Farm Forum

If I had a time machine, I’d use it to travel back to the time before the farm crisis of the 1980s dealt a severe blow to my family’s farm. I’d happily live through those days again when most of my family still worked on the farm — even if it meant I’d have to work harder than I do now.

Farm Forum

8/14/18 — It’s rare that USDA would raise soybean yields 6 percent or more in any one report, but they did just that for soybean yields in the August 10 USDA report. In fact, about half the time, USDA doesn’t need to change the final yield number more than 5 percent up or down in the entire …

Farm Forum

Working with farmers and ranchers the past five years, I have seen some evolving trends that I feel need to be discussed. Agriculture has followed the trend of our society in general-taking on more work and adding to the stress of our jobs. I am as guilty as anyone, so I want to talk about t…

Farm Forum

A few years ago, out of idle curiosity, I took a 23andMe DNA test. I was certain that I’m approximately 100% Norwegian, so it wasn’t surprising when 23andMe confirmed that I’m probably the whitest person on the planet.

Farm Forum

Sounds of thunder interrupted the radio blaring on our front porch. With binoculars we watched lightning strikes in the distance, waiting for a dispatcher’s voice to say the call number 9210. When those numerals rang out over the storm, we knew the lightning had turned to wildfire. It was ti…

Farm Forum

Livestock production depends largely on the feeding program, and what you should feed your animals will depend on forage quality analyses. Forage quality determines the potential of a forage to produce the desired animal response. It can measure intake, palatability, digestibility, nutrient …

Farm Forum

In this country you have to take the bad with the good. It’s heartening to see the good that’s come along with ample moisture in much of the state. While there are dry areas around too, it’s good to see the hearty hay crops, lush pastures, and full stock dams in places that normally don’t se…

Farm Forum

I can remember an age when the most challenging job for me on the farm was simply driving a wheelbarrow from one part of the farm to another. When I was a small kid, it seemed like my grandfather’s old wheelbarrow would find every bump and rock on the farm when I was pushing it. Most of the …

Farm Forum

8/7/18 — The crop has officially started to decline after a relatively stress free summer so far in 2018. Crops got to a late start in planting this year, as March and April might have been near the coldest months in the winter! Then, the switch turned in May and temps warmed well above norm…

Farm Forum

One of the most difficult things for farm managers/owners to master is coaching employees for optimal performance. Just like becoming an 85 percent free throw shooter on the basketball court, it takes practice. Once mastered you will see employees who understand goals and expectations more c…

Farm Forum

There are few things that soothe my soul more than a gentle breeze on a warm summer afternoon, the smell of fresh donuts wafting in the air and the sound of two-cylinder John Deere tractors popping in the distance. Toss in a dash of oat dust and you have recreated an August afternoon of my c…

Farm Forum

“I’ve got so much work to do, I can’t possibly get away.” How many times have you said that to yourself? This statement may apply to many events in our lives and does not pertain to just us involved in agriculture. Today I’d like to focus on some benefits of taking a day here and there for e…

Farm Forum

We begin this overview of recent U.S. agricultural policies by looking at the driving rationale, apart from ever present budgetary constraints, behind many of the policy decisions made by Congress with the support of some farm organizations and commodity groups. While the cry of many farmers…

Farm Forum

Spring calving herds, depending on rainfall and temperatures, may be weeks or months away from weaning. For many operations, that will bring the challenge of feeding weaned calves for a short transition period. That’s when nutrition is critical to end-product quality, because it influences b…

Farm Forum

Like many of you, I first learned about tariffs and the impacts on international trade and global economies from my history books. Now, one of the most common questions I get from farmers who see the word “tariff” in the news almost daily is “how do tariffs really work?”

Farm Forum

7/31/18 — Grains got a boost from last week’s announcement by the EU and U.S. that they were doing to work out their trade disagreements and come to an understanding. A relatively surprising development was the news Europe would buy more U.S. soybeans as a result of that agreement. Not only …

Farm Forum

It is not uncommon to start seeing various leaf diseases on trees and plants this time of year. Many of these diseases can reoccur annually, and some depend on what kind of weather we are having in the spring and summer. Apple scab is a common ailment that affects apple and crabapple trees. …

Farm Forum Columnists

7/24/18 — President Trump campaigned on the slogan “Make America Great Again,” but like most presidents before him, most U.S. citizens expected that this was just a campaign slogan to get elected. Typically politicians don’t do what they say, they just say! Or as one former North Dakota repr…

Ag Life

Hubby and I went for a long drive the other day. We were checking the crops, enjoying the warm sunshine, and appreciating the beautiful countryside. Well, one mile led to another and before we knew it, we had traveled back to my old stomping grounds. My, oh my, things had certainly changed a…

Farm Forum Columnists

In talking with agriculture producers, decision-making weighs heavy on their minds with the fact that decisions have greatly increased in dollar value, and profit margins have become slim over the past few years. This is added stress to an already hectic production agriculture lifestyle and …

Farm Forum Columnists

When we talk to agricultural economists and members of Congress about what expectations they have for agricultural policy, they usually express a preference for policy instruments that do not interfere with market signals. And, on the face of it, that sounds like a reasonable goal.

Farm Forum Columnists

Once, when walking across the Charles Bridge in Prague, a friend asked if I knew the story behind the stunning, 14th century marvel under our feet. No, I replied, mostly because my education did not require much European history.