• Updated
  • Comments

What’s “old school?” Being able to make a barbwire gate ranks high on my list of capabilities that might put one in the esteemed character level I refer to as “old school.” One doesn’t need to be old to be old-school – and Bubba was proof of that. That’s right, Bubba. And I’m not lying when I say I met Bubba at Bubba’s.

  • Updated
  • Comments

Years ago I had my first exposure to weeds that had become resistant to herbicides. As my agronomy center’s first responder to complaints about underperforming herbicide applications I was stumped as to why a single weed species had survived.

  • Comments

MADELINE ISLAND, Wis. – Foreclosures, natural disasters, policies that destroy markets and businesses. In recent years many families have needed to leave farms and farming – not by choice but by necessity. It’s not a new trend. It’s something that has gone on worldwide for centuries. The loss of connection to the land and the natural world is felt in families for generations. It’s a hurt felt to the quick of one’s soul. Many need a way to heal.

  • Updated
  • Comments

These are the easiest pies I’ve made. They’re simple, fast and our favorites. Just in case anyone finds pie-making daunting, try Pecan Pie Bars. The scrumptious little bars are delightful.

  • Comments

OPINION  An alliance of groups representing farmers, forest owners, the food sector, state governments and environmental advocates have unveiled an unprecedented set of recommendations to guide the development of federal climate policy.

  • Updated
  • Comments

The majority of the crops have been harvested during the past two weeks in our area. With a warm spell of 70-degree weather and ideal soil conditions, harvest and tillage progressed rapidly.

  • Updated
  • Comments

The CME Group has launched a new pork cutout-based contract. The new pork-cutout futures and options are intended to be complementary to existing lean-hog contracts. They aim to provide market participants the ability to manage risk from the live animal through the meat case. CME Group cited an increasing share of animal prices tied to the pork cutout through formula pricing as a key reason for the introduction of the product.

  • Comments

Well another year is almost in the books. The last stretch of dry weather we had was long enough that almost everyone completed their harvest. As I drive around the countryside fields with crops in them are the exception not the rule anymore. Talking to a few folks, they can’t remember the last time they were washing combines this early – and such warm temps.

  • Updated
  • Comments

OPINION  The U.S. Grains Council recently submitted comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative highlighting significant trade barriers facing exports of U.S. coarse grains, ethanol and co-products. The council has contributed comments on the topic to the U.S. Trade Representative for more than a decade, detailing constraints the organization works to address in its export market-development activities and recommending complimentary U.S. government action.

  • Updated
  • Comments

The Halloween Blue Moon ushered in the gales of November along Wisconsin’s Lake Superior shore. High winds the first two days of November brought with them moderate temperatures, sun and dry weather – almost-perfect conditions for fall field work. Everyone took advantage of the great conditions to put things in order before the predicted long winter.

  • Updated
  • Comments

MONROE, Wis. – Maple Leaf Cheese Cooperative has weathered milk-market cycles for 110 years. Then 2020 happened. The cooperative – comprised of 25 dairy farmers – is now needing to find a new market for its milk after negotiations soured with Maple Leaf Cheesemakers, a long-time partner.

  • Updated
  • Comments

The fields of November have come to north-central Wisconsin. A summer breeze characterized conditions before this crop report – and then a cold front moved in Nov. 9. The front came with more than an inch of rain, saturating newly harvested fields and quieting leaf rustle on the woodlot floor where the acorn harvest is unimpeded by the rain. Creeks are running high. I keep hearing the term “wintry mix” when I hit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather-radio forecast button. Our brief “Indian summer” was delightful but fleeting.

  • Updated
  • Comments

After our repair on the combine in October we hit another snag after only two days of being back at harvest. The radiator drain plug was damaged years ago by a storm; it decided to let loose while Rich was combing. The antifreeze drained; the engine heated and died. He figured out what had happened and sent Ellie to fetch 2 gallons of hot water so the Gleaner could limp to the yard. We pulled the radiator and found a local guy who said he could repair it that very day. We were back in business in 26 hours from start to finish of repair. It was a fantastic turnaround on that!

  • Updated
  • Comments

KEWASKUM, Wis. – Normally I ask for angels to assist in the moving or sale of animals in our stewardship. The process is often without issue when I do, the end being reached without incident.

  • Updated
  • Comments

The fields of November have come to the country. Fields are stripped of their lush verdancy as crops continue to be taken to bins and dryers that rise up from country roads. Across the fields combines swallow rows of corn and soybeans. Grain rises to the hopper while the chaff goes back to the stubbled landscape. Whether it’s green, red or silver, a combine does three things as it inhales whole plants. It cuts the crop, threshes the grain and separates the chaff – hence its name combine. A combine is really a well-planned combination of simple machines in one impressive package.