Around Farm Progress
Frozen cherries, rice and crawfish

Frozen cherries, rice and crawfish

May 29, 2020

Cherries, rice and crawfish

For many, it may be a surprise at the diversity of crops in Michigan. In this episode of Around Farm Progress we catch up with Jennifer Kiel, editor of Michigan Farmer and Ohio Farmer magazines. She talks about a late freeze that took a bite out of the sour cherry crop, as well as other crops, and she discusses the ongoing impact of flooding in the center of Michigan.

Down south we connect with Ron Smith, editor, Delta Farm Press who shares a planting update, but also offers some interesting ag facts for a crop many may not understand – rice. And there's a double-crop for some rice producers that may surprise some listeners. In Louisiana, rice growers also raise crayfish, or is that crawfish?

Photos: Cherries – Bhofack2; Crayfish – Owen Franken. Both iStock/Getty Images Plus

CFAP payments, questions and challenges out West

CFAP payments, questions and challenges out West

May 22, 2020

USDA payments and labor in the West

Rod Swoboda, editor, Wallaces Farmer, offers insight on the topic including a discussion regarding areas of agriculture in Iowa, and the Midwest, that won't see immediate support including the egg and ethanol industries. He also discusses the impact of the pandemic on ethanol production.

Out West, farmers are turning crops under or sending them to food shelves due to destroyed demand. Meanwhile, laws put in place a couple years ago are impacting producers in new ways too. Todd Fitchette, Western Farm Press, offers some insight. And he discusses drought challenges for the West too.

Photos: USDA building Willie Vogt; Sheep Spondylolithesis/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Swine update, beef cattle insight, and a cotton seed test

Swine update, beef cattle insight, and a cotton seed test

May 15, 2020


In this week's edition of the Around Farm Progress podcast, it's a look at the challenges facing swine producers; some insight on cattle producers; and an innovative way one state is working to help assure a farmer's seed investment pays off.

Editors on tap this week include Ann Hess, National Hog Farmer; Lon Tonneson, Dakota Farmer; and John Hart, Southeast Farm Press. Listen to learn more about some key topics impacting agriculture in different parts of the country.

Ann also mentions the Global Industry Virtual Conference, May 27 and 28. This online event offers visitors critical management insight and information for a fast-changing swine industry. Make plans to attend.

Photos: Hogs deyanarobova/Getty Images; Beef Steve Oehlenschlager/Getty Images; and Cotton Willie Vogt

Talking hemp, how vegetable farmers adapt and a little distance learning

Talking hemp, how vegetable farmers adapt and a little distance learning

May 8, 2020

Today's news is swallowed up by coronavirus and Farm Progress is not ignoring the issue. In this latest episode of the podcast Around Farm Progress, three editors dig into some key ag topics.

In Illinois, Austin Keating, Prairie Farmer magazine, offers a deep dive on hemp production. This super-hot crop from 2019 may have cooled some, but farmers are still interested in the market potential. But there are some stumbling blocks to consider and Keating has been following the issue. He shares details on testing, interstate transport and the challenge of marketing this crop.

In the Southeast, pictures of crops rotting in the field are as hard on the farmers as they are on a hungry public. Brad Haire, Southeast Farm Press, shares news of growers who have pivoted as the market changed, creating new ways to put fresh crops in the hands of consumers. He also shares some good commodity news in the wake of coronavirus, and least for peanut and rice growers.

In Nebraska, the editorial team at Nebraska Farmer watched schools close and decided they had an opportunity. Curt Arens of the team shares how their online galleries for historic places in the state are gaining some attention not only from history buffs but students and teachers seeking new material for distance learning. And Arens has a teacher in the house who's learning on-the-fly how to teach remotely.

