• Tom Bechman

    Standing on Other Side of Auction Ring Changes Perspective

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on August 30, 2009

    I'm an auction junkie, or at least I used to be, until my four kids started growing up and sucking all the money out of my wallet. I would go to household sales with my wife, farm sales, toy tractor sales - each was like an event. And it always made it more fun if you were there to buy something. Then the real fun began when you just started looking for bargains.   We recently held an auction for my mother and father, since they had to sell their home due to health reasons. Suddenly, I…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Company Fills California Equipment Niche

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on August 28, 2009

    Best part of this job, sometimes, is the ability to get out and see a lot of agriculture around the country. That's a pleasure I'm sure a lot of our readers would enjoy, especially when you get to visit a wide range of places. Recently, I got to visit Wilcox Agri-Products near Walnut Grove, Calif. They make a hefty, versatile multi-purpose, one-pass tool they call the Wilcox Eliminator. You can read more about that tool in my October Farmer Iron column in your favorite Farm Progress…

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  • Holly Spangler

    A Hundred Years

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on August 27, 2009

    I took a tour of the nearly-constructed rail shuttle being built by Western Grain Marketing near Macomb this week, and as I listened to Terry Rouse and Gordy Miller describe the feet of rail (7,760), yards of concrete (10,000 and counting) and bushels of storage (4.6 million), I had a flashback to an elevator tour from my early career.   Eleven years ago, I peered inside the historic J.H. Hawes grain elevator in Atlanta. Built in 1903, the wooden structure was the height of technology in its…

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  • Josh Flint

    The Farm Progress Show Site Is Ready to Dazzle Visitors

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on August 27, 2009

    Last year, I was amazed when I saw the Boone, Iowa Farm Progress Show for the first time. I showed up the day before the show started. Exhibitors, show staff and volunteers were scurrying every which way, putting the final touches on things.   This year, I've seen the site transform before my eyes. On June 1, the seed plots went in. Little else was on the grounds, except for the grain bins and a few permanent buildings.   Later that month, tent crews began driving stakes, assembling…

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  • Tim White

    Meet Ohio’s Conservation Farmers

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on August 24, 2009

    I am pleased to announce the five winners of the 2009 Ohio Farmer Conservation Farm Family Award. A farm operation is chosen from each of the five areas of the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of the state. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Soil and Water coordinates this program, which has honored 130 families in its 26 years of operation.   *Don and Pam Smith farm about 1900 acres near Rootstown in Portage County. Don uses minimum tillage or no-till on the farm. He…

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  • John Vogel

    Being 'Cashed Out' By Clunky Thinking?

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on August 24, 2009

    Over the last four weeks, I’ve had great opportunities to listen to many of America’s best minds – people of agriculture. What concerns me most is that so many – not just people of agriculture – fear for the future of this country.   The fear is that power brings arrogance, and arrogance breeds abuse of that power. To hear Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) say, in essence, “We can shove the public health care option through Congress without bipartisan agreement” is equivalent to shoving it…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Machinery Launches Offer Fun, Information

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on August 20, 2009

    Big equipment rollouts are one of the fun things a gearhead editor gets to attend, and while I have other duties here at Farm Progress, I do what I can to get my fair share of time at product events and farm shows. I got the chance to get a look at the new Deere equipment that's appearing today and thought you'd like a look at the new tools too. Here's a roundup of the products the company is unveiling this fall - I've added links to more in-depth information for each product that's hosted here…

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  • Josh Flint

    The Refuge Management Game Is Evolving

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on August 19, 2009

    Regardless of how you're currently managing refuge on your farm, I'm willing to bet you'll be using an entirely different system within the next couple years.   Two big seed companies, Monsanto and Pioneer Hi-Bred, are working to change the game. Recently, Monsanto received approval for SmartStax' reduced refuge from 20% to 5%. In 2010, SmartStax will be available for approximately 3 to 4 million acres.   The science behind the refuge reduction deals with multiple modes of action…

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  • Tom Bechman

    This Miss America Much More Than a Title

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on August 15, 2009

    Watching the Miss America pageant was a big deal when I was growing up. But hey, I'm talking the late '60's. We'd only had a color TV for a couple years, and that was just because my grandpa bought it so we could watch the Rose Bowl parade in color. My how things changed, I don't think I've even watched that parade in 10 years. It's just not a big deal anymore on my priority list. Miss America didn't seem like such a big deal either after they took away Burt Parks, and then various winners or…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Fight for Ethanol Gets a New Weapon

