• Willie Vogt

    High-yield Producers Offer Insight

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on April 15, 2014

    You know the names, David Hula, Kip Cullers, Steve Albrecht, there's a list of names for top yield contest winners floating out there and you've seen coverage in our magazines and others about their farms. I've had the pleasure to meet many of these top-yielding producers in the past and I've learned a few things. As you're rolling with the planter in the next few weeks - and the Crop Progress Report this week shows planter are finally starting to move - there are some ideas…

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  • Curt Arens

    Going to the Birds a Sign of Farm Landscape Diversity

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on April 15, 2014

    On our farm, we raised and marketed black oil sunflowers as wild bird seed for almost 10 years. So, in an effort to understand our customers, the folks who regularly feed songbirds around their homes and gardens, our family set up our own feeding stations, and we learned plenty about the songbirds that inhabit our region. In other words, we were happy to have our farm “go to the birds.” Researchers say that having healthy populations of songbirds living and singing around your…

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  • Tim White

    Street Project Shakes Up Ohio Farmer Office

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on April 15, 2014

      While there's not much equipment running in farm fields this week, there is some major activity just outside the window of my office. The state is resurfacing State Route 22, which is also Main Street in Lancaster. I say resurfacing, but in fact the project is more of rebuilding operation than a remodeling job. Several times during my 18-year residency in this building, the highway has been resurfaced with asphalt. However, it carries a lot of heavy truck traffic and once the…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Cherry Blossom Peak Tops Off D.C. Visit

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on April 15, 2014

    I am happy to report that the cherry blossoms hit peak bloom last Friday – one of the rare occasions when the most beautiful days of the bloom actually match up with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. I was in D.C. for a whole week now with all eight grandkids and their parents. And no, we still haven’t seen everything this amazing city has to offer tourists, though we did add one amazing tour – D.C. Ducks. This tour proved to be a fantastic experience and…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Serving "Food For Thought" And More At Wallace House

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on April 14, 2014

    Every so often I'm asked, "What is the Wallace Centers of Iowa?" It's a non-profit organization inspired by the Wallace family legacy. The Wallace Centers of Iowa provide a variety of programs and services to build awareness of local food, sustainable agriculture and civility. It serves both urban and rural communities. There are two locations—one is the Wallace House at 756 16th Street in the Sherman Hill neighborhood on the west edge of downtown Des Moines. The other…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Old Eyes Can't Watch Basketball on a 20-inch Screen!

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on April 14, 2014

    My wife, Carla, and I took a journey to Georgia to see our oldest daughter, Allison, during the first week of April. She works for Coca-Cola and is based in Atlanta. It was the week of the NCAA Final Four, but I figured we could watch the Saturday evening semi-finals on her TV. Then we got to her apartment and I looked at her TV, or tried to look at it. Left from her days as a college student, the screen was 20 inches, being generous. Twenty years ago I could have sat in the comfortable…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Beat Goes On and On

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 14, 2014

    A friend recently shared a photo of Main Street in her hometown and noted that when you go home, somehow you suddenly feel 17 again. That is truth for those of us who have moved away from the town in which we grew up. And though I now live in a rural Illinois town very similar to the one in which I grew up, visiting home brings back a torrent of memories. Most of them related to being 17: the cruising, the fair, the games, the practices, the band, the dinner theater. The dates and the mistakes…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Check Out New Farm Building Foundations

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 14, 2014

     If you’re looking at putting up a building this year, check out Morton Buildings’ new concrete post foundation system. It consists of precast concrete columns that go in the ground instead of wood posts. A threaded screw in the concrete post allows construction crews to easily and precisely level the posts for a flush, even and clean-looking framing point. Laminated wood posts are fastened securely to the top of the concrete posts with a rugged internal connection plate that…

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  • Mike and Sheilah Reskovac

    Savor The Crazy Spring Despite The Planter Dust

    Two Hearts, One Harvest

     by Mike and Sheilah Reskovac
     on April 14, 2014

    To us, spring is when the earth looks bright, new and fresh. The season has always reminded us of God’s love with the new beginning of a crop season. Mike: Some say spring is less stressful than harvesting. For us, planting season is way more hectic. It’s all about time – too little of it. It's the lead-off for the whole year. Our planting window is much narrower than the harvest window. Once all the equipment is ready to go and all the seed has been delivered in a…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Food Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 11, 2014

    When the Food Movement Does Not Move: 500 words on agriculture, GMOs and the food system, from someone far outside conventional Midwestern agriculture. It is worth a read to see what he thinks and how he arrived at those opinions. And we all need a little more information from outside our circles. Reader Comment: Change of Heart on Ag-Gag: Written by an activist who worked to stop the Bettencourt Dairy in Idaho but came to see that Mercy for Animals had another agenda entirely. Is Organic…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Life Beyond the Ring

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 10, 2014

    Confession: I have a tartan past. I was once the Illinois Shorthorn Lassie Queen. I wore a plaid kilt and black boots. It's true. Photographic evidence exists, but I will not provide it. I tried valiantly to become the National Shorthorn Lassie Queen. It was all just about as glamorous as you might imagine: show rings, essays, scrapbooks, ribbons, interviews and more. In truth, it was an early form of agricultural advocacy, even though we didn't call it that back then.   The…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Tomorrow on Deck at Ag Robot, Unmanned Aircraft Conference

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on April 9, 2014

    It hit me at lunch while attending the Precision Farming Expo in McMinnville, Ore., last week. A young producer from Canada was telling me about how he is building his own fixed wing and copter robot planes in his farm workshop. It struck me that the future is here, although in the U.S. farm drones still are not allowed to fly commercially due to Federal Aviation Administration regulatory balking, the concept has move from engineering blueprints to the back 40 in other parts of the…

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  • Curt Arens

    Farmers Say that Conservation is Cool

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on April 8, 2014

    Unless you take in upcoming showings of movies like Farmland or the Great American Wheat Harvest, you have to look for mainstream media sources that actually share positive modern stories of farmers and ranchers. Evidently, most of those sources don’t see modern agriculture as dramatic, emotional or trendy. It’s easier to find the bad actors in the industry and make blanket, generalized statements to include all farmers and ranchers as greedy folks who only care about a making a…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Confessions of a Farm Wife: Vol. 8 | Guest Star Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 8, 2014

