinary hospital, I could not help but wonder how we, as farmers, get ourselves into these situations? It all started back in October when I wrote the blog Don't Worry, The Farmer Will Care For Your Abandoned Dog. Yes, there was a stray dog. This time a black lab broke our perimeter woven-wire fencing system. He interacted with our 7-year-old chocolate lab. Now, our farm family sits in an emergency veterinary hospital the day before Christmas. Our…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Digging into Machinery Industry Report

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on December 27, 2013

    The Association of Equipment Manufacturers releases a monthly report of equipment sales offering some insight into how the market is doing. The November report released earlier this month shows that 2013 was an even better year - overall - than 2012. And given that 2012 was strong that's saying something. As the year comes to a close (that Section 179 tax benefit expires next Tuesday), farmers may be scrambling to take delivery of new machines, which will make the December report even more…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    2014 Will Be A Year Of Change In Iowa Politics

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on December 27, 2013

    Two of the top political stories in Iowa in 2013 have implications for agriculture. They also signal the importance of the 2014 elections come fall, despite the new year being an "off year" for the political process—no Iowa caucuses, no presidential election. The top two political stories are: Tom Harkin is retiring from the U.S. Senate and Tom Latham is retiring from the U.S. House. These two open seats will cause a ripple effect. First, long-time U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, a…

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  • Holly Spangler

    How Dairy Carrie Wrote a Viral Blog Post

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 27, 2013

    If you were anywhere near social media earlier this month, there's a good chance you saw a blog post by "Dairy Carrie" floating around. It was titled, "Sometimes we are mean to our cows," and it detailed all the reasons a bovine might go down, and what a farmer might have to do (and why) in order to help her back to her feet. Complete with photos. Along with about 300,000 other people who visited her blog to read about downed cows, I read it and thought it was so well…

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  • Mike and Sheilah Reskovac

    Seed Companies Push Planting Products And Our Patience

    Two Hearts, One Harvest

     by Mike and Sheilah Reskovac
     on December 25, 2013

    Christmas is barely over and the New Year is rounding the corner. These holidays always seem to go by so fast, and it seems as though some companies want to make it go by even faster. All through December seed representatives have been calling the house nonstop to ask, “Have you bought all your seed yet? We've got some really good deals!” Sheilah: I get really frustrated with this. One company in particular called the house at least once a day for a week. Of course, they'd…

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  • Curt Arens

    Taking the Sleigh on the Road at Christmas

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on December 24, 2013

    I don’t know how many of you will be traveling over the holiday season. Our family will be home for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but over the school Christmas break, we will be traveling at least a little to see family. This is quite an undertaking. Honestly, we don’t travel with our whole clan very often. Logistics become a problem, because our little guy still doesn’t care to sit more than about an hour in his car seat, unless he is sleeping. This has been a common…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    So This is Christmas

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on December 24, 2013

    Yes, Virginia, there was a John Lennon who wrote "So This is Christmas" as an inspiration to us all, and with a grim footnote to us all. The gun that took Lennon from us was one of the early shots that have so ravaged our society since, and if we were to take a minute to commemorate all of the gun deaths over the past 20 years, the world would indeed be silent tonight. Don't get me wrong. Owning guns is a right, but we must remember the responsibility that comes with this power…

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  • Tom Bechman

    A Favorite Christmas Memory from Long Ago

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on December 23, 2013

    Take a break from worrying about whether you'll make a profit next year, how to zap marestail or waterhemp and all that important stuff, and think back over some of your Christmas memories. Those are the good times. They last a lifetime. One of mine is visiting the late Dave Buck's farm a few days before Christmas many years ago. Back in those days, the youth group from the local church put on a live nativity scene. Only it wasn't at the church – it was in Dave's old…

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  • John Vogel

    In Defense Of Being 'Born In A Barn'

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on December 20, 2013

    Used to be, when somebody would hit you with the remark: "Were you born in a barn?!", you were supposed to be offended. Not me. No, I wasn't born in a barn – but not far from one. I'd turn it around and ask: "So what's your problem? Got something against being born in a barn?" Think about it. Most of the finest animals you and I have raised were born there. And, the most influential baby to come to the earth was laid in a manger – presumably in…

