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Hot Ag News

    • HOT AG NEWS /
    Judges Melissa Hart

    Kentucky State Fair hosts two days of open dairy shows

    LOUISVILLE, KY -- The Kentucky State Fair rolled out the green shavings for the open dairy shows on August 16-17 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. Two days of solid shows kept the vision of the ideal dairy cow in the eye of visitors to the event.

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    Left: John Harnica with his granddaughter, Addi.

    Looking for a little fall fun?

    Harnica Kids' Pumpkin Farm will be hosting their Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. The annual event is a lot of fun for the whole family! There's no entry fee and no admission fee. Cash prizes and ribbons are given for the 10 heaviest pumpkins. Cash prizes are also given for the heaviest squash, heaviest tomato, heaviest watermelon, longest long gourd, tallest corn stalk, tallest sunflower, and the largest sunflower head. Registration for the event is from 9-11 a.m.

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    Students get some hands-on experience with poultry at a Project RED in Lenawee County.

    Ag literacy efforts extend beyond classroom

    LANSING, MI -- American consumers' increasing curiosity about where their food comes from arguably caught the actual food business off guard. Communicators in every segment of modern agriculture struggle every day to fill the gap of understanding between consumers and producers. But a new school year offers new promise, and hundreds of farm-savvy 'agvocates' are eager to resume--or continue--spreading the gospel according to the American farmer.

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    Soybeans this year will likely fetch farmers $2 less per bushel than 2013.

    Price drops pinch grain farmers

    LANSING, MI -- Farmers who enjoyed well-publicized high prices last year are seeing the correction they all knew was coming, and they will influence more than just the farmers' bottom lines.

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    Landoll Corporation celebrates 50 years of innovation

    MARYSVILLE, KS -- For those who knew him as a child, it wasn't much of a surprise when Don Landoll started his own company at the age of 20. After all, one of his favorite toys was the Erector Set that he received for Christmas when he was six-years-old. Before that, it was Tinker Toys that were used to build new designs. Even more ironic, Landoll built an electric-powered ferris wheel with his Erector Set before the family home even had electricity.

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    Alternative energy for ag seminar is Sept. 25-26

    FRANKENMUTH, MI -- The Michigan Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA) has announced the program for their fall education seminar to be held at the Frankenmuth Brewery on September 25-26. Doug Hodge, Education Committee Chair said, "the program will be of interest to farmers and professionals serving the agricultural community who have an interest in alternative energy programs for agriculture."

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    Soybean harvest equipment field day set for Oct. 9

    ALLEGAN, MI -- On average, harvest losses reduce marketable soybean yields by one to two bushels per acre. Given the projected soybean prices, this could cost soybean producers $9.50 to $19 per acre in 2014. Harvest losses can increase significantly if the crop is lodged, very short, or harvest operations become delayed.

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    USDA releases veggie reports for 2014

    WASHINGTON -- Snap bean processors contracted 15,100 acres in Michigan for 2014, a decrease of 15 percent from last year, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. The estimated production of processing snap beans under contract decreased 23 percent to 59,490 tons.

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    Enrollment for new dairy farm risk management in Michigan now underway

    EAST LANSING, MI -- Michigan Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Christine White recently announced that signup for the new dairy Margin Protection Program began Sept. 2. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin -- the difference between the price of milk and feed costs -- falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.

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    Indiana crop update: Farmers busy getting ready for harvest

    WEST LAFAYETTE, IN -- Warmer temperatures and above average rainfall helped bring harvest closer and kept farmers busy, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Average temperatures for the week ending Sept. 7 ranged from 71 to 77 degrees, and from 3 degrees to 8 degrees above normal.

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    Michigan crop update: White mold hits soybean crop

    EAST LANSING, MI -- There were 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork in Michigan during the week ending September 7, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region.

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    Webinar to provide info on proposed conservation management

    URBANA, IL -- A free webinar is being offered to provide information about a new agricultural service program called Precision Conservation Management that is being developed through collaboration with Illinois agricultural associations and faculty at the University of Illinois. The purpose of the program is to build conservation practices into the management of commodity crop farming and animal production operations.

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    Mosses: Are they your friend or foe?

    URBANA, IL -- If you look at ferns, mosses, lichens, and club moss closely, they look like something right out of a fairy tale, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.

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    Ohio crop update: Consistent weather wanted to boost yields

    REYNOLDSBURG, OH -- Producers are hoping warmer conditions and just enough moisture to get crops to a timely harvest. according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region , there were 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending September 7.

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    Visitors were taken on a tour of the farm where the learned about all the aspects of dairy farming. Photo by Melissa Hart.

