Featured Articles

Feature Article: Ranchmate Wire Fencing Products

Everybody knows the old saying “good fences make good neighbors.” Ranchers, of course, know that good fences do a heck of a lot more than make good neighbors. Good fences help us keep our very livelihoods secure. Most of us learned the time-honored tradition of fence building and mending from our fathers and grandfathers, who learned it from the generations that came before them. But the truth is – the world of ranch and farm wire fencing – from smooth wire to barbed wire to electric wire hasn’t seen much improvement over the decades. Until now. Ranchmate™, an innovative new line of wire fence construction and repair products, has set about to change the old ways of doing things.

Farm Tire Choice And Care Important For Where The Rubber Meets The Soil

Farm tires are more than just rubber, air, and protruding tread patterns. They are the vital link between tractors, combines and self-propelled sprayers, and the soil.

Depending on the type of tire a farmer uses on his or her equipment and how those tires perform in the field can spell the difference between good and bad crop yields, said Jeremy Hurt, senior application specialist at Equipment Technologies, manufacturer of Apache-brand sprayers. Read more

Bayer CropScience Support; Sequencing of Cotton A-genome Could Boost Industry

A team of researchers at Texas Tech University, in collaboration with Bayer CropScience and the National Center for Genome Resources (NGCR) have developed a view into the structure of the cotton A-genome. This is a significant accomplishment in the sequencing of the cotton genome, which will fuel multi-disciplinary basic and applied research to help increase cotton productivity. Read more

Carbon Cycle Shifts As Corn 'Explodes'

"It's a remarkable story of what we've done in agriculture in general," says Mark Friedl. "And in particular corn, which is one crop that's just exploded." (Credit: Leo Papandreou/Flickr)As plants inhale in the summer, levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide drop in the Northern Hemisphere. As plant exhale and decompose after the growing season, those levels climb up again.

Over the past 50 years, the size of this seasonal swing has increased by as much as half, for reasons that aren’t fully understood. Now a team of researchers shows that agricultural production may generate up to a quarter of the increase in this seasonal carbon cycle, with corn playing a leading role. Read more

Back When: 1958 Ford 861 Powermaster

Ralph Lind said he has loved to repair and fix things for as long as he can remember. Restoring his 1958 Ford 861 Powermaster put that love to the test.
Equipment dealer and friend Terry Jones sold Ralph the 861 in December of 2007. Buying the 861 was a purchase made from the heart. His family’s first tractor was a 1950 8N and the similarities of the two tractors rekindled memories from that earlier time. After buying the 861 he had to truck it seventy miles to his home. It was in very bad condition and would put Ralph’s problem-solving skills to the test.

Alternative Heating - Solar Heating and Cooling

Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available, and the U.S. has some of the richest solar resources in the world. Modern technology can harness this energy for a variety of uses, including generating electricity, providing light or a comfortable interior environment, and heating water for domestic, commercial, or industrial use.

How Does SHC Work

SHC systems trap the heat from the sun (solar radiation) and transfer the heat to water or air for use as thermal energy. Read more

Farmers Helping Farmers - Its Been Happening For Years

A few weeks ago I received a phone call from a friend asking me if I would bring my UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle) to record a special harvest for an Eastern Illinois farm family. Once I found out this was for a family whose son had recently been involved in a major accident I knew, without a doubt, that I would do anything I could to help them.

The Schaumburg family had tragedy strike them in mid-October. Their 16-year-old son Hayden sustained a major neck and head injury in an on field play during his high school football game. Like any parent would do, the Schaumburg’s farm life stopped so they could be with their son. Read more

UF/IFAS Panel Approves Three New Tomato Breeding Lines, Three Other Cultivars

Top to bottom, caladium cultivars 432, 4015 and oat variety FL720 were recently approved for release by the UF/IFAS Cultivar Release Advisory Committee. The panel also approved three new breeding lines for new tomato varieties.University of Florida scientists hope three new breeding lines approved for release will eventually improve the virus resistance and quality of future tomato varieties.

The UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Cultivar Release Committee, in partnership with the Florida Foundation Seed Producers Inc., approved Fla. 8638B, Fla. 8624 and Fla. 8923 on Oct. 22. Read more

No-Till Agriculture May Not Bring Hoped-For Boost in Global Crop Yields, Study Finds

No-till farming, a key conservation agriculture strategy that avoids conventional plowing and otherwise disturbing the soil, may not bring a hoped-for boost in crop yields in much of the world, according to an extensive new meta-analysis by an international team that included a University of Illinois crop sciences researcher and was led by the University of California, Davis.

As the core principle of conservation agriculture, no-till has been promoted worldwide in an effort to sustainably meet global food demand. But after examining results from 610 peer-reviewed studies, the researchers found that no-till often leads to yield declines compared to conventional tillage systems, except it still shows promise for yield gains in dryland areas. Read more

Fall-applied herbicides: Which weed species should be the target?

Herbicides applied in the fall often can provide improved control of many winter annual weed species compared with similar applications made in the spring, according to a University of Illinois weed scientist. Read more