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  • Mindy Ward

    A Farmer Shall Lead Them

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on December 20, 2013

    I first met Missouri’s new department of agriculture director, Richard Fordyce, back in 2008 on his farm outside of Bethany. That year the agriculture industry was at the height of the food versus fuel debate. He was one of hundreds of farmers across the state, straddling the economic fence. While his grain crops were experiencing a boom in price, his cattle operation was suffering due to high feed costs. At that time, he was also battling rising crop input costs. Standing in his fields…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Spreading Christmas Cheer With Soybeans

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on December 20, 2013

    North Dakota soybean farmers are in the Christmas mood. The North Dakota Soybean Council donated more than 200 SoySilk Plush Pals to children in Fargo, Bismarck and Grand Forks, N.D., hospitals this week. Plush Pals are stuffed animals made from SoySilk – a brand of fiber made from the waste produced during the manufacture of tofu from soybeans. “Tis the season of generosity and the North Dakota Soybean Council wanted to take the opportunity to brighten the holidays for young ones…

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  • Tyler Harris

    European Influence in the Midwest

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on December 19, 2013

    This fall, I had the privilege of visiting an Iowa farm family that has taken sustainability to a new level. Dean and Betty Van Kooten, who raise corn and soybeans near Kellogg, Iowa, added pigs to the operation when their youngest son Joey came back to the farm. Building two hog barns was a way for Joey and his wife, Michelle to come back to the farm and build equity. However, hog buildings use a lot of electricity. To improve the overall sustainability of the farm and offset 100% of the…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Watching Bustling Crowds A Christmas Treat

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on December 18, 2013

    Here were are once again in the final week before Christmas, and those guys who have been watching football and relaxing in their Lazy Boys are  out in the mall looking lost and bewildered. It's time to grab those red boxes with the pretty ribbon, no matter what perfume they contain, and to decide a desktop marble game is just what she wants. I love to sit in Starbuck's at the shopping center at this time of the year and enjoy the crowds. Everyone is really filled with the…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Confessions of a Farmwife: Vol. 3

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 18, 2013

    In response to listener demand (Ok, in response to Emily's husband, who is, technically, a listener), we've made our podcasts shorter. Last week, I posted the first half of this podcast and here, without further ado, is the second half. Topics include but are not limited to: weather, normalcy, grief, weather, Christmas stockings, Andy Stanley, weather, cream sauce and fleece. So you know, lots of things that really go together. Here are a few links that may make what we talk about…

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  • Curt Arens

    Landlords and Tenants: Building Trust

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on December 17, 2013

    I just returned from one of the University of Nebraska Extension landlord and tenant workshops presented by UNL Extension educators, Allan Vyhnalek at Platte County and Tim Lemmons at  Madison County. I have attended these workshops before, but each and every time I attend, I learn something new and useful. There were several themes that resonated at this session, but something that kept coming up was the importance for tenants to build trust and nurture a quality business relationship…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Rancher Relief Fund To Distribute $2 Million

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on December 17, 2013

    More than $2 million has been donated by more than 4,000 individuals, organizations and businesses to the Rancher Relief Fund to help those who lost livestock in the early October blizzard. Dec. 31 is the deadline for applying to receive aid – or for nominating someone to receive aid. Any producer within or adjacent to the blizzard area is eligible to receive aid. There is no cut off or disqualification for age or percentage of herd lost. Producers who lost any species of livestock…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Why A Farmer Should Never Say Never

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on December 16, 2013

    I am a big man. The entrance to my crawlspace where the pressure tank for my submersible water pump is located is not a big opening. And, I'm 60 years old. I'm not as nimble as I once was. So I had decided that I never intended to go under the house myself again. I would get someone else to do it. Well, as luck would have it, a recent Tuesday was one of those days I should have stayed in bed. The Internet that I depend on for work quit working, I dropped a chain to the dog pen in the…