    We're back again today with our first-ever guest star at Confessions of a Farm Wife! Joe Webel, husband of Emily, caretaker of cattle, stopped by the kitchen counter to talk about calving and cows and calves. And he coined my new favorite phrase in regard to cows, calves and the barn: "it's the roach motel - they keep moving in and I can't move them out!" You can listen by playing the little gizmo below. Or you can also click here and listen. Or you can download the…

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  • Don McCabe

    Documentary Captures Experiences of Young Producers

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on April 8, 2014

    I'm not much of a moviegoer, even though my wife prods me to attend one occasionally. So it was a bit unusual for me to catch two movies in a two-week span recently. I sat through two well-made documentaries about farmers and the challenges they face, the rewards earned for their work and the commitment they have to agriculture. The first was a premier screening of Farmland, a documentary film that gives an intimate look at the lives of six young producers, all in their 20s, who are…

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  • Frank Holdmeyer

    Coast-to-Coast On A 1948 John Deere A

    The Bigger Picture

     by Frank Holdmeyer
     on April 7, 2014

    My wife and I own and still use her grandfather's 1951 John Deere A. But I wouldn't consider driving it the 5 miles to town, much less across the U.S. But that's what a former Pennsylvania former turned Florida auctioneer is planning to do with his 1948 A. On Saturday, April 26, he plans to touch the Atlantic Ocean with his John Deere A at Manasquan, New Jersey, then head west for Crescent City, California, and the Pacific Ocean. The guy behind the wheel of the antique John Deere…

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  • Mindy Ward

    The Face Of The FFA

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on April 7, 2014

    I saw the image on Facebook and had to investigate. It was of a young man whose passion for farming and the FFA was emblazoned all over his face, literally. With that one image Cade Ruether became, in my mind, the “Face of the FFA.” The idea was the brainchild of Drew Tignor, 7th grade civics teacher and yearbook sponsor at Troy Middle School in eastern Missouri. Mr. Tignor explained that there is a theme to every yearbook, this year it was “Half.” “We only see…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Climate Change From A Faith-based Perspective

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on April 7, 2014

    About 80 people gathered in a church at Ames on a recent Sunday afternoon to listen to a panel discussion on agriculture and climate change. Moderator Mike Glover, a retired Associated Press political reporter who covered the Iowa Legislature for many years, opened the discussion by asking the panelists how they see climate change affecting agriculture. Do they believe the current modern-day system of producing crops and livestock can continue to exist if climate change continues at its current…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Confessions of a Farm Wife: Vol. 7

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 7, 2014

    Well. Our schedules have been a little crazy lately. And so it is that we are now re-capping Emily's experience as a panelist for the Bayer Ag Issues Forum at Commodity Classic...which was back in late February. But she had a fascinating experience, fielding questions from agricultural media and more. And so here it is. A little talk about the travel, the speaking, the issues, and our random run-in at Gate B26 in the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. Proof positive, you have to leave…

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  • Tom Bechman

    The 5 Types of Auction-goers

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on April 7, 2014

    I'm an auction enthusiast. I've been to a ton of farm sales and household sales through the years, and lots of toy sales. Before the Internet, you could look the opposing bidder in the eye and try to guess how high he was going to go. People have different strategies when it comes to bidding at live auctions. Here are a few styles I've noticed, or even fell prey to at one time or another. See which of these categories might fit you. Internet bidding is a whole different animal. It…

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  • Paula Mohr

    Nature's Symphony

    Northstar Notes

     by Paula Mohr
     on April 7, 2014

    Boy, was it noisy in the backyard and woods this morning as I walked with my dog. The birds were in full chorus. I closed my eyes and heard cheeps, calls and trills of robins, woodpeckers, cardinals, chickadees, crows, geese and sand hill cranes. And there were a few 'songs' I did not recognize. No matter. It was a true symphony of spring that I thoroughly enjoyed! And we know the wildlife and some other critters are on the move more now, too, after that last blast of snow on…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Showing Consumers the Face of the American Farmer

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on April 4, 2014

    This week I had the privilege of participating in a private screening of the documentary "Farmland," highly anticipated among farm families across the U.S. and set for release at the beginning of May. Most farmers are aware consumers have questions about how their food is produced. The goal of the film, produced and directed by Academy Award winner James Moll, is to address these questions. So, it made perfect sense the screening, hosted by Kansas Farm Food Connection, took place in…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Last Price Update Before Planting

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 4, 2014

    If you’re like me, you went to a lot of meetings this winter and listened to someone talk about the outlook for corn, soybean and wheat prices. Well, it’s probably old news now and there’s no time to drive to another meeting to get an update before planting begins. But you can get an update from some experts – without leaving the farm or ranch. Join the Farm Futures® marketing team of Bryce Knorr and Bob Burgdorfer Monday April 7 at 7 p.m. Central Time for a…

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  • Josh Flint

    I Fell For Two April Fool's Jokes This Year

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on April 4, 2014

    This fool fell for not one, but two, April Fool’s jokes this year. I’m not proud of it, but in both cases my inner optimist was on full display. As I browsed my Facebook feed, I came across one post that said “Obamacare has been repealed!” I immediately took to the web to confirm this exciting announcement. When I came up empty, I checked the post date. Yep, April 1. (I was reading this on April 2.) I’d been got. You would think I’d be on guard for more of…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: April Fool's Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 4, 2014

    April Fool's Day came and went this week, and with little notice on our farm. Except for the children who tried to prank me by taping up the faucet sprayer. They only got themselves, when they forgot and flipped on the faucet. I'd like to say you have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool old mom, but really, it had nothing to do with me. They just forgot. And no fooling: here are five links to stories and information to catch you up on the week in food and agriculture. Big…

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  • Holly Spangler

    140 Characters for PETA

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 3, 2014

    It's been a big week for our local high school's biology department: they began their fetal pig dissection unit. My niece, Kaity, is a biology class member and she was pretty excited about this development. Excited enough to tweet about it. The next exciting development? PETA replied to her tweet. Technically speaking, it wasn't PETA, the radical animal rights organization, but "peta2," the youth arm of the radical animal rights organization. That should frighten you…

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  • John Vogel

    Which Way Will Your Tip: More Corn Or Soybeans?

