Farm Forum

08/20/19 — The market seems fairly comfortable sliding lower for the time, with the USDA not helping things last Monday by not cutting acreage as much as expected in corn. However, they did cut soybean acreage much more than expected, and net we actually planted fewer acres than the trade wa…

Farm Forum

Successful hay storage is essential to preserving high quality forage, while ensuring desired performance from livestock and deterring economic losses from unwanted hay storage fires. The predominant reason that fires occur in hay is because of excessive moisture in the plant residue that re…

Farm Forum

There was a lot of anticipation leading into August 12 USDA Crop Report; however, a very “bearish” report has resulted in a decline of nearly $.50 per bushel in the December corn futures price from August 9 to August 19. Most of the Eastern Corn Belt, as well as portions of the Western Corn …

Farm Forum

08/13/19 — Markets are sure sagging greatly after our spring rally on the horrible planting conditions. That is interesting as yesterday USDA’s August report cut corn/bean planted acreage another 5 million acres (mostly beans) — and the corn market went limit down! But from the market’s pers…

Farm Forum

Despite my growing affection for our motley crew of barn cats, I’ve always been more of a dog person. But looking at our Australian shepherd, Cocoa, the past couple months, I gained a new appreciation for the cats’ ability to groom themselves.

Farm Forum

Each year many key issues are discussed as part of the various feature forums at Farmfest. The 2019 farm show was held on August 6-8 in Redwood County, Minnesota. A variety of National and State agricultural leaders and policy makers, including the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue,…

Farm Forum

Traveling through my territory these past few weeks, I am reminded of days gone by. This is not necessarily a good thing, as the days gone by that have been on my mind is the 1980’s. I was just starting my career as an agriculture education instructor when the farm crisis hit. I helped write…

Farm Forum

With the election of four young women—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlab, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna S. Pressley—to the U.S. House of Representatives, the word “progressive” has visibly returned to the political arena. For those who use the word progressive to describe themselves, it is a po…

Farm Forum

08/06/19 — The markets recently have been plagued by two negative factors: Good weather and more China trade talk. Good weather has always hampered the market, but recently whenever China trade negotiations make headlines, ag markets go down. Sometimes it can be good news on trade, sometimes…

Farm Forum

When I told my father I was moving to Aberdeen 10 years ago, the first thing he said to me was, “Hey, they’ve got a great county fair there!” He helped organize the county fair near our family’s farm in Mississippi, and somehow, he had learned about the great fair Brown County holds every year.

Farm Forum

One of the hottest topics in the world’s swine industry today, as well as in the entire agriculture and animal health sectors, is the spread of African swine fever (ASF) in China and other countries. Many concerns have also been raised about the potential animal health and economic impacts t…

Farm Forum

As a kid, all I knew about Galveston was what I gleaned from the 1969 Glen Campbell song that was named for the place. Campbell crooned about sea waves and sea winds and sea birds. There seemed to be a theme.

Farm Forum

Over the years we have heard the arguments taking place among the proponents of commercial agriculture with their use of synthetic fertilizers and the accompanying mix of herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides, those who support the use of multi-year crop rotations including cover crops wi…

Farm Forum

07/30/19 — Weather is perfect for temperatures normally this time of year — cooler than average for pollination. But precip amounts have also been below average for most all of the Corn Belt the past week. For the past 30 days, many central Corn Belt states have seen below normal precip incl…

Farm Forum

On July 25, USDA announced the details for the $16.0 billion trade assistance package for farm operators. A total of $14.5 billion, which is the largest portion of the aid package, is designated as direct payments to farmers, in the form of market facilitation program (MFP) payments.

Farm Forum

Johnson Space Center is a collection of nondescript office buildings situated in the southeast corner of Houston, Texas. The structures aren’t named; they are instead assigned mundane numbers, none of which are the least bit sciencey. You would think that they could have named at least one b…

Farm Forum

07/23/19 — We are now at the reproductive stage for corn and soybeans, when weather becomes critically important for crops. The weatherman seems to be unsure what to call for a weather forecast during this stage, as we’ve gone from a hot/dry forecast a week ago, to cool/wet, to cool/dry, and…

Farm Forum

Just about the time it appears that crop conditions seem to be improving, Mother Nature throws a new twist into the situation, which appears to be the case in 2019. After a very wet Spring and late planting season in most of the Midwest, crop conditions had begun to improve in late June and …

Farm Forum

4-H prep should be an Olympic sport. Or at least it felt that way as I helped my older kids get ready for entry day at the county fair. Forms filled out, recipes found, last coats of paint applied. It’s a race against the clock. Even with a couple of decades behind her, I think my mom still …

Farm Forum

Following up on our column, “2019 is one of THOSE years” (https://tinyurl.com/yyakav5c), we want to examine some of the financial issues facing farmers in a year with widespread flooding, fields that won’t dry out, and prevented planting, all taking place in the midst of a trade war that has…

Farm Forum

When I stray into politics in this column, I like to stick to concrete realities — decisions made by government agencies, changes made to people’s lives and how they conduct business, etc. Though I am not always successful, I try to avoid the mud-slinging.

Farm Forum

07/17/19 — Markets have been erratic since the June 28 acreage report, which ignored the obvious prevent planting that occurred in all states except the Dakotas. But the direction ultimately has been down as temps warmed and soggy soils dried out in the Corn Belt.

Farm Forum

The USDA Grains Supply and Demand (WASDE) Report released on July 11 did not seem to have any impact on corn and soybean prices, even though some of the data was somewhat “bearish” toward the grain markets. In fact, prices for both corn and soybeans increased immediately following the WASDE …

Farm Forum

Call it what you will—coincidence, chance or just bad luck—but on the very day that President Donald J. Trump defended his Administration’s almost indefensible record on the environment, the Washington, D. C. metro area was deluged by rainfall not seen since Noah.

Contests & Promotions

Get emails from the Farm Forum