• Lon Tonneson

    Earth. Beer. Fire

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 30, 2013

    Earth. Beer. Fire. Those words in an email got my attention. Turned out the email was a press release from Rogue Farm, an Oregon operation where a craft brewer grows malting barley. Theirs was not a fancy pants, touchy feeling story about how they carefully nurture the tiny barley plants and eventually make malt. They didn’t try to make the point that they were good farmers by shooting a video cartoon of a cute-looking scarecrow picking hops out of a garden like Chipotle…

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  • Curt Arens

    Hats Off to Pumpkin Farmers

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on October 29, 2013

    When I was a kid, my parents planted a quarter-acre to cow pumpkins, those gigantic orange ones that can weigh 100 lbs. or more. The field was on a sidehill where nothing else would grow. But, we raised monster pumpkins without any difficulty. Over the years since then, I have had little to no luck in planting pumpkins. No matter where I have lived, or where the pumpkins were planted on the farm, I couldn’t raise a pumpkin that would amount to anything. It is always too dry, too…

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  • Tim White

    The Science Behind The Socks

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on October 29, 2013

    I don’t know where the expression “cold feet” comes from. I know it has to do with chickening out of something. As if your feet got too cold to face up to the situation. I once sent a friend a pair of thick socks before his wedding. Very funny, I know. He thought so. His bride not so much. Bravery aside, I hate cold feet. If there is one part of my body, other than my head, that I need to keep warm in order to be comfortable, it’s my feet. The coldest I have ever been…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    What I Learned At World Food Prize Symposium

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on October 28, 2013

    The three 2013 World Food Prize Laureates—recognized as pioneers of agricultural biotechnology—on October 18 addressed a crowd of over 1,000 people at the annual World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue, urging the world to accept biotechnology to help feed the growing population. Over 1,500 people came to the World Food Prize International symposium October 16-18 in Des Moines from over 70 foreign countries. They listened to speakers and panel discussions of experts discuss agricultural…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Legend of the Last Round of Harvest

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on October 28, 2013

    Some of you may be getting close to the last round of the year at harvest – others have a ways to go because of good crops to haul off, weather and late planting. At any rate, sooner or later you will get to the last round. Legend holds that the last couple of rounds can be as spooky as seeing a witch on a barn roof on Halloween night. I swore I saw one once. Of course I was only 15, it was dark, around Halloween, and I was going to get the dairy cows in the field at 5 a.m. I probably…

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  • Holly Spangler

    'For That Little Girl in Kansas'

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on October 28, 2013

    On Monday, a family in Kansas gathered in a church to remember their little girl. Her name was Brooklyn and I didn't know her. But I read her story, thanks to Kansas friends. I can't stop thinking about her. Those of you who have already heard her story probably agree. Brooklyn was five and was riding in the combine with her dad last Wednesday, as he cut beans. Reports are mixed, saying that she was either leaning against or sleeping against the windshield. They hit a bump. The…

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  • Mindy Ward

    Don’t Worry, The Farmer Will Care For Your Abandoned Dog

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on October 25, 2013

    Question of the day: If there is growing concern over how those in agriculture care for their animals, why do so many stray dogs and cats end up on the farmer’s doorstep? I cannot tell you how many times I arrive at a farmstead to be greeted by a wagging tale of a farm dog. Inevitably, during my conversation with the farmer I find that one if not more of his dogs, “just showed up here one day and never left.” Many of these animals find their way to the farm from the…

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  • Willie Vogt

    I Knew You Were Buying...But Wow!

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on October 25, 2013

    Prognostication in the equipment business is always interesting. Knowing what farmers may do in the year ahead based on costs, income and other factors is no easy guess. But one machinery analyst has made an observation worth sharing. Steven Fisher at UBS, issued a report this week showing that the key risk facing the farm equipment business in the near future is the ability for buyers to delay purchases. Noting that corn prices have fallen nearly 50% from their 2012 peak, the income picture…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Reminder Of The West Bottoms' Agricultural Roots

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on October 25, 2013

    I've written before that urban centers, despite popular misconception, have historically been, and are still strongly connected to agriculture. Kansas City's West Bottoms are no exception, being a mixed bag of urban bohemia and agricultural history. With the numerous antique and vintage shops like Good Juju and Hickory Dickory, it might not seem like the kind of place that was once home to International Harvester and Advance-Rumely plants and the Kansas City Livestock Exchange, but it…

