• Tom Bechman

    Add Another to List of Great Tenderloin Restaurants

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on May 31, 2010

    I won't say the highlight of a day on the road traveling to meet farmers and get information fro articles is lunch, but it ranks right up there. Rich Schlipf gave me a personal planter clinic in his barnyard using his planter, equipped for a variety of conditions. It needs to be, considering he farms everything from clay ground to muck near Milford. Schlipf is a dealer for Precision Planting, but he insists that he can justify every bell and whistle on his planter. By the end of the long…

    Continue Reading


  • Tim White

    Viral Video Shows Need for Help

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on May 27, 2010

    By the time an Internet video is being reported as “viral,” you know everyone knows. The web reveals, “Chilling undercover footage recorded during a new Mercy for Animals investigation exposes dairy farm workers sadistically abusing cows and young calves.” http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/05/26/conklin-dairy-farms-animal-abuse-video-goes-viral/   Everyone has seen it. Everyone is sickened. Everyone has responded with disgust. For crying out loud, livestock…

    Continue Reading


  • Josh Flint

    Lessons From My First Engine Swap

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on May 26, 2010

      Willie Vogt's current Farmer Iron blog (www.prairiefarmer.com/blogs.aspx/pickup/towing/arms/race/heats/up/1358) brings back a great summer memory for me.   Still in high school, I was working for my dad that summer. For most of June, we spent our days fixing forklifts and trucks of all sorts. My time was primarily spent changing oil on big rigs and pick-up trucks. Then one day, dad got a call from a local lumber yard. The engine in their Chevy 3500 flatbed had seized up…

    Continue Reading


  • John Vogel

    Make Summer Days Schooling Days

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on May 25, 2010

     The school year is winding up for most children. One good thing about raising kids on the farm is that they rarely have time to get bored. Mom and Dad probably have a whole list of “to-do’s” lined up for summer vacation – barn cleaning, weeding, mowing and more. While your work ethic is important to pass on, so is your ability to analyze, project and foresee. The latter skills are only learned by teaching examples – showing and sharing why looking ahead and…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Enough Already With the Everyday Rain

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on May 25, 2010

    Okay, I have often promised myself NOT to wish it would stop raining. Because in Kansas, when it stops, it doesn't seem to know how to get started again. But this is getting ridiculous. This has been the month of the unending thunderstorm, with almost daily tornado and severe storm watches and warnings and countless hail storms. Fortunately, the severe storms still seem to be spotty and while we've had damage to isolated wheat fields, there still hasn't been a widespread event…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    Twelve Years of Locks

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on May 24, 2010

    Twelve years ago, my very new husband suggested that we volunteer to lead our church's high school youth group. Our pastor at the time was overburdened and he thought it would be a good way to lighten his load and serve in ministry. "Um, sure," I agreed, with due trepidation considering I was neither much of a teacher nor all that well-versed in the Bible. And so we began meeting, on Sunday nights, first at our church and later in our living room. Among that first fabulous group of high…

    Continue Reading


  • Willie Vogt

    Pickup Towing Arms Race Heats Up

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on May 24, 2010

    The heavy duty pickup segment - which I call 'real' farm trucks - is a hot, competitive market and last week the folks at Chevy announced another milestone. No, it was not that loan payment news. They announced that the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD now has a 21,700-pound towing capacity and a 6,635 pound payload capacity. That gives Silverado bragging rights on highest and biggest for now. In a release touting the news, Rick Spina, GM Full-Size Truck global vehicle line executive, says the…

    Continue Reading


  • Tom Bechman

    Easier to Part with Animals When Price is High

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on May 24, 2010

    When I opened the barn door one morning in late January, there were triplet lambs looking at me. Once in a while you get the bear- they were out of our best ewe. Naturally, one was very small. We ended up bottle feeding it for while, but it was wiry and soon took off on its own. Once you've bottle fed an animal, it's hard not to become attached. If we didn't care about animals, we wouldn't raise them. That the part the animal activists miss. When they portray farmers as basically…

    Continue Reading


  • Josh Flint

    Small-Town Gas Stations Are Important Rural Stops

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on May 21, 2010

    One of the best parts of my job is traveling back and forth across the state. Since I started two year ago, I've put a little over 50,000 miles on my car: a small price to pay for being able to get out of the office. Today, I was taking photos of the unveiling of E-K Petroleum's new blender pump in Sullivan. It got me thinking about gas stations and how important they are not only to travel, but rural communities in general. First and foremost, I just want to say thank you to the proprietors…

    Continue Reading


  • John Vogel

    Regulatory Disconnect: Due to Arrogance or Ignorance?

