• Curt Arens

    Independence Day is Red, White and Blue...and Purple

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on June 30, 2014

    I know the trend these days on the farm is manicured lawns, perfectly clean, well-planned and executed landscapes around our barns, bins and facilities. These farmsteads are picturesque and functioning, and very cool. My place is not really that way. Our historic farmstead is very picturesque, with well-kept buildings and very pleasing aesthetics. I’m not saying that we don’t mow our grass and that we let everything grow up in weeds. I hate weeds, so that’s not true. However…

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  • Holly Spangler

    A Good Man and a Good Life

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 30, 2014

    There's some news that stops you in your tracks, causes you to realize the awfulness of the situation, and then you move on. Then there's the news that does all that, but you just can't quite move on. It's sticks in your mind and works your thoughts over. So it was when the news of Lynden Endress' death reached us last week. On Friday, June 20, Lynden was power-washing a calf with his son. Somehow, the power washer short-circuited and he was electrocuted. He died in the…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Four Money Making Opportunities

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on June 30, 2014

    I’m always looking for ideas on how to make money on the farm. At the recent South Dakota Ag Summit, I heard about four: Feeding beef cattle. South Dakota produced about 1.69 million beef calves last year, but only had 310,000 head on feed. There is clearly an opportunity to use more of the grain that grown in the state to feed cattle, said Lucas Lentsch, South Dakota secretary of agriculture. Don’t have enough cash to buy cattle? Custom feed. Milking dairy cows. In the past…

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  • Tom Bechman

    County Fair Fever Shifts Into High Gear

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on June 30, 2014

    I've been to a pretty good number of county fairs in Indiana over the years. A few have already taken place this year. Well over half are still to go. Find one near you and plan to attend. There's something about a county fair that brings a community together. It's a feeling you don't get the rest of the year. For example, how can you beat the down-home atmosphere of the Jackson County Fair in Brownstown? Throngs of people, mostly older folks, bring lawn chairs and sit on the…

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  • Paula Mohr

    Ready Or Not, Here Comes B10

    Northstar Notes

     by Paula Mohr
     on June 30, 2014

    Come Tuesday, July 1, drivers of vehicles with diesel engines will see a new fuel at Minnesota pumps. A 10% biodiesel blend known as B10 will be sold at filling stations during summer months. Minnesota is the first state in the nation to mandate a 10% minimum blend of biodiesel. A biodiesel mandate allows the fuel to revert back to 5% in October. To help educate fuel suppliers and farmers about B10, the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association hosted a number of meetings across the…

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  • John Vogel

    America, The Amazing

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on June 29, 2014

    Are you reveling in America’s blessings -- your blessings? While we should be doing it every day, the business of living too often gets in the way. But you need to make it happen. It’s a necessary life-balancer. My best “reveling time” comes when I escape my office. Traveling country roads, walking lush green fields and talking with inspiring producers always grows my spirit. It gives me a chance to breathe in fresh air and fresh perspective. I’m sure that’s…

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  • Curt Arens

    Out on a Limb: Ask a Forester About Managing Farm Woodlands

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on June 27, 2014

    In this special Out on a Limb blog entry, I want to talk about a recent visit I had with Nebraska Forest Service district forester, Steve Rasmussen, about managing farm woodlands. With most of Nebraska’s forested land in private hands, farmers and ranchers often find themselves managing hundreds of acres of woodlands, in some cases, in spite of their best efforts to get rid of them. Around our farmstead, we have about 15 acres of planted windbreaks, with most of these admittedly…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Ready For Radishes?

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on June 27, 2014

    A few years ago, before cover cropping came on the scene here in corn-soybean country, if you'd have told me Iowa farmers would be planting fields and fields of radishes, I would have looked at you funny. Mark Korte, a farmer in Pocahontas County in northwest Iowa, gives this simple explanation for planting 500 acres of radishes last summer. "I wanted to try them, as a cover crop," he says. "I'd read about radishes for quite a while. When we had to use prevented planting…

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  • Don McCabe

    Can you hear me now?

