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How Livestock Stays Warm During Winter
Farm News

How Livestock Stays Warm During Winter

With the cold temperatures we experienced this past week it was hard to stay warm even when walking from your car to inside a building. In my mind this raised the question, “How do farmers keep their livestock warm during the cold winter months?” By using prior knowledge and doing some additional research, I have come up with the answer to how farmers keep their animals warm. The process goes further in depth than just these things, but it really comes down to a few key strategies. 1. It is important to keep enough feed available to the animals. 2. Farmers make sure that they are shielding their livestock from the elements. 3.It is critical to protect the livestock from moisture (this one is a really big deal). 4. The fourth factor is to manage mud as much as possible. 5. Finally, the animals must have dry bedding and water available.   READ MORE...

Farm News  |  January 16, 2022
Different Types of Farms

Different Types of Farms

Here in Central Illinois, we are surrounded by farm ground, which makes it easy to lose perspective on how many different types of farms there really are. Especially for record keeping, it is important to have a classification system to be able to categorize farms of various types and sizes. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) uses a categorization system developed by the Economic Research Service (ERS) for reporting and evaluation. According to the USDA, this system classifies farms mainly depending on “annual gross cash farm income of the farm business, the primary occupation of the operator, and ownership of the farm”. As a reminder, gross income is total income from all sources before deductions are made or expenses and taxes. In the ERS classification system, farm size is measured by annual gross cash farm income (GCFI), which is the measure of the farm’s revenue. The ERS defines farm revenue as, “sales of crops and livestock, payments made under agricultural federal programs, and other farm-related cash income including fees from production contracts.” Now, let’s get into the 4 branches of ERS classification and the explanation of each (provided by the USDA and the ERS).
Farm News  |  January 9, 2022
Precision Planting Winter Conference

Precision Planting Winter Conference

Precision Planting Winter Conference 2022 is coming up quickly, and if you are able to attend it is an event you do not want to miss! Precision Planting is a company that provides precision ag technologies to help farmers grow in the smartest and most beneficial way possible. Their business began at their Tremont, IL location. Every year they host a winter conference to educate farmers from all over. Precision Planting describes the conference as, “Winter Conference is a free event for farmers to hear topics focused on improving farm operations, learn new strategies and techniques, and connect with other farmers.” Over 5,000 farmers globally attend the event.
Best of 2021  |  January 2, 2022
Ag Input Concerns

Ag Input Concerns

Farmers are currently facing challenges as they transition into preparing for the 2022 planting season. The price of farm inputs is rising, and it is happening quickly. Supply chain issues are part of the story behind this problem. Three out of every ten farmers in the country expect input prices to rise over 8%, and unfortunately more farmers are moving towards this belief. Some even believe that input prices could be raised by a higher percentage than 8%. 
Farm News  |  December 19, 2021
Christmas Tree Farms

Christmas Tree Farms

Christmas time is in full swing with the holiday being less than one week away! A key component of most household Christmas decor is a Christmas tree. Christmas trees are connected to agriculture because (if you are looking for a fresh tree), you will likely find yours on or provided by a local Christmas Tree Farm. According to the University of Illinois, “98% of Christmas trees are grown on farms, while only 2% are cut from the wild.” The use of evergreen trees to celebrate the season of winter dates back to before Christ, however the first decorated Christmas tree occurred in 1510 in Riga, Latvia. The Christmas tree has come a long way since 1510. Now, there are about 25 to 30 million real Christmas trees sold throughout the United States. More tree varieties are used for the trees aside from Evergreens. Some other varieties include Balsam Fir, Douglas Fir, White Pine, Scotch Pine, Blue Spruce, and more. The Scotch Pine variety is the most common to be grown in Illinois. 
Farm News  |  December 12, 2021
Progressive Ag Services