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on May 20, 2010

    Soon-to-be ex-U.S. Senator Arlen Specter now knows “the same old, same old” (politics) doesn’t fly anymore. This week, Pennsylvania voters opted to turn him out to pasture. Unfortunately, Uncle Sam’s bureaucrats and the environmental community haven’t gotten the message that they can no longer spend everybody else’s money. Last week, I attended a well-orchestrated press conference in Annapolis, Md., where federal officials and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    In a Cluster?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on May 19, 2010

    So I was going to start off this post with that quote from Abraham Lincoln, about how you can please some of the people all of the time, etc, etc. But then I looked it up and I'll be darned if that's not the quote. It's actually, "You can fool some of the people all of the time," etc, etc. Which totally doesn't fit with the point I wanted to make. But I digress. The point? That when University of Illinois Extension released its map today of the new county cluster configuration, I somehow…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Humane Society 'Watchdog' Issues Interesting Challenge

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on May 19, 2010

    The Center for Consumer Freedom is challenging the Humane Society of the United States to put its money where its mouth is. And it should be interesting to see what HSUS does with the challenge. HSUS has obviously felt the backlash from CCF's full-page newspaper ads in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today that blast the organization for its lack of support for the stray dogs and cats it portrays in its heart-tugging fund-raising television…

    Continue Reading


  • Tom Bechman

    Why you Should Follow Directions To a 'T'

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on May 17, 2010

    One evening recently I helped a friend by planting soybeans with an eight-row, split-row Kinze planter. When I finished the machine I was in, I was to move to his farthest and last farm to plant, some 10 miles away. I knew the area, more or less. It's 'more or less' that can get you into trouble. "Go back here, turn left, go past a road, turn right a the next road, cross the highway, go down the next highway to a T-road, trun left on it, wind around for five miles and you'll be a the next…

    Continue Reading


  • Tim White

    Imagine a Food Desert Next to the State Fair

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on May 17, 2010

    For most of us in agriculture when we get to 17th Ave. in Columbus we turn west and head to the Ohio State Fairgrounds. Whether it’s to attend the state fair or visit the FFA headquarters or a livestock show at the Coliseum or the Power Show at the Celeste Center, we turn west and not east. Last week the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board held its third listening session and it might seem that the fairgrounds would have been a logical place to stage it. However, the host of this the…

    Continue Reading


  • Josh Flint

    Wireless Hotspots Make Farming Easier

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on May 17, 2010

    When I set up my home office, one of the first things I bought was a wireless router. I purchased a $50 Belkin router from Walmart. My primary concern was being able to connect to the internet from anywhere in the house. Thus, I could take my laptop on the back deck and write articles, and still be able to e-mail. Once I got it hooked up, I quickly realized it was a far more functional piece of equipment than I'd originally imagined. We currently have two computers, a printer and two…

    Continue Reading


  • Willie Vogt

    From 'Salvage' to Recycling

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on May 14, 2010

    There's a story I've been meaning to do for quite a few years. It's one that kind of got swept aside, pushed to the bottom of the to-do list, and sometimes even forgotten. But I'm finally on track to get something put together for an upcoming issue of your favorite Farm Progress magazine. It's about the equipment recycling business. OK, you might think of it as a salvage yard, but the days of piles of "stuff" sitting on a lot of land behind a privacy fence are ending. The auto industry found…

    Continue Reading


  • Lon Tonneson

    Real Farm Girl

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on May 13, 2010

    Check out Laura Nielson’s “The Real Farm Girl” videos on YouTube.   She got a great smile and an infectious laugh – perfect for the video camera. Plus she’s passionate about farming. Her videos are about her life on her family’s dairy and grain farm. She’s a partner in the operation and pretty much runs the dairy.   Best of all she’s from South Dakota – Crooks, S.D.   Nielson, 23, started posting videos about a year ago…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Tornado Warning Has Expired for Wichita, Storms Moving East

