• Curt Arens

    The Aftermath of the Great Flood

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on September 30, 2011

    I was in awe. I'm not sure there are any other words to describe my feeling. It was a feeling of sadness, shock and complete respect and empathy for the flooded farmers who live and operate along the Missouri River this summer. Walking out onto what looked like a desert landscape, covering acres and acres of what was once fertile crop ground, I was amazed and upset at the same time. Scott Olson, who farms with his brother, Randy along the bottom land north of Tekamah, took me for a ride in…

    Continue Reading


  • Willie Vogt

    Pushing Technology to Sell RTK

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on September 30, 2011

    Getting access to RTK-level GPS services is going to get easier - at least in the region covered by the MyWay RTK group. Based in Effingham, Ill., the organization - formed by a group of precision ag players - is offering a new service MyWayXchange. The system is designed to help service resellers better service customers. According to a release from the organization, the online tool will connect resellers and customers in real time by providing live information about customers and base…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Helping Animal Agriculture Grow Is Mission of the Day

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on September 28, 2011

    Gov. Sam Brownback sees animal agriculture being pushed out of other parts of the country and he has one message for those producers: Come on to Kansas. In remarks opening an Economic Summit on Animal Agriculture in Garden City, Brownback said that Kansas has unique advantages that will help animal agriculture already here succeed and attract more of it to the state. Brownback said Kansas beef is already a world-renowned success story and he'd like to see more hogs, more poultry and more…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    Farm Families Still Work Together

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 28, 2011

    After church Sunday, we had lunch with a handful of friends, including both a widow lady in her late 80s and a couple in their early 90s. The older gentleman told my 6-year-old that he'd heard from his grandpa that "Nathan likes the tractors," which prompted a handful of stories of how the gentleman used to pick corn by hand as a young man, sometimes harvesting as much as 90 or 100 bushels a day. He told how they used to pile it in wagons, and then they had to shovel it up and into the corn…

    Continue Reading


  • Josh Flint

    What Do You Listen To In the Combine?

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on September 27, 2011

    I’ve got a bit of a confession to make. I’m a music nut. What type, you ask. Anything and everything. Right now, I’m listening to Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May.” As I culled through my e-mail, I’ve listened to The Statler Brothers, Nirvana, Brett Dennen and Jackson Browne. About a month ago, I gave up on the idea of “owning” the music I enjoy. It was getting expensive, even at 99 cents a song. Plus, it’s a hassle to load it onto…

    Continue Reading


  • Tim White

    Farm Science Synopsis

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on September 27, 2011

    Farm Science was a blur again this year -- from writing October copy while setting up the Ohio Farmer displays to honoring the Conservation Farm Families while proofing the magazine’s final pages all the while  saying, “Hello…” to so many friends from the farming community. It was a fast three days. The event left me with an overall impression of enthusiasm. Farmers were eager to see what new equipment was being offered, and sales people were excited by the…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    Ready to Roll

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 26, 2011

    Crazy-busy though it is, fall is, bar none, my favorite season. Love the weather, love the colors, love the harvest, love it all. Love, love, love. This past Saturday morning, I looked out the window and saw this.   I went out in my pajamas and commenced to taking pictures. My husband didn't even question this. I don't know what that means. Maybe he's used to it. Maybe after 13 years, nothing surprises him. Maybe he would've been more surprised if, after seeing such a…

    Continue Reading


  • Tom Bechman

    Computer Geniuses, Simple Math Idiots

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on September 26, 2011

    Education is in the eye of the beholder. What are taxpayers getting for dollars invested in public education, and what are parents getting for dollars invested in higher educations? From experiences with my own kids and from volunteering to work with kids though youth groups and judging teams, it appears we've raised a generation which can text, run Facebook, pull up answers to weather questions or almost any trivia on their 'smart phones' in a matter of seconds. What they can't do is figure…

    Continue Reading


  • Lon Tonneson

    What That Weed?