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on June 27, 2014

    My 15 months on aircraft carriers, including one 7-month "cruise" working on the flight deck, was an adventure, and a noisy one at that. Before that, growing up on the farm and driving cabless tractors with the radio blaring on the fender didn't do my hearing any good, either. I've never had a hearing test, but I'm pretty sure there is some hearing loss. At least my wife says so. It's estimated that farming ranks as the second noisiest industry, resulting in…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Planting Food Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 27, 2014

    Farming at the White House: This Atlantic piece was written by the son of the Pennsylvania vegetable farmer tapped by the Obama administration to oversee the White House vegetable garden. It's a fascinating look at the politics involved when you just want to grow something. Why the food movement and family farmers need to learn to get along, little dogies: This Grist piece lays out the trouble with our modern food and farm conversation so well, including this sentiment, which I think…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Getting It Right and Getting It Wrong

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on June 26, 2014

    We editors are a sensitive lot. We love getting letters that tell us we are angelic in our perfect accuracy.  But when someone tells us we blew it, it simply rips out our hearts. Case in point: In the July Western Farmer-Stockman I wrote a wonderful (my kudos) story on GMOs. Then, we ran a great big beautiful photo of a wheat field to go with it. No wheat GMOs exist,  the letter to the editor told me. I knew that. I could reach into my excuse trough and come up with 17 different…

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  • Tim White

    Back in the Sheep Business

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on June 25, 2014

      On the wall of my office is a framed editorial I wrote back around 2002. It is titled "The Last Lamb Crop" and describes my trials and tribulations raising sheep for about 20 years on our 80-acre farm near North Berne. Turns out I was wrong. It was not my last lamb crop after all. My departure from sheep production was stimulated by a couple of things. One was a young firefighter who had recently moved from Columbus to Perry County. He saw our sheep grazing and stopped by the…

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  • Curt Arens

    Want to Be an Iron Man? Eat Beef

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on June 24, 2014

    At the 46th Beef Improvement Federation annual meeting and research symposium held in Lincoln last week, I picked up a few “take home” messages that should resonate with producers and consumers alike. With a focus on genetics and selection for novel traits, presenters talked about how it is possible to reduce disease prevalence, improve feed efficiency and even the nutrient profile of beef through genetics. Raluca Mateescu from the University of Florida told meeting participants…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Several Seasons in Agriculture

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on June 24, 2014

    We talk a lot about seasons in agriculture. The weather is the link between profit and loss for many operations as you prepare, plant, tend and harvest a crop. Nature has a way of waylaying all plans for a successful year. I'm finding there are more than four seasons these days, and while some may just impact a lowly ag journalist like myself, others impact you too. Some are weather related, and some, well not so much. Take road construction. Colleague, and fellow blogger, Fran…

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  • Holly Spangler

    20 Minutes of Hail

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 23, 2014

    I deemed Saturday as the morning in which I would catch up on laundry. It was a beautiful day, clothes on the line, sun shining, gentle breeze. I was folding clothes after lunch, and I sent the kids out to grab jeans off the line. They no sooner walked in the door before rain started falling, out of nowhere. We joked about how bizarre that was. Then it got completely dark, the wind picked up and it got real serious. Marble-size hail started falling, straight out of the north and blowing across…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Indiana Agriculture is in Good Hands

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on June 23, 2014

    Last week took me from Chrisney in Spencer County to Ireland in Dubois County to Purdue University and the Indiana FFA State Convention. Earlier I had driven from Posey County, with a stop in Hendricks County and to Jasper County to meet the Master Farmers who were honored last week. In between I squeezed in judging county fairs in Wayne and Rush County. Through my travels, I witnessed farmers learning from other farmers on Denis Whitsitt's farm, one of the Indiana Farm Tour hosts, to…