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  • Josh Flint

    Halloween Used To Be So Much Fun

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on October 25, 2013

    What happened to Halloween? It used to be so much fun. Years ago, the family would get together for a weekend hayride and food. Later that night, we’d sit around the campfire and subject ourselves to the horror of listening to my uncle pick and bludgeon his way through the Eagles’ greatest hits. On the actual day itself, we’d head over to another uncle’s house. He lived in downtown St. James, Mo. As my cousins and I trick-or-treated, the grownups would hang…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    What is Halloween?

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on October 24, 2013

    If this Thursday's trick-treat night is successful, my grandsons will gather 4,394 pounds of pure sugar to consume over the next few days. I have padded the walls because they will be bouncing off them, and called to make dental appointments in six months when decay sets in. Those princesses, super-heroes and zombies we'll find at our doorstep will again have turned into little boys and girls at the school bus stop Friday morning chatting cheerfully about what they want for Christmas…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Checking Out A New Beef Barn

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 24, 2013

    Folks were in a good mood as they toured a new beef barn built built by John and Brenda Reisch and Jason Feldhoaus, Howard, S.D. The trio (Jason is John’s cousin) had just completed a 70- x 294-foot three-sided fabric covered hoop barn that they plan to finish cattle in. About 200 people were expected for open house. Some were neighbors -- who had been watching the gravel and cement trucks roll into the farm for weeks and came to see what the finished building looked…

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  • Holly Spangler

    One Week Till 30 Days!

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on October 23, 2013

    The countdown is on and November 1 is just a few short days away. Slightly over a week, if you're counting. And I am, because that's when I'll kick off 30 Days, where I blog every single day of November. Just like in 2010 and 2011 and 2012. And I have just one question: are you in with me? Maybe you're a long-time agriculture or farm blogger. Maybe you're just getting started. Maybe you've been skeptically thinking about this blogging thing for awhile now. Either and…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Government's Return Comes With An IOU To U.S. Public

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on October 22, 2013

    To begin with, true patriotism to one's nation should be a never-compromised iron-clad contract. But the political game-playing that came to a head with a shutdown of our government has been a tax on even the most dedicated citizen. I have talked with some who feel the whole closure was a symptom of deep disturbances in the nation's fundamental foundation. Whether we have become a nation based on political whims remains a concern. Will the next shut-down be the result of some…

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  • Don McCabe

    Nebraska College Of Technical Agriculture Is An Innovator

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on October 22, 2013

    The fun part of this job is traveling Nebraska and meeting new people. One of my favorite stops in recent years has been the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis, in southwest Nebraska. A renaissance of this two-year ag school has been occurring over the past few years with new classrooms, labs, an education center and new academic programs. And to think there was a proposal to kill the school during the 1980s due to budget concerns. It's flourishing today due to its…

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  • John Vogel

    Psst! A Insider's Secret For Young People

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on October 22, 2013

     You hear so much about farmers getting older and no one wanting to farm anymore. Well, the getting older part may be true, but the rest is a myth! Young people are being attracted to agriculture in increasing numbers. And farming isn't the only ag game in town. Last week during the World Food Prize convo in Iowa, hundreds of bright, young people came from all over the country to learn about agriculture's exciting future. And back home, the Future Farmers Club at Spring…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Minimizing Stress When Weaning Calves

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on October 22, 2013

    Fall has come to the Midwest, and with it, the leaves change, farmers are harvesting corn and soybeans, and the holidays are around the corner. For beef producers around the United States, fall also means separating spring-born calves from their mothers. For calves, cows, and producers alike, weaning is a stressful time – especially if weaning coincides with castration or dehorning, which many beef specialists advise against. Too much stress on the calves can result in stress on the…

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  • Curt Arens

    Give Panhandle Ranchers a Break

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on October 22, 2013

    Alright, enough is enough Mother Nature! I’m sure that’s what northern Panhandle ranchers are thinking right now. Forget rain, or snow, or dark of night, they have experienced tragedy and challenges to their agriculture operations of biblical proportions over the past 18 months. First, last summer was a complete and total disaster. No rain, no grass to speak of, and cow herd liquidations were all too common. Then, in late August and early September, wildfires ignited the…