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on September 26, 2011

    Jeff Stachler, NDSU and U of M Extension weed specialist, walked around Peterson Seed Farms field day Harwood, N.D., the other day with a four foot tall weed that drew a lot of attention. It was a waterhemp, one he suspected that was resistant to glyphosate. He had pulled it from a soybean field, where it was sticking up through the canopy like a Christmas tree. Because he could see dead waterhemp next to it, he doubted it if his specimen (a female waterhemp, he said) was a late…

    Continue Reading


  • Willie Vogt

    Sorry I Have to Say This

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on September 23, 2011

    Even as September winds down it's a good idea to remember that this is Farm Safety Month, and while I wish I didn't have to say what I have to say…I do. Based on Twitter chatter and other sources, there's been a rise in deaths around grain bins. That's probably due to the fact that people are emptying out bins more than ever before to move grain in this hot market. But slowing down and being more careful is critical. As we go into the heat of harvest in the Midwest and parts north…

    Continue Reading


  • Curt Arens

    Hometown Service with a Smile

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on September 22, 2011

    Several years ago, I was combining soybeans early one afternoon and a rock about the size of my fist bounced into the header, doing a fair amount of damage. I only had about five acres of beans left to harvest, but a big snow storm was coming up fast and predicted to hit late the next day. Needless to say, I was wishing for better luck when this happened. I called my local dealership, and they told me to drive the combine into town and they would take a look at it. This came as everyone was…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    ADAP: Clear as Mud, Part Deux

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 22, 2011

    So earlier this week, Bill Graff – Illinois farmer, blogger and former head of Illinois FSA – offered his thoughts on NCGA's proposed farm program, the Agricultural Disaster Assistance Program, or ADAP. Yesterday, he contrasted ADAP and ACRE. Today, further thoughts on the whole shebang. Take it away, Bill… Bill: Crop Insurance is very good for risk management as long as your spring price is OK. If we have a huge drop in commodity prices then crop insurance is not so…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    ADAP, ACRE, FSA: Clear as Mud?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 20, 2011

    A couple weeks ago, NCGA rolled out their farm program proposal: ADAP, or Agricultural Disaster Assistance Program. Like every other government program, it has its ins and outs and will undoubtedly work better for some than for others. To help dissect the proposal, I asked Bill Graff - an Illinois farmer who spent nearly 8 years as head of Illinois FSA, administering such programs – for his take on it. As he says, "do not go out and buy a farm based on what I think may or may not…

    Continue Reading


  • Tom Bechman

    Rains Still Fickle in Dry Areas

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on September 20, 2011

    If you don't live in the epicenter of the Indiana drought, anywhere in central Indiana, especially in Morgan, Johnson and Shelby Counties, this may seem a little strange. But to one who lives there, not even the darkest of clouds and best of chances of rain have produced more than a quarter of an inch in quite some time. My friend on the phone was all excited last Wednesday evening. He was sure it would rain all night. "It's the best chance in terms of looks for Trafalgar for quite some time…

    Continue Reading


  • John Vogel

    You'll Choke At Your Next Health Checkup

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on September 19, 2011

     At my usual "when I get around to it" health care checkup, I sat on the exam table with the breeze blowing at my backside. "It's been awhile since you've been here," Doc commented. Nodding my head in the affirmative, I replied, "Yep, you've got all you can handle with sick people. I'd be just wasting your time and my money by coming in annually." Grabbing his mini-laptop, he began with a foreboding tone, "Maybe you should sit in the chair while we go over a few questions." Since the…

    Continue Reading


  • Lon Tonneson

    Big Draw At Big Iron

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on September 19, 2011

    One of the biggest draws at the recent Big Iron Show in West Fargo, N.D., was the New Holland SmartTrax display. SmartTrax is the new track option for New Holland’s T9.615 and T9.670 4WD tractors. While I was at the exhibit, there were always 8-10 people there checking futuristic track system. (It tracks look like they should go on a tank, not a tractor.)  A couple of the people were even from other implement dealerships. “I’ve never talked some much about a…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    This Is What 'Instability' Looks Like

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on September 19, 2011

    From April to June, Kansans get used to terms to like "Mammatus" and "Cumulus" and "Towering Cumulus." And we tend to forget that the change of season between summer and fall can sometimes be as turbulent as that between spring and summer. Not usually -- as documented by the prime tornado season of April to June -- but frequently enough to remind us that we live under an unstable atmosphere. At about dusk, with a tornado watch in effect and warning boxes lighting up the weather map to…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    Are Farm Kids Dishonest Millennials?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 17, 2011