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  • Fran O

    This Summer is Proving There Really are Only Two Seasons in Wisconsin

    Badger View

     by Fran O'Leary
     on June 20, 2014

    You know the saying, in Wisconsin there are two seasons – construction season and winter. As I travel the highways and bi-ways of the state, this year that could not be more true. It seems no matter where I go, there is road construction everywhere. Can't get there Nowhere is road construction worse than in Madison. When I traveled there in June two different days to attend the Wisconsin FFA Convention at the Alliant Energy Center, I was warned to avoid the Beltline and John Nolen…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Small Missouri Town Shows Big Support For Tractor Pull

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on June 20, 2014

    John Deere Green, Case IH Red, even some Minneapolis Moline Prairie Gold could be found at the Mexico Young Farmers Truck and Tractor Pull this weekend, as well as over 3,000 spectators, including myself. After living in Missouri for nearly two years, I thought it was about time I checked out my first Missouri tractor pull this weekend. Growing up in rural southern Iowa, I've been going to truck and tractor pulls my entire life, but I quickly found out Missourians take it to a different…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    It's the Bubble Gum I Hear

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on June 20, 2014

    No, I'm not leaving my Pacific Northwest nest. But my daughter is, after living with us for a couple of years between locations. Since she has two little ones, their stuff has accumulated to our rooftops, and into the attic. I think they had some of it on the roof. So, as a prelude to her move to St. Louie, she  contracted for one of those pods to be dumped in my driveway. A 16-foot-long white box has elbowed into the place I once parked my Suzuki. Packing it was no piece of cake…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Science Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 20, 2014

    Healthcare Triage: GMOs: This link takes you to the YouTube page for Healthcare Triage, which puts together videos on a variety of healthcare topics. I'll embed it below, as well, but it's worth clicking on the link and taking a look at some of their other stuff, too. Overall, it's a fair assessment of the GMO issue.  I don't necessarily like the phrase "spray indiscriminately," but he pretty much hits the nail on the head and to describe the whole situation in…

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  • Mindy Ward

    How To Break The Show Stock Mom Code In 3 Days

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on June 19, 2014

    It was day two in the barn preparing for the first livestock show of the season. Already I had broken the first Show Stock Mom Code--smile and encourage your children. But it was a new day, and I was determined to do better. Mindy's Show Stock Mom Code: 1. Smile and encourage your children. 2. Smile and help your husband. 3. Be calm with your livestock. My husband married into a show stock family. I grew up exhibiting cattle, hogs and sheep. He grew up in the small south-central…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Grain Bins Danger Extends Beyond The Bin

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on June 19, 2014

    I had no idea that you could become entrapped in grain and die if you stayed OUTISDE the grain bin. But it happened to a North Dakota farmer this year. Charles Sperle, LaMoure, N.D., died outside the bin when he was covered by corn. According to a recent article in the North Dakota Farmers Union’s "Union Farmer" magazine, Sperle was working outside a 30,000 bushel bin, unloading corn with a grain vacuum though the bin door. The corn was wet and frozen. Something happened and…

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  • Paula Mohr

    Enjoy A Dairy Breakfast

    Northstar Notes

     by Paula Mohr
     on June 18, 2014

    It was overcast and drizzling when we left for the dairy breakfast Saturday at Dennis and Marsha Haubenschild's Princeton family dairy farm. No matter, we were ready to enjoy our brief visit to the farm and a hot breakfast. My friend and I grew up on dairy farms so we looked forward to the visit. Plus, I know the Haubenschilds. I wrote about their dairy farm when I worked for another magazine. And some years ago, I helped organized Anoka middle school field trips to the farm. The herd has…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Pssst: Organic Extremists Think You Don't Exist

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 18, 2014

    Occasionally, I'll have a conversation with someone that completely crystallizes what I've only suspected to be marginally true in the past. Where I listen and ask questions and think to myself: "I can't believe an actual person is saying this actual thing, out loud, to me, right now." Like this time. Or this one. The most recent example occurred a couple weeks ago, as I wrapped up interviews for a GMO labeling story that will appear in several Farm Progress magazines in…