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on April 2, 2014

    Here in the Northeast, corn and soybean markets are more keyed to feed needs and specialty markets than in the Midwest. So your acreage mix of corn and soybeans probably won't flux as much. But the prices that you buy and sell corn, soybeans and bean meal for will greatly impact profitability. And, even contract prices for these commodities are impacted. So it behooves you to stay on top of what's happening. Right? That's why I want to tip you off to a free (yes, entirely free…

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  • Don McCabe

    They Came, They Heard, But They Didn't Listen

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on April 2, 2014

    Perhaps it was the 60-day "short" legislative session loaded with controversial issues. Perhaps it was too much time allocated to the mountain lion hunting bill. Maybe it was the fatigue and weariness brought on by a cold winter. Whatever the reason, the 2014 Nebraska Legislature ignored rural Nebraska by failing to provide badly needed property tax relief. The paltry $25 million added to the state's property tax credit program only scratches the surface of alleviating the heavy…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Swedes Take America (In the Nicest Way Possible)

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 2, 2014

    A lunch with friends. Conversation about farms and food, traveling and working, Broadway and the prairie. A delicious meal at DeStihl, complete with locally-sourced cheddar cheese curds, made by farmer friends at Ropp Jersey Cheese. A meal not soon to be forgotten because although the weather on the prairie blew wet and cold outside, the friendship around the table was warm, fanned by a deep love for agriculture and journalism that spans actual continents. It all began with my trip to Sweden…

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  • Curt Arens

    Women in Agriculture Hold the Future of Many Farms

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on April 1, 2014

    According to the 2007 U.S. Census of Agriculture, about half of the farmland in the country is owned or co-owned by women. While the 2012 Census of Agriculture showed a decrease in the number of women farmers, there is no doubt about the important role women play in the keeping and caring of the land. A series of workshops coming up in April, May and June are being sponsored by the Center for Rural Affairs, designed specifically for women in agriculture. These sessions are geared for a wide…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    April Fool's Day - A 'Holiday' Sans Candy

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on April 1, 2014

    Sure, it isn't a nationally-declared holiday, sure it's origins are cloudy, and sure, few get excited about preparing for it. Yet, I love April Fool's Day because it is a holiday uncelebrated, yet widely acknowledged if only with a passing shrug of the shoulders. You have to love a special day that isn't the subject of parties, decorating the lawn, sending and getting gifts, and without the tacky trappings of most celebrations. For this reason I revel in April 1 as a…

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  • Paula Mohr

    USDA April Crop Report And Your Bottom Line

    Northstar Notes

     by Paula Mohr
     on April 1, 2014

    Join the Farm Progress Farm Futures® marketing team of Bryce Knorr and Bob Burgdorfer, Monday, April 7, for a crucial preview of spring grain markets before you head to the fields for planting. With USDA's long-awaited Prospective Plantings and quarterly Grain Stocks report out, key pieces of the price puzzle are falling into place. Knorr and Burgdorfer will compare USDA's tally with Farm Futures® own survey data, along with a preview of the April 9 USDA world supply and demand…

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  • Frank Holdmeyer

    Winter Weather Was Tough on Pheasants and Pheasant Habitat

    The Bigger Picture

     by Frank Holdmeyer
     on March 31, 2014

    With spring finally here, I think, a lot of folks are reminiscing about the past winter. As an outdoorsman and occasional pheasant hunter, I was interested in a recent report from Pheasants Forever on what impact the tough winter had on wildlife. It's a state-by-state report regarding habitat conditions for pheasants and other wildlife as we head into the spring reproductive season. According to Rehan Nana at Pheasants Forever, two factors are critical to maintaining healthy pheasant…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Iowans Fight Big Oil's Effort To Dismantle RFS

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on March 31, 2014

    A group of Iowans went to Washington D.C. last week to speak with members of Congress about the importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard or RFS. Lobbying for ethanol and biodiesel, the Iowa group also met with top officials at EPA and USDA and visited other offices in the nation's capital. "We hit a home run in D.C.," says Bill Couser, a Story County farmer, cattle feeder and board member of Lincolnway Energy. Lincolnway has a corn ethanol plant at Nevada, Iowa, not far from the…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Teaching the Next Generation is a Privilege

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on March 31, 2014

    Graham, my four-year-old grandson, has "cowboy" boots so he can help grandpa at the barn with the sheep. Saturday morning he couldn't wait to get the boots on and his Carhartt jacket zipped. We got out the tractor. It's a John Deere utility tractor with a loader. He calls it Johnny Tractor. "What are we going to do, pa?" "We're going to clean out part of the lambing barn, Graham." "Oh, we're going to clean out sheep poop?" "Yes…

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  • Mindy Ward

    Blogging Through Brazil: Exportese

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on March 29, 2014

    U.S. farmers can now truly understand the road a single seed takes from being planted in a field in Mato Grosso to ending up in the belly of a cargo ship at the Guaruja port on the western coast. The last stop on the Rabo AgriFinance Brazil Tour took American farmers to the TEG-Louis Dreyfus & Cargill Terminal in the Santo Amaro island. And as we had seen across the countryside this week, there were trucks lined up to deliver grain. Some traveled more than 1,250 miles of rough terrain to…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Scholarships For Special Farm Kids

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 29, 2014

    As the chief cook and bottle washer at the Dakota Farmer, I see a lot of press releases about scholarships for students. The programs are great. I remember from when my sons were applying for college what a shot in the arm scholarships were for them. So here is an interesting scholarship: The Gerald and Edith Wallace Fund provides multiple scholarship ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 for North Dakota farm kids have a physical disability. “This particular scholarship is very…

