Agricultural Articles

“And, What Is My Responsibility?” - A Look at the 2014 Agricultural Act

The Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the U.S. Farm Bill, is now legislative history, but the United States Department of Agricultural (USDA) regulations that will turn those broad guidelines into operational programs are still being written.

Some programs the Risk Management Agency (RMA) oversees will, fundamentally, stay the same but give producers new options to consider when deciding on crop insurance. This will, hopefully, also provide more support to specialty crop and organic growers. Whereas programs through the Farm Services Agency (FSA) will see a multitude of changes, including programs for major crops. Dairy operators will see a total revamp of their programs. Read more

Do soybeans need nitrogen fertilizer?

According to a University of Illinois crop sciences researcher, there has been a great deal of interest recently in the idea of using nitrogen fertilizer during the growing season to increase soybean yields.

“This is somewhat surprising given that there has been so little evidence from published and unpublished reports showing that this practice increases yields, let alone provides a return on the cost of doing this,” said Emerson Nafziger. Read more

Virginia Tech Ag Program Turns Coconut Dust into Seedling Gold

Coconut dust may not be fairy dust, but in southern India, the substance is creating healthy crops. A Virginia Tech-led program is showing farmers that the material, derived from husks, is great potting soil for seedlings. Without such help, seeds haven’t flourished. Read more

Rooftop Farming Is Getting Off The Ground

From vacant lots to vertical "pinkhouses," urban farmers are scouring cities for spaces to grow food. But their options vary widely from place to place.

While farmers in post-industrial cities like Detroit and Cleveland are claiming unused land for cultivation, in New York and Chicago, land comes at a high premium. That's why farmers there are increasingly eyeing spaces that they might not have to wrestle from developers: rooftops that are already green. Read more

Thailand’s Growing Soybean Meal Consumption Could Open Doors for U.S. Soy

Improvements in Thailand’s poultry and aquaculture sectors could bring about significant increases in the country’s soybean-meal consumption this year, according to some news reports.

Its poultry sector is expected to expand after Japan lifted its ban on Thai raw chicken. Additionally, the Early Mortality Syndrome that has hurt Thai shrimp production is beginning to decline. Due to these factors, the soy-checkoff-funded U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) views Thailand as a potentially hot market for U.S. soy demand. Read more

Wind Turbines Are No Longer A Novelty

The use of wind power as an alternative energy source continues to increase throughout the world. Understanding how you can benefit from this naturally occurring energy source is important in today’s competitive business climate. Read more

2014: A New Year, A Fresh Outlook

When Nebraska and Kansas farmers looked out their kitchen windows in the late summer of 2012, they saw withering fields that harkened back to the Dust Bowl years. The majority of both states were experiencing extreme or exceptional drought, a condition that would not change for most farmers through harvest in the High Plains.

And while many farmers cringed as they watched their hard work and investment wilt in the fields, the vast majority of them did not worry that this drought would put their farms on the auction block. That is because 86 percent of planted cropland was protected by crop insurance policies. Read more

Back When: 1946 Ford 2N

This 1946 Ford 2N is just one of the antique tractors in collection of Paul Sylte of Amery, Wisconsin. He has been collecting antique tractors for over forty years. Paul said, “Ever since I was a young child, I have loved old tractors.” He thinks it started the first time he was old enough to ride on the fender of the neighbor’s old John Deere B; from then on, he was hooked.

When Paul learned this 2N, was for sale he knew he had to own it. It belonged to David Bieniasz, Paul’s well-respected shop teacher from high school, so it has a very special meaning. He drove the tractor home while his former teacher followed; just in case of any problems arose, he would be there to help. Read more

Extreme Winter Temperatures May Not Be Enough to Rid Pests

Source: DuPont Pioneer

Extreme cold and snow cover in many parts of the country have growers guessing about the weather's impact on pest pressures in the upcoming planting and growing season. DuPont Pioneer researchers say this winter's weather could have some impact on pest populations, but many pests are just lying in wait. Read more

Back When - 1936 John Deere D

The John Deere D had a long manufacturing run of 30 years from 1924-1953. The D model was built at John Deere’s Waterloo, Iowa facility and is equipped with a 2-cylinder engine with a 6.75 x 7.00 bore and stroke. Of the nearly 200,000 units sold, many are still in use today and are very popular with collectors and restorers.

The pictured 1936 John Deere D tractor is owned by the Blaes’ family and resides in Kansas. Leo Blaes purchased this tractor new in 1936 for $900. This D has been featured in antique farm tractor magazines and on the RFD TV’s “Max Armstrong’s Tractor Shed” in March of 2010.  Read more