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  • Don McCabe

    I'll Find My Burritos Elsewhere

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on October 21, 2013

    It's the inevitable question my wife and I pose to each other at the end of the work day: what's for supper? Sometimes neither of us is willing to commit to an answer. And too often, my response is, "Let's go out to eat." One of several eating establishments in Lincoln we've patronized in the past is Panera Bread. I won't patronize them again, just like I won't make my first-ever dining experience at Chipotle Mexican Grill. Panera Bread has joined the…

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  • Tom Bechman

    What Does It Take To Excite People About Safety?

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on October 21, 2013

    The Indiana Rural Safety and Health Council and the Purdue University farm safety program, headed by Bill Field, offered a series of three classes around the state recently. The goal of each class was to provide six hours of instruction for young, potential workers, especially, but not limited to those that might work in the grain industry. "Many of these kids are hired to work at these types of places and have no training going in," Field says. At least two high-profile cases…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Our Worst Blizzards

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 19, 2013

    Atlas -- the blizzard that killed tens of thousands of cattle, sheep and horses in western South Dakota -- should go down in history as one of the top 10 worst snowstorms ion the U.S. Here are some of the other monsters: The Children's Blizzard -- Jan. 12, 1888. Temperatures dropped from a relatively balmy few degrees above freezing to a wind chill of minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 40 degrees Celsius) in Dakota Territory and Nebraska. Because of the warm day, thousands were…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Autumn Leaves Flag Whole New Season Slate

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on October 18, 2013

    Welcoming the season is always a delight for me, a former Michigander who loved the turning leaves, nip of the wind and scent of fall from birth. Now, in the Pacific Northwest, where we have all the nice  autumnal trappings without the threat of endless snow (at least in the western part of the area), the "ber" months (September, October, November and December) are even nicer. Spent last weekend on the last 2013 campout on the Kalama River where they were landing salmon by…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Confessions of a Farmwife: Vol. 1

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on October 18, 2013

    It is with fear and trepidation that I roll this out: our first farmwives podcast! I mentioned it yesterday and here she is, in all her glory. Beautiful, right?! This is me, Emily Webel and DeAnna Thomas - three central Illinois farmwives - just shooting the breeze. We're talking about harvest, corn prices, frozen ham, funerals, popcorn and the UPS man. And some other stuff. Because those are all things that totally make sense together. And if we have, purely by happenstance, managed…

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  • Josh Flint

    Homemade Taco Night Never Disappoints

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on October 18, 2013

    Many of us have been there. “Oh, look at this deal on ground beef! I’ll pick up a few packages.” Three days later and you’re thinking, “Why did I buy so much ground beef?” So, what to do with all that beef before you must resort to the freezer? You could make a bunch of hamburgers or a meatloaf. But, if you bought that much ground beef, I’d bet you already used one of those recipes. Around the Flint household, when we’ve got a…

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  • Frank Holdmeyer

    Many Opportunities for Ag Students

    The Bigger Picture

     by Frank Holdmeyer
     on October 17, 2013

      The opportunities in agriculture are unlimited, according to students and employers I spoke with during the recent Ag Career Day at Iowa State University in Ames. More than 225 companies and organizations set up booths and about 2,000 students took advantage of the opportunity to talk to the representatives. "We've seen a steady increase in the number of companies who participate," noted Mike Gaul, director of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Services at…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Stories From the Storm

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 17, 2013

    The western South Dakota blizzard that killed tens of thousands of head of livestock was truly devastating. But numbers don’t tell the whole story. I was moved most by what ranchers wrote and said about what they found on the Plains when the blizzard broke. They are alive: Jessica Bean, Summerset, S.D., wrote, “My parents found a drift that had covered who knows how many ewes and lambs. ‘You guys need to come here,’ my Mom said when she called, clearly distressed…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Word of the Day: Podcast

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on October 16, 2013

    It's a banner day on the Spangler Farm. Harvest is ticking along. Fall is in the air. Guess how I spent my day: a) Recording a podcast b) Presiding over an ag editors conference call c) Hobbling d) All of the above If you chose d) All of the above, you are correct! You win! And there's no prize. So sorry. But, I'm hobbling. That is the unfortunate result of falling down stairs when you're 37. And of course, I chose to do this not in the…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Safety Above All Else