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on May 10, 2010

    What we know for sure is that a strong line of super-cell thunderstorms dropped numerous tornadoes in south central Kansas over the last two hours. So far, there have been no reports of direct hits on towns and damage reports from the countryside may take a while to trickle in. A strong tornado flitted through Kingman County and western Sedgwick County and several areas had large hail. At one point, the storm wind shear was measured at 115 mph, so if occupied areas escaped unscathed, we were…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    Planting on the Prairie

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on May 10, 2010

    What a difference a year makes. One year ago we’d barely had a crack at planting. Very little had been done in western Illinois, or anywhere else in the state for that matter. But 2010 is a whole new year. As of today, Illinois farmers have planted 94% of their corn crop – compared to 9% last year. That's right...9%. It sort of brings back the stress, just thinking about that figure, doesn't it? Let's not think about it very long. Let's focus on this year. We're looking at a fat, happy…

    Continue Reading


  • Josh Flint

    Why Would Anyone Pay $5 for a Half Gallon of Skim Milk?

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on May 10, 2010

    As most readers know, I'm not one to pay extra for organic/natural/non-hormone/etc. products. Conventional production methods don't bother me one bit. I'm very comfortable with the safety, price, nutrition and taste of these products.   As a result of my frequent tirades on the marketing behind the food industry, my sister saw a perfect opportunity to irritate me last weekend. Walking in from the grocery store, she made a big production of showing me the milk she…

    Continue Reading


  • Tom Bechman

    Spring Brings Out Indiana Traditions

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on May 10, 2010

    Use the downtime between rains to soak up the fruits of spring in Indiana. If you don't have them growing in your own garden, you probably has a neighbor that does. As a last resort, you might be able to buy them, at a farmer's market or at a sort, but you miss the taste and the fun of picking and fixing these treats yourself. First there's asparagus. Once you get these patches started, they'll keep producing for years, whether you want them to or not. Mine have been at it now for at least a…

    Continue Reading


  • John Vogel

    Where Compassion Hits The Mexican Wall

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on May 7, 2010

      Every American is for compassion and understanding of our fellow man’s plight. But when it comes to immigration, the heart too often runs ahead of the head. If you haven’t been on the front line of immigration’s war, it’s easy for the heart to lead – down the wrong path.   When you’re insulated from the violence, drug cartels and moral degeneration, it’s easy for the head to give way to the heart. That’s where much of America sits today – until those troubles come to your home…

    Continue Reading


  • Willie Vogt

    Another Ag-First Innovation?

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on May 7, 2010

    I was checking out some new technology recently with my phone and came across a Web video that caught my attention. The folks at Ford - or perhaps we should call it the "new" Ford - were touting new hot stuff on the 2010 Ford Taurus including a specific feature I knew I had seen before. Ford offers the MyKey program for the Taurus SHO - their highest performing version of the four-door sedan. The tech is designed to limit what a person behind the wheel - namely your 16-year-old - can do. The…

    Continue Reading


  • Tim White

    Talking Corn with Non-Farm Folk

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on May 6, 2010

    It's kind of amazing sometimes how the little things about agriculture strike people who aren't that familiar with the subject. Back in my days as a big city reporter, I recall explaining to the paper's editor that more than 99% of the state's corn plants had only one ear of corn. He was very sure he had seen many, many plants with more than one ear. I explained that probably along the outside row, he had seen multiple ears, but that was only on the edge where light was plentiful. The next day…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Hot Joins Windy For Afternoon At 3i Show

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on May 6, 2010

    As the temperature pushes into the 80s at the 3i Show in Great Bend, the forecasters are saying the severe weather will most likely develop to the north of us. Nevertheless, spectators are keeping an eye on the pileups of fluffy white clouds and there's plenty of conversation about the weather. "Where is the shelter on the grounds, just in case?" one visitor asked a vendor. "National Guard Armory, ma'am," the vendor replied. "And we've been in it before at this show." For Gene…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Windy Morning At 3i Show Sends Hats Sailing

