• John Vogel

    Taking This Farm Death Personally

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on May 28, 2011

      It seems strange, yet fitting, to be writing this on Memorial Day weekend. This morning, I spotted a “Happy Memorial Day” sign, and it hit me wrong. A week ago yesterday, Richard Fesko’s family found him in a dairy manure pit – overcome and claimed by deadly gases. That day, the dairy farmer from Spafford, N.Y., joined the long fatality list that makes agriculture one of America’s most hazardous industries. Fortunately, no one else also fell victim to the…

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  • John Vogel

    It's Been A Heckuva Spring!

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on May 20, 2011

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

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  • John Vogel

    Prices Make Burn-down Cover Crops Passé

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on May 12, 2011

      It must be the "old farmer" still in me: I hate to see farmers seeding the land during fall, only to burn down a decent cereal crop stand with herbicide in early spring. Maryland farmers get paid well for it, and that helps. But in these peak commodity price times, how can you economically justify not harvesting a valuable grain or silage crop from that cover crop land? That's the issue you must wrestle with before you finish fall harvest. Before then, you'll really need to…

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  • John Vogel

    'Hello, I'm From The Inquirer, And Have Questions

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on May 6, 2011

      Little more than a week ago, a writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer emailed then called with questions about the Mid-Atlantic Master Farmer program. She was nice enough, and appeared to be on a legitimate fact-finding mission rather than an investigative journalism crusade. After visiting Walt and Ellen Moore at WalMoore Farms in Chester County, Pa., she had many questions about how Master Farmers are selected and what was exceptional about this farm. That didn't seem too hard. But…

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