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Hot Ag News

    • HOT AG NEWS /

    Researchers learning more about herbicide defense 'switch' in cereal crops

    URBANA, IL -- For decades, herbicide safeners have been used as a defense mechanism against stress caused by herbicides in cereal crops such as maize, rice, grain sorghum, and wheat. Developing these chemical compounds (safeners) that work with new herbicides has largely been done through trial and error because of limited knowledge of what happens in the plant when safeners have been applied, either directly as a seed treatment or broadcast with the herbicide.

    • Jan. 28, 2015
    • HOT AG NEWS /

    Popcorn is popular in Indiana

    Popcorn ears found in a New Mexico cave date back more than 5,000 years, but we can thank a couple of Hoosiers for giving it the flavor boost we now enjoy.

    • Jan. 28, 2015
    • HOT AG NEWS /
    Dick Lauwers with his wife, Mary. (Photo by Jeffrey M. Smith, Port Huron Times Herald.)

    Imlay City man named 2015 'Master Farmer'

    IMLAY CITY, MI -- Richard "Dick" Lauwers has been a gambler most of his life. Not with chips, dice or cards but -- like many farmers -- with dairy cows, soil and seeds.

    • Jan. 28, 2015
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    More than half of U.S. dairy operations have signed up for MPP

    The Agriculture Department announced Monday that more than half of U.S. dairy operations have enrolled in the new Margin Protection Program (MPP) for dairy in 2015. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said "Enrollment far exceeded our expectations in the first year. We're pleased that so many dairy producers are taking advantage of the expanded protection. USDA conducted a lot of outreach to get the word out.

    • Jan. 28, 2015
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    2015 MSU Dairy Farmer of the Year Mike Rasmussen operates Hillhaven Farms along with his family. Pictured, L-R, are Jesse, Sonja, Wilbert, Mike and Gracie Rasmussen. Photo by J.R. Dude Photography.

    Montcalm County farmer named 2015 MSU Dairy Farmer of the Year

    EDMORE, MI -- Mike Rasmussen of Edmore, MI, is the Michigan State University Department of Animal Science's 2015 Dairy Farmer of the Year.

    • Jan. 28, 2015
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    MFB hosts farm succession, estate planning seminars

    LANSING, MI -- Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) is hosting a pair of farm succession and estate planning seminars to help farmers navigate the challenging transition of a family farm business from one generation to the next. Two workshops are scheduled: Jan. 27 in Hillsdale and Feb. 4 in Saginaw.

    • Jan. 28, 2015
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    Farmers: Nominate your school district to receive grants up to $25,000!

    ST. LOUIS -- Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education continues to be a priority for U.S. school districts. Investing now is vitally important, as the fastest-growing occupations require STEM proficiency. However, securing financial support to expand curricula and provide hands-on learning opportunities can be challenging, especially in rural areas.

    • Jan. 28, 2015
    • HOT AG NEWS /

    Macomb food pantry plans to farm fish, grow produce indoors

    MACOMB, MI -- A Macomb County food pantry is embarking on an innovative project that organizers say could revolutionize the fight against hunger, while providing clients with healthier selections and fresh choices.

    • Jan. 28, 2015
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    James Young, a painter who loves old barns, recently purchased a barn from Delaware originally built in the 1840s. The old barn, which is being rebuilt on Young's property, should be finished in the spring. (Photo by Jessica Phelps, Newark Advocate)

    Barn-painting Ohio artist finally gets one of his own

    ALEXANDRIA, OH -- There's just something about old barns that makes James Young want to pick up a paint brush.

    • Jan. 28, 2015
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    MAA hosts 27th annual convention

    KALAMAZOO, MI -- Hundreds of professional auctioneers from across the Midwest including perhaps the most recognized figures in the automobile auction industry, two time Hall of Fame inductee, International Auctioneer Champion and the lead auctioneer for the world famous televised Barrett-Jackson collector car auction, Spanky Assister. Also attending is International Auctioneer Champion, Professional Bid Assistant and country music singer, Amy Assister.

    • Jan. 28, 2015
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    Great Lakes gets $40M to improve water, wildlife, environment

    LANSING, MI -- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced last week that Michigan will receive more than $40 million in federal funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to improve the state's water quality, support wildlife habitat and enhance the environment.

    • Jan. 28, 2015
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    Soy growers call on Congress, White House to unite on important issues

    WASHINGTON -- The American Soybean Association (ASA) issued its annual response to the president's State of the Union address last Tuesday night, and called on the Obama Administration and members of the House and the Senate to work together on issues vital to soybean farmers, including trade, infrastructure and rural development.

