Around Farm Progress
Maximize the farm voice in climate conversations

Maximize the farm voice in climate conversations

November 27, 2020


There's a lot of talk these days about carbon, extreme weather and potential actions needed in agriculture. What can farmers do?

The conversation around extreme weather is heating up as new opportunities to get paid for carbon become available, but there's more. Regulations could be coming to agriculture, but there's a diverse group of ag-focused interests that have worked hard to have a seat at the table when those talks begin. Jacqui Fatka, policy editor, Farm Futures, has been covering this issue and shares what she's learned about this group and the work they've undertaken.

Photo: hauged/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Are you ready to buy new equipment?

Are you ready to buy new equipment?

November 20, 2020


Based on new data, and rising crop prices, it looks like farmers may be heading back to their local farm equipment dealer to make purchases soon. What might that mean?

Mike Wilson, editor of Farm Futures, discusses the factors surrounding equipment replacement, why a 7-year-old machine may need to be upgraded and some financial considerations for those in the market. And he discusses how automation and technology could make a difference in the future.

Photo: Willie Vogt

Taking control of water on the farm

Taking control of water on the farm

November 13, 2020


In agriculture there are factors that are beyond a farmer's control. Weather is a big challenge and sometimes with it is the lack, or over-abundance of water. Over the past two decades the push to tile more ground to clear field wet spots, has been a boon to productivity. Now there may be another benefit?

More farmers are looking at managed drainage. In effect, this involves installing control structures on a tile system that can shut a tile to keep water in the soil profile, but later be opened to drain. With this approach the producer has better control of crop access to water through the season, and there's a stewardship benefit too.

Curt Arens with Nebraska Farmer and Dakota Farmer recently wrote about the practice working with a South Dakota producer. In this week's episode of Around Farm Progress, he shares how it works and what the installation has meant to that farmer.

Photos: Curt Arens

FFA chapters adapt, dairy farmers find new income

FFA chapters adapt, dairy farmers find new income

November 6, 2020


We went looking for good news this week among the Farm Progress team and we found a couple of interesting storys.

When you can't go to school and your best fund-raising event – a state fair – shuts down, what can an FFA Chapter do? Tom Bechman, editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer shares news on that topic that shows these groups can pivot with the best of them. Check out what he has to say on that topic.

Then we turn to Wisconsin where Fran O'Leary, editor of Wisconsin Agriculturist, shares news of a dairy operation that's producing renewable natural gas from its own methane, and from digester methane trucked in from other dairies. The rising need for low carbon fuel could be a new opportunity for Midwest livestock operations.

Photos: FFA logo – FFA; Renewable natural gas tanks – U.S. Gain

Cattle facial recognition and giant hornets

Cattle facial recognition and giant hornets

October 30, 2020


Did you know cow faces are different enough for facial recognition? And just how did they eradicate that Asian giant hornet nest in Washington state?

In this episode of Around Farm Progress, both topics get a deeper look. PJ Griekspoor, editor of Kansas Farmer who shares the story of some new technology for tracking cattle. Using just your smart phone and access to the cloud, researchers have developed a facial recognition tool for cattle. Yep, you heard that right and she shares details of how it works.

Then PJ and podcast host Willie Vogt discuss some big news from out West, the find and eradication of the first Asian giant hornet's nest in the United States. The story of the hunt and eradication effort undertaken by the Washington State Department of Agriculture is very interesting, but it also doesn't mean the end of the Asian giant hornet story.

Photos: Cattle-PJ Griekspoor; Asian giant hornet – Washington State Department of Agriculture

Talking beef prices and rail logistics

Talking beef prices and rail logistics

October 23, 2020


Beef price transparency is getting more attention these days because of two major events, a fire in 2019 and the pandemic. Industry groups and lawmakers are taking action.

To get some perspective about what's a play here, we connected with Jacqui Fatka, policy editor for Feedstuffs and Farm Futures to learn more. She shares some history on the issues, how regional differences impact the beef market and looks at a two-track plan in the works, one voluntary and the other mandatory.

Then she turns her attention to the railroad industry. Consolidation in the industry, and a pandemic, have impacted how freight moves in this country. She sat in on a hearing recently and learned plenty, which she shares in the podcast. About 25% of the grain raised in the United States still moves to market by rail.

Photos: Beef – Steve Oehlenschlager; Railroad – BCFC – iStock/Getty Images Plus

Ag startups and going to market

Ag startups and going to market

October 16, 2020


There's been plenty of buzz about new technology in agriculture, but what has that wrought?

In this week's episode of Around Farm Progress Mindy Ward, editor of Missouri Ruralist, shares the story of one startup that has opened a new headquarters and is working with farmers across the country to bring its tools to market. She talked with one farmer who has planted new high-oleic soybeans and shares what she learned.

Mindy then quizzes the podcast host about a recent trip he took to visit a significant new startup in agriculture just before it's full-size manufacturing plant goes online. Willie Vogt has followed Anuvia since 2016 and offers insight into this innovative fertilizer technology that adds carbon back into the soil and provides a new way to put waste to work on the farm.

Photo: Willie Vogt

Farm safety and your kids

Farm safety and your kids

October 9, 2020


It's time to focus on one topic for the farm – and that's farm safety, but more importantly keeping our kids safe on the farm.

In this week's episode of Around Farm Progress we're taking a little different approach and focusing on one topic – farm safety. But stick with us we're not aiming to preach but to inform and the focus is on how can we keep our kids safe. With many now having more time to help, given changing pandemic school schedules, it's worth discussing.

We turned to Holly Spangler, editor of Prairie Farmer, who has some personal experience related to keeping her kids safe. She shares those stories, but also insights she's picked up on this important topic. She has written two relevant items, one offering tips on ways to keep your children safe; and the other about her personal experience (hence the bubble wrap).

And check out the Farm Progress Virtual Experience breakout on grain bin safety for more tips.

Photo: Holly Spangler

Talking new equipment, and digging in on a cover crop project

Talking new equipment, and digging in on a cover crop project

October 2, 2020


In this episode of Around Farm Progress, Tom Bechman, editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer, got a new way to look at equipment during production of the Farm Progress Virtual Experience. For the first time in years, he was able to spend quality cab time in many new machines to catch up on the tech. He offers his perspective on the new machines.

 

Over in Kansas, there's a growing interest in protecting watersheds, and cover crops may be the answer, but is flying them on the only way? Turns out, there's another way and the state is providing it with new machines hard at work using drop tubes and an onboard air seeder. P.J. Griekspoor, editor, Kansas Farmer is covering the development and you can see more coverage in her story, which includes video.

Image: Combine cab – Chad Colby; cover crop seeder – P.J. Griekspoor

New staffer, a hurricane challenge and a fascinating immigrant story

New staffer, a hurricane challenge and a fascinating immigrant story

September 25, 2020


Each week the Around Farm Progress podcast connects with editorial staff around the country to discuss a range of topics. This week we start by welcoming a new team member – Ginger Rowsey, as a new staff writer for the Delta Farm Press team. She talks about her experience and why she decided to join the team.

 

Brad Haire, editor, Southeast Farm Press, is covering the hurricane damage sweeping the South, but with a little help from an important resource – County Extension. He discusses the damage and more in this week's episode.

 

We wrap up with Shelley Huguley, editor, Southwest Farm Press, who shares the story of the Gaona family and how it got its start in farming. This is an immigrant story worth checking out.

 

Image: Rowsey – Tory Salvador, UT; flooded peanuts – Libbie Johnson; Richard Gaona – Shelley E. Huguley

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