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  • Curt Arens

    Early Farm and Ranch Settlers Relied on Plains Fort

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on June 17, 2014

    I stopped by Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park near Elyria recently, while traveling in the area for farmer interviews and future articles. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit this little hidden gem many times over the years, and each time I am amazed at how well-kept this Plains fort is and how much of the region’s history is tied up there. Built in 1874 as a predecessor to Camp Ruggles, the fort on the Loup River was named for Major General George L. Hartsuff, a hero of both…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Progress Starts When You Build A Road

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on June 16, 2014

    An Iowan who has worked to secure honors for others is now being recognized himself. Ken Quinn, former U.S. ambassador to Cambodia and current president of the World Food Prize Foundation, received the Iowa Award, the state's highest citizen honor, on May 30. Gov. Terry Branstad presented the award in a ceremony at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in Des Moines. Branstad, along with other speakers, heaped praise upon Quinn, who is the 23rd Iowan to win the award. Established in…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Tragedy Can Strike When You Least Expect It

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on June 16, 2014

    Five Franklin teenagers reminded all of us this past week that no one is invincible. No matter how big your tractor is or how many precautions you normally take, if you cut corners that one time, it may be a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, two of the five teens died, one is in critical condition, and the other two were rescued and are physically unharmed. The event played out on the Blue River near the small town of Edinburgh. It's the same Blue River some of you may remember form the…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    New Sweet Spot For Corn Fertilizer Placement

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on June 16, 2014

    Did you place fertilizer for corn in the right place this spring? If you no-till, and you didn’t place fertilizer three inches to the side and level with the seed, you might have missed the sweet spot. Dwayne Beck, SDSU professor and manager of the Dakota Lakes Research Farm, Pierre, S.D., says last year he saw a 20 bushel per acre increase in yield with a 3 x 0 inch  placement compared to broadcasting. "Where we have residue, roots don’t go down, they go…

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  • Josh Flint

    My Dad -- Always On the Clock

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on June 16, 2014

    My dad has never taken a day off from being a father. Regardless of his work load, he always made time for playing catch or answering one of life’s important questions (like, where does all the water go when it rains). As a grandpa, he’s still as involved as ever. My nephew loves following him around, asking many of the same questions I asked when I was his age. Yesterday, true to form, he performed yet another miraculous fatherly feat. My son, Linus, will be three years old in…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Confessions of a Farm Wife, Vol. 11

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 16, 2014

    My fellow farm friends, Emily and DeAnna, are back with me this week with another podcast! We strayed from our agricultural roots ever so slightly today to delve into the personal: specifically, big TWIN news for the Webel family. Plus, DeAnna shares about their struggle to have a baby. I admire these women for many things, but chief among them is their ability to both roll with the punches and to be completely honest about the walk. Those are some strong agricultural roots…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Pork Industry Pressing On In Fight Against PEDV

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on June 14, 2014

    The 2014 World Pork Expo wrapped up last week after three days of educational seminars, discussions on hot industry topics, swine shows, and ample amounts of tasty pork at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. At last year's Expo, one of the key topics, the emergence of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PEDV in the U.S. swine herd, was just showing up on the radar for pork producers and ag journalists alike, myself included. A year later, industry officials, veterinarians, and…

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  • Don McCabe

    Nebraska Homestead Act Records Can be Searched Online

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on June 13, 2014

    Earlier this month, I found out more about my great grandfather and the settling of our family farm in northeast Nebraska. He homesteaded in 1873 in Dixon County. The farm earned a Pioneer Family Farm Award in 1973. I knew those facts. But I didn't realize his homesteading documents were 20 pages in total and that he had to bring two witnesses to the county court to vouch that he made the necessary improvements, like a home, outbuildings and the plow and planting of crops. I've been…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Saying Goodbye to a Leader in Ag World

