• John Vogel

    Send President Obama 'Back To The Farm'

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on September 29, 2012

    First off, this commentary is my opinion – one I believe is the most important of my career. Four years ago, the last line of my “Food for Thought” column read: If motivating people were the sole reason for voting, [Barack] Obama deserves to win. On Tuesday, Nov. 6, U.S. voters will go to the polls for another presidential election. The outcome will have a huge impact on America’s future, agriculture and your farm. That’s why I’m overcoming my aversion to…

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  • Fran O

    Drought Will Impact Some Farmers More than Others

    Badger View

     by Fran O'Leary
     on September 29, 2012

    When we look back a year from now or five years from now at the drought of 2012, one of the most extraordinary things we will have learned is that each farm was effected differently by the drought. Neighbors just down the road from each other or farms just a couple miles apart will have completely different outcomes from this growing season. Why? From conversations I've had with farmers, Extension agents and other agriculture professionals, the main factors impacting farmers are not how much…

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  • Holly Spangler

    30 Days of…Agricultural Something

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 27, 2012

    For the past couple years, I've had a little blog series running through November. Do you remember it? Nothing complicated. Just a daily blog, throughout the month of November, tied into a series. In 2010, it was 30 Days of Thanks & Giving. In 2011, it was 30 Days of Farms & Families. And while I haven't yet settled on a theme for this year (hey, I've got a whole month still!), "30 Days" of something will definitely be back. I'm kicking around a few ideas here at the Prairie Farmer…

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  • Curt Arens

    Teach Our Farm Children Well

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on September 25, 2012

    “Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what your government can do for you.” Wait a minute. Those weren’t John F. Kennedy’s words. In his inaugural address, he asked Americans to serve their nation by serving others, not the other way around. He said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” The sentiment in that address helped spawn a generation that looked to do just that. They really believed in those…

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  • Tim White

    Palmer Problems Complicate Herbicide Treatments

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on September 25, 2012

    Palmer amaranth has reared its ugly head in Ohio as reported by Mark Loux, OSU Extension weed specialist, in the Aug. 14 issue of the C.O.R.N. Newsletter. Loux says the state’s first confirmed infestation near Portsmouth is likely the result of contaminated CREP or wildlife seed. The population is both ALS and glyphosate resistant, according to his report. “There are several other suspect sites in Ohio, which we are in the process of investigating,” Loux writes. “There…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Presidential Stand-ins Debate Farm Issues

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on September 25, 2012

    A debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on agricultural issues -- you won't see that happen during the 2012 presidential campaign this fall. But two of their representatives did discuss farm policy before a recent gathering of the National Association of State Directors of Agriculture. NASDA held its annual meeting in Des Moines in mid-September, hosted by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, headed by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. The "Presidential…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Yeesh! Harvest in Full Swing

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on September 24, 2012

    Heat units and dry weather have come together to create a nearly perfect harvest scenario - whether you're talking the good-yielding stuff where the drought  missed, or hard-hit areas where desert-like conditions turned corn to tall brown grass - combines are rolling. Last weekend I was traveling with my wife, Bobbi, to catch up with some friends to enjoy some fall weather wine-tasting and came across this field for A and G Bauer Farms, where harvest was in full swing. The weather was…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Traveling for Farm Features a Mini-Vacation of Sorts

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on September 24, 2012

    Sometimes I feel sorry for everyone who doesn't have my job. Traveling about in my eight western states as I get out to interview farmers, take their photographs and attend various ag events offers an opportunity to see the beauty of nature along the way. Consider the option: working outside in God's green world covering the most interesting and dynamic industry the Creator ever christened, or interviewing politicians caucusing inside a boring room or covering a school board meeting where…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Leadership for Youth Programs Starts with Adults

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on September 24, 2012

    Let me say at the outset that there are hundreds of dedicated 4-H leaders, county fair board members, people serving on county 4-H councils and state fair board members all across the state. Many people think through situations carefully and don't act without first considering the consequences. There are truly many people who deserve a heartfelt thanks for giving up time and staying in the background, doing what they do for the good of kids. With that said, the rest of you may want to get out…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Failure to Pass Farm Bill a Disappointment

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on September 21, 2012

    I got an Email today from 1st District Rep. Tim Huelskamp letting me know that that the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to “Stop the War on Coal” on Friday before recessing until after the election in November. As far as I know, there is no looming deadline for stopping the war on coal. In fact, if part of the legislation is, as Huelskamp’s email indicated, prohibiting coal ash from being declared a hazardous waste material, it can probably…

