Agricultural Articles

Smart Soil: Transforming American Agriculture One Class at a Time

I've examined soil health on more than a thousand farms on four different continents. And in all that time, I've realized it's not lab tests or field measurements that tell me the most about how farmers treat their land. It's whether those farmers reach down to grab a scoop of earth, whether they run it through their hands and say, "Look at this. Look at how rich this is."

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County Fairs, 4-H & the Promotion of Agriculture

County Fairs have been a feature of the agricultural landscape of rural America for most of its history. The tradition of local gatherings for the purposes of socialization, exhibition, and competition has remained largely intact since its inception. Those first county fairs with their livestock judging, plowing competitions, and displays of agricultural machinery are mirrored in nearly every Midwestern county by their modern counter parts of tractor pulls, 4-H livestock shows, and the rows of glistening new implements lined up on the grounds by local dealerships.

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Auctioneer's Corner - Michael Wegener Implements & Cornlea Iron Auctions

Farm equipment and farmland auctions have been gaining popularity over the last decade for both buying and selling. Today we will introduce you to Michael Wegener Implements and Cornlea Iron Auctions in Cornlea, Nebraska. With over 58 years of experience, Michael Wegener and his team have a unique buy-sell and trade operation that capitalizes on in-person and internet-bidding.

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Cover Story: Courtland Waste Handling - Your Customized Manure Handling Specialists

Courtland Waste Handling is your full service liquid manure handling sales and service center. Our sales staff offers a full line of new and used liquid manure handling equipment, from Houle – GEA Farm Technologies, Calumet, and Bazooka Farmstar, to meet all your needs from the barn to the field. The service center has the knowledge, equipment, and an extensive inventory of parts to get your items ready or repaired for the season.

If you currently use liquid manure or have an interest in incorporating it into your fields and pastures in the future give Courtland Waste Handling a call and let us show you how we can make your current or future operation more efficient.

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Auctioneer's Corner - Henslin Auctions, Inc.

Henslin Auctions, Inc.Farm equipment and farmland auctions have been gaining popularity over the last decade for both buying and selling. Today we will introduce you to Henslin Auctions, Inc. located in Minnesota. With two award winning Auctioneers at the helm, this father and son small town company is making a big splash in the auction world.

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Cover Story: Harvest Energy Solutions - Fastest Growing Midwest Solar Company

An open letter from Harvest Energy Solutions President & Owner

Over the past several years I have had conversations with hundreds of farmers that expressed concern and frustration over the skyrocketing cost of energy and the volatile supply in real times of need. As a result, many of us are taking steps toward energy conservation and are considering alternative and renewable options with the ultimate goal of energy sustainability and independence right on our own farms. Read more

RhinoGator Changes the Game in Pivot Tires

If you thought "tire" automatically meant "rubber", a revolutionary plastic tire for pivot irrigation systems will likely change your mind. RhinoGator® is a new generation of rugged industrial-quality, high-density plastic tire designed specifically for the daily rigors, weight and environmental conditions that are common under pivots. Its distinctive green color is just a hint at the differences that make RhinoGator stand out.
RhinoGator is rugged and rigid—and never goes flat. It is waterproof and will not fill up with water or mud.

USDA Announces Funding to Spur Local and Regional Economic Growth in America's Rural Communities

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the availability of funding to promote long-term economic growth and community vitality in rural areas. With the announcement, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invites applications for funding through three community and economic development programs administered by USDA Rural Development.

"USDA is committed to helping rural communities access the resources they need to implement strategies that will invigorate the economy, reduce poverty and enhance the quality of life in our small towns and rural areas for years to come," Vilsack said. Read more

Surprising find: UF/IFAS discovers citrus greening affects roots before leaves

Although citrus greening enters trees through their leaves, University of Florida researchers have discovered that the deadly disease attacks roots long before the leaves show signs of damage – a finding that may help growers better care for trees while scientists work to find a cure.

“The role of root infection by insect-carried bacterial pathogens has been greatly underestimated,” said Evan Johnson, a research assistant scientist with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Hundreds of researchers throughout the world are rushing to find a viable treatment for citrus greening, which is devastating Florida’s $9 billion citrus industry and has affected citrus production throughout North America. Read more

Making hay with soybean in the West

When soybean was popularized in the U.S. in the 1800s, farmers eagerly embraced the legume from East Asia as a forage crop. Today, it is more commonly grown as an oilseed crop rotated with corn throughout the Farm Belt.

Western hay producers, though, hope the high-protein crop could work yet again as a cost-reducing annual forage that could replace or compliment perennial hay crops like alfalfa and timothy. Read more