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  • Mindy Ward

    You Might Be A Hay Waster If…

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on December 13, 2013

    This past weekend I sat through yet another talk on hay waste. This is not my first time hearing about the profit-robbing problem for livestock producers in the Midwest. However, every time Justin Sexten, University of Missouri beef nutritionist, offers solutions to the problem, livestock producers are slow to put them into practice. And by producers, I mean myself. Sexten constantly informs livestock producers that how they feed hay in the winter months will determine how much money they will…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Iowa Supreme Court Shoots Down Hunting Rights

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on December 13, 2013

    The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld Iowa's hunting laws with a ruling last week that says just because someone owns land in Iowa it doesn't mean they have a right to hunt on it. In a decision handed down on December 6 the court said Iowa's laws that provide hunting advantages to permanent residents do not violate the constitutional rights of nonresident landowners. Three men who own land in Iowa but have permanent homes in other states challenged Iowa's hunting laws as…

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  • John Vogel

    EPA's Chesapeake Bay 'Backstops' Would Kill Many Small Farms

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on December 13, 2013

    Over the last few years, I've attended many farm meetings covering U.S. EPA's plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed tributaries. Those regulatory plans were always couched as friendly partnerships with state agencies, soil and water conservation districts, and Natural Resources Conservation Service. But if you cut through EPA's muddy techno-bureaucratic jargon, you'll discover that it's not only very unfriendly; It is hostile and threatening to all of…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    88 bu/a Tops South Dakota Soybean Yield Contest

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on December 13, 2013

    There were a lot yields in the 70s and 80s in 2013  South Dakota Soybean Yield Contest. Winners were announced this week at the South Dakota Soybean Association annual meeting. Huron Colony, Huron, S.D., won first place overall with 88.75 bushels per acre. The entry was in the Group II or III maturity irrigated division. The variety was Integra 22410. Joey Waldner, who accepted the award, said they did a lot of work on the field. The colony applied lots of fertilizer…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Creston Community Shows Support Through Roll-Over Sale

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on December 12, 2013

    This hasn't been an easy post to write. For myself and many others from Creston and the southwest Iowa region, last week was an emotional one. Part of me is still in shock after learning the Saturday after Thanksgiving that T.J. and Nate Frey, 11 and 9 respectively, passed away. They were exploring on their family's farm in Adams County when they tragically fell through the ice on a pond and drowned. This was one of the same ponds two of their older brothers, Casey, Brandon, myself…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Teaching Kids About Ag, Livestock Is Reward of Its Own

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on December 12, 2013

    One of the great things about being editor of Kansas Farmer is the opportunity to take my “city kid” grandchildren along  when a trip promises to offer some excellent education about Kansas agriculture. This week, I took Jaime, almost 9, and Michele, just-turned 8, on a trip to see a feedyard, meet some top-notch FFA leaders, visit a dairy and make a stop to check on cotton harvest – two days of education about some pretty diverse aspects of Kansas agriculture. Going…

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  • Tim White

    A Christmas Tree In The Making

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on December 12, 2013

      Thanksgiving week I was taking a long walk with some visitors to our farm -- nothing like a stroll through the woods and pastures to relieve the sins of the dinner table. Along the way I was pointing out some of the tree species I have planted over the last 35 years or so. A half an hour into it, my brother-in-law commented, “I didn’t know you such an arborist.” I never thought of myself as such, but in fact I have planted at least 700 trees during that time. Perhaps…

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  • Don McCabe

    Speaking 'To The Choir' Frightens Him

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on December 11, 2013

    It was one of the largest Nebraska Cattlemen conventions in years, and a big reason was the association's celebration of its 125 years of representing Nebraska cattle producers. NC enlisted a lineup of thought-provoking speakers during the three-day event and I sat through several of them. It was a time of reminiscing about past leaders, events and changes in the industry, of debating present-day issues and looking ahead to challenges. Nebraska's largest ag sector knows how to put on…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Confessions of a Farmwife: Vol. 2

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 11, 2013

    Well. Some eight weeks ago, we rolled out our first Confessions of a Farmwife podcast - a little chatfest between central Illinois farmwives DeAnna Thomas, Emily Webel and myself, as we gathered around Emily's kitchen counter. We had plans to make it a regular event. And then harvest happened. And a heartbreaking loss in the Webel family. And then Thanksgiving. And field work. And now Christmas is upon us. So, we decided we needed to get together if for no other reason than the…