Photo: Arina Bogachy/iStock/Getty Images Plus; Jessica Brim Kirk/Lewis Taylor Farms; Peter Dazeley/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Coronavirus, meat packing and #Plant20

Coronavirus, meat packing and #Plant20

May 1, 2020

planting, coronavirus

It's like there's nothing to talk about but coronavirus. And while that is true in many cases, the work of agriculture also continues. In the latest episode of Around Farm Progress, three editors share their insights from across the Corn Belt.

In Indiana, Tom Bechman, editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer, offers a look at the impact of two swine packing plant closures in that state. He also offers a look at how planting is going, including his own research corn plots at the Throckmorton Purdue Agricultural Center. He and Bob Nielsen, Extension agronomist, are conducting one of the few field tests going on at the facility in 2020.

In Illinois, packing plant closers are a kind of background worry for cow-calf producers for now, but there are concerns if trouble lingers. Holly Spangler, editor, Prairie Farmer offers insight on that issue, but also discusses how coronavirus is impacting other portions of Rural America, including healthcare. And she offers a look at the 2020 planting season from her farm.

And we wrap up in Nebraska with Tyler Harris, editor, Nebraska Farmer, who shares insight from a state where the Governor wants to reopen businesses, but some counties are hampered by flareups of coronavirus. And Tyler shares a planting update too, including a look at how different the weather is in 2020 versus 2019. Operative word: dry.

Comments? Questions?

COVID-19 ag support, and a look at two big fall farm shows

COVID-19 ag support, and a look at two big fall farm shows

April 24, 2020

Coronavirus is top-of-mind these days as it wreaks havoc on the economy and agriculture. And we keep on hitting key topics on that issue. But we're doing a little non-coronavirus coverage too because work is getting done on other fronts, including the Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days. Both aid for coronavirus, and prep for the fall shows, are on the agenda for this episode of Around Farm Progress, a new podcast from Farm Progress.

First up, we dig into the ag-focused aid announced by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue with Jacqui Fatka, policy editor for Feedstuffs and Farm Futures. She also shares some insight into increased ag market scrutiny from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Farmers are getting some aid, but there are concerns about future market impacts of COVID-19 and packer closings.

After that, we turn to the future and the 2020 Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days with Matt Jungmann, national events manager, Farm Progress. He shares an update on planting progress, then digs in on what's coming to these big shows for 2020, including the Hemp Pavilion and the Autonomy Showcase. Jungmann also discusses what makes the two shows different, and special, for the markets they serve.

He also shares a little insight on something called the "good idea fairy" which long-time show visitors will enjoy learning about. Oh, and he discusses an interesting challenge of planting a hemp plot at the show sites: a need to get his fingerprints to the FBI. Give the podcast a listen to learn more.

Comments or questions? Just send a note to

Extension, ethanol and impending drought

Extension, ethanol and impending drought

April 17, 2020

extension, ethanol and drought

What do you do when you can't hold meetings to keep farmers informed? With ethanol demand collapsing, plants are turning to making sanitizer, but there are other impacts as well. And while California is dealing with coronavirus, there's another approaching issue – drought.

The latest episode of Around Farm Progress visits with two Farm Progress editors to get the lowdown on those hot topics.

Mindy Ward, editor, Missouri Ruralist, shares insight on how Extension experts are able to reach out to farmers in new ways from statewide town halls to video chats to texting. And she offers some insight into what the collapse of ethanol demand looks like not only for the plants but for farmers that rely on feed byproducts.

Out west, the diverse agriculture of California is under pressure from coronavirus, and Tim Hearden, Western Farm Press, shares insight on that issue. He also raises a non-COVID-19 issue that California farmers will be facing in 2020 and that's water access with drought appearing in the state.

Ward and Hearden offer their local view of how these issues are impacting farmers and the people who support the industry.

PODCAST XTRA: Farmers hit by food industry challenges

PODCAST XTRA: Farmers hit by food industry challenges

April 14, 2020

Plants shuttered as workers get sick from COVID-19 even as farmers are loading animals into trailers to head to market. At the other end of the supply chain, supermarkets struggle to keep food on the shelf. In this dynamic and volatile market, the farmer is getting squeezed.