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 13, 2014

    We say it all the time. You never know how much time you have left. Sometimes, things happen that remind you how true that is. On Sunday,June 8, one of those things happened. Roger Brining, who happens to have the distinction of being the Barton County farmer in the cover photograph of my very first edition as editor of Kansas Farmer, died when his open-cockpit, experimental airplane crashed just north of the Great Bend airport shortly before noon. Roger was a creative and progressive…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Everything Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 13, 2014

    40 Maps that Explain Food in America: From Vox, this is a long read – 40 maps/charts – that take a look at historical agricultural production, modern commercial ag, and food trends all across the U.S. Despite the length, I'd say it's still worth it. A couple caveats: the authors are not agricultural, as noted by their ability mis-reference monocultures in #6. (It's called crop rotation, people.) Also, check #5 and the relative green-ness of Illinois. And check…

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  • Mindy Ward

    How To Break The Show Stock Mom Code In 3 Days

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on June 13, 2014

    It's show season! And this year, I have vowed to be a more relaxed show stock mom. However, after just one day in the barn prepping for our first show of the season, I broke my personal Show Stock Mom Code. Mindy's Show Stock Mom Code: 1. Smile and encourage your children. 2. Smile and help your husband. 3. Be calm with your livestock. They sound simple. But it only took three days for me to break them all. Let's start with the first one. My 20-year-old daughter wanted to…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    For the Love of …So Many Things

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on June 12, 2014

    The Bible says the greatest gift is love. The Beetles say All We Need is Love. Little valentines say "I love you." The Mills Brothers sang that "We Always Hurt the One We Love." And Tina Turner asks "What's Love Got to Do with It?" Kind of a mixed review on the emotion in our society, but my personal take is the biblical one as it being the greatest and best thing going. Love is a word loosely tossed about. Do we really "love" to sail? Is a dog…

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  • Curt Arens

    Planting Cover Crops Is Not An Exact Science

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on June 10, 2014

    At last week’s No-till on the Plains whirlwind tour stop at Matt Kathol’s farm near Hartington, the farmer discussions with no-till experts and technicians were telling (See gallery slideshow below). No-till farmers are generally quite committed to a philosophy that includes absolutely no tillage of their cropland soils. As University of Nebraska Extension engineer, Paul Jasa said so eloquently, “No-till is not just a planter. It is a systems approach to crop…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    A View Beyond the Window

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on June 10, 2014

    We live in a little place. All we experience when running to the grocery store or lounging on the beachfront is such a small perspective. The eye can only see so far, so deep, and there beyond our limits of sight are billions of other eyes looking a quite different worlds. Earth is big. So big we don’t even share the same sunrise. We have time zones to tell us when the Japanese are waking up or when the people in Greenland are having lunch. Lots of us speak languages most of us…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Making the Case for Tax Break

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on June 10, 2014

    When 2013 came to an end, so did the enriched version of the Section 179 expensing provision in the tax code that had risen to as high as $500,000. Today, the level is $25,000 and its stuck there. The increases in the provision over the years were all temporary and Congress stepped away from making the increase permanent and let it lapse back to the earlier standard. Congress has been looking at the provision and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers agrees something needs to be done. The…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Click Here: Good Beef Resources

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 10, 2014

    Jenna and a young friend and I traveled to Champaign yesterday for the first-ever EDGE Youth Conference, sponsored by the Illinois Beef Association. I was there to talk about social media and beef advocacy, and I promised I'd share this list of my favorite beef blogs and resources here today. If ever you've wanted good, solid information and writing, this is the list. These bloggers are sharing great information, every day. Take a look and let me know if you see more to be added to the…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Farming In A Circle -- North Dakota Style

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on June 10, 2014

    Know how you can get sick going “around and around” on a midway ride at the fair? Well, I kind of felt that way riding in Jeff Oberholtzer’s tractor the other day. He was planting soybeans and was circling around so many wet spots that I got dizzy. Every few seconds an alarm would go off on the planter monitor. It was letting him know that a section had shutoff because it had reached an overlap area, or because Jeff had raised the planter to keep from getting stuck, or…

