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We received 1.7 inches of rain at my house in the last week. We started chopping silage Monday. We opened the silage field by harvesting eight rows around the outside and one pass down the middle. There were spots in the field that had standing water in the spring that only yielded 50 to 60 bushels, or less.

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The farmhouse framing project is coming along. We finished the sheathing of first-story walls and built the interior walls. We set floor joists and subflooring for the second story and plan to have all the walls up by Monday afternoon. And then we will start on the garage. The trusses are ordered and will be ready to go in a couple weeks.

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These weeks seem to be flying past faster than they ever have. As they say, life is rough getting old. We had a productive week going in multiple different directions. We were able to wrap up our project in Muncie. That job was not complicated. Just takes longer because of the commute to the site. We also got a drainage ditch drained for the local county surveyor. That is a stinky job, dealing with all the rotten cornstalks, which all of us as farmers need to do a better job of keeping that stuff out of our ditches and streams. It cost a lot of money to remove and clean up and does all a lot more good in the field and not in the water.

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Well, Mark won and we did indeed start on Monday. Moisture ranged from 24% to 20%, but the big surprise was the test weight at 62 pounds. We had a few hiccups, but those are all ironed out going forward. Now we are ready for the next Monday, where we will begin in earnest with the majority of the corn crop.

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BRILLION, Wis. – The benefits in reducing farming’s climate-change footprint are immensely enhanced by no-till farming, according to an article by Nicholas Staropoli in the June 2016 edition of the Genetic Literacy Project. Fuel costs saved by running the tractor less can reduce fuel usage by as much as 80 percent, one estimate suggests.

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SANTA ROSA — Elated Sonoma County Winegrowers announced a double-header achievement for the environment at a press conference on Sept. 12 at their Santa Rosa headquarters. Not only have the more than 1,800 members reached 99% certified sustainable vineyards, but they will build on their sustainability leadership by becoming the first wine region to participate in California’s pilot Climate First Certification program.

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Pork processing plants will have fewer federal inspectors, and could have faster line speeds, under a controversial rule the U.S. Department of Agriculture finalized this week.Inspectors reject live animals that look sick, or carcass sections that look suspect. "Under the new rule, just announced, pork companies have a new option," Dan Charles reports for NPR. "They can hire their own people to help out. These company employees would be at each inspection station, weeding out any problematic pig parts before the USDA inspector gives the meat a green light. There will be fewer USDA inspectors in the plant because they won't have as much to do."The new rule also eliminates limits on slaughter line speeds. Critics worry that will injure more workers, but industry representatives say it won't. Casey Gallimore, director of regulatory and scientific affairs at the North American Meat Institute, a lobbying group, "says that the new rules will allow plants to try out new ways of operating that could be more efficient," Charles reports. "She says it won't affect food safety. The additional company employees will be highly trained, and USDA inspectors still will look at every piece of pork that goes into the food supply."Critics say company employees aren't required to have extra inspection training, and worry they won't be as aggressive as USDA inspectors in looking for problems. Patty Lovera, an industry critic with the nonprofit Food and Water Watch, told Charles that "to ask company employees to be under that pressure, of pulling product out and costing their employer money, is a lot to ask."The new rules will go into effect in two months, and pork processors have several months to decide whether to switch to the new inspection system, Charles reports.

SAVOY, Ill. — With estimates for the lowest price for soybeans and the lowest yields for corn in five years in Illinois, University of Illinois ag economist Gary Schnitkey predicted 2019 losses on both crops for most of the state’s farmers at the university’s Agronomy Day Aug. 22.

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Foxconn's partnerships with UW campuses have seen mixed success so far, with a UW-Milwaukee program drawing more student participation than announced, but developments appearing to progress slowly at UW-Madison.

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A national coalition representing almost 10,000 U.S. farmers and ranchers today delivered a letter to Congress urging support for the Green New Deal and calling on lawmakers to make agriculture policy reform a priority for addressing the climate crisis and the economic crisis facing independent family farms.

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Sulfur has become an important crop nutrient applied to corn fields. Recent research has shown a benefit from applying sulfur in fields that need organic matter. It’s also of benefit in increased-residue situations where mineralization and release of sulfate sulfur from organic matter are limited.

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DES MOINES – “An unexpected complex of thunderstorms moved through the state on Saturday producing heavy precipitation. This put a damper on the annual Cy-Hawk game but helped improve conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig on Monday, commenting on the Iowa Crop Progress and Conditions Report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

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The September 12 USDA Crop Report slightly lowered the projected U.S. average corn and soybean yields for 2019, 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 September 1st; however, the NASS projections do not agree with that analysis of U.S. crop conditions by many private crop and marketing analysts. Many of the private analysts cite excess moisture and poor early season growing conditions in portions of Southwest Minnesota and South Dakota, along with a large portion of the Eastern Corn Belt, as reasons for concerns with the 2019 USDA corn yield projections.