    Preston Farms opens the gates, entertains the masses

    QUINCY, MI -- Labor Day weekend said farewell to the summer season and was celebrated with free ice cream and flavored milk on the farm at Preston Farms in Quincy, MI. On August 30, the Preston family let the latch out of the farm gate and invited the neighborhood in for their fifth annual Preston Family Farm Tour and Ice Cream Social.

    • Sep. 10, 2014
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    Michigan State FFA officers with the grape harvester at Steve Rigoni's vineyard outside Paw Paw, MI.

    FFA officers tour Michigan agribusinesses

    EAST LANSING, MI -- The 2014-15 Michigan FFA Association's state officer team travelled across Michigan recently to learn more about the industry they've been elected to represent. The annual event is organized by Michigan Farm Bureau and the Michigan Potato Industry Commission.

    • Sep. 10, 2014
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    Livestock producers urged to enroll in disaster assistance program by Oct. 1

    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to act to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014, as congressionally mandated payment reductions will take place for producers who have not acted before that date.

    • Sep. 10, 2014
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    Michigan crop update: Conditions favorable for crops

    EAST LANSING, MI -- Warmer temperatures and showers provided favorable conditions for crop progress. Increase in Growing Degree Days and much needed moisture are expected to aid in the maturity progress of corn, soybeans, and dry beans. Wet and humid conditions created challenges for both small grains harvest and cutting hay. Sugarbeet harvest began at the end of the week. Pastures and livestock were doing well.

    • Sep. 10, 2014
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    Nutrient management update, plot tour to feature cutting edge research

    The date for the Michigan State University Extension Annual Nutrient Management Plot Tour is fast approaching and the on-line registration is now open. Preparations are underway to host this event at the MSU Plant Pathology Research Farm, 3735 North College Road, Lansing, MI 48910 on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (see map).

    • Sep. 10, 2014
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    Ohio crop update: Clear skies allow ample time for fieldwork

    REYNOLDSBURG, OH -- The warmer than normal temperatures along with mostly clear skies allowed plenty of time for fieldwork this week. There were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week ending August 31, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Average temperatures recorded around the State ranged from 68 to 79 degrees or two degrees below to nine degrees above normal.

    • Sep. 10, 2014
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    Ohio wheat welcomes Star of the West

    DELAWARE, OH -- The Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program applauds the growth of Star of the West Milling Company as the company recently announced that it will begin construction on a second mill in Willard, OH, this fall. The mill, which is targeted for completion by fall of 2016, will be able to produce 10,000 hundred weight of flour per day, all of which will be dedicated to milling soft red winter wheat.

    • Sep. 10, 2014
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    Power outage? Call Schweiss for 'backup'

    Before placing an order for a hydraulic or bifold door, have you given any thought to how you would get that big, heavy door open in case of a power outage?

    • Sep. 10, 2014
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    Clinton, Hillsdale County youth win dairy management contest

    EAST LANSING, MI -- Youth from Clinton and Hillsdale counties were the high individuals in this year's dairy management contest held during Michigan 4-H and Youth Dairy Days, an annual dairy youth activity held in conjunction with Michigan Dairy Expo. The 18th annual expo took place July 21-25 at the Michigan State University (MSU) Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education in East Lansing.

    • Sep. 10, 2014
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    CMPM accepting grant proposals for 2015 corn research

    LANSING, MI -- The Corn Marketing Program of Michigan (CMPM) announced recently that it is accepting grant proposals for corn research for 2015. Proposals are due to the CMPM by Tuesday, Nov. 25.

    • Sep. 10, 2014
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    Sudden death syndrome and white mold observed in Illinois

    URBANA, IL -- Signs and symptoms of a few soybean diseases have begun to show up in some areas of the state over the last few weeks, and two of these diseases, sudden death syndrome (SDS) and Sclerotinia stem rot (white mold), are likely to cause economic losses in some growers' fields this year, said a University of Illinois plant pathologist.

    • Sep. 10, 2014
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    Breakfast on the Farm 2015 host farm apps due soon

    EAST LANSING, MI -- The 2014 Breakfast on the Farm programs will soon be completed, and it is time for interested farm families to apply to host a 2015 event.

    • Sep. 10, 2014
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    Indiana crop update: Fall harvest begins

    WEST LAFAYETTE, IN -- Continued scattered rainfall this week prevented some farmers from working in the fields as fall harvest approaches, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region.

    • Sep. 10, 2014
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    Prestons selected as MMPA Outstanding Young Dairy Cooperators

    QUINCY, MI -- Brian and Carrie Preston of Quincy, MI, were selected as the state winning 2014 Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) Outstanding Young Dairy Cooperators (OYDC). They represented MMPA's District 1 and the Hillsdale-Litchfield Local at the annual OYDC Conference held August 14-15. The Prestons were selected to participate in the program earlier this year by fellow dairy farmers in their district.

    • Sep. 10, 2014