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on October 15, 2013

    Hard to write about farm safety without getting preachy, but a little "be careful out there" may not be enough every year. Our editors at Farm Progress know this and post items online to keep you thinking about safety. Over at Prairie Farmer, they posted a reminder that you shouldn't overlook grain storage safety. With wet grain coming in you often get more problems with entrapment. It's a challenge because you go into a bin to bust a crust and you end up getting pulled…

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  • Curt Arens

    On the Farm, Patience is Not Only a Virtue, It is a Necessity

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on October 15, 2013

    A few years ago, I purchased 20 head of cows with three-month-old calves at their side. My cows were already turned out to pasture, so we drove directly to the pasture and dropped off the newly purchased critters with my herd. However, this pasture has a creek flowing through it, with two tributaries crossing it as well. Cows in that pasture need to know how to cross a creek with steep sides and a narrow, but relatively deep stream. When we dropped off the new cows and their calves, the cows…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Cellulosic Ethanol Looks More Promising After Tours

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on October 15, 2013

    Today’s events at the North American Agricultural Journalists fall meeting in Des Moines have me very close to changing my mind on the future of cellulosic ethanol. I have often said I am skeptical of whether biomass can be collected, harvested and handled in sufficient quantity to sustain the industry. A look at the work being done in Iowa makes the potential for exactly that look a lot more promising, We toured the Lincolnway Energy grain ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa, which…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Take Time to Appreciate the Good Things About Farming

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on October 14, 2013

    I was standing in a soybean field waiting on Del Unger to make it to the end so I could ride the combine for a while. His dad, Howard, now retired and a former Master Farmer, pulled up in his pickup truck. He got out and we exchanged pleasantries. Then he looked around and said ‘Well, this is another beautiful day.” And it truly was - fall was in the air and the sun was shining bright. The trees along the edge of the field were casting a few shadows that indicated days were…

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  • Mindy Ward

    Breathe In Manure, Burn Off Pounds

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on October 11, 2013

    Well, it is fall applied manure season in the country. I know this not because I am reading my farm calendar, but rather due to the curve about one mile into my workout run/walk. As I descend the cascading hill banking slightly right, I catch the first drift. And I breathe deep. Ah, how I love that smell of manure while putting in the workout miles on my rural route. For some, this may be the point they turn around. For me, it is the point I push forward, no one ever said that a workout…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Ag & Oil: Which Is Bigger In North Dakota?

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 11, 2013

    Is ag or oil North Dakota’s biggest industry? It matters for a couple reasons. There are the bragging rights, of course. And the top industry will likely get more attention from lawmakers. Policies made now will affect the future the industry. Here’s the facts on the size of ag and oil, as reported recently by the Grand Forks Herald: In the 12 months ending July 30, the value of crude oil and natural gas produced in North Dakota totaled $24.9 billion, based on…

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  • Fran O

    Government Shutdown, Debt Ceiling Put Farm Bill On The Back Burner

    Badger View

     by Fran O'Leary
     on October 10, 2013

    The 2013 farm bill inched forward in September and seemed headed for a House-Senate conference committee until the Congressional agenda was hijacked by fights over the budget, threats to defund the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare and raising the national debt ceiling. Little more is likely to happen until those issues are resolved at some point in the near future. At the time this magazine was going to press on Oct. 15, there was no resolution. Before the government shutdown took…

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  • Holly Spangler

    M&Ms and Nanograms and Beef

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on October 10, 2013

    Two years ago, I watched Mike Martz explain marbling and steak selection to the first class of Illinois Farm Families Field Moms and for two years, I told anyone who would listen that it was one of the best demonstrations I'd ever seen. Until this year. Mike outdid himself. Last time around, he talked about hormones in steak and how a 3 oz. steak from a steer not treated with growth promotants (hormones) had 1.3 nanograms of estrogen in it; how a 3 oz. steak from a steer treated…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Pumpkin Time: Iowa Farm Becomes A Classroom

