Featured Articles

Farm Life: International Year of Soils

This year the USDA is celebrating 2015 as the ‘International Year of Soils.’ According to the USDA, this year of soil awareness is aimed to increase global understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions. Read more

Cover Story: Meridian Manufacturing - First in Innovation, First in Industry

Meridian Manufacturing Inc. is all about solving industry issues with technology and a commitment to the highest quality. They help you move and store the commodities that drive your industry. They design products to make your job easier and safer, while saving you time and allowing you to capture valuable market opportunities. Innovation and quality are top of mind for Meridian, and it is with this in mind that they develop new and improve on existing products for your operation. Read more

Agriculture: Sustaining Future Generations

The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) will host National Agriculture Day on March 18, 2015. This will mark the 42nd anniversary of National Ag Day that is celebrated in classrooms and communities across the country. The theme for National Ag Day is "Agriculture: Sustaining Future Generations."

National Ag Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture. Read more

Back When: 1939 IH Farmall F14

In September of 1939, Louis Holtman purchased this 1939 IH Farmall F14 from the John Schnicke Implement in Meadow Grove, Nebraska. Louis used the F14 to farm property he rented near Meadow Grove until he purchased a farm near Mill Grove, Missouri, in January of 1947. Read more

Farm Life: The Story Of The Straw Hat

As the county ag literacy coordinator, I’ll often ask students to describe what a farmer looks like. Regardless of the grade, the class, or the school, the students describe a farmer always wearing the same three articles of clothing – boots, overalls, and a straw hat. Their description doesn’t stray far from what they’ve seen in many children’s books, and today that image persists as the classic, romantic picture of the American farmer.

However, there was and is a purpose to all those clothing items, particularly the straw hat. Read more

UF/IFAS Extension Working To Help Farmers, Ranchers Keep It All In The Family

For Marianna farmer and rancher Ken Barton, business and family is more than just a balancing act – it is his livelihood.

Barton is 10 years away from retirement, and concerned about how he will hand over the reins of the family business he established in 1979 to his son and son-in-law. Read more

Record Cattle Prices, More Feed Drive Herd Expansion

Photo Credit: Michelle Inman ChambersThe expansion of the nation's cattle herds for the first time since 2007 is largely the result of record-high cattle prices and the availability of more abundant feed, Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt says.

Hurt, analyzing a U.S. Department of Agriculture semiannual report that cattle numbers have increased by slightly more than 1 percent following seven years of decline, said there were multiple incentives for expansion in 2014. Read more

Wind Erosion In Iowa

Wind erosion occurs in Iowa even during winter. Its effect is especially noticeable when the snow is covered with black sediments from the erosive force of wind, even at subzero temperatures (Photo 1 and 2). Water erosion is also a major concern. Erosion caused by water far exceeds the amount of sediment loss by wind because of the high volume of precipitation, and its powerful erosive effects on removing sediments and associated organic matter and nutrients to water ways. However, wind erosion contributes to the significant loss of top soil, especially the loss of organic matter at the soil surface.

PHOTO 1

Photo 1. Wind erosion sediments; sediment-covered snow by a tilled field. Photo by Richard Schultz. Read more

Leopold Center For Sustainable Agriculture Awards 2015 Research Grants

Farmers Hot Line - Leopold Center For Sustainable AgricultureThe Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture has awarded grants to 17 innovative research and demonstration projects that promise to move agricultural production toward greater sustainability while improving Iowa’s soil and water resources.

The research will provide new knowledge on soil health, specifically how phosphorus moves under different cropping systems and how certain changes deep below the surface (given the prevalence of minimum-tillage systems) could make soils more resilient during drought or after heavy rainfall. Other projects explore alternative systems for biomass production, growing fruits and vegetables, or providing habitat for native pollinators. Read more

Flexible Cash Lease Arrangements - Part 3 of 5: Flexing on Crop Price

A flexible cash lease is a contractual arrangement between a landowner and operator in which the rent payment is determined after the crop has been harvested. Unlike a fixed cash lease, the rent amount with a flexible lease adjusts depending on final yield, commodity prices, cost of production, or some combination of all three. Flex lease arrangements offer opportunities for landowners to benefit should commodity prices rise or better than expected yields occur. Gains in commodity prices and increasing yields in recent years have increased the popularity of flex leases among landowners. Flex leases that allow the sharing of market and/or production risk with landowners are popular with some producers. Read more