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  • Tom Bechman

    USDA's Major Announcement on PEDV Swine Disease Will Affect Indiana

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on June 9, 2014

    Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack last week announced more than $26 million in aid to help combat PEDV, the swine disease affecting most of the country. Part of the funding will help develop new vaccines, while some of it will help affected producers adopt biosecurity measures to help prevent re-infection. Unfortunately, re-infection has already been reported in some herds. The situation is serious enough that swine going to market could be down 10% this year by USDA estimates. One…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Cattle and Life: Ask, Don't Tell

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 9, 2014

    We spent this past weekend in Lincoln, Ill., showing cattle at the Illinois Junior Simmental Preview show. It was a couple days of fun, friends and cattle, plus three inches of rain on Saturday (not that we're about to complain about rain; we're just glad it fell at home, too). After the heifer show was over, the kids competed in showmanship. And as we stood there and listened, Rensselaer, Ind., cattleman and judge Brad Hanewich dispensed a bit of wisdom that has increasingly struck me…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    PEDV Dominates Discussion At World Pork Expo

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on June 8, 2014

    I visited the World Pork Expo at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines this week for only two hours. But no matter who you talked to or conversations you overheard, the topic that kept coming up was PEDV—Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. During the past year this devastating disease (new to the U.S.) has killed an estimated 7 to 8 million baby pigs nationwide. It has spread like wildfire through many hog herds since first showing up in this country in May 2013. That's when it was…

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  • Curt Arens

    Out on a Limb: Hackberry Is Truly a Native Tree

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on June 6, 2014

    In this special Out on a Limb blog entry, I want to talk about a Nebraska tree that can be truly called native to our state. Hackberry trees are native to every zone in Nebraska. They are moderate to long-lived, with a lifespan that can stretch to 200 years, with leaves that are elm shaped and bark that is gray and has a rough, wart-like appearance. I know that prairie purists out there believe we shouldn’t be planting trees on the Great Plains. I know that our region was tall and short…

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  • John Vogel

    What Happened On May 26 And June 6?

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on June 6, 2014

    So you know up front, this blog isn't about farming. Yet, every farm family and person has a huge vested interest in securing, protecting and upholding our way of life. And that's what this is about. May 26 was Veterans' Day, a national day set aside to honor those who gave life and/or limb and even family to protect our country. That should be first in our memories – not the family picnics or the extra round of golf. Today, June 6, is just as important. On this day…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Chemical Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 6, 2014

    Salt, Vinegar and Glyphosate: With summer gardening season upon us, you may have seen the graphic below passed around on social media. The recipe for "all-natural, chemical-free, cheaper weed killer" has been floating around the web for several years, but here's the kicker: even vinegar, salt and dish soap have chemicals. And it's not cheaper. These two weed scientists at the University of Wyoming put together a great scientific response that breaks down the chemicals in those…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Confessions of a Farm Wife, Vol. 10

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 5, 2014

    My fellow farm friends, Emily and DeAnna, are back with me this week with another podcast! We're talking about what we've affectionately dubbed "The Summer of Possiblities." That is, that summer between high school and college. Fresh off graduation, heading to college. Full of plans and ideas and hope. I recall counting down the days until I left for Champaign-Urbana. All our cattle friends asked me each week at the next show how many more days.  I was that…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    A Bird for Joseph

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on June 4, 2014

    There is a luxury three-story birdhouse atop a pole out my window where the garden sits. Sometimes, when the sparrows are in the right mood, a couple moves in and settles on some eggs for  summer hatching. It is an exciting natural epic to enjoy. This year, however, visiting birds just flew away, perhaps the neighborhood was not up to par (I must weed the garden soon). As a result, my six-year-old grandson, Joseph, isn't  happy. "Why won't we have any little bird…