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  • Mindy Ward

    Blogging Through Brazil: Wacky Weather

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on March 28, 2014

    It is raining in Brazil. The wet weather dampened the Rabo AgriFinance Brazil Tour plans to visit the Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park for a 3-hour walking tour. But just as in the U.S., weather in Brazil can change plans and production. For Brazil farmers this year’s weather with its combination of drought and precipitation are taking a toll on yields. Right now, the country’s soybean harvest is in its final stretch. According to the farmers we visited, the soybean crop will…

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  • Curt Arens

    Out on a Limb: A Few of My Favorite Trees

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on March 28, 2014

    In this special Out on a Limb blog entry, I want to talk about a few of my favorite trees. These are not recommendations for your farmstead. With spring around the corner, hopefully, we start looking over garden catalogs and visiting our favorite tree nurseries to search for trees and shrubs to plant around our farms and ranches. The greatest challenge for me is narrowing down my planting choices and finding the right location for the trees I really want to plant every year. Over the years…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Ag Day Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 28, 2014

    Tuesday was Ag Day and it was celebrated both far and wide across this country. In Washington, D.C., panels were convened, movies were shown and lawmakers were lobbied. On social media, every ag-related person shared the ag-related posts that spoke to them. On our farm, John hauled manure. I'm not sure whether he knew it was Ag Day or not. Regardless, here are five links to catch you up on this week in food and agriculture, with a whole lot of Borlaug and a little bit of Stine. Good Iowans…

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  • Mindy Ward

    Blogging Though Brazil: Extreme Farm

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on March 27, 2014

    Farmers on the Rabo AgriFinance Brazil Tour farm got a look at how Brazil’s farmers diversify to remain competitive and profitable. Gilberto Goellner raises seed, grain, beans, timber and cattle throughout Brazil. We visited just two of his locations in Mato Grosso. And the size of his operation is impressive in any country. Here is a rundown of his farm by the numbers: •59,280 acres of soybeans •11,856 acres of cotton •14,326 acres of corn •17,290 acres of…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Behind The Scenes At Ag PhD

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 27, 2014

    I enjoyed watching Brian and Darren Hefty doing their Ag PhD radio show for XM Sirius Radio live at the recent Western Corn Belt Precision Ag Conference. I grew up across the road from the Heftys near Baltic, S.D. I didn’t know Brian or Darren, though. I am 15-20 years older than they are. They were kids when I worked for their Dad, Ron Hefty, one summer. Ron started Hefty Farm Supply in 1969. With the help of his all of his children, it grew into the major regional seed, chemical…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on March 26, 2014

    I love this time of year - well usually I do when spring actually arrives. As I drive through the countryside I can almost feel the tension as each of you steps outside to check the weather (beyond what they tell you on TV). The tension mounts as you ready that last piece of equipment and perhaps give the planter or drill one last walkaround. Spring is your investment in a fall payday, a time when every second really counts. I remember having a conversation with Ag Economist Howard Doster a…

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  • Mindy Ward

    Blogging Through Brazil: Seed Production

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on March 26, 2014

    After the cold winter in the U.S., it was good to see farmers smiling while perusing lush green fields of soybeans, corn and pearl millet, even if it wasn’t their own. Tuesday’s travels with Rabo AgriFinance Brazil Tour took farmers from the upper Midwest to seed production operations in Brazil. Located in the Petrovina hill area, known as one of Brazil’s best grain crop growing areas due to its altitude and constant climate conditions, is Adriana Seed Company. The company…

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  • Jessica Lavicky

    Frugal Farmer Knew How to Pay it Forward

    The Daily Dig

     by Jessica Lavicky
     on March 25, 2014

    This being the season of Spring, it is a time of reflection and preparation. For myself, I try to reflect on what I can do better in my life. Situations I could give more of myself or pay it forward, so to speak. As I find ways to do this not-so-easy task, I keep one person in mind. Edwin "Bud" Skalla. No, I didn't know him personally. However, he still has made an impact on my life. Bud, an elderly southwest Iowa bachelor farmer who is remembered as quiet and frugal left behind…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Spring, Spring, Spring!!!

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on March 25, 2014

    Troughs of Easter candy line the aisle of Wal-Mart, and stories about the origin of colored eggs and Peter Cottontail are in the daily news. Must be --- can it be?  Yes! SPRING! Welcome back, daffodils. Where have you been, sun? Hey, time to turn the outside water back on and unwrap the spigots. Let's fire up the BBQ and try out that new smoker!! Yeah, I'm a spring person. I like the warmer, longer days when I can go outside and work without feeling the sting of cold on my…

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  • Mindy Ward

    Blogging Through Brazil: Holy Rough Roads!

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on March 25, 2014

    We heard the story. We saw the photographs. But really, nothing can prepare you for traversing the Brazilian countryside. Rather than a relaxing drive taking in the scenery, I felt more like a bobblehead doll in the front seat. Earlier in the morning Andy Duff, executive manager of research for Rabobank Brazil, explained that the roads in rural areas of Brazil were of “poor quality.” By evening, the U.S. farmers and ranchers from the Midwest experienced first-hand just how…

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  • Curt Arens

    Are Rural Communities Ready for More Young Farmers?

