ARTICLES BY GENE JOHNSTON
Rootworm Success in 2016 By: 12/21/2015 @ 11:02am

It’s too soon to claim victory, but 2014 and 2015 corn rootworm damage has been lower than in preceding years. It is welcome relief for farmers, who saw the pest overpower control systems such as built-in Bt…

Record-Setting Soybean Production Tactics for Your Farm By: 09/22/2015 @ 3:48pm

Perhaps no soybean farmer is better known than Kip Cullers. The southwest Missouri farmer burst on the scene in 2006 when he won the National Soybean Yield Contest with 139 bushels an acre. Then in 2010, he…

Issue Preview: Secrets to Super Soybeans By: 08/31/2015 @ 12:10pm

Several universities from Arkansas to Minnesota have cooperated in a six-year soybean yield project sponsored by the United Soybean Board. They’ve tested products and management practices and the…

Consumers Willing to Pay More for Meat By: 08/27/2015 @ 3:03pm

Steve Meyer, the pork market specialist for Express Markets Analytics, saw demand for pork and beef building over the last couple of years, but it’s really taken off in 2015. “Total beef and pork…

4 Ways this Cattle Barn is Paying Off By: 08/18/2015 @ 2:31pm

It came down to two choices for Ron Carpenter and his partners: Build a confinement cattle barn or stop feeding altogether. 
They went with the new barn. The 644-foot-long structure, soon to complete its…

Best-Kept Soybean Aphid Management Secret By: 08/10/2015 @ 3:45pm

If you’re looking for one tool that best manages soybean aphids, look to oncoming aphid-resistant varieties. Kelly Tilmon, South Dakota State University Extension soybean entomologist, recently visited with…

Issue Preview: Cover Crop Classroom By: 07/30/2015 @ 1:31pm

There’s a giant classroom happening on farms all across the Corn Belt today, and that’s a good place for it. So says Bert Strayer about the on-the-job learning curve that is happening with cover crops…

Meet the Kawasaki Mule Pro-FX By: 07/21/2015 @ 2:32pm

Mules – the real animal kind – are known as tough workhorses that pack a big load and never tire out. That pretty much describes the new Kawasaki Mule side-by-side utility vehicle, the Pro-FX, which has…

Bale Wrap Goes High-Tech By: 06/16/2015 @ 10:08am

Nothing can escape the rush to high-technology, including hay wrap for big round bales.The most advanced hay wrap is a product called B-Wrap, developed by an Israeli company (Tama), distributed by a company…

Advice for Expansion-Minded Cattle Producers By: 03/11/2015 @ 12:20pm

Finally, last month it happened: The beef cow herd expanded. The January 1 USDA cattle inventory report says cow numbers were up by 2% from the year before, to 29.7 million head. It breaks a streak that saw…

Get More From Crop Data By: 02/06/2015 @ 1:54pm

For many farmers, precision agriculture has been long on promise but short on results. Slowly but surely, that’s changing, say agronomy technology experts at Premier Crop Systems. It’s a 15-year-old…

5 Good Things to Know From '15 National Cattle Convention By: 02/06/2015 @ 9:38am

1. Environmental good guys. Rock Hills Ranch and the Perman Family of Lowry, S.D., are the national winners of the Environmental Stewardship Award for 2014. The award recognizes ranchers for their dedication…

'15 Cattle Industry Convention: What’s So Hot in San Antonio? By: 02/05/2015 @ 2:01pm

The 2015 National Cattle Industry Convention kicks off this week, and they’re calling it Sizzling Hot in San Antonio. You might think it’s in reference to the spicy food, or maybe the summer-like weather…

Cattle Party: Is It Over? By: 02/05/2015 @ 1:55pm

Are the good times coming to a close in the cattle business?Probably not, but the easy money may be behind us. So say the cattle market gurus at CattleFax, the major market analysts to the industry. Before…

Off-Target Chemical Applications By: 01/06/2015 @ 10:37am

Excessive wind leads to off-target chemical applications. Right?While that might be conventional wisdom, you’ll get an argument from Andrew Thostenson. In fact, the opposite may be true. “There has been…

Latest Innovations in Pork Products By: 12/01/2014 @ 11:52am

Energy-Efficient LightingEnergyficient Lighting Systems has introduced a new LED bulb system that lasts longer and saves energy. Called the Agrificient LED (shown left), the light can replace the jelly…

Technology Will Take Livestock Breeding to the Next Level By: 11/07/2014 @ 3:33pm

Selecting and breeding better livestock is about to shift to a whole new playing field. It will be a lot less about how the animals look to your eye and much more about the secrets in their genes. A single…

Big Demand for More Hamburger Cattle By: 11/03/2014 @ 1:27pm

They say change is the hardest thing for people, but to change the cattle industry? Now that may take divine intervention. Yet, that’s what Don Close is trying to do. Earlier this year, the Rabobank chief…