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  • Fran O

    Venturing into the Farm Blog World

    Badger View

     by Fran O'Leary
     on September 21, 2012

    To blog or not to blog – that really wasn’t the question. At our company meeting last May, our editorial director told Farm Progress editors if we weren’t already blogging, we would be by the end of the year. He told us blogs need to be 300 words or more and must be done weekly. Those are pretty much the parameters of the blog. The decision of when to start writing a blog and the topic choice each week is up to the editor. Since I’m new to the world of blogging, I…

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  • Curt Arens

    Ranchers Finding Hope in Recovery from Wildfires and Drought

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on September 20, 2012

    There were plenty of questions to be answered among 120 plus ranchers and landowners attending a wildfire recovery meeting held at Norden yesterday. The meeting was held in the dance hall at the Keya Paha County fairgrounds, one of just a few structures saved when late July wildfires raged through the community of Norden, on its way to burning around 117 square miles of grazing land in Rock, Brown, Keya Paha and Cherry counties. Not to be outdone, fires have ravaged land around the state…

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  • John Vogel

    Germany's Farm Potentials For The Northeast

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on September 19, 2012

    My wife and I are very glad to be home again after two weeks of traveling my ancestral homeland in southern Germany. In the 1860’s, my great grandfather bravely left the house/barn he was born in to come to America. We went to the region in hope of finding that original home and enjoying learning more about my heritage. In the process, we learned a few things that may be in the future of agriculture in the Northeast. While I couldn’t find that home, many such combination…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Easy-as-Pie (And Safe!) Grain Drying

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 19, 2012

    I can hardly believe it's been three years since this night. It feels much more recent. Maybe it's because we are, yet again, in another crazy weather year on the farm. Or maybe because that night was scary enough to have engrained its traumatic self in my memory. Yikes. Either way, the good news is that monitoring the farm's grain dryer has gotten a lot easier. Somewhere after writing the post about my husband's grain monitoring incident, GSI contacted us about their WatchDog system. We…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Helping Family Farmers in Crisis

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on September 18, 2012

    When someone walks up to you out of a crowd, a person you don't know and you are in a different state far from home, and the person tells you "Thanks for a job well done"—it makes your day. That's how Jim Whitman felt, after he received sincere thanks from a stranger at the 2012 Farm Progress Show. At the show, held recently at Boone in central Iowa, my Wallaces Farmer colleague Tyler Harris and I had just finished interviewing Whitman, when the "thank you from a stranger" occurred…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Colorado Judge Upholding Animal Abuse Decision Deserves Pat on Back

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on September 18, 2012

    We’ve followed the case of livestock abuse in Colorado for some time, continuing to mention in our editorials in Western Farmer-Stockman that we support punishment when it is deserved. While we held our breath when the Logan County District Court against Gilbert Dean Schuman came up for appeal, we can now exhale with a smile. The Colorado Court of Appeals judge reaffirmed the sentence that Schuman could not own, manage, tend or possess cattle. Call me a cow hugger, but I simply cannot…

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  • Josh Flint

    Doomsday Preppers Proves U.S. Doesn't Understand Farming

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on September 18, 2012

    A couple years ago, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t bear to watch another one of network television’s new sitcoms or fantasy dramas. The breaking point was when I realized Charlie Sheen’s “Two and a Half Men” was one of the top-rated sitcoms. I was beginning to accept that I was paying for cable just so I could watch sports. Then I found “Doomsday Preppers.” If you haven’t seen this show, do yourself a favor and set the…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Seek Help From Those Around You

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on September 17, 2012

    If you didn't want to take risk, face hardship and find yourself making hard decisions, you wouldn't be a farmer. If you're reading this, you're connected to agriculture in at least some way. In 2012, thanks to the topsy-turvy, notorious growing season, you will make a lot of decisions, even if you were one of the lucky producers who got rain and a decent crop. There are more that didn't get rain in Indiana than those that did. Decisions are going to come at you one after the other, from this…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    No Driver Tractor Is A No Show At Big Iron

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on September 14, 2012

    I was disappointed that the driverless tractor being built in Fargo didn’t make it to the field demos at Big Iron on Tuesday last week. Software didn’t get finished, explained one of the Autonomous Tractor Corporation reps. I was looking forward to seeing how the revolutionary “no driver” tractor would perform in the field. The developer told me earlier this year that it would it would follow another tractor. If you were disking a field, you could hook another disk to…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Why Do You Love Farming?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 13, 2012

    Open space. Farm kids. Life as your own boss. Barn kittens. Generations. Calves in the spring. The combine seat. There's a lot to love about agriculture. And at this point in a really, very difficult year in Illinois agriculture, we want to take a minute at Prairie Farmer to remember all those really, very great things about farming. In fact, we want to celebrate them. With a whole issue. But we need your help! Take a minute today to think about why you love what you do. What's your…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Our Harvest Story: What's Yours?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 12, 2012