Progressive Ag Services

Progressive Ag Services is an agriculture consulting and service business, owned by Matt Boudeman and Paul Schell. Matt started the company in 2014 and Paul joined in 2015. Tyler Scroggins was hired for precision sales and agronomy support in March of 2021. Tyler is the company’s first full-time employee. Progressive Ag Services’ building is located outside of Minier, IL on Olympia Road. The company offers the following services to their customers: Granular Agronomy, Precision Planting, and other technology services. Their customers are located in roughly three clusters of locations. The Atlanta/McLean area, around Mason City/New Holland, and generally the surrounding Bloomington area. Granular Agronomy is used for nitrogen modeling and variable rate recommendations. Precision Planting offers after-market, retrofit parts to enhance planter performance. These tools, along with their other technology services, allow Matt, Paul, and Tyler to provide the best solutions for farmers to maximize their field potential and their profit.
Farm News  |  December 5, 2021
Dairy Industry Exports

Dairy Industry Exports

With the uncertainty of imports and their cost being so high right now, it would be easy to think that all areas of agriculture are taking a hit and struggling through this year. However, one specific area of agriculture is doing really well right now. That area is the exports from the dairy industry. Dairy exports are on track to hit new records as we close out this calendar year. The United States dairy industry mainly exports to China, Canada, and Mexico. There are 133 total countries that received U.S. exports. China has been buying lots of dairy products recently. Throughout the first half of 2021, U.S. dairy exports to China increased by 32%. This is excellent news not just because of the increase in profit, but because of the concerns and challenges the dairy industry faced mainly in 2020.
Farm News  |  November 28, 2021
Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving celebrations have wrapped up by now, and we hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. A Thanksgiving feast is prepared by families across the country. It’s a time when family members can present their best dish for the traditions of food their family has on the holiday. The feast is rarely complete without the main dish, the turkey. The average American consumes 16 pounds of turkey each year. The practice of turkey farming is how each family is able to have a Thanksgiving turkey on their table each year. 
Farm News  |  November 21, 2021
Favorite Harvest Meals This Year

Favorite Harvest Meals This Year

At this point of the harvest season, Illinois farmers are 95% done harvesting corn and 93% done with soybeans, according to the USDA. Farmers work long and inconsistent hours throughout harvest to accomplish everything that must be done on a strict time schedule. There is usually a pretty small window where weather conditions and each individual field conditions line up to where it is ideal to harvest. You can see farmers out in the field early in the morning or late in the night. On average, farmers will work 80 hour work weeks during harvest. The unusual hours and stressful conditions make us consider many things about what it would be like to be in those farmer’s shoes. However, today we dive deeper into one important question: What does a farmer eat while they are harvesting their crop? We hear what local farmers have to say as an answer. 
Farm News  |  November 21, 2021
FFA Members Awarded American FFA Degree

FFA Members Awarded American FFA Degree

Each year, the National FFA Organization honors FFA members who show the utmost dedication to the organization through their desire to develop their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The American FFA Degree is bestowed upon a select group of students in recognition of their years of academic and professional excellence. This year 3,863 American Degrees were awarded.
Farm News  |  November 14, 2021
Farm Work Moves Inside for Winter

Farm Work Moves Inside for Winter

November brings the transition from one season of farming to another. The temperature really starts to drop, we see empty fields everywhere, and farmers start to move their work inside for the winter season. Today, we take a look into some of the current happenings for our local farmers. 
Farm News  |  November 7, 2021
Ag Input Concerns

Ag Input Concerns

Farmers are currently facing challenges as they transition into preparing for the 2022 planting season. The price of farm inputs is rising, and it is happening quickly. Supply chain issues are part of the story behind this problem. Three out of every ten farmers in the country expect input prices to rise over 8%, and unfortunately more farmers are moving towards this belief. Some even believe that input prices could be raised by a higher percentage than 8%. 
Farm News  |  October 31, 2021
Pumpkin Production in Illinois

Pumpkin Production in Illinois

Happy Halloween! One of my favorite Halloween traditions is carving pumpkins and seeing all of the creative ideas my family members come up with. Creativity is essential to create the best pumpkin out of my family members, but having the pumpkins to carve is the most critical part of the process. Did you know that six states in the United States produce the majority of pumpkins sold in the country? 
Farm News  |  October 24, 2021
Halloween's Connection to Agriculture

Halloween's Connection to Agriculture

Next Sunday, October 31st, the celebration of Halloween will take place. The familiar sights of costumes, candy, and decorated yards and buildings will be present on the 31st and before. Although we typically associate Halloween items and activities with just the holiday, a lot of the Halloween fun is connected to agriculture.
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