• John Vogel

    Farmers Are First-line Environmental Defenders

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on June 25, 2011

     July's American Agriculturist issue will be in most mailboxes early this coming week – if they haven't already arrived. Inside, we've begun addressing the conflict of interest that drives non-profit environmental advocacy groups to thrive. Unfortunately, these biases trickle all the way up to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Then it flows down to the farm and agribusinesses in the form of more regulations and more paperwork – and still more jobs to be funded by tax…

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  • John Vogel

    When Things Pile Up . . .

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on June 22, 2011

      Stress sort of creeps up on you from behind, like those extra pounds we suddenly realize we're saddled with. Demands for your time tend to creep up, especially if you're farming. There are always animals to be fed, equipment to be fixed, weeds to cut, crops to be scouted or harvested, and that list goes on and on. Then there's your "Honey do" and "Daddy do" lists. And your own "Oughta do" and "Want to do" lists are always in the back of your mind. I have a rule that works – most…

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  • John Vogel

    Now Comes 'Prayer Time' For Your Crops

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on June 16, 2011

    A couple weeks ago, I was commiserating with a cattleman about the weather. (He couldn't grumble about cattle prices.) He mentioned exactly what I was wondering: "Now that we've had monsoon weather all spring, is it going to turn off dry this summer?" We can certainly remember seasons when Mother Nature abruptly turned off her spigot. But isn't that just because those years hit us harder? Maybe not. Recently, I received a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration rainfall history grid…

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  • John Vogel

    The Perfect 'Bug' Storm

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on June 7, 2011

      We're finally into the growing season where corn product companies are looking for every prime example of their product's superiority. And when they find one, they can't wait to tell the world about it. Last week, after an urgent email invite, I pulled into the ditch along a well-traveled highway to check out a corn plot gone wrong – or right, depending on who's looking at it. Remember, nobody wants the neighbors or anyone to see a disaster next to a road where everybody can see…

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