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on March 25, 2014

    Happy National Agriculture Day everyone! Farmers and ranchers can take the day off. Just kidding. We all know that you seldom take a day off and that your work in feeding the world is not subject to weather, illness, family tragedy, economic hardship, ornery critters, cantankerous machinery or vacations. Agriculture is the 24/7 business of food and fiber production, and thanks to the great partnership between our hardworking farmers and ranchers and Mother Nature, citizens in our country can…

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  • Holly Spangler

    'People Don't Come To Me Because Everyone Is Happy'

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 25, 2014

    Ron Hanson said a lot of great things Friday at the Women in Agriculture conference, held in the Quad Cities. In short, his message boils down to this: parents need to make a plan and communicate the plan. A will is not enough. Among my favorite Ron Hanson quotes of the day: On wills and plans: "There is a difference between a will and a succession plan: a will says who gets what. A succession plan guarantees the farm will be there and everyone knows what happens next." On the…

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  • Don McCabe

    Anti-Livestock and Anti-Ag Movement Gaining Ground

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on March 24, 2014

    I don't think Nebraska farmers and ranchers fully appreciate the threat to their way of life by the growing animal rights industry in this country. The list of organizations opposing modern farming practices, and livestock production specifically, continues to grow and their message is gaining momentum and influence with consumers. They will affect how you farm and raise livestock. That's not to take anything away from the dedicated farm men and women who stand up and tell the story…

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  • Tom Bechman

    My Encounters With Farm Yard Varmints Reaches a New High

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on March 24, 2014

    Opossums, raccoons, you name it – they all like to take up residence at my place. I've chronicled my battles with big raccoons and wily opossums for months now in the "Front Porch" feature in Indiana Prairie Farmer. Those reports will continue occasionally, because the battle is not over. However, just a couple of days ago I finally broke into the scoring column, quite by accident. For several days I had noticed that after I put the dog up for the night in the garage…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Confessions of a Farm Wife: Vol. 6

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 24, 2014

    Confessions of a Farm Wife took a road trip last week! Emily Webel, DeAnna Thomas and I headed north to the Quad Cities for the Women in Agriculture conference, which was headlined by Dr. Ron Hanson of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Hanson is a farm family relationship specialist whose spent his career counseling farm families in crisis, and speaking to farm groups all over the country. He's spoken in Illinois at the Farm Progress Show and at the Illinois Farm Bureau Young…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Congratulations On A Job Well Done

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on March 23, 2014

    To encourage professional improvement and recognize outstanding effort by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists, the Iowa Agricultural Extension Association has a communications awards program each year for its members. These awards are presented at the annual meeting of IAEA on the ISU campus at Ames. Winners and categories they excelled in for 2013 were recognized at the recent March 2014 IAEA meeting. They are: Darbee Wellman, is the ag and natural resources field…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Combining Passion for Ag and Music

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on March 22, 2014

    They don't call it agri-culture for nothing. Anyone who has grown up around farming or spent any extended amount of time around it knows there is a culture all its own surrounding agriculture. Of course, music isn't exempt from this. While perusing online information on Kansas's Gypsum Hills, (this is what I do with my spare time) I found a self-described "ag rock" band whose singer/songwriter is from Medicine Lodge, a town in the Gyp Hills region in Barber County. Being…

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  • Mindy Ward

    March Madness, College And FFA

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on March 21, 2014

    It's that time of year--March Madness. So, what college are you rooting for? Better yet, what college is your child cheering for? Because after all, March Madness for parents with a senior in high school takes on a whole new meaning other than basketball. March is the time of year when students start narrowing their college choices. And my senior really needs to start pitting one college against another in an effort to decide which one will be named "The University." TORN…

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  • Mindy Ward

    Blogging Through Brazil

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on March 21, 2014

    When I tell people that tomorrow I am headed to Brazil, the first thing they ask is “business or pleasure?” For an ag journalist exploring another country to see how farmers raise crops and cattle is never work; it is always pleasure. I will be traveling with a group of Midwestern farmers as part of Rabo AgriFinance Brazil Tour. Our first stop will be Sao Paulo to learn about agribusiness in the country. Then it is off for six days of plane and bus rides to visit farms in western…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Spring Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 21, 2014

    It's supposed to be a glorious 67 degrees in central Illinois today and the people said Amen! With that, five things I've read this week that were both thought-provoking and share-worthy. General Mills Turns To 'Raja Of The Country Of World Peace' To Certify Its Costlier, Non-GMO Cheerios: This opinion piece from Forbes smartly and tightly dissects the unintended consequence when General Mills and Post slayed their flagship formulations of Cheerios and Post in favor of a…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Tax Time a Moment to Celebrate, Scream

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on March 20, 2014

    Taxes. April 15 can be another Halloween or a Christmas, depending on whether you are paying through the nose or getting a healthy refund. I haven't had a "refund" for so long I had to Google the meaning of the word. I mean, the government lives off of me, demanding I build new bridges, fight new wars and save more species. But it is still relative, the way taxes are viewed. I mean, since moving to Washington I have been able to avoid state income taxes like those I paid in…

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  • Jessica Lavicky

    Master Farmer Spirit Is In The Air

    The Daily Dig

     by Jessica Lavicky
     on March 19, 2014

    Wednesday I got the chance to sit in on the 2014 Iowa Master Farmer Awards luncheon presented by Wallaces Farmer. This will mark my 3rd year in attendance of an event that is dated back to the 1920s. This year's guest speaker for the luncheon was Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey. The class of 2014 features Phyllis and Roy Bardole from Rippey; Brian and Cindy Kemp from Sibley; Ann and Marlyn Jorgensen from Garrison; and Gene and Marita Rouse from Huxley. This year's…

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  • Curt Arens

    Young Producers are Key to Building Livestock Production

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on March 18, 2014

    Nebraska may be number one in the country at feeding cattle, but it is no secret that the national cow herd has been declining in recent years. The pork and dairy industries have plenty of room to grow as well. Having attended state pork and dairy meetings in the last couple of weeks, I know that producers are anxious to bring new farmers into the fold and grow their herds too. Potential is abundant in these three livestock industries in the state, and the sheep and goat producers would say…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Equipment Sales Stick to Trend

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on March 18, 2014

    It's fun to watch statistics, to see how sales are shaping up. I'm sure livestock producers reading this are enjoying the direction of market states these days for hog and beef prices (provided you have animals to sell). Grain price stats are a little more sobering and given that a lot of analysts are watching equipment sales. The latest report on February numbers released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers last week look pretty good in the face of a market where a lot of…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Consumers' Ag and Food Education Starts With You

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on March 17, 2014

    You are surrounded. It's a big battle, and opposing forces have you cornered on all sides. Is there any possible way to squirm free and salvage your day? Yes. You must disarm your opponent. What does this have to do with agriculture? The person who's surrounded is a farmer. There are 1,000 non-farmers for every one of you – a farmer on a commercial scale. A few of them will oppose you no matter what you do. These are the activists which seem almost militant at times. However, the…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Really, Really Clinging to Spring