Beef Producer Capitalizes on Genetics & Cover Crops By: 11/03/2014 @ 12:52pm

Genetics was the game-changer.That’s how Aaron Amstutz begins the description of his 14 years on the cattle farm he operates with his family at Bloomfield, Iowa. “I knew I wanted more Angus breeding in the…

PEDv Dominates the Pig World By: 09/11/2014 @ 9:50am

While there were hundreds of things to see, do, and talk about at the 2014 World Pork Expo (WPX) this summer in Des Moines, Iowa, only one subject trumped everything else: porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or…

Fall Hog Market Outlook By: 09/04/2014 @ 10:55am

This is a strange story about the scourge of the new pig disease, PED virus, which seemingly came out of nowhere to kill 8 to 10 million pigs in the last 18 months. Here’s the strange surprise: From a…

Less Feed, More Gain By: 08/15/2014 @ 11:13am

Why is beef the most expensive meat in the grocery store? There may be several reasons, but one of the biggest is that cattle are less efficient converters of feed into live animal gain, compared to other meat…

Making Hay Better and Faster By: 08/14/2014 @ 2:21pm

New Holland’s Roll-Belt 560 5×6-foot round baler delivers the two elements cattle producers ask for the most: higher baling capacity and better feeding ability in a wide range of crop and baling conditions…

Fast-Food VP Challenges Cattle Industry By: 08/14/2014 @ 2:12pm

Exactly what does it to mean to be a sustainable cattle ranch? As an industry that is as old as civilization, aren’t we already there? The next two years will attempt to bring answers to those questions due…

Soybean Cyst Nematode Comeback By: 08/11/2014 @ 3:28pm

The soybean cyst nematode (SCN) never really went away, so comeback is the wrong word. Let’s just say the battle is not going well in many areas. University plant pathologists say the tiny roundworm nemesis…

USDA Delegates Millions to Combat PEDv By: 08/05/2014 @ 11:56am

Your government comes to the aid of U.S. pork producers. Tom Vilsack’s World Pork Expo announcement of $26 million in help to combat PEDv is welcomed. A big chunk – nearly $4 million – is for work on a…

Grazing Management Q&A By: 08/04/2014 @ 4:32pm

University of Missouri forage and grazing experts Rob Kallenbach and John Lory take on common questions from farmers and ranchers about pasture fertility and grazing management.Q: When is the best time to…

King of the Mules By: 06/30/2014 @ 2:53pm

Kawasaki is calling its new entry into the side-by-side four-wheel utility vehicle market the King of the Mules. The Mule Pro-FXT builds upon Kawasaki’s original work vehicle, the Mule 1000, first introduced…

A Story of Pig Disease, Lemons, and Bitter Lemonade By: 06/09/2014 @ 7:11am

This is a strange story about the scourge of the new pig disease, PED virus, which seemingly came out of nowhere to kill 8 to 10 million pigs in the last 18 months. Here’s the surprise: From a strictly…

Answers to the New Pig Virus Start Here . . . Maybe By: 06/09/2014 @ 7:07am

If anybody can figure out a way to slow the spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, it might be Hank Harris and his cutting-edge vaccine technology at Harrisvaccines in Ames, Iowa. The PED bug has proven a…

Your Government Comes to Aid of U.S. Pork Producers By: 06/06/2014 @ 7:53am

Tom Vilsack came to the World Pork Expo in Des Moines on Thursday and said: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you.”It’s an old joke, and those weren’t his exact words. Regardless…

PEDv: The Subject That Dominates World Pork Expo By: 06/05/2014 @ 8:07am

There are hundreds of things to see, do, and talk about at the World Pork Expo this week in Des Moines, Iowa. But one subject eventually surfaces in virtually every conversation: Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea…

Primer Nitrogen: Rethink Fertilizer Rates, Tech By: 05/09/2014 @ 1:15pm

Wetter springs, more technology, cheaper natural gas, and more environmental pressure. All are things that could change the way you fertilize corn and other crops. Peter Scharf, University of Missouri crop…

Balancing Drift Risk and Efficacy By: 04/07/2014 @ 1:13pm

You might as well keep your crop sprayer in the shed if your ultimate goal is zero spray drift. “That goal ignores how effective you will be at controlling the targeted pest,” says Scott Bretthauer…

Cattlefax: Good News For Beef Market By: 04/04/2014 @ 2:05pm

1. PricesPrices have been in record territory this year, with fed cattle topping out at $1.50 a pound live. That’s near $2,000 for a finished steer. Weaned calves have been over $2 a pound at auction…

How to Find Ag Apps By: 04/02/2014 @ 11:03am

Brian Arnall had no idea what he was getting into last summer when he was asked to speak at a conference about smartphone apps for agriculture. The precision nutrient management specialist at Oklahoma State…