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on October 9, 2013

    Darin Leach, whose byline you see each month on feature articles he writes in Wallaces Farmer magazine, grew up on a farm in Muscatine County. He now lives in the Des Moines area with his wife and two young daughters. But he tries to get back there to southeast Iowa to help his parents on the farm when he can. Last week he helped with this fall's harvest. It's a little different kind of harvest than on most Iowa farms. This family harvests not only corn and soybeans but pumpkins…

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  • Jessica Lavicky

    Cold Weather Calls For Tomato Chili And A Side Of Cinnamon Roll

    The Daily Dig

     by Jessica Lavicky
     on October 9, 2013

    Last week we saw highs of 60s and lows of 40s - take that plus college football and you have the perfect season to make chili. Just don't forget the cinnamon rolls! Come every October, I look forward to making the first batch of tomato chili for the season. Now, depending who you talk to, some know what I mean by having cinnamon rolls to accompany the chili, others just look at me like I'm crazy gross and disgusting. Don't knock it until you try it. I personally like dunking my…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Government Shutdown Didn't Affect Bobby

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on October 8, 2013

    I know a guy named Bobby Tango who lives in a little unincorporated community known as The Shack, which isn't really a nice place. You see, Bobby is a homeless fellow I help out occasionally when he needs a bologna sandwich or a couple of bucks for socks. I met him working with a local outreach charity who let Bobby slip through the cracks when it came to changing lives. Sharing a chat with Bobby on a city bench recently, I asked him what he thought of the government shutdown. He…

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  • Paula Mohr

    A Salute to 4-H

    Northstar Notes

     by Paula Mohr
     on October 8, 2013

    This week, Oct. 6-12, is National 4-H Week. Knowing that takes me back some four decades when I worked on a window display in the Fostoria, Michigan, variety store, along with a couple of other 4-Hers. National 4-H Week was approaching and we were asked to design and decorate a window in the store. The theme had something to do with rockets and blasting off into the future, if I recall. We made cardboard cut-outs of a rocket ship and other items, and covered them in aluminum foil or…

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  • Curt Arens

    Harvest Time: Lofty View from the Cab of the Combine

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on October 8, 2013

    This time of year always reminds me of how different the view of the world is from the lofty seat in the cab of a combine. When I first returned home from college, I didn’t have much experience in a combine cab. I was always the one hauling grain, not the one doing the actual harvesting. But, I gained valuable experience right away. A year after graduation, my Dad was diagnosed with severe bronchial asthma, and grain dust was one of the triggers that would set off a coughing…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Blizzard Takes Toll On Cattle

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 8, 2013

    The loss of thousands of cattle in the blizzard that covered western South Dakota last week with as much as 4 feet of snow is a tough deal. I’ve read that some ranchers in the hardest hit area of the Black Hills lost half their animals. Out on the Plains, losses are said to be running 10-20%. The cows and calves that survived the storm aren’t completely out of the woods, either. The risk that they’ll come down with respiratory infections in the next two weeks…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Great To See Golden Corn Again

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on October 7, 2013

    Dave Nanda kept asking me the other day when we met, "what did you learn from 2013?" One of my first answers was that there are ears in the field, there is life after 2012. Nanda, Director of Genetics and Technology for Seed Consultants, Inc. and a frequent columnist, thought I was kidding, but I was dead serious. I don't know how many times I asked farmers this year how their corn crop was doing, and their answer was nearly always the same: "Well, at least there…

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  • Jennifer Vincent

    Conservation Compliance Not Always Clear

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Vincent
     on October 4, 2013

    In this October issue of Michigan Farmer you'll find a couple of stories on farmers who are struggling with the state's Natural Resources Conservation Service to stay in compliance after land was cleared under varying scenarios. One thing is clear, if you want to remain eligible for federal farm programs, you best have a determination made before one tree is cut or one puddle drained. And, if you did something 20 years ago you're unsure or uneasy about, don't assume you…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Old Proverb Rings True With Self-Reliant Farmers

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on October 4, 2013

    Although it's not certain who first said it, the proverb, "necessity is the mother of invention" has been translated in Plato works and was used in England as early as the 1500s. Over 500 years later, that expression still rings true, especially among farmer-inventors. Farmers know it's not always practical to have a mechanic fix a broken piece of equipment, and with a little bit of farmer's ingenuity, many opt to fix these issues themselves. The same philosophy applies…

