Farm Forum

As farm policy has moved away from its roots in the Great Depression, we have observed what policy elements have worked well and which ones have created problems. As farm policy analysts, we view our task as one of building on those policy elements that have worked well and designing new ele…

Farm Forum

Imagine turning the handle on the water faucet and nothing comes out. Reaching the scoop into the feedbag only to scrape the bottom and come up empty. Picking up the coffee pot to pour, but no liquid fills your cup.

Farm Forum

A limited number of farm operators in the Upper Midwest will receive 2018 farm program payments during October from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). Most crop producers in Minnesota and surrounding States were still enrolled in the county yield-based Ag Risk Coverage (ARC-CO) farm program…

Farm Forum

“We’re supposed to get 1 to 3 inches of snow today,” he whispered, his shadow looming over me as I rubbed my eyes in the dark of the early morning, removed the toddler foot lodged in my ribs and tried to make sense of the horror of the first words I heard in my waking moments on the second d…

Farm Forum

An Iowa farmer sent me an email in anticipation of the freeze this weekend and I suspect many farmers are in the similar position of having mature crops with replant that may not be mature yet. Read more about my thoughts on how to handle this situation below.

Farm Forum

When I was a teenager, my father and I took a map of the Civil War Battle of Corinth, and we drove around the outskirts of the town until we found some old defensive earthworks from the battle that were still standing on land that was being used as a pasture. There we were, roughly 130 years…

Farm Forum

10/08/19 — It appears the bull market is awakening! Prices seem to drift higher daily, and there seems to be plenty of reasons why. By the time many read this in newspapers, the USDA Oct. 10 report will already be released, either validating much of what I wrote below, or not. But it appears…

Farm Forum

One piece of machinery used daily on many farms, especially dairies and acreages, is a skid-steer. Skid-steers are used for many tasks on the farm such as pushing up feed, handling manure, hauling and loading feed and maneuvering equipment. Owners and employees need to be aware of the correc…

Farm Forum

Like most ranchers, I am not too keen on leaving the ranch and getting involved in politics and policy. In fact, if I hadn’t bumped into Jess Peterson at a bull sale in southern Virginia a few years back, I wouldn’t have gotten involved in the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA). After we ch…

Farm Forum

Continued wet, rainy weather has slowed harvest progress in many areas of the Upper Midwest. Harvest progress across the region varies considerably, depending on the amount of rainfall received during September and early October, and the level of soil saturation that existed in given locatio…

Farm Forum

I’ve frequently written about the term “One Health” in this space. One Health describes the concept that the health of people, animals, and their environment are inextricably linked. Zoonotic diseases – diseases that can pass from animals to people – like E. coli O157 or some types of influe…

Farm Forum

The essentials of management on modern farms and ranches has grown with the need to track income and expense details to determine a profit in a business with very tight margins. Just as each farm or ranch operation is very different, so goes the financial picture and the need for tracking of…

Farm Forum

The internal memo only confirmed what unofficial Washington had been saying for more than a year and what official Washington had been downplaying for even longer: The White House plan to move two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies to Kansas City will severely cripple USDA data c…

Farm Forum

As part of our work in polishing up the APAC/TFU (Agricultural Policy Analysis Center/Texas Farmers Union) supply management proposal, we have been reexamining the history of farm-related federal legislation over the last century and a half. During that period most of the farm legislation, e…

Farm Forum

As a result of late planting and inconsistent (mostly cooler-than-average) weather conditions — both in-field and across fields — yield variations have been quite significant this year in South Dakota as compared to previous years. Even on high productive land, it is expected for corn yields…

Farm Forum

10/01/19 — It’s October, and so far producers have dodged the frost bullet — an extremely positive development for northern growers but also a bearish development for the market. Crops will likely mature or get close to it in many northern areas, at least most of the crop in North Dakota, So…

Farm Forum

It is likely that a significant number of corn and soybean producers in many areas of Southern and Western Minnesota, as well as adjoining areas of Iowa and South Dakota, will qualify for crop insurance indemnity payments in 2019. Much of this region dealt with planting delays last Spring, e…

Farm Forum

Lee Kratochvil reminds me of Theodore Roosevelt. Like T.R., Lee has an effusive personality and is an avid outdoorsman. Some years ago, Lee’s broad, toothy grin landed him the role of Teddy in a local production of “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

Farm Forum

A long to-do list has been on my mind the past four weeks as I travel the prairie; the biggest project requiring the most thought is the preparation of a presentation for the South Dakota Farm and Ranch Stress Summit that was held Sept. 23-25 in Chamberlain. I was asked to present on farm fi…

Farm Forum

One of my earliest memories isn’t really a memory. It’s a smell — the smell of dirt inside the cab of a tractor. To me, there’s no other smell like it, and it’s hard to describe. Dry and slightly sweet is the closest I can get, but however you describe it, it’s wholesome.

Farm Forum

09/24/19 — North Dakota and northern Minnesota now officially will have a late frost in 2019 (and likely South Dakota), as we’ve already surpassed the normal frost date in most areas with at least another week of warm weather forecast. That will help crops mature, or at least get closer to m…

Farm Forum

Above normal temperatures in mid-September have helped the 2019 corn and soybean crop move somewhat closer to reaching maturity. As we entered September, there was a great deal of concern about crop maturity, due to the very late planting dates this year in many areas of the Upper Midwest, a…

Farm Forum

In the early morning fog the other day, I heard a claw hammer’s tap, tap, bam, bam, bam, boom drive a nail into its place for who knows how many years. A moment later, another six, clear, sharp notes cut through the fog and another nail was set for, maybe, a century or more.

Farm Forum

Over the last three columns, we examined the agricultural and rural policies set forth by the three leading candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination for President. Of the three, Warren has the most detailed plan for commodity policy, though both she and Sanders support supply management…

Farm Forum

09/17/19 — Today as I write this column it’s 84 degrees at noon in Fargo — a very nice summer day. When you consider it’s Sept. 17 and we have a very delayed maturity corn and soybean crop in the field, it’s an absolute hallelujah day! We couldn’t have asked for better weather up and down th…

Farm Forum

The September 12 USDA Crop Report slightly lowered the projected U.S. average corn and soybean yields for 2019, as compared to the August National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) yield estimates. The USDA yield estimates were based on U.S. crop conditions as of September 1st; however, the NASS …

Farm Forum

Fly Control in concentrated animal feeding operations such as dairies is a challenge, especially in warm weather or late in the year and also if there is abundant moisture and organic matter available. Flies not only are a pest, but they also decrease production efficiency. Flies cause lives…

Farm Forum

As part of his campaign for the Democratic nomination for the coming 2020 presidential campaign which will, in all likelihood, pit the winner against the incumbent Republican, Donald Trump, Joe Biden has issued “The Biden Plan for Rural America” (https://joebiden.com/rural/). Unlike two of h…

The Green Sheet goes PINK

"The Green Sheet" goes PINK.

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