In this Around Farm Progress Xtra episode, editors from National Hog Farmer offer the latest insights into how COVID-19 is hurting farmers, specifically the pork industry. Editor Ann Hess and Senior Staff Writer Kevin Schulz share insight on the issues with new information from the industry about the potential impact of this changing market demand, and the programs available to farmers that could help.

Hess was a guest during the April 10 episode of Around Farm Progress and just after her interview Smithfield closed its Sioux Falls, S.D. plant after more than 200 employees were diagnosed with coronavirus. This after an Iowa pork processor closed its doors. The situation is fluid with changes happening daily. Hess and Schulz discuss key issues being raised by the industry with USDA and government leaders to bring aid to farmers, including a loan program that may help many producers.

Readers can catch the Farm Progress coverage of COVID-19 by visiting the special coronavirus online channel. Farm Progress editors are covering this event from across the country providing both local and national insight into how it impacts all of agriculture. Just visit

This special edition of Around Farm Progress was produced to help keep farmers informed as news breaks. Regular episodes of Around Farm  Progress go live online at 3 p.m. Central time on all Farm Progress websites. To find those episodes you can also visit the Podbean podcast home page to catch earlier episodes and subscribe to the show.

The weekly podcast features editors from Farm Progress who cover agriculture across the country.

Farm Progress is a leader in reaching them as needed. From top magazines around the country to one of the first agriculture-focused mobile apps from Farm Futures, to the leading television presence with This Week in Agribusiness, the company covers all media for agriculture.

Comments or questions? Just send a note to

Photo: Camij/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Livestock markets face negative market forces

Livestock markets face negative market forces

April 10, 2020

Dairy, beef and swine markets in turmoil
t's hard to quantify the impact of coronavirus on agriculture. Conditions keep changing almost daily, and each week the podcast Around Farm Progress has engaged editors to explore different issues. The latest episode offers a look at how coronavirus is impacting the dairy, beef and hog markets.

Guests this week involve editors from a state magazine as well as BEEF magazine and National Hog Farmer.

Fran O'Leary, editor, Wisconsin Agriculturist, opens the podcast to discuss how milk dumping is now a business necessity as the very nature of the markets dairy producers serve is changing. The collapse of the restaurant and institutional food industries is hitting dairy processors and that's trickling down to dairy farmers across the country. She shares what she's learned in Wisconsin and offers some perspective on ideas aimed at helping alleviate the problem.

The beef industry is no stranger to outside events influence the trade. Burt Rutherford, editor, BEEF Magazine, provides insight into what's happening now, but also offers a historical perspective on the issues. Calling them "black swan" events, he notes in his history of covering the industry he's seen a half dozen, but none quite like this.

And Ann Hess, editor, National Hog Farmer, shares insight into how the hog market is being impacted by changing consumption patterns, and even how coronavirus is impacting processing plants. She also shares how the industry is ramping up to promote pork to consumers, perhaps many new to cooking these products, for the spring and summer.

Thanks for listening.

Talking a jump in corn acres, and looking ahead to planting weather

Talking a jump in corn acres, and looking ahead to planting weather

April 5, 2020

Corn market insight

In this week's episode, we visit with Farm Futures editors to talk markets; and we feature a special guest to dig into what the weather looks like for this crop season. Welcome to the weekly Around Farm Progress podcast from the nation's leading agricultural information source. Each week we "travel" around the country talking with Farm Progress editors to explore hot topics and ideas for the industry.

In this edition we talked with Jacqueline Holland and Ben Potter from Farm Futures. And we checked in with Greg Soulje, agricultural meteorologist for This Week in Agribusiness. From the USDA report to planting weather, this episode covers it all. We even got a checkup on farmer mental health from the new Farm Progress Panel. Give it a listen.