How to Find Ag Apps By: 04/02/2014 @ 11:03am

Brian Arnall had no idea what he was getting into last summer when he was asked to speak at a conference about smartphone apps for agriculture. The precision nutrient management specialist at Oklahoma State…

4 Tips for Managing Flooded Fields By: 03/21/2014 @ 12:23pm

Last spring was the wettest in 100 years across much of the Midwest, just two years after major flooding in 2011. Coincidence? No, wet springs are a confirmed trend. Excessive rainfall events have increased by…

Controlling Pigweed By: 03/21/2014 @ 12:10pm

The pigweed family of weeds is a late-season stalker of soybeans. It often survives your best early-control efforts and ends up towering over soybean fields in August and September. This infamous weed family…

The Year of the Heifer By: 03/10/2014 @ 2:08pm

It’s going to happen in 2014, say market specialists at CattleFax. Over the last eight to 10 years, while there have been plenty of cattle price signals to expand the beef herd, two things have conspired…

Top secrets: 100-bushel wheat By: 03/07/2014 @ 2:35pm

To be honest, all growers don’t get 100 bushels an acre. In the whole state of Kentucky, the average yield is just about 80 bushels. But if you want to have a chance of placing in the Kentucky state wheat…

Agronomic smartphone apps By: 03/06/2014 @ 2:00pm

Want to keep up with smartphone apps that aid you in crop production? Here are favorites apps in five categories that Brian Arnall, an Oklahoma State University (OSU) precision nutrient management specialist…

Agronomic smartphone apps By: 03/06/2014 @ 2:00pm

Want to keep up with smartphone apps that aid you in crop production? Here are favorites apps in five categories that Brian Arnall, an Oklahoma State University (OSU) precision nutrient management specialist…

12 best farmland bargains By: 03/04/2014 @ 2:02pm

Check out these deals and get the most bang for your farmland buck!Read more: America's best farmland bargains1. West-Central Texas$600/acre      Annual land payment: $50/acre…

America's best farmland bargains By: 03/04/2014 @ 11:02am

Farmland bargains. Sounds like a joke, right? Is there any farmland today that sells at a bargain price?Absolutely. It may not be next door or even in your own state, but there are some good investments out…

A chat with the new NCBA chief By: 02/06/2014 @ 9:01am

The new president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Bob McCan, knows his cattle, the pain of Mother Nature, and what to do for stress release. In an interview with agriculture.com, he touched…

For cattle farmers, it's been a year to remember By: 02/05/2014 @ 3:12pm

It's going to be a great farm year, if the prognosticators at the National Cattle Convention are right. Outlook specialists at the CattleFax seminar in Nashville painted a rosy picture for beef producers…

Optimism and concerns at the Cattle Convention By: 02/05/2014 @ 6:42am

Beef producers at the National Cattle Convention in Nashville this week have plenty to be giddy about. Most notably, it's the record cattle prices they are receiving this year as the nation's cattle…

Old McDonald comes to Cattle Convention By: 02/04/2014 @ 2:42pm

Nearly 6,200 cattle men and women are descending on Nashville, Tennessee, this week for the 2014 Cattle Industry Convention. And nearly every one of them got up early on Tuesday to hear from their single…

Demand growing for specific-use grain contracts By: 02/03/2014 @ 1:01pm

The stars are aligning in the market for contract grain production. In this approach, you sign a contract with a buyer before the crop is planted and then grow the exact grain they want to their specs. If you…

The year of the heifer By: 01/28/2014 @ 11:45am

It’s going to happen in 2014, say the market specialists at CattleFax.Over the last 8-10 years, while there have been plenty of cattle price signals to expand the beef herd, two things have conspired against…

4 Tips to Rejuvenate Pastures From Drought By: 01/08/2014 @ 1:06pm

Sometimes, even in a drought year, something positive happens. For instance, a drought situation can be an opportunity to improve grazing lands for the long haul.Some of your pastures were due for an overhaul…

Cattle money ball By: 12/12/2013 @ 2:13pm

The phrase low-cost producer has been bantered around farm circles as the ticket to success. Don Schiefelbein says that can lead you astray, because many farmers actually think it means to “not spend for…

5 Secrets of an alfalfa artist By: 11/06/2013 @ 11:26am

Tom Kestell says growing alfalfa is as much art as it is science. On that basis, he’s a world-class alfalfa artist. The Waldo, Wisconsin, dairy producer operates two farms, Ever-Green-View and Rainbow’s…

Coping with sky-high feed By: 11/06/2013 @ 11:10am

The hits just keep coming to the cattle-feeding industry, the most recent being last summer’s drought. There are some things you can do to gain a few more cents in feedlot efficiencies to cope with sky-high…

The long view on food: Who wins? By: 10/22/2013 @ 9:15am

For most of the 20th century, we heard predictions that food production couldn’t keep up with population growth. Even