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  • Jennifer Kiel

    Right To Farm Does Not Cover All Farm Animals

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Kiel
     on June 3, 2014

    I can always tell when the dairy farm down the road is pumping its lagoon. On a breezy, warm day in mid-May the stench hovered over town. I live on the far west side of the city of St. Johns and the dairy is about a mile outside of the city limits. I've heard more than one city dweller raise a stink about the... stink. For me, it's a one- or two- day inconvenience associated with agricultural production. And, while some may want to complain, that dairy has every right to pump manure as…

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  • Curt Arens

    You See the Craziest Things in the Hay Field

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on June 3, 2014

    Summer on the farm means haying time for many farmers. If you live in the Sandhills, it probably means haying wet meadows and lowland hay fields, if they dry up enough. For alfalfa producers, it means trying to put up high quality hay without experiencing heavy rain on the windrows. If you are putting up hay, timing is everything. But, those of us who have baled or stacked less than desirable hay at times realize that there are really only five minutes every month when the heat, humidity and…

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  • Don McCabe

    A pat on the back for Sen. Mike Johanns

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on June 3, 2014

    Nebraska agriculture will lose a dedicated defender of agriculture when Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., leaves office at the end of the year. Replacing him will be either Ben Sasse, Republican, or David Domina, a Democrat. I appreciate how Johanns has consistently pushed back against the overreach of federal agencies into agriculture. His efforts late last year forced the Department of Labor's Occupational Health and Safety Administration to back off from overstepping its grain storage…

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  • Holly Spangler

    140 Feet is a Long Way Down

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on June 3, 2014

    Promise me you'll file this story away in a folder called, "Things to Make You Feel Better About Your Day." Or the one called, "Stuff Happens. And Then It Breaks." Last week on Memorial Day, my husband decided to combine trips up the grain leg. He put up the flag and took down a fan that needed repairs. By Thursday, they had the fan repaired and John and our favorite new young farm employee, Devon, prepared to haul it back up all 140 feet to the top of the leg. They…

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  • Jessica Lavicky

    Reliving Memories From 25 Years Ago

    The Fence Post

     by Jessica Lavicky
     on June 2, 2014

    On a trip I took not too long ago, I brought along a book to read while I was on the plane to my destination. Little did I know it would hit close to home. I boarded the plane and settled down into my seat and broke open my newly purchased book, 'Heaven Is For Real.' You see, a month earlier I was at home on the farm and was planning on going to see the move by the same name - but before my friend and I made it out the door, he told me his local church was reading the book and were…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Here Come The Ice Coolers

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on June 2, 2014

    The snowbells, daffodils, tulips, camellias, azaleas and the rhododendrons mostly, have faded, and I hear the jingle of ice in my new Coleman metal cooler hailing that summer is in the wet wings of dying spring. I like the long days that mean I can do lots of outside things and not worry about it getting dark before I finish. Since the Pacific Northwest summer sunset comes late, it stays light until after 9:30 some evenings, and that's good enough to get in one more cast into the lake or…

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  • Josh Flint

    Ag Drone Technology Has Hit the Big Time

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on June 2, 2014

    Agricultural drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs…whatever you want to call them…have officially hit the big time. Browsing Reddit last week, I happened upon a chart of the top tech inventions for 2014 thus far. Ag drones were at the top of the list. Reddit isn’t the only techie site that’s taken note. Here’s an article from the MIT Technology Review that discusses the future of ag drones. This technology has also been featured on The Today Show. As noted in…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Property Tax Relief for Farmers Won't Be Easy Hill To Climb

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on June 2, 2014

    Indiana Farm Bureau's latest Policy Dispatch issued weekly during the legislative session and as needed otherwise urges farmers to let their Farm Bureau representative know how much they are paying in property taxes, and how much they are going up. They're trying to build the case that farmers are paying an unfair share since the circuit breaker system began. Homeowners got more relief, plus the base tax value on farm property keeps rising due to a formula worked out several years ago…

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