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Fly Control in concentrated animal feeding operations such as dairies is a challenge, especially in warm weather or late in the year and also if there is abundant moisture and organic matter available. Flies not only are a pest, but they also decrease production efficiency. Flies cause livestock to expend extra energy fending them off instead of resting, feeding and milking. Other issues directly associated with fly pest problems on dairies include increased medication costs, veterinary costs, increased potential for disease spreading, and possible increased public complaints. For example it is estimated that Stable flies (biting, blood-feeding fly) can lower milk production by 15 to 30 percent (Westbroek, 2002). Additionally, contagious mastitis is also spread by high fly populations. Flies also can hinder worker productivity along with spreading disease to humans.

People who live in cities, exurbs or suburbs may not come across farms very frequently. But millions of people, including children, still live on farms. In fact, in 2009 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that more than one million children under the age of 20 lived, worked or had a regular presence on farms in the United States.

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OPINION  Since early 2018 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has undermined the Renewable Fuel Standard and granted 53 waivers to big oil companies, totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel.

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A 2015 rule that expanded the definition of “waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act has been repealed. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army for Civil Works also are recodifying regulatory text that existed prior to the 2015 rule.

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Currently one of the biggest opportunities for increased performance on dairy farms centers around fresh-cow programs. Fresh cows have a great opportunity for production potential. But if they aren't set for success properly, they will not be able to achieve an optimal level of production.

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BEAVER DAM, Wis. -- While trudging through the mud about a dozen FFA students recently picked sweet corn at Hammer-Kavazanjian Farms near Beaver Dam. The bed of agriculture-instructor Jonathon Ganske’s pickup truck almost overflowed as the students headed back to Beaver Dam High School.

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Fallow syndrome received its name from the dry plains states where fields routinely benefited from the additional moisture available after a year where ground was fallowed. Corn sometimes had symptoms of phosphorus deficiency when it was grown on the previously fallowed ground. It received its current name, “fallow syndrome.”

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LONDON, UK, and ARDEN HILLS, Minn. — Tate & Lyle PLC, a provider of food, beverage and industrial ingredients and solutions, and Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, the sustainable solutions business of the farmer-owned cooperative, announced on Sept. 12 a major new initiative to help bolster sustainability on 1.5 million acres of U.S.-grown corn.

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Dry edible beans such as pintos, great northern, and black beans are a very valuable commodity raised in western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming, ranking Nebraska second, and Wyoming eighth in national dry bean production. However, hail and drought can easily reduce bean quality and the feasibility of harvest for the rigorous human consumption standards. So the question becomes, when dry edible beans are not suitable for human consumption, what options are available?

Agri-View offers a schedule of events of special interest to our readers. Some events and activities might require advance registration. Email agriview@madison.com with calendar submissions.

Dairy cattle will require official 840 radio-frequency-identification ear tags for interstate movement as of Jan. 1, 2023. The use of those ear tags speeds data collection and improves animal-disease traceability, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Improving traceability is important to protect the long-term health, marketability and economic viability of the U.S. livestock industry. USDA has established implementation timelines.

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BURNETT, Wis. – As she talks about working for Dairy Girl Network, dairy farming or running a half marathon with friends, Andrea Brossard shows how much “sense of community” means to her. It’s a feeling that members of a group matter to one another.

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With delayed planting across the state, it is important to plan ahead for potential harvest challenges. Scout your fields for crop development to determine whether you might have potential problems with immature, frost-damaged grain, and wet grain.

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Although it is getting late in this growing season, it is worthwhile to take note of corn and soybean diseases that have developed in fields in Minnesota and the region. Several different diseases have been increasing in corn and soybean, and we continue to watch development of tar spot of corn in nearby states.

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Cover crop acreage is expected to increase in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency’s revision to the preventive-planting insurance provisions, according to North Dakota State University Extension livestock experts.

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COTATI, Calif. (PRNewswire) — A dramatic rise of hemp planted this year has been seen around the world and in particular the US, with 46 states having licensed farms since the US Farm Bill was passed in December of 2018. The potential for the US market alone is astronomical ($8.5 billion USD), but there isn't enough processing equipment installed to handle 90% of this year's harvest. The fear is that $7.5 billion dollars of hemp will be rotting in farmer's fields this fall.

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Proper sampling of forage is essential if we want to obtain an accurate indication of the nutrient composition, dry matter content, or value of any feedstuff. Correct sampling and analysis is even more important under conditions that might increase feedstuff variability, such as challenging growing conditions. Sampling procedures vary depending upon the type of forage and whether or not sampling occurs pre-harvest or after the forage has been stored.

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A hemp field in summer.