    There’s been an interesting conversation floating around on social media this past week, revolving mostly around a blog by my Beef Producer colleague, Alan Newport. Read it for yourself here, but Alan essentially recounts a seminar by management consultant Don Tyler, in which he talks about the state of our work force, particularly those youngest workers of the Millennial generation. Alan - who, if you could hear him, would hear him say it in his loveliest Oklahoma drawl - came away…

    Continue Reading


  • Josh Flint

    Consumers Are Wrong: We Do Have an Obligation To Feed the World

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on September 15, 2011

    The Center for Food Integrity released a study this week that shows just how far removed consumers are from the farm. According to the survey, 40% of consumers strongly disagreed with the statement “The United State has a responsibility to provide food for the rest of the world.” Instead, more than half agreed with a statement that said we should concentrate on teaching developing nations how to feed themselves, rather than export food to them. There are two very important…

    Continue Reading


  • Willie Vogt

    Machinery Sales May be Level with Record 2010

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on September 15, 2011

    Being a farm equipment dealer is no easy job figuring out what inventory - parts or wholegoods to have on hand - training a staff in the face of fast-changing technology and just keeping up with farm years that have been anything but normal in the past decade. But projected record net farm income has the industry holding its breath for a strong fourth quarter to finish 2011. Machinery Analyst Henry Kirn, UBS Investment Research, notes that his visits to dealers recently turned up some…

    Continue Reading


  • Curt Arens

    Second Thoughts - Day 2 - Husker Harvest Days

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on September 14, 2011

    Thoughts from Day Two at Husker Harvest Days. Big crowds ignored early forecasts of rain and cold and turned out in huge numbers for Day Two at Husker Harvest Days. The grounds on Wednesday were filled with farmers from across the region, as well as large numbers of youth. It was a great atmosphere of farmers seeking out new technology, new machinery and new systems in their quest to raise food and fiber for our country and feed their own families at the same time. In…

    Continue Reading


  • Curt Arens

    Husker Harvest Days - Day 1 - First Impressions

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on September 14, 2011

    Day One Impressions Ten years ago, on Sept. 11, 2001, Husker Harvest Days was taking place in Grand Island. Lexington veterinarian, Dr. Joe Jeffrey, remembers that day well. Dr. Joe has been narrating and entertaining Husker Harvest Days visitors for decades at the cattle handling demonstrations. Yesterday, as part of the handling demos at the 2011 version of Husker Harvest Days, Dr. Joe was reflective. He recalled that the 10 a.m. cattle handling demo in 2001 was pretty somber. There was…

    Continue Reading


  • Tom Bechman

    Any Day Can Be Mother's Day

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on September 13, 2011

    It's great to have one day a year when mothers get special recognition. But the reality is that mothers ought to be thanked for all they do every day, by each of their offspring and by their spouse. They do lots of physical work behind the scenes that most children, especially boys, take for granted. But they do much more than that- they provide the glue that cements the family together. My mother passed away one week ago. That's why mothers are on my mind. She lived a long life, of 90 plus…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    It'a Husker Harvest Days

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on September 12, 2011

    If you're going to be at Husker Harvest Days keep an eye out for me. I plan to be at the show until about noon on Thursday. Driving up today, it sure was wonderful to leave behind the "desert zone" and drive through some country where the soybeans have pods (even beans in them, I stopped and checked) and the corn stalks are blessed with ears. North of Salina looks pretty good and Nebraska is a garden. I just felt encouraged to see green. Wichita pushed hard against the 100-degree mark…

    Continue Reading


  • John Vogel

    To Counter 'Opponents', Join 'Em

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on September 12, 2011

    As a young man, I tended to join the political party I wanted to vote against in the coming presidential race. That way, I could vote for the weakest candidates in the primary. Follow that logic? Today, it's even more important to be aware of what environmental and animal welfare zealots are up to. One of the best ways is to get on their emailing lists. I've been on the Environmental Defense Action Fund's email list – the hairy legislative arm of the Environmental Defense Fund. And, I…