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 17, 2014

    I am writing this on Sunday evening and it snowed today. On March 16. Not just a few flurries but actual blowing, heavy snow. It didn't amount to more than an inch but it was miserable going into church this morning. It was apparently a great day fro a calf to be born, because we had four. My husband was leading worship at church this morning and the best thing he could say about it was how nice it was to be warm inside with our church family. Way to make the best of it…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Source, Friend, Mentor Lost to Cancer

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on March 17, 2014

    Almost everyone knows someone who helped them along the way without expecting anything in return – who just enjoyed teaching someone about what they do. For me, there have been many of those people. But one of the ones that I revered most, Capp Proffit, manager of  Barton County Feeders at Great Bend, died on Monday. Capp had been fighting cancer for months and had been away from work off and on for treatments. I prefer not to think about the months since last fall when he became…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Iowan Norman Borlaug To Be Enshrined In U.S. Capitol

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on March 14, 2014

    Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will join a group of Iowans on March 25 in Washington, D.C. for the official unveiling of the Norman Borlaug sculpture in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. "We'll have the entire Iowa Congressional delegation present along with students, teachers, business leaders and others," says World Food Prize Foundation President Kenneth Quinn, who appeared with Branstad at a recent press conference at the State Capitol in Des Moines to make the announcement. The…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Global Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 14, 2014

    Well, if this isn't a mish-mash of topics, I'm not sure what is. We've got everything from an agricultural editor report straight from Ukraine to the results of a historically-anti-biotech magazine sending a writer to research GMOs. And it's mostly good news, at least on the biotech item. Plus a couple more items that you'll want to take a look at, too. Regardless, here are five links that are worth the read on your Friday. War is Just a Shot Away: This piece was written by…

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  • Mike and Sheilah Reskovac

    An In-house Farm Tax Doer: An Extra Perk Of Married Life

    Two Hearts, One Harvest

     by Mike and Sheilah Reskovac
     on March 13, 2014

    Back in the days before I met Sheilah, I really dreaded farm tax season. Okay, I still do, but for a different reason. I never had the best filing system. Most of my receipts ended up in the console or the floor of my pickup. What made it into the house wound up in some unmarked folder hidden a bunch of other folders. Every April – yes, April – (I'd put them off for as long as possible) rolled around, I'd search of my receipts. I'd spend uncountable hours looking for…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Top 10 Facts About Biotech Crops

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 12, 2014

    Occasionally, tidbits of info cross my desk and I think to myself: well, there's something to save. Like this list. It's a roundup of the top 10 facts about biotech crops, as reported in a new article by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, a very reliable international group that's tracked biotech crops for years. Sidenote: are you on Pinterest? In the last few months, I've started a Pinterest board to keep track of some of these bits of…

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  • Tim White

    Call It The 7 Rs

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on March 12, 2014

    It was my pleasure to present the 2014 Ohio Master Farmers Awards at the Conservation Tillage Conference in Ada last week. I appreciate the organizers of the conference giving me a segment of the program to honor these important leaders. It was certainly appropriate that the awards were made at a meeting where much mention was made of the 4 Rs. That of course refers to the key principles of nutrient management that have been pounded into farmers and suppliers heads in recent months, the right…

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  • Frank Holdmeyer

    It's Master Farmer Season

    The Bigger Picture

     by Frank Holdmeyer
     on March 11, 2014

    The Master Farmer Award was started by former Prairie Farmer editor Clifford Gregory in 1925 as a way to recognize the finest farmers in both Illinois and Indiana. Other states soon followed. Henry A. Wallace, editor of Wallaces Farmer, initiated the program in Iowa in 1926; Kansas Farmer brought it online in 1927 and so on. Farm Progress Publications currently sponsors Master Farmer awards programs in North and South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Life Is Not For The Faint Of Heart

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on March 11, 2014

    Death. It comes and steals our loved ones from us. Just heard from a dear friend and former editor who sent a quick email that his son had passed suddenly, without warning, in the night in his bed. He was a grown man working for several years with lots of friends. Then, when he failed to show for an appointment, they checked his apartment and found him there. The note from his father, my good friend of many years, was short and poignant. I can imagine him sitting there writing it. My only…

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  • Fran O

    Dairy Provision in New Farm Bill May Prove Costly

    Badger View

     by Fran O'Leary
     on March 11, 2014

    After four years of hearings, lots of handwringing and closed-door meetings, a new five-year farm bill has finally been signed into law.  How does the new farm bill impact dairy farmers? The farm bill replaces the Milk Income Loss Contract and Dairy Price Support programs with a new Margin Protection Program. National  Milk  Producers  Federation put  together  a  summary  of  the  farm bill  dairy  provisions. The Margin Protection…

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  • Don McCabe

    Use Your '40 Chances' To Help Feed The World

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on March 11, 2014

    In mid-February, I attended a national conference in Omaha on the fast-paced adoption of cover crops across the United States. Leading conservationists and farmer panelists presented useful information on the benefits of better soil health and sustainability through cover crops. The highlight of the conference, for me, was a presentation by Howard G. Buffett, Illinois farmer, author, photographer and manager of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, a private charitable foundation. The foundation…

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  • Curt Arens

    Test Farm Production Questions Yourself

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on March 11, 2014

    This week, University of Nebraska Extension experts conducted two on-farm research workshops, discussing what can be learned from on-farm trials going on across the state. One of the key lines from a presentation was, “In production agriculture, it’s what you think you know, that you really don’t know, that can hurt you.” We are fortunate to have literally thousands of trials ongoing, testing products and procedures in crops and livestock production every year…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Who Will Protect Agriculture From All The Land Mines?

