“‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers -
“Wow!” I said as I pulled a huge carrot out of the ground. “Now that’s a carrot!”
Tis the season when it’s common to see zombies and goblins roaming the streets, doing their best to throw a scare into the populace.
A significant number of farm operators in the upper Midwest will receive 2019 farm program payments during October from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). A large number of crop producers in Minnesota and surrounding states were enrolled in their county’…
It might seem like gardening and its methods are timeless. If so, we could continue doing our yard and garden tasks the same way we’ve always done them.
If there is such a thing as a 76-year-old poster child, Collin Peterson, the chairman of the House Ag Committee, could be the weatherworn face of today’s red-and-blue political divide in rural America. His qualifications for the job are, well, colorful.
As a little kid, a good day was when I got to “help” Dad feed calves.
“Do you want to go see the cows?” my grandpa asked me when I was a young child.
It had been a while since I’d ridden in a mobile barn.
The monthly USDA World Supply and Demand Estimates report was released Oct. 9, which will likely impact corn and soybean markets in the coming months. The WASDE report projects much lower overall U.S. soybean ending stock levels by the end of the 2020-21 marketing year, compared to the 2019-…
Did you hear about the guy who doesn’t believe in repeating gossip, so you need to listen closely the first time? I don’t repeat many of our gardening columns from year to year either, unless it’s with a new twist, new research — or it’s a topic that’s proven popular.
In recent columns we have made our thoughts about exports clear when it comes to crop agriculture.
Somewhere in southern Illinois there’s a high school yearbook that contains a photo of me and another student leaning against a classroom wall on either side of a 1972 campaign poster of a smiling Richard Nixon. The caption writer, another student, notes that my buddy and I are “standing” wi…
Soybean and corn harvest is underway or wrapped up in many parts of South Dakota. Although it’s a great feeling to get that crop in the bin, it’s easy to become complacent when it comes to safety measures.
At 6 years old, I wanted to live on a “real farm.”
One day I was writing my “Prairie Fare” column at my desk when the phone rang.
The bull market is raging, with soybeans running to the highest price in over two years at $10.48 on Sept. 6, and Chicago wheat at the highest price in over five years at $5.96 on Sept. 6. Corn is at the highest price in months, but is still quite a ways from the $4.60 area high made last su…
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many of our daily patterns, none the least of which are our eating habits. The infamous “freshman 15” has been supplanted by the “corona 20.” Sadly, this no longer refers to the number of beers consumed of an evening.
The Sept. 30 USDA Grain Stocks Report surprised most grain marketing analysts and was quite bullish for corn and soybean markets. Grain stock estimates for corn, soybeans and wheat were all considerably lower than pre-report estimates. Following the USDA Report, December corn futures on the …
Elephant jokes are timeless, and here’s a classic. How does an elephant get down from a tree? It sits on a leaf and waits until autumn.
Johne’s Disease is a slowly progressing bacterial infection of the small intestine in cattle, causing chronic diarrhea and wasting. Its effects on production losses and mortality spurs seedstock and commercial beef herds to consider testing strategies to reduce the disease’s impact. In my la…
Some books are worth more in your hand and on your shelf than they are as electrons in your e-reader. These books, and their authors, are valued friends and you return to them often for information, advice, and comfort.
Harvest is grinding forward as we have very dry weather this fall, with almost no rain the past two weeks, or forecast to fall in the next two weeks. In fact, this would be considered a horrible drought were it during spring planting. But it’s harvest time, and for most crops dry weather hel…
It’s watching the rain clouds roll in across a drought-stricken plain. It’s pacing the delivery room, waiting to meet your firstborn. It’s bringing home the tournament win after a decade of falling short.
It’s every citizen’s civic duty to vote, much in the same way that it’s a responsible person’s duty to pick up after their dog when they take their pooch out for a walk. Except that voting generally doesn’t involve unpleasant odors or icky tactile experiences.
Just when you think 2020 can’t possibly get any crazier, autumn arrives with a carload of crazy in tow.
Fall is the ideal time of year to test your fields for soybean cyst nematode.
The cooler temperatures and sunny days we’ve been having bring better chances for fall color in our trees.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced details for enrollment for the second round of payments for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, also known as CFAP2.
Lean closer and I’ll tell you a secret: I’ve never grown garlic. Never one to pass up a new planting adventure, I’ve got garlic bulbs ready for fall planting.
“Mom, we forgot to bring the apple picker,” my older daughter said as we stood on tiptoe next to the tree on a sunny autumn day.
“My whips!” I said. “I can’t fee my whips!”
An email from an Iowa woman recently popped into my inbox. The lady wrote that her daughter and her daughter’s friend had written a children’s book and were wondering if I could advise them about how to get their book onto the market.
If you could take a sunny disposition, contentment, and good old-fashioned reliability and create a flower, it would be the geranium. They’ve been gracing our homes since pioneer days and are an ever-popular staple in outdoor pots, planters and flower beds. Geraniums are also the most popula…
In a couple of weeks, we will enter full-scale fall harvest for the 2020 growing season, which makes it is a good time for farm families to review the farm safety procedures in their farming operation.
Johne’s Disease is a cattle problem garnering more and more attention from beef producers. Weirdly named for the guy who discovered its bacterial cause, Johne’s is a chronic, slowly progressing infection of the lower part of the small intestine resulting in diarrhea and wasting. Spread to ot…
In a year of too many dark days, Sept. 14 was a particularly dark day for every American for two reasons.
“You’re moving the compost pile?” I asked.
Grains continue their uptrend, with new 2.3-year highs in soybeans again Sept. 14, penetrating the $10 area for the first time in over two years. There is much to be excited about in soybeans, as USDA botched yield estimates again this year, hiking it to 53.3 bu in August only to have to sta…
You know that it’s time to harvest your grapes when you start to see purple bird doots on the windshield of your pickup. In any case, that’s the system I use.
Certain rules in horticulture don’t change. Tomato plants freeze easily at 32 degrees, a constant not likely to change anytime soon. Some things do change, though, like tree planting recommendations.
The Sept. 11 USDA Crop Report lowered the projected U.S. average corn and soybean yields for 2020, 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 Sept. 1; and were the first 2020 yield USDA es…
If experience is the best teacher, then surely we have learned a few important, unforgettable lessons in this otherwise forgettable year.
As I meandered around a store recently, I noticed that cleaning supplies were still in short supply. I found one bottle of chlorine bleach on the shelf.
In last week’s column we examined the assertion that corn prices moved from the $1 per bushel price plateau in the 1947-72 period to a $2 price plateau in the 1973-2005 period and ultimately a $4 price plateau following 2005.
My wife and I generally look forward to road trips. There’s nothing like a bright, new morning with an open road stretching out before us, a steaming mug of coffee in the cupholder, an order of French toast sticks balancing on the armrest.
A farm call to check a couple of sick calves out of a pen of feedlot steers was a typical fall-time task during my days as a young veterinarian practicing in rural South Dakota. Pneumonia was the common diagnosis and quite treatable if caught early enough. I’d take the calves’ temperatures, …
Well, it happened: I’ve turned into my parents. When we were younger, remember how the nine-month school year dragged like an eternity, and three months of summer thankfully stretched long? My parents, though, said time flew too quickly, even more so as they aged.
Back in July, most crop and marketing analysts were expecting a record corn and soybean crop in the United States, as well as in many major crop producing states. However, a combination of widespread severe storms, high incidence of crop diseases, and expanding drought area during August has…
In March 1919, John Reed, an American journalist, published Ten Days that Shook the World, his eyewitness book on one of the new century’s most defining events, the Russian Revolution.