Iowa, Indiana farm moms among top five

A Minden, Iowa woman and a Franklin, Indiana woman are among the five regional winners in Monsanto’s search for Farm Mom of the Year. “I actually grew up in town, so when I met and married a farmer from Iowa I had a lot of learning to do,” said Sara Ross, Minden, Iowa, who is… Read more »

FFA Skills Contest breaks record

The Michigan FFA Ag Skills contest today reports the highest level of member participation ever recorded. Dr. Randy Showerman, Michigan FFA Association State Advisor says they have over 717 teams competing in 23 FFA Ag Skills Contest, and more than 500 students than last year. “The major increase I believe is because to the direct… Read more »

A tale of two different planting seasons

Spring planting in Illinois is telling two different stories.  Mike Toohill, Illinois based agronomist for Diversified Services says the northern two-thirds of the state is in need of a rain.  “Soils are pretty dry here,” he says.  “Basically north of 70 in Illinois – we could take a half-inch to an inch of rain and… Read more »

MSU discovers plant switch

Improving plant efficiency to feed and fuel a growing population continues to challenge the plant research community. Dave Kramer, Michigan State University Distinguished Professor in Photosynthesis and Bioenergetics, says the rate of traditional plant breeding is slowing down and research needs to look at more than plant architecture to increase efficiencies.  “The next step we… Read more »

Cold soil temperatures slowing emergence

The recent cool weather has dropped soil temperatures drastically in many parts of the Corn Belt since last week.  Mike Toohill, Illinois based agronomist for Diversified Services, says while the drop in temperatures will likely stunt the corn crop that’s planted so far, as long as the soil doesn’t freeze to seed depth, the seed… Read more »

Hoping weather helps to slow the virus’ spread

The H5N2 Avian Influenza virus is a foreign animal disease that was first diagnosed in the northwest United States several months ago and has moved quickly across the country. Indiana state veterinarian Dr. Bret Marsh says determining how the virus got into commercial poultry operations has been a challenge.  “It’s believe the virus is moved… Read more »

Tackling misinformation head on

California’s farmers and ranchers have been receiving some negative attention after Governor Jerry Brown announced mandatory water cuts for urban users.  That bad publicity has California’s agricultural industry tackling misinformation surrounding water use head on. California Farm Bureau president Paul Wenger says farmers have done their job so well that consumers have taken it for… Read more »

Increasing bio-security to fight avian influenza

Avian influenza continues to spread across the Upper Midwest.  Indiana state veterinarian Bret Marsh says Indiana’s poultry farmers are doing what they can to prevent the disease from infecting their flocks.  “As for basic biosecurity features – know who is on and off the operation,” he says.  “If at all possible, if there are outside… Read more »

Planting delay allows time for other work

It’s almost May and central Indiana farmer Jonathan Sparks has yet to plant a field. He says he isn’t too worried at this point and it’s giving him the chance to work on other projects around the farm.  “My brother-in-law refers to it as ‘this old bailer’,” he says.  “I’ve been reworking my big square… Read more »

Earth Day is every day for farmers

Earth Day has brought together communities and volunteers each year on April 22 for 45 years. A global environmental celebration, Jim Johnson Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Environmental Stewardship Division, says the farmer takes part in Earth Day every day as the original conservationist. “A lot of their work is… Read more »