Around Farm Progress
Exploring the aftermath of a weather disaster

Exploring the aftermath of a weather disaster

February 26, 2021


The images of broken water pipes and people lining up to get fresh water filled the airwaves and newspapers as residents of the Southwest worked to dig themselves out of some of the coldest weather on record. But what about the farms and ranches hit by that same weather?

Temperatures dropped into the single digits during the second week of February and yet a week later, they rose back into the 70s. We wanted to get a closer look, so we turned to Shelley Huguley, Southwest Farm Press, for her insight, and while she found plenty of bad news, there was one silver lining.

Photo: Shelley Huguley

Advancing mechanization in the West

Advancing mechanization in the West

February 19, 2021


This week we're exploring the latest trend in farm mechanization. Sure, row crop farmers ditched horses for iron decades ago, and even in specialty crop areas mechanization has come a long way. But when it comes to the actual harvest for those specialty crops, mechanization has been slow to arrive. Yet there's a new effort underway to ramp up the use of mechanization for more than corn and soybeans.

Tim Hearden with Western Farm Press shares some insights on a new initiative in the West that has implications for specialty crop producers in other states and around the world. He shares some of what he's learned, and what it might mean. And even for a row crop farmer this move to mechanization in non-traditional crops is interesting.

Photo: Vineyard tech Kaan Kurtural/UC Davis

Do-it-yourself planter; and an electric pickup

Do-it-yourself planter; and an electric pickup

February 12, 2021


When it came time for the Nugents in Elnora, Ind., to update their planter after last season, this father-son team decided to go custom. Really custom. They're building their own planter for the 2021 season and Tom Bechman with Indiana Prairie Farmer shares their story.

It's an interesting look at the project, it's cost and even the relationship the Nugents have with a neighbor sharing a heated shop for the project. Tom offers more details about this machine, including some of the tech the farm is using.

And there are some more details about the Rivian electric pickup mentioned in last week's podcast. The specifications for this zero-emission vehicle will surprise most gearhead listeners. Could the truck be a game-changer? Possibly. Does the podcast host still want that test-drive? Definitely. 

Photos: Planter, Left- Tom Bechman; Rivian Truck – Willie Vogt

Robot crop tender, and a view from CES

Robot crop tender, and a view from CES

February 5, 2021


In this week's episode of Around Farm Progress, Mindy Ward, editor of Missouri Ruralist, takes the reins as the interviewer to explore what technology host Willie Vogt has been seeing. The opening technology is a new farm tool under development at 360 Yield Center – the 360 Rain. They discuss this in-season crop tender and what it might mean for crop production.

Then the discussion turns to technology and a recent digital posting with a look at new tools from CES, the former Consumer Electronics Show. The lineup of ideas they discuss is diverse, but the aim was to showcase some tools farmers might find interesting. The listener will have to be the judge, but you can check out the technology they discuss online.

Photos: 360 Rain/360 Yield Center; Robot Kitchen/Moley Robotics

Derecho impact lingers, and digging into new software

Derecho impact lingers, and digging into new software

January 29, 2021


The derecho that ripped across the Midwest last August brought a fair share of damage to crops, buildings and more as those high winds pounded a 700-mile stretch. And while the harvest was a challenge, and the rebuilding has begun, trouble still looms – volunteer corn. Tyler Harris, Wallaces Farmer, is digging into the issue and shares some thoughts on tactics for what will be a significant challenge in 2021.

Then we turn to Tracy Uhlman, go-to-market manager for imbedded systems at John Deere. When John Deere launched AutoPath late in 2020, a Twitter post and questions in replies got our attention. We turned to Uhlman for some more answers about this new tool and how it works. We even learned how it helped one test farm after that derecho.

Photos: Flattened corn - Meaghan Anderson, Iowa State; AutoPath screen – John Deere

A beef industry event, and new tech for corn

A beef industry event, and new tech for corn

January 22, 2021


There are two very different topics brought together for this week's episode of Around Farm Progress. First up we're offering a preview of an important virtual event coming the week of February 1 – the Virtual BEEF Experience. This is a FREE event, and we wanted to learn more so we connected with Sarah Muirhead, managing director with the Farm Progress team to find out what you can expect.

Then we turn our attention to corn, fertility and a new tool that may help you maximize nitrogen use. Adam Litle, CEO of Sound Agriculture, shares insight on the new SOURCE product. He explains how it works, and some results they've seen. It's an interesting way to boost nitrogen availability to your corn crop and has shown promise on other crops too.

Photos: Cattle - Jacqueline Nix; Corn - Willie Vogt

Extreme weather, and a pandemic, are powerful challenges to ag

Extreme weather, and a pandemic, are powerful challenges to ag

January 15, 2021


Agriculture in the West is diverse, sometimes more than we think. But it's also challenged by increasingly extreme weather including drought. Layer in a pandemic, and farmers and ranchers find they must think in new ways.

We wanted to get a sense of what that means so we connected with two editors from Western Farm Press, Todd Fitchette and Tim Hearden.

Photos: Coffee – Todd Fitchette; Drought – Stevanovicigor/Getty Images

Learning about an ag milestone, looking to the future

Learning about an ag milestone, looking to the future

January 8, 2021


Ever wonder what it means to start a revolution? We're not sure Gary Vermeer knew that this was what he was doing, but when his first large round baler hit the market 50 years ago, it was what we often call today a "game changer." But we wanted to know more.

We connected with Mindi Vanden Bosch, who heads up the forage solutions group at Vermeer; and Mark Core, executive vice president and chief marketing officer to talk about the company's history. Since Vermeer was founded in 1948, we wondered what Vermeer was doing before he built that first large round baler.

Photos courtesy of Vermeer

Remembering more favorite stories from 2020

Remembering more favorite stories from 2020

January 1, 2021

Happy New Year! We're wrapping up 2020 with a little look back on some favorite stories or hot topics from last year that could be something to watch in 2021.

First up, Shelley Huguley, Southwest Farm Press, refuses to be held to just one of her favorites, so she picks three. What she shares is fun, informative and heartfelt.

Jennifer Kiel, American Agriculturist, offers a discussion about regenerative agriculture, which started with a story she did in 2020 and expects to keep following this year. She notes that for the idea to succeed regenerative agriculture must offer one feature – profit for the farmer.

And Tom Bechman, Indiana Prairie Farmer, talks agriculture technology. He shares what he learned getting a look at new tools and discusses automation, safety and even some ideas on future university research.

Photos by, from left, Shelley Huguley, Jennifer Kiel and Austin Keating

Looking back on our 2020 favorite stories

Looking back on our 2020 favorite stories

December 25, 2020


We catch up on the 2020 favorite stories for three Farm Progress Editors. 

Chris Torres, American Agriculturist, shares a story he did in 2020 focused on a farmer who got COVID-19.

John Hart, Southeast Farm Press, shares the story of a family who weathered a challenge with their newborn son – it turned out well – but from that experience got the idea for a new business that uses some of their cotton.

Holly Spangler, Prairie Farmer, who talks about her in-depth profile of Orion Samuelson, an icon in agriculture.

Photos by, from left, Travis Duffy, John Hart, Wales Hunter, NAFB

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