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The past couple of weeks have been wet in the area, keeping most people out of the fields. There were only a few days suitable to get out there and get anything accomplished. The wet conditions allowed us to take an extended weekend to drive down to Chapel Hill, Tennessee, and back for my cousin’s wedding.

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We only received 0.2” of rain at my house in the last week. Finally got the combine back and continued picking corn. Corn yields have been 10 to 15 bushels lower than we expected so far this year. We finished up one field that the wind had blown down the corn in some parts of the field and leaning in most of the field. It was definitely slow going. I think we probably have one more field that might be down in parts of the field.

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A week ago, I was overwhelmed with the extremely nice weather and trying to recover from a week of contest prep. I’m not sure what takes more of a toll on a person: getting ready for a large event, or tearing everything down? I spent all of Monday sorting through results from the corn husking contest and contacting the top three of each class and I talked to over 80 people to see if they were interested in attending nationals. After a week of exhaustion, it was Tuesday. It was time to return to work.

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Another week has passed and here I sit deciding whether I really accomplished anything this week. We had another good week of harvest. Started the week off with rain, for which we are thankful. The guys have been very busy with some repair work and with rebuilding a tillage tool. That project turned out to be bigger than expected, but also easier than expected.

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We got rain, 1.4 inches on Thursday night and most of Friday. What a welcome relief. It knocked us out of the field for the weekend, but we were ready for a rest. Mark even took a three-hour nap on Saturday afternoon. He is that tired. Plus he got a flu shot, his second shingle shot and a tetanus shot on Friday. It literally wiped him out, but he’s protected for the flu, shingles and cuts.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency State Executive Director William J Graff has announced that Alexander, Pulaski and Union counties are accepting applications for the Emergency Conservation Program to address damages from 2019 spring flooding.

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OMAHA, Neb. — Farmers across the U.S. and Canada can access advanced technology for marketing their grain more effectively and improving profitability when STRATUM, a new, first-of-its-kind digital platform, is introduced by GrainBridge in the first quarter of 2020.

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Tar spot has made annual appearances in Illinois since its initial detection in 2015. Last season, conditions that favored disease development and spread allowed the tar spot fungus, Phyllachora maydis, to develop to a significant degree well before the crop had matured, and many saw significant losses.

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With the extreme weather in the Corn Belt this spring, there has been a lot of concern that crops weren’t going to have enough time before the killing frost hit. Typically the first frost occurs from the end of September through the first half of October in much of the Corn Belt. Sometimes that frost can be toward the middle of September, which had a lot of growers nervous. Fortunately the unseasonably hot September mitigated most of the frost concerns I’ve heard from growers even in Wisconsin. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist.

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Agricultural producers now can enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs – two U.S. Department of Agriculture safety-net programs for the 2020 crop year. Meanwhile producers who enrolled farms for the 2018 crop year have started receiving payments for covered commodities if payments were triggered under such programs.

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Pork exports continued to strengthen during August. Data from the USDA indicates pork exports grew by 22% from a year ago, with export value increasing 19%. According to an analysis from the U.S. Meat Export Federation, overall numbers from January through August are up 4% from a year ago.

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Despite a prolonged decrease in the price of many farm commodities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s state-level estimates of cash rents for cropland and pasture in 2019 revealed an increase. The national average rental rate for all cropland was at $140 per acre, an increase of $2 per acre or 1.4 percent from prior-year levels.

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We had about an inch of rain in the last week. We started picking corn last Wednesday. Yield for the field we were in was almost 75 bushels less than when it was in corn two years ago. That field is creek bottom ground, and the creek came out a few times and drowned the corn on the bottom out in a few places.

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OPINION  Sonny Perdue, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary, visited Oct. 1 the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin to see the best of our dairy industry. During his visit he participated in a town-hall discussion with dairy farmers, agriculture advocates and members of the media. He heard that farms of all sizes matter in Wisconsin. When asked about the survival of small farms during a press briefing following the discussion, he surprised many by saying, “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out.”

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Harvest was a slow go this week as some polished up the combines to try some corn and soybeans. I couldn’t be outdone, so I hitched the New Idea 314 picker sheller to the International 766 and grabbed a small wagon to capture 10 bushels that was used to fill the corn box for kids’ activities at the state Cornhusking State Contest. The fodder was a bit green and smelled like silage, but I couldn’t spare any corn from the 6-acre patch of contest corn, as much of it would be needed for huskers.

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Somebody needs to turn the warp speed off on the clock. This last seven days buzzed past fast. This has been a very successful week. We had awesome weather to hammer on soybeans. We successfully harvested two of three seed varieties we are raising this year. I did harvest the first few acres of the next variety, but we have decided to hold off a couple days to allow some green pods to dry. Were about two-thirds done soybeans, give or take a little. We have run quite a bit of corn, too, but still have a long ways to go there.

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It’s raining. After another week of record-breaking heat and humidity, we have finally seen temperatures below 90 degrees. I even opened windows on Friday. Soybean harvest continued in earnest this week. We had a semi radiator go out midweek, but should have it back by Monday. We hauled to the elevator and filled cribs. We should be finished with bean harvest by the end of the week, and if we don’t get more rain than what is predicted for the next 24 hours, we could be completely done with all of harvest in two weeks.

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MANHATTAN, Kan. — When conversations turn to the world’s climate and natural resources, they often also go to livestock production. That was the idea behind a session at the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock international meeting hosted by Kansas State University Sept. 9-13.

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The high number of prevented-planting fields in some areas, the late start to harvest and the inability to apply P and K fertilizer as planned last fall or this past spring combine to raise a number of questions about fall application of P, K and lime over the next few months.

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Recovery in the dairy market will be among topics addressed at the Central Plains Dairy Women’s Conference. Sarina Sharp, a dairy-market analyst and risk manager for Ag Business Solutions of Grand Rapids, Michigan, will discuss her outlooks for feed, milk and livestock prices. The conference will feature several other presentations.

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Firefighters and farmers are working nationwide to improve agricultural safety and health. The Rural Firefighters Delivering Agricultural Safety and Health project trains emergency responders to provide resources to farmers in their service areas.

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FOND Du LAC, Wis. – Kelley Country Creamery has shown that a farm can use the beauty of a sunflower field to help others. The ice cream parlor – supported by the farm’s dairy – uses full-bloom sunflowers to help a noble cause – northeast Wisconsin’s Old Glory Honor Flights.

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I’m not a big Grateful Dead fan but the lyrics from their song “Truckin’” came to mind as I stared out the window this past weekend, watching large flakes of snow fall from the sky.

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Applications are open for the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring Program. The program pairs experienced organic farmers with those new to organic production.

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CLEMSON — More than half of South Carolina is in a moderate to severe drought and another 26 percent is abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and Clemson University researchers and Cooperative Extension Service agents say it is affecting crop yields.

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GOWER, Missouri — Jim and Jeff Gibson worked hard this week to bring in the fall corn harvest in rural southern Buchanan County. It’s a chore they’ve become quite familiar with over the years.

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Columbus, Wis. — A Madison, Wisconsin, man was arrested after he and three other men allegedly tried to steal industrial hemp from a farm in Columbia County, Wisconsin.

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