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 15, 2009

    It is good to see the ethanol industry fighting back. First came Growth Energy, a spirited effort to refute the smear campaign that falsely blamed the industry for food shortages, higher food prices and most recently, destruction of the rain forests. If you haven't been to Growth Energy's website, go check out the clock that challenges Big Food to lower prices.While you're there, look around. It's worth your time. Now comes a new coalition of old friends. The Renewable Fuels…

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  • John Vogel

    Don't Miss 'Defining Moments'

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on August 14, 2009

    It’s amazing what can come up in conversations over a pen of cattle and in a late evening dinner with old friends at Empire Farm Days – setting children on the right track for a successful life.   At the cattle pen, “I didn’t know you were into breeding beef cattle,” I queried a western New York farm wife.   And she replied: “When our kids came along, keeping them busy with sports, activities, 4-H and showing cattle was the best way to keep them too busy for drugs, sex and other things…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Farmer Spending Ramping Up

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on August 13, 2009

    This has been an odd economic year - especially on the farm. While the news "in town" is often bad regarding employment and business farmers are finding some bright spots. Grain prices have slipped, but even with corn and soybeans off their 2008 historic highs, they remain better than average, and producers are willing to spend. The latest Flash Report from the Association of Equipment Managers shows that business farms are still buying. While compact and utility tractor sales remain softer…

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  • John Vogel

    Meet 'Your Kind of People'

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on August 6, 2009

    I write this from the Dallas,Texas, airport after two days of meeting so many good people of agriculture from all over the world – 30 countries to be exact. All of us are communicators in agriculture.   At dinner last night, I talked with Swiss, Germans, French, Australians and, yes, even Americans. What’s most interesting is that while we come from different countries and lives, we share so many interests, likes and dislikes. The interests include a love for agriculture and family. The likes…

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  • Josh Flint

    Unique Promotion Definitely Got My Attention

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on August 6, 2009

    As a member of the ag media, I receive quite a few promotional items from various equipment manufacturers, seed companies, etc. From pens to flash drives, a lot of thought goes into these promotional materials.   This week, at the Ag Media Summit in Fort Worth, Texas, Ag Leader Technology grabbed my attention in a big way. Before I launch into this story, let me give you a little background. Two weeks ago, I fell during my daily jog and broke my fibula, in the ankle area. Thus, I'm…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Tips from Texas

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on August 6, 2009

      I spent a couple fun days in Texas at a convention for farm writers. I saw some things that you might be interested in -- like the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. I also heard the following: No more home runs A Texas dairy farmer,  who milks 7,000 cows and has seen his gross income cut in half this year due to lower prices, has a blueprint for any farmer or ranching facing tough times. He is now looking to lock in small profits whenever he can. “I’m not going for the home…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Counting Down the Days

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on August 6, 2009

    The stats kind of pile up on you - 100 acres of exhibit area (that Tent City), 500-plus acres of demonstration space, 500-plus exhibitors, first-looks at a range of new products - add it up and the Farm Progress Show can be overwhelming. For farmers who take just a day out of their schedule to see the event, I'm sure it's a long day. Yet it's part of our culture and returning to Decatur in less than four weeks (!) we're excited about what we get to see. And we want to meet with readers too. In…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Master Farmer Gathering Turns Into a Reunion

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on August 4, 2009

    Donya Lester never has to speak twice to bring a crowd to order. But she does at the annual Master Farmer gathering. The feisty director of the Purdue Ag Alumni Association is always in control, but even she has to make two or three attempts to bring the crowd to order at the annual awards luncheon. No one is being impolite. Maybe a few of us in the crowd, including myself, are hard of hearing, thanks to too many years on tractors with straight pipes. But the real reason it takes a while to…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The (Sweet Corn) Ears Have It

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on August 3, 2009

    Got any sweet corn? ‘Cause if you don’t, we could fix you up. This annual rite of summertime is in full swing here in our neighborhood, as we cook it up, freeze it up and generally eat far more corn than we ever should. I spent a good share of this past weekend putting up sweet corn, and it all went pretty well…right up until I dumped an entire pan of cooling corn into the bottom of my freezer. And out onto the floor. And under the refrigerator. And splattered on the cabinets. As my 6-year-old…

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  • Tim White

    One Conservation Project at a Time

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on August 1, 2009

    I have spent this week visiting with some of the winners of the Ohio Conservation Farm Family Award. All five of the winners for 2009 will be announced Friday Aug. 7. They will be recognized at the Ohio Farm Science Review on Thursday Sept. 24.   It is humbling to see how much conservation work folks can get done with the help of their Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the Natural Resources Conservation Services. Yes the total accomplishments represent years of commitment – sometimes…

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