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on May 6, 2010

    Hold on to your hat is the order of the morning at the very, very windy 3i Show in Great Bend. Vendors with outdoor spaces were prepared for 40-mph wind gusts – after all, this is Kansas in the springtime. Blowable items were quickly tucked under crescent wrenches and boxes and visitors for the most part were kind enough to pick up, look and put the anchors back down. Cars were pouring into the parking lots by the 9 a.m. opening of the show and foot traffic has been steady if a bit slower…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Skies Are Blue, But Storms In The Forecast

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on May 6, 2010

    It is a picture perfect morning as I head out to the 3i Show -- blue skies, light wind and lots of sunshine. But we are being warned to watch the skies this afternoon and tonight as the potential for severe storms is building. I stopped by to talk to meteorologist Chance Hays at the National Weather Service booth and he promises to keep the "heavy duty radar" up and running to give show goers the latest information on what is developing. But, Hays says, the chances of severe weather…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    3i Show Off To a Good Start

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on May 5, 2010

    The first day of the annual 3i Show started a little slow, thanks mostly to a beautiful, sunny day that allowed many farmers to get into the fields and get corn planted. Show sponsors say they are used to taking their chances on competing with the need to get farm work done, and were pleased that this year's show in Great Bend has a record number of exhibitors. Vendors I talked to on the first afternoon of the show were mostly optimistic about this year's prospects and said they saw…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    It Was a Great Day To Be in Wheat Fields of Kansas

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on May 5, 2010

    My first thought when we pulled over for the first field stop of the day on the Kansas Hard Red Winter Wheat Tour Wednesday was "we're gonna get wet." I was sure the field near Colby would be dew-drenched after a night when temperatures dropped nerve-jarringly close to freezing. But the grass in the road ditch and the wheat in the field were dry -- testimony to the famous low humidity of the High Plains. The day progressed to one of sunshine and wind that was pretty much…

    Continue Reading


  • Lon Tonneson

    Who Sells Land When Prices are High?

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on May 5, 2010

    Who sells farmland when prices are high? I figured it would be strictly retired farmers, widows, institutions and investors. Not an active farmer who has another 15-20 crops to plant. But I was wrong. I met Todd Intermill, of Colman, S.D., last week and he told me he sold 80 acres this spring and got top dollar. Why did he sell? Was he going broke? Did he need the cash to stay pay off bills? No, he sold, he said, because buying low and selling high is how you make money. Pretty…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    Want a Job? Study Crop Sciences

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on May 4, 2010

    At last year’s Farm Progress Show, I stood chatting in the U of I tent with the two Bobs of the College of ACES - Bob Hoeft, former head of Crop Sciences and current director of Extension, and Bob Hauser, interim Dean of the College of ACES (although in reality, there are probably many more Bobs in ACES). And in the course of our visit, Bob Hoeft dropped a tidbit of interesting information. Turns out, they need more students in crop sciences. In fact, they currently have as many as four jobs…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    All Aboard! The 2010 Hard Red Winter Wheat Tour Begins

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on May 3, 2010

    Participants in this year's Wheat Quality Council Hard Red Winter Wheat Tour across Kansas gathered in Manhattan Monday night to meet their first day drivers, find out what the tour is all about, chow down on good Kansas steak and get a look at  the flour mill operated by the Kansas State University Grain Science Department. Fifteen cars will transport this year's 69 participants along different routes from Manhattan to Colby on Tuesday with each car making between 15 and 20 stops at…

    Continue Reading


  • Tom Bechman

    Patch Farmers Have More Fun!

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on May 3, 2010

    Who says blondes have more fun? Not at all. It's farmers who farm every scrap of land they can find, even if it's nestled inside of a grove of trees. Anybody can plant straight, long rows in rectangular fields- well, almost anybody can. I struggle to stay awake, especially after a big dinner. It's planting in patches carved out between surrounding tree lines that becomes a challenge. I had the chance to do this recently, planting soybeans with a split-row planter. In one day I was in six…

    Continue Reading


  • Willie Vogt

    Taking Command of the Planter

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on May 3, 2010

    Nothing like the change of an input price to alter the payback equation for an equipment innovation. Take row-shutoff technology. It goes by a bunch of different names depending on the brand name; but after spending some time in the field with a few dealers and farmers, the interest is definitely there. Rising seed prices and that continued hunt for higher efficiency, has a lot of growers opting to add the tech to their planters. Shutting off rows as you pull back over planted areas, or hit…

    Continue Reading