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on March 10, 2014

    Imagine farming was a game. There are farming games and a farming version of Monopoly, but I'm envisioning my own version. You leave the starting gate this time every year, ready to plant, grow a crop, harvest, pay bills and move to the next year. Along the way there are obstacles in your path – potholes, if you will. Things like wet weather, pesky weeds, a hail storm, a blown tractor engine, you know the drill. Yet somehow you make it to the end and live to farm another…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Looking On The Bright Side Of Lower Prices

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 10, 2014

    David Gillen, a White Lake, S.D., farmers sends his landlord and others regular updates on what’s happening on his farm. His latest crop report, was pretty interesting – especially he talked about the tough year that was coming up. Here’s an excerpt: “The 2014 corn crop will start to be seeded in about 2.5 months. We have the seed, fertilizer and weed control chemical already lined up and will be spreading fertilizer the end of this month. “The high input costs…

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  • John Vogel

    Help! We're Overrun By Wanna-be Farm Regulators -- Parasites!

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on March 8, 2014

    Before heading home for supper the other night, my phone jingled with a call from Broken Bow, Neb. And I had a long friendly discussion with a Corn Husker about how farmers are being over-run by wanna-be regulators. And I thought to myself: “Golly whiz, I oughta blog about this!” So here it is. He thanked Farm Progress for Harold Harpster’s straight-up analyses of "UN still shadows animal ag" and "Sustainable livestock – or else!" That led to a far…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Misguided Intentions

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 7, 2014

    If there's a theme to this week's links, it's the idea that which seems like a good idea, sometimes isn't. Or in the case of these organizations, often isn't. Like selfies for HSUS. Or Chipotle, the burrito chain that continues to make news, this time in the business press for their lack of sustainability reporting. Some young men in Kansas try to make sense of Chipotle's business model. And I continue to ponder one of the greatest questions I've heard all week…

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  • Josh Flint

    Chipotle's Food Is Bad

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on March 7, 2014

    I’ve been slow to jump on the Chipotle-shaming bandwagon. My apologies. Numerous ag blogs have focused on the burrito shop’s Farmed and Dangerous ad campaign. If you’ve been living under a rock, the campaign is yet another attempt to create a distinct line in the sand between evil corporate farmers and altruistic organic/sustainable/local/(insert buzzword) farmers. In my experience covering Illinois ag, the farmers raising meat for big companies like Tyson Foods and Cargill…

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  • Jessica Lavicky

    Meet Harold, Helen and Maria

    The Daily Dig

     by Jessica Lavicky
     on March 6, 2014

    This past February, I packed my bags and escaped the cold snowy days of winter in the Midwest for four days in balmy Syracuse, New York. It was not quite my idea of a vacation destination place, but it was just what I needed for the time. What made head to Syracuse was not just for the "Northeast's Premiere Indoor Farm Show" otherwise known as the New York Farm Show - but it was also a time to mingle and catch up with some of my favorite exhibitors, show staff and farmers. Okay…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    How Chicken Beat Beef And Pork

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 6, 2014

    I just can’t seem to get the book about Tyson Foods out of my head. “The Meat Racket – the Secret Takeover of America’s Food Business,” is an anecdote-filled book by agribusiness reporter Christopher Leonard about the evils of contract chicken and hog farming. I’m not really buying the premise. There are plenty of local examples of younger farmers enjoying success with the newer, more fair methods of contract growing today. But I’m captivated with…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    What I Love About Traveling

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on March 5, 2014

    Heading to Denver and the airlines calls before I leave home and says the flight will be delayed for two hours, but that the plane could actually leave earlier. That means I get to sit listening to my MP3 player and messing with my iPad for who knows how long as the plane decides my fate. Not a comfortable way to start a trip, yet I am steeled to the vagaries of travel and get kicks out of watching others. One of my pet ways to keep busy is to eavesdrop on people complaining about late…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Cattlemen Share Experiences This Past Winter

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on March 5, 2014

    Only in the Midwest can we go from 50 degrees one day to single digits the next. This weekend didn't bring the onslaught of snow the Kansas City area expected, but enough cold and snow to kill my motivation to run and keep me indoors – I'll take the dreaded treadmill before I brave the weather outside. This winter has been undeniably rough, and cattlemen throughout the U.S. have had their hands full. With temperatures dropping to the single and even negative digits in many parts…

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  • Jennifer Vincent

    Playing Catch-Up With Family And State Needs

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Vincent
     on March 4, 2014

    Having a little extra money is a good problem to have. In my household, after several years of belt tightening, there might be a little extra, which spurred plenty of discussion about home and yard improvements. Twice this winter the furnace, which is a 60-year-old boiler, left us heatless. To be honest, it's a wonder it didn't happen sooner… maintenance on the old beast has been scarce. Ignoring it seemed easier and cheaper than dealing with it – at least at first. Hubby…

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  • Paula Mohr

    Who Knew About MDA's Advisory Committee Filing Deadline?

    Northstar Notes

     by Paula Mohr
     on March 4, 2014

    In its February notice of board and committees vacancies, the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State posted that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture was seeking applicants for the 15-member Agricultural Water Quality Certification Advisory Committee. The term for the first committee that helped launch the state’s new ag water quality certification pilot program is ending later this spring. Application forms were available online and had to be submitted by February 25. I learned…

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  • Curt Arens

    Cover Crop Reflections

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on March 4, 2014

    I attended one of the broadcast locations at the NRD office in Norfolk of the opening forum of the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health that took place in Omaha in February. As I sat there, taking in testimonials from farmers and policy makers about the benefits of cover crops to soil health, I couldn’t help but remind myself that this is not something we’ve discovered recently. It is an ancient idea. In ancient China and India and in early Roman times, bell beans…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Fighting Words About Farming

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 3, 2014

    Here are 61 words that might make you fighting mad: “Farming is immensely profitable. The agriculture sector is one of the richest, most productive money making machines in American life. After all, a lot of the business simply involves sitting around and letting plants grow and letting animals get fat. Mother Nature does the heavy lifting. Then the farmer harvests the plants, kills and animals and watches the money roll in.” That’s from agribusiness reporter Christopher…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Big Boys and Their Toys: Farm Toy Show Quickens the Heart Rate