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  • Don McCabe

    Water, Taxes And A Short Unicameral Session

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on October 4, 2013

    Two Nebraska study groups have their work cut out for them in the coming weeks, and each one needs your input. They involve water and taxes. If that doesn't get your attention in Nebraska, nothing will. The adage of "nothing is certain but death and taxes" can be altered in this state to "death, high property taxes and water fights." The Nebraska Water Funding Task Force and the Legislature's Tax Modernization Committee have to produce reports by year's…

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  • Mindy Ward

    Wearing A Crown And Helmet

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on October 4, 2013

    When the 2013 Missouri State Fair Queen was announced in August, I screamed. For once, I personally knew the young lady that was about to represent our fair and agriculture across the state. As I traversed the livestock barns on the Missouri State Fairgrounds, people would ask me where she was from. I replied with a little hometown pride “Warren County.” That question was always followed by, “What is her ag background?” My simple answer, “Horses.” Then…

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  • Josh Flint

    Has the Sun Set on High Corn Prices?

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on October 4, 2013

    This week, I interviewed several market analysts on corn price projections. Not one of them was optimistic about the potential for a rally. Pondering these price downturns, experts agree on several things. First off, this was expected. Once the 2012 drought had firmly established itself, market analysts started warning about the short crop, long tail scenario. Next, the ethanol industry is mature. In past years, ethanol producers had not yet hit the blend wall, i.e. the amount needed…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Five Movies You'll Probably Hate

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 4, 2013

    Here are five movies and short films about food and farmers that you’ll probably hate. They were among a list of recommended films suggested by food activists. The Hidden Cost of Hamburgers: The Center for Investigative Reporting tallies the waht they see as the cost of conventionally-raised beef. King Corn: Two guys from the East Coast move to Iowa, plant a one-acre crop of corn, and discover how much of the American diet corn infiltrates. Our Daily Bread…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    How Government Shutdown Affects Farmers

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on October 2, 2013

    The Farm Bill expired Oct. 1, same day the federal government shut down. Congress can't agree on a budget. A main point of contention is funding for the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. How is this federal government shutdown affecting Iowa farmers so far? What do they have to say? Merlin Komarek of Protivin in northeast Iowa says: "There are times I'd like to boot each Congressman out of office and the president too. If anyone else performed…

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  • Frank Holdmeyer

    Forty- Year Anniversary of a Love Story

    The Bigger Picture

     by Frank Holdmeyer
     on October 1, 2013

      Willie Vogt, Farm Progress Editorial Director, encourages his team members to utilize our vacation days. So, I took him at his word and left September 20 for a week of fishing in Ontario. I was joined by my wife Trish, her brother Dennis and his wife Jana. It just so happens forty years ago – 1973 – was my first fishing trip to Canada and the first time I met Trish. I was invited by Dennis that spring to join his family fishing trip to Gull Rock Lake. All week I kept…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Are Softer Equipment Sales Ahead?

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on October 1, 2013

    The farm equipment industry has been barreling along at an unusually fast clip for the past five years, so fast in fact that some execs have commented that a little "breather" might be appreciated. From the looks of some new survey from the investment community that may be ahead. A recent dealer survey conducted by the financial firm UBS shows that dealers see sales into 2014 as flat or declining, depending on the market. The survey, which had responses from 160 dealers, shows…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    October Begins the Holidays

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on October 1, 2013

    Does retail store staff live their lives three months ahead of the rest of us? I only ask, because it seems the Halloween decorations have been out so long they’re not even interesting by the time I get around to thinking about vampires and princesses at my door. I would not be shocked to see a St. Valentine’s day display tomorrow at my local big box mart. I guess they call it planning ahead, but it seems like when they pull  swimming suits off the hangers about the…

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  • Curt Arens

    Harvest Time: Haste Makes Waste

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on October 1, 2013

    Depending on which news source you listen to, it seems we Americans waste very nearly half of our food. As parents, my wife and I bemoan this fact constantly, encouraging, and often demanding, that our children take only what they can eat on their plates. We do the best we can, but for starving folks in lands where they spend more than 90% of their income on food, the waste of food here is a true tragedy. On the farm, wasting food dishonors our profession. We pride ourselves at feeding…

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