    If you made it out to the Farm Progress Show this year, you may have noticed signs from Mycogen asking you to share your harvest story. Or you may have seen it online. Or maybe you're hearing about it here for the first time. Either way, here's the scoop: Farm Progress publications and Mycogen are sponsoring a little harvest contest together. Click on this link, and you can upload your very best harvest tale. You can write it…you can video it…you can even include a photograph…

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  • Willie Vogt

    A Healthy Husker Harvest Event

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on September 12, 2012

    As I write this we're winding down Day 2 of Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island, Neb. Celebrating its 35th year, this show can boast it is the only totally irrigated farm show in the country. But more than that this show offers visitors a wide range of new products, technology and information all in a single (though long) day of seeing the sights. The 2012 show did bring along a little heat on Day 1 with wind, and more wind on Day 2, but threatened rains stayed clear. For Day 3, with the front…

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  • Curt Arens

    Husker Harvest Days: Two Days Down, So Don't Miss Day 3

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on September 12, 2012

    Everyone at Husker Harvest Days has drought on their minds, but that’s just another reason you don’t want to miss the 35th annual show at Grand Island. Two days into the show, and we’ve had a little wind, a very hot day and a much more comfortable day. Day 3 looks to be very nice. Weather hasn’t dampened the spirits of the crowds, nor has it squelched the quest producers are on to find new ways to meet and beat the drought. Even Governor Dave Heineman stopped by the…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Healthy Fear is a Good Thing

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on September 11, 2012

    You have the best conversations by chance I think. Recently I was traveling and connected with an executive at a major farm equipment maker and we got into an interesting conversation about product liability suits. His company, like many, deals with them on a regular basis and when you delve into the story you find that operator error - or ignoring warning labels - is a common problem. While it's a tragedy when someone loses their life or a limb, today's farm equipment is as safe as it has…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Where Were You That September Day?

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on September 11, 2012

    I was pretty busy with Husker Harvest Days and final deadline for Kansas Farmer, so I was able to spend most of today without thinking too much about the date, 9/11. Ignoring the memories of that horrific date weren’t so easy when I got back to the hotel tonight, turned on the television and caught up on messages on Facebook. I was in a unique place 11 years ago – a World Trade conference in Wichita at the Hyatt Convention Center. A Japanese trade group was in town and companies…

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  • Josh Flint

    Time To Start Thinking About Next Year

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on September 11, 2012

    They say San Diego has the perfect climate. Year round, the mercury hovers in the 70-degree range. Residents brag they keep a light sweater in the car for those slightly chilly mornings. I’ve got news for San Diego, they can keep their perfect weather. I’m not interested. I’m a firm believer in four seasons. Seasons signify a passage of time. In years like this, winter cannot come soon enough. With winter, growing-season wounds begin to heal and spring comes with infinite…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Sweden in Photos: The Countryside

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 10, 2012

    Back again with more photos from Sweden! I hope you don't mind…just trying to sort and share. Today, a look at an early morning hike. Next week: our final farm tour. If we learned nothing else from our time in Sweden, it is that Swedes enjoy their great outdoors. Strolling down streets in Stockholm, every single restaurant had tables and chairs out along the sidewalk. The Swedes held the Congress itself not in the city, but in a countryside hotel retreat. And the main conference room…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Technology Has Arrived On My Doorstep

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on September 10, 2012

    I was the first in the company to have a personal computer. It was in the late '80's, and it was an old KayPro. It came in a metal case, and they shoved them out so fast that they put the wrong covers on some machines. A machine that said KayPro might really be a KayPro IV. I no longer had to use a typewriter. But when we got ready to send something, anything, as in send a story to our office in Chicago, it was a 20-step process. It usually entailed a call to John Otte in Des Moines to see…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Ag Article Ideas Can be Your Choices as Well as Ours

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on September 10, 2012

    Each month, when I finish a deadline for the upcoming issue, I face a dilemma of partial delight, partial fright. It is the time when I must decide what I will cover for the following issue in the 20-some days I have to satisfy the next deadline. Think of it: I am responsible for coming up with the coverage I think readers will find most useful. This "blank page" I must write upon awaits for the words I must choose to reach thousands of readers with almost every imaginable crop and livestock…

