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Weather worries & USDA crop data

  • 01

    Winter arrived to parts of the Corn Belt this week as farmers with crop still in the field worked to get harvest wrapped up. Meanwhile, USDA's latest crop data was overshadowed by gloomy world economic news.

  • 02

    There are still corn and soybeans left in the field in the eastern and western stretches of the Corn Belt, USDA said in its Crop Progress report this week. Yields have come in surprisingly good in states like Ohio, while they're more disappointing in Nebraska.

  • 04

    If you do already have your harvest wrapped up, you may be putting all your machinery in the shed for the winter. If so, take the time to clean things up and take a few other steps to avoid problems that could be costly once you're ready to roll next spring.

  • 05

    Looking further ahead, it looks like weather is the biggest concern looking ahead to the 2012 crop. Dry conditions in parts of the Corn Belt this year could remain a problem next spring without at least average winter moisture. What are your 2012 crop concerns?

  • 06

    That dry weather has more immediate consequences on a lot of acres, though. In extremely dry soils, anhydrous ammonia uptake can be stressed, making it important to make a few adjustments before you apply fertilizer this fall.

  • 07

    Another big issue caused by dry weather this year has been a shortage of hay, both in quantity and quality. That's got hay prices rising, and it puts a premium on producers' and users' ability to ID 'blue ribbon' hay.

  • 08

    A report out this week outlines ways that young farmers can get into the family farm business through different systems of compensation. Both generations of the farm weigh in on this sometimes difficult situation.

  • 09

    Though harvest is winding down in most of the nation, it's still a potentially dangerous time on rural roads, especially with farmers moving a lot of large equipment. That's compounded when fatique and long hours enter the equation.

  • 10

    Have all your fall work wrapped up? If so, what was your fall's greatest surprise? And, what were some of the biggest lessons you learned from growing this year's crop? Take a step back and reflect on your year!

  • 11

    Trying to get your Christmas shopping out of the way now? For that hard-to-buy-for farmer or rancher on your Christmas list, click through the slideshows below to find the latest and greatest farm gift ideas, from books and toys to machinery and power tools!

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