    Continue Reading


  • Curt Arens

    Don't Forget the HHD Food Drive

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on September 11, 2011

    Before you leave home for Husker Harvest Days, don't forget to pack non-perishable food items to donate at the show entrances. A few years back, when I was working with high school-aged youth at our church, we collected canned and non-perishable food items for our county food pantry around Thanksgiving time. The teens involved in the group were not well-to-do, but they had never known what it was like to actually be "hungry." And, when we delivered the food we had collected to the church…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Heads Up, Precision Ag Advocates: You Need to Stay on Top of This One

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on September 9, 2011

    On Wednesday, LightSquared, backed by Philip Falcone's Harbinger Capital Partner's hedge fund, gave a new proposal to the FCC that offered to tweak its towers so their signals would not interfere with GPS devices. Ahem, some GPS devices. Dale Leibach, spokesman for the Coalition to Save Our GPS said the offer was a positive step toward reduced interference for some devices. The kicker, however: "It still leaves a huge gap because it does not claim to solve interference to high-precision…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    Prairie Pictures

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 8, 2011

    I sat in on a book presentation a couple years ago by Larry Kanfer, a Champaign-based photographer who published a book on Barns of Illinois. Kanfer was originally from the northern pacific coast area but has lived in Illinois for most of his professional life. He spoke about the difference in shooting soaring mountains and dramatic coastlines out west, compared to the quiet prairies of Illinois. He talked about serendipity in photography and how serendipity is what makes a picture interesting…

    Continue Reading


  • Tim White

    The End of Era

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on September 7, 2011

    Books are heavy. Especially the books that contain bound volumes of a publication the size of the Ohio Farmer. For the last 166 years essentially every copy of the magazine has been stacked on shelves in the offices of the editor. This morning that ended. David Grubb and Jeff Sholl with the Ohio Department of Agriculture helped me box and load the magazine’s bound volumes into a van to take them to the ODA library. We didn’t count the volumes. There were more than 20 big boxes and…

    Continue Reading


  • Willie Vogt

    Borrowing a Page from the Auto Industry

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on September 7, 2011

    My favorite question, asked by reporter and farmer alike, when it comes to new equipment is "what does it cost?" It's easy to get a ballpark figure, but for several months now Agco has actually been making hay with websites that farmers can use to get a pretty good idea what a machine will cost before they drive onto the dealer's lot. This week, the company is adding the Fendt tractor line to the family of build and quote products launched earlier this year. For this top-end line of…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Just in Time for Official Summer's End: Cooler Weather

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on September 6, 2011

    Nobody was happier than the Griekspoor-Dewhirst-Goerzen clan to see the end of this summer's horrific, record-setting heat wave, just in time for perfect picnic weather on Labor Day. I have to admit, I wasn't enthusiastic going into the annual "last cookout" that's traditional around our house for Labor Day weekend. But when I saw the forecast for "sunny and a high of 77" my anticipation shot through the roof. And we got what was advertised -- a perfect day for the kids to ride bikes…

    Continue Reading


  • Tom Bechman

    OK, Enough with the Heat Already!

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on September 6, 2011

    For someone who physically can't stand heat, this has been a brutal summer. I've been too hot by clinical standards twice in my life, and I've pushed the limit on more than one occasion this summer. For someone who loves summer that only has a few days of 90 degrees or above, this has been a nightmare. Within this nightmare came the county fair. It was so hot that anyone who sponsored fairs the third week of July should probably be accused of adult human abuse. The animals were much better…

    Continue Reading


  • John Vogel

    What Would You Call A Cucurbit Expert?

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on September 2, 2011

      I suppose some people think farm magazine editors know everything. Let me assure you, I know I don't. And, the older I get, the less I know, and the quicker I'll say so. This week, I didn't have an answer for an email query zinging all the way across the country from the "land of fruits and nuts" – yes, California. I have no idea how the Merisa Camacho (nice lady) found me. But I always try to find somebody smart enough to have the answer. Her question? "I'm a Kindergarten…

    Continue Reading