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on March 3, 2014

    Farm toy show? Where? When? I can't wait! If you have this reaction, you're hooked on farm toy collecting. If your wife isn't, it can make for some interesting discussions. If it sounds like I'm talking from experience, that's because I am. I caught the farm toy bug quite by accident. I went to a top flight auction held locally on New Year's Day many years ago, and my jaws dropped when someone paid $1,000 for a collection of three small New Idea toys form the '50s…

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  • Mindy Ward

    Animal Activists, Leave My Kid Alone

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on February 28, 2014

    Yes, I monitor my daughter’s Facebook account. And today, I am not pleased at the level animal activists, more specifically the vegan community, will go to cajole young teens into their lifestyle. As I scroll through her newsfeed, I run across one of those “Like this page” requests. Its icon is a cute little cartoon pig. Its Facebook page name is “SaveFarmAnimals.” Its category is education. So, I click through. What I find is a page that has a photo of a kitten…

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  • Curt Arens

    Out on a Limb: Tips for Proper Tree Pruning

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on February 28, 2014

    In this special Out on a Limb blog entry, I will address a few tips on proper pruning techniques. At one of the UNL tree care workshops I’ve attended over the years, I have heard foresters say many times that the best time to prune a tree is when you have time to do it. In other words, prune whenever it is convenient, and your saw is sharp. However, the actual best time for most broadleaf trees is in winter or early spring, before the trees display buds. So, that time is drawing near…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Your Comments Are Wanted On New GMO Seeds

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on February 28, 2014

    USDA on February 24, 2014 announced it is extending the public comment period until March 11 on whether to allow the sale of corn and soybean seeds that are part of a new weed control system from Dow AgroSciences. The new seeds are genetically engineered to resist both glyphosate herbicide and 2,4-D. Officials of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service say the extension is provided in response to stakeholder requests for additional time to gather public input. In early January…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Watch, Don't Read

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on February 28, 2014

    Live from the 2014 Commodity Classic, a short list of videos that are worth the watch. Take a look! Farmland: Remember Food, Inc? King Corn? Chipotle and their series? Farmland is agriculture's answer to the documentaries that have cast the industry in a certain (dark) light. Funded by USFRA and directed by Academy-Award-winning director James Moll, Farmland is set to be released later this spring. In the meantime, this link takes you to a trailer for the movie. And it's…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Repetitive TV Commercials, Snowbells & Little Sounds

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on February 28, 2014

    I tried so danged hard to watch the Olympics to the awards ceremonies each night, but by 10:30 or so, the incessantly repeated commercials – doubled up as the end of the show approached – put me to sleep in my recliner. I would think advertisers might be embarrassed at the barrage of unchanging spots they produce each night. By the time I have watched one of them a half dozen times, I actually cringe when it comes back again. Is that good advertising, or do some people promise…

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  • Don McCabe

    A Network That Works For Irrigators

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on February 27, 2014

    Neighboring farmers have worked together for years. They not only have helped each other out, but they've worked on projects with Extension educators, crop consultants and company reps. Today, we call that "partnering." One of the best partnerships I've seen in this state in some time is the Nebraska Agricultural Water Management Network. It's impressive what this irrigation network, in existence since 2005, has done and what it will do in the future in the area of more…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Blizzard Surprise

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on February 26, 2014

    Ten minutes ago I walked out to the mailbox and the sky was blue, the sun was shining through bright white clouds and there was only a little snow drifting across the highway. Now, the farmstead is socked in. I can’t see much further than the barn, which is a few hundred feet from the house. Beyond it, the world dissolves into white. Had I lived out here in the Red River Valley 125 years ago, I probably wouldn’t have survived the Children’s Blizzard that hit in a similar…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Supporting Rural Kansas Is Marci Penner's Mission

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on February 26, 2014

    If any of you out there haven’t heard of the amazing work done by the Kansas Sampler Foundation, consider this your invitation to learn. The Kansas Sampler Foundation is perhaps the best example of grassroots activism and community service in the whole country and its co-founder, Marci Penner has my vote year in and year for “Person of the Year” in Kansas. The Foundation has a mission to support and promote rural Kansas communities and help them thrive. It is the force…

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  • Curt Arens

    Opportunities Raising Pigs

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on February 25, 2014

    There was a time, not that long ago, when nearly every farm in our neighborhood raised pigs. We all had a few sows and either sold feeder pigs or finished out what we raised. This was only 15 years ago. Times have changed. It’s tough these days to be raising pigs, but the fact is, there are great opportunities down the road. At the Nebraska Pork Producers Association Pork Industry Day in Norfolk last week, every producer I talked with was concerned deeply about PED virus. Mike…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Looking Back, and Ahead at Ag Equipment

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on February 25, 2014

    Here's a short apology loyal reader - sorry. Conferences and shows and duties have limited my ability to blog lately and I'll work to get back on track in the coming weeks. From winter meetings to big events an ag journalist's time can be in short supply, yet there are pages to fill and websites to populate. All to help keep you informed. The past few weeks have been interesting. The National Farm Machinery Show was filled with plenty of new products and information. From faster…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Hey, Remember Home Ec?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on February 25, 2014

    Last Friday, I sat through a USFRA Food Dialogues panel, where they were asking and answering the question, "Who is shaping America's nutrition choices?" They talked about media and commercials. They talked about food production, specifically land, water and energy. They talked about our crazy-busy lifestyle and processed foods. They talked about a knowledge gap in food production, and about dieticians. And I had a crazy thought: what about the fact that (a lot of) Americans…

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  • Josh Flint

    Here's the Big Reason Blender Pumps Haven't Caught On

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on February 25, 2014

    A week after the National Ethanol Conference wrapped up in Orlando, I keep coming back to two things. First, it was 80 degrees F down there! It was still in the 50s when I flew back to St. Louis. And, now it’s back to winter. I think most everyone will agree – spring can’t get here soon enough.  The second thing is this little fact. The average fuel station proprietor only makes a 3-cent-per-gallon profit on gas. That means on an average fuel transaction, the proprietor…

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