Featured Articles

Business Profile: CL Fabrication

Maintaining your crop or pasture land is an important process in successful and profitable farming. Trees, stumps, and rocks can wreak havoc on both your equipment and livestock. As a busy farmer, you don’t have time to do things the old-fashion way—gone are the old days of manual labor. You need a tool designed with the strength to stand up to those tough jobs you can’t do alone. You need the precision built, quality attachments by CL Fabrication - equipment that does the work for you. The quicker your fields and pastures are in order, the quicker you will see a profit. Read more

Back When: 1939 John Deere L

“She might be small, but she is surprisingly powerful,” Scott Pliner said of his 1939 John Deere L. The L is one of John Deere’s early tractors designed with acreage owners and truck garden operators in mind.

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Plant Breeder Boosts Soybean Diversity, Develops Soybean Rust-Resistant Plant

It took decades of painstaking work, but research geneticist Ram Singh managed to cross a popular soybean variety ("Dwight" Glycine max) with a related wild perennial plant that grows like a weed in Australia, producing the first fertile soybean plants that are resistant to soybean rust, soybean cyst nematode, and other pathogens of soy.

Singh works in the Soybean/Maize Germplasm, Pathology and Genetics Research unit in the department of crop sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The unit is a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Program. Read more

USDA Announces $30 Million Available for Food Entrepreneurs, Ag Producers to Develop New Products

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is making $30 million available to farmers, ranchers and food entrepreneurs to develop new product lines. Funding will be made available through the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. Read more

Are You USDA Conservation Complaint?

Photo Credit: Ann LaveryTo be eligible to receive many USDA benefits, including loans, disaster assistance, federal crop insurance premium subsidies and conservation assistance, you must comply with requirements for highly erodible lands and wetlands. The purpose of the conservation compliance provisions is to reduce soil loss on erosion-prone lands and protect wetlands. Use these steps to ensure you’re compliant. Read more

Back When: 1950 Gibson SD

Where is the steering wheel?
 
When Leslie and Wendell Cunningham take their 1950 Gibson SD tractor to shows that is often the first thing spectators ask. The SD and most of Gibson’s line of tractors use levers for steering instead of a steering wheel. The SD does not have a starter or a crank either; this tractor’s one-cylinder Wisconsin engine is started by a rope and pulley located at the front of the tractor.
 
Leslie said that he and his son Wendell collect about anything old, from cast iron skillets to antique tractors.
 
In May of 2008, Leslie had just sold an antique Ford tractor when he saw an ad in an area equipment-finder paper for an SD.

PastureMap: Giving Ranchers The Upper Hand

The global food security problem and possible solutions are the focal point of many discussions across multiple industries. Fruit and vegetable crops are not the only food sources in question—the meat industry will also fall short of the needs of some 9 billion people by the year 2050.

PastureMap, created by two Stanford University graduates, helps cattle ranchers monitor grass conditions in the field with mobile images and ratings, improving the accuracy of ranchers’ visual assessments of their land.

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Crop Management: Partners In Production

Since the beginning of time plants have relied on their important relationship with the unseen ecosystem below. Before we started to intervene in production, plants were able to receive all the essential elements of life by interacting or trading with the life in the soil. As we better understand this relationship, we can focus on what plants have been telling us all along — the microbial world is vital to crop health and ultimately global food production.

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Purdue Analyst: Soybeans Gaining Popularity

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Prospective Plantings report indicates that farmers nationwide could be looking to soybeans as a financial safe haven in a difficult market, Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt says.

The number of soybean acres could reach an all-time high in 2015 while corn acreage is expected to decline for the third year in a row, according to the report issued Tuesday (March 31) by the U.S Department of Agriculture. Read more

Starter Fertilization Sometimes Boosts Corn Yield

When Is Starter Fertilizer Beneficial?

Starter fertilizer can be used to complement pre-plant fertilization of crops to increase yield and economic returns to production. However, its use will not be beneficial in all production conditions. Read more