    • Jan. 28, 2015
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    Greg Ruter is the owner of Owl Creek Bison farm, where he and his wife raise fruit, herbs and a herd of bison. Ruter sells the produce and bison steaks at the Chillicothe Farmers Market, at Cincinnati-area farmers markets and from his farm. (Photo by Elise Manahan, Chillicothe Gazette)

    Ohio farmer brings a bit of the west to the Midwest

    FRANKFORT, OH -- For farmers like Greg Ruter, living off the land is not a privilege, it is earned.

    • Jan. 28, 2015
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    Consumers Energy presents a check to the Historical Society of Michigan at a Centennial Farm in St. Johns, MI.

    Consumers Energy helps 53 Michigan farms receive 100-, 150-year honors

    JACKSON, MI -- Consumers Energy awarded 53 Michigan Centennial and Sesquicentennial Farm signs to farms in 2014, recognizing them as being working farms owned by the same families for 100 and 150 years.

    • Jan. 28, 2015
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    Seminar at Cabela’s covers all things soybean

    DUNDEE, MI – Southeast Michigan soybean growers gathered at Cabela’s in Dundee on Jan. 15 to learn the results from the 2014 Soybean Management and Research Technology (SMaRT) on-farm research trials and a multi-state agronomic practices research study done by Michigan State University.

    • Jan. 26, 2015
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    Senator Meekhof named Champion of Agriculture at MABA conference

    LANSING, MI -- The Michigan Agri-Business Association (MABA) presented Michigan Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof with its "Champion of Agriculture" award for his attention to critical issues facing Michigan's agriculture sector on Jan. 14.

    • Jan. 21, 2015
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    Update from the Michigan wheat office

    With the holidays behind, it's once again winter meeting season. The Michigan Wheat Program is co-sponsoring or attending several winter meetings. If you are not going to be at one of these meetings and would like to get a group together for a wheat update or if you would like a wheat update as part of your meeting agenda, contact us at info@miwheat.org. We can schedule either a board member or our executive director, Jody Pollok-Newsom to attend.

    • Jan. 21, 2015
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    GreenStone welcomes LaRue to Hillsdale branch

    EAST LANSING, MI -- Dan LaRue has joined GreenStone Farm Credit Services' Hillsdale branch and will work as the location's newest financial services officer.

    • Jan. 21, 2015
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    USDA announces funding for Saginaw Bay RCPP proposal

    LANSING, MI -- On Jan. 14, leaders from The Nature Conservancy and Michigan Agri-Business Association (MABA) hailed an announcement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that the Saginaw Bay Watershed Conservation Partnership was selected to receive $10 million in funding under the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), which was created under the 2014 Farm Bill.

    • Jan. 21, 2015
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    Farm Bureau Fest features safety training, informational sessions

    MARION, OH -- Farm-to-table cooking demonstrations, safety training, information about oil and gas leasing and Columbus Zoo animals are all part of Farm Bureau Fest being held Jan. 24 in Marion.

    • Jan. 21, 2015
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    The Michigan Sheep Breeders Association awarded $1,000 scholarships to four recipients at the annual symposium held earlier this month in Lansing.

    Michigan shepherds gather for annual symposium

    LANSING, MI -- The Michigan Sheep Breeders Association (MSBA) held its annual sheep symposium at the Crowne Plaza in Lansing, MI, on January 2-4. Despite threats of cold and blustery weather, over 350 shepherds of all ages attended the event.

    • Jan. 21, 2015
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    Every cloud has a silver lining -- or is that aluminum foil?

    There was more hope for a turnaround in the international dairy market this week as the Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction started 2015 on an up note. Tuesday's weighted average for all products jumped 3.6 percent, following a 2.4 percent gain in the December 16 event. All of the products offered were up.

    • Jan. 21, 2015
    • HOT AG NEWS /
    The isles were crowded with people wanting to visit with company representatives. Photo by Melissa Hart.

    Fort Wayne Farm Show is where it all comes together

    FORT WAYNE, IN -- Yardsticks, tractors, gloves, combines, papers, pamphlets, pens, sprayers, key chains, candy, mixers, plows, toys and people carrying around bags full of these freebies describes the Fort Wayne Farm Show that took place last week in Fort Wayne, IN.

    • Jan. 21, 2015