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  • Curt Arens

    See You at Husker Harvest Days, But Don't Forget the Food Drive

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on September 10, 2012

    This upcoming week, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, September 11, 12 and 13, marks the 35th annual Husker Harvest Days at Grand Island. And once again, Husker Harvest Days is teaming up with Monsanto to help stamp out hunger. One in six rural residents struggle with hunger. Farmers and ranchers attending the big farm show this week are encouraged to bring cans of food and other non-perishable food items to the show to help out. There will be a drop-off location at each gate, so it is quick and…

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  • John Vogel

    What For The Farm When The U.S. Dollar Collapses

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on September 7, 2012

    Last week, I received a thoughtful email from a 25-year-old Missouri farmer regarding an opinion I wrote in March 2011 titled “When the U.S. dollar collapses . . ..” He recently re-read the article and wondered if the dollar is less threatened today. And he asked: “Where do you think our politicians stand on the importance of the Farm Bill, crop insurance and the nutrition programs that we all know are taken advantage of to their max by lazy and unconcerned individuals who…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Of Organic Food and Measured Risk

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 5, 2012

    So, you may have heard: Stanford University released a study yesterday that shows organic produce is no more nutritious than conventional produce. Farm Progress reported on it here, too. The knee-jerk reaction among conventional agriculture has been – and will continue to be, I suspect – a hearty "we told you so." And I'd be lying if I said that didn't cross my mind, too, along with a sarcastic comment or two…"shut the front door! Organic isn't any better? Wait, didn't…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Versatile's New Combine: From Russia With Love

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on September 5, 2012

    I saw several intriguing new products at the recent Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa. One was Versatile’s new combine, the RT490 - a 490 hp Class VIII self propelled combine. It’s manufactured in Russia by Versatile’s parent company and assembled in Versatile’s plant in Winnipeg, Canada. The combine isn’t actually new. It’s one of the best-selling combines in Europe and Russia. Versatile thinks North America farmers will be interested in it, too…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Goodbye to 'The Chopper'

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on September 4, 2012

    Last year at the Farm Progress Show I had the privilege of emceeing the rollout of the Paul Jr. Designs DEKALB motorcycle for Monsanto. It was a big day with hundreds of people on hand to see the machine, and Paul Jr. The idea was to celebrate the 100th anniversary with a commemorative chopper that the seed company would have on tour for its birthday year then auction off for charity. Along with the charity auction, the company conducted other fund raisers at corporate and field events, all of…

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  • Curt Arens

    Nebraska State Fair Surprise

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on September 4, 2012

    I didn’t have the opportunity to attend the Nebraska State Fair until I was a freshman in college, living in Lincoln. In those days, the University of Nebraska Collegiate 4-H Club ran a foodstand in the old 4-H building. I was wrangled into working many hours at the foodstand, which was the big fundraiser for the club. But after a few days at the fair, I was hooked. I enjoyed the 4-H and FFA exhibits and all the excitement and pageantry of the state fair. However, since the fair moved…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Elwynn Answers 'The Big Question' At Farm Progress Show

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on September 4, 2012

    Iowa State University Extension climatologist Elwynn Taylor spent three days at the 2012 Farm Progress Show answering farmers' questions about the weather. The show was August 28-30 at Boone in central Iowa. It was a hot three days—temperatures reaching the high 90s. What was the most common question? "Farmers asked a lot of questions, but none were desperate questions," says Taylor. "Most farmers have crop insurance and that will likely get them through the 2012 drought situation. They…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Back to School, For Real

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on September 3, 2012

    Oh, school. On the one hand, I enjoy getting back to a routine. To regular bedtimes. To some degree of predictability. On the other hand, I don’t enjoy the early mornings. The haranguing over getting up, getting going, getting homework done, getting to bed. Nonetheless, here we are. We are starting our third week of school, but our first without an early dismissal for hot weather. So in other words, it's for real now. And sweet little Caroline starts preschool this week. She's…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Labor Day Holiday a Major Shift for Parents

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on September 3, 2012

    My daughter is changing jobs from New York to Washington, and living with us temporarily until she finds a home of her own. It isn’t just a joy to have her back home for a while, but she brought two of our young grandsons with her, who are starting school this week and next. It has been years since we went through the first day of school syndrome with our four children, and to be part of the process again is exciting and fun and I feel young again. We went school clothes and supplies…

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  • Tom Bechman

    The Drought of '12 Makes Winners and Losers

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on September 3, 2012

    Maybe you got the rains everyone dreamed about and few people received. Perhaps your corn will yield 175 bushels per acre. If you didn't forward contract any of it, you're obviously a winner this year. You have corn, but a large portion of the farmers in the country have less corn than they like. Maybe you still have old corn in the bin. Obviously if you sell it now, and it wasn't already sold on contract, you're a winner. Or maybe you use it to fill a contract that you made for the new crop…

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