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  • Josh Flint

    A Tablet Buyer's Guide for Farmers

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on December 11, 2013

    We’re getting down to the nitty gritty – only 14 shopping days before Christmas Day. Holly Spangler put together a nice list of gift ideas for a farmer. I’d like to add to that list by giving you a farm buyer’s guide for tablets. In case you haven’t noticed, tablets are one of the fastest growing segment of technology right now. They bridge the gap between the smartphone and full-on pc (laptop or desktop) perfectly. There are three main operating…

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  • Paula Mohr

    A Guiding Voice For Extension

    Northstar Notes

     by Paula Mohr
     on December 10, 2013

    If you have wondered about the workings of the University of Minnesota Extension, now is a good time to consider gaining an inside edge and helping shape Extension's future. Nominations are currently open for positions on Extension's statewide Citizen's Advisory Committee. The CAC meets twice yearly, during State Fair week and in mid-winter. After the State Fair meeting, committee members have the option of attending the fair in the evening and watching the current 4-H Arts show…

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  • Curt Arens

    What Is Around the Corner?

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on December 10, 2013

    If you average the extreme drought and heat of 2012 and the wetter, cooler summer of 2013 together, you might get a “normal” year. It isn’t that unusual to have good crops following a year of extreme drought. While much of the state was still drier than normal this season, almost every farmer would agree that it certainly was cooler than a year ago, and most portions of the state received at least a few timely rains. It seems we are easily lulled into the idea that every…

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  • Mike and Sheilah Reskovac

    Ah, Deer Hunting Season Is On!

    Two Hearts, One Harvest

     by Mike and Sheilah Reskovac
     on December 9, 2013

    It's that time of year when you wake up pre-dawn, put on five layers of clothing – and enough orange to be legal, then go look for the elusive deer. The first week is over and neither of us got anything, or did we? Sheilah: People ask me all the time: “Why do you like to hunt?” Well, it’s certainly not because I like to freeze my butt off all day. I get more out of hunting than just shooting a deer. It’s all about the memories. Mike: I, on the other hand…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Loving the Diesel

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on December 9, 2013

    Farmers love diesel tractors and combines, they have the torque needed to get the job done, and they're essentially more economical than gasoline engines might be in the same application. But what about cars? The arrival of common rail diesel technology in commercial applications has been a boon to users of these high-tech engines. As I think about my trip to Germany for Agritechnica one thought comes to mind, and it wasn't from the show. It came from the few days I spent after the…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Lost Jacket Makes a Good Story to Tell

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on December 9, 2013

    If you know anyone connected to Ripley's Believe it or Not, you might want to clip this one out and send it to them. I'm not sure I believe it. There's one other caveat before you laugh at me. All those who have left a coat or jacket and had to go back and get it, raise your hands. Anyone with their hands down can go read another item, because you'll never believe this! I recently attended a major rollout of a new food and health corridor to bring those types of businesses to…

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  • Mindy Ward

    Ag Supports Mizzou Tigers All Season

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on December 6, 2013

    I should be writing about the dramatic change in the weather from sunny and 75 degrees F last weekend to 7 degrees F wind chill and inches of snow today. However, I would rather write about the dramatic change in the football program at the University of Missouri-Columbia. It is a lot more exciting and positive subject. It was just one year ago that many of Missouri’s so-called “faithful” questioned the move by MU to the SEC. But just like our state’s famous weather, if…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    I Call it the 'Beacon and the Bell'

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on December 6, 2013

    Like a sea-sweeping lighthouse beacon , the warning light is similar to Thanksgiving Day, sending out the alarm that unless you get thee to a mall, your Christmas will crash and burn. When Christmas silver bells ring, you had better be tired out every night from fighting the Black Friday- hardened veterans of the shopping center, who will steal your parking spot from  right in front of your Suzuki, and push you away from the last red sweater in  large at Macy's. Yesterday…

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  • Curt Arens

    On the Farm, What's Around the Corner?

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on December 6, 2013

    If you average the extreme drought and heat of 2012 and the wetter, cooler summer of 2013 together, you might get a "normal" year. It isn't that unusual to have good crops following a year of extreme drought. While much of the state was still drier than normal this season, almost every farmer would agree that it certainly was cooler than a year ago, and most portions of the state received at least a few timely rains. It seems we are easily lulled into the idea that every growing…

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  • Jennifer Vincent

    The Most Precious Christmas Present

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Vincent
     on December 6, 2013

    Twenty years ago, I asked God for a Christmas gift like no other. Regardless if He granted me this gift, I made a promise that I would continue a tradition I started that year from that point forward. This was a whopper of a gift – one I knew only God could fill. Earlier that year, my husband and I had learned we were expecting our first child. I was 20-something, fit as a fiddle with no health issues whatsoever. So, when the doctor asked if I wanted to have this blood screening test…

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  • Josh Flint

    Retailers Continue to Go High Tech

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on December 6, 2013

    Marketing has reached a new level. The local news stations continue to report on stories that border on privacy invasion when it comes to retailer behavior. For instance, there was the story about Target sending a young high-school teenager coupons for diapers because the store was able to recognize her purchases were prenatal in nature. Of course, her parents didn’t know and it led to a bit of outrage. (Why she hadn’t shared this new with her parents is a bit concerning to…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Next Peterson Farm Brothers?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 5, 2013

    There's a fun contest going on right now, thanks to some folks in southern Illinois. The Edwards County Farm Bureau Women's Committee (that's my home county!) put together a "Braggin' on Ag" video contest in the fall. People around the county put together videos and submitted them, and as it turns out…they're really good. Good enough that the Farm Bureau decided to take the contest to the social media world. And they added a cash prize. This is where you…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Seed Trait Approval Slowdown

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on December 5, 2013

    I heard an interesting discussion the other day at the Northern Ag Expo in Fargo, N.D., about how new seed traits aren’t getting approved as fast as they used to. It used to take 1-2 years to get new an okay to sell new seed traits. Now it takes 3-4 years to win approval, according to Keith Peltier, of ProSeed, and Carl Peterson, of Peterson Farms Seed. Both men are owners and general managers of regional seed companies based on North Dakota. Peltier and Peterson blamed the delay partly…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    High Voltage Controversy Over Big Power Line

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on December 4, 2013

    A company based in Houston, Texas, is planning to build an overhead high-voltage transmission line from northwest Iowa to Illinois and other states east of the Mississippi River. The power line would deliver electricity from wind turbines in northwest Iowa to cities in Illinois and Eastern states. Clean Line Energy is the company wanting to build this transmission line, and the project is called the Rock Island Clean Line or RICL project. If built, the line would cross 16 Iowa counties, would…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Farm Bureau Meeting Introduces Someone Special

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on December 3, 2013

    One of the cool things about going to conventions is that you see things you might never see otherwise. A really neat one of those came Tuesday at the 95th Annual Meeting of the Kansas Farm Bureau in Manhattan when retiring KFB CEO Dan Yunk introduced someone special. Most Farm Bureau members know Dr. Yunk is the author of the popular series of children’s books, “Kailey Ag Adventures” and “Milk Comes from a Cow.” But someone most folks had never met was the…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    This Grandma Has No Shortage of Things to Be Thankful For

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on December 2, 2013

    There is a time when the right thing to do is just slow down and enjoy the moments. I say moments, plural, because my Thanksgiving weekend was blessed with so very many of them. I am still tucking the memories away so I can pull them out and relive them when life gets stressful and problems seem to pile up. Holidays are always BIG around our house because our family is big. Sunday dinner with just the kids and grandkids is dinner for 16. Throw in the other grandparents, a few friends with no…

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  • Tom Bechman

    A Mad Dash To The End of the Year

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on December 2, 2013

    Black Friday is over but the mad dash shopping continues since Christmas is roughly three weeks away. There's no time to lose, or at least that's what retailers want you to believe. Farming has its own version of the mad dash – decisions to make before Dec. 31 expires and a new tax year begins. Should you buy new equipment? Should you sell grain this year? Should you pay ahead on inputs to get discounts? Here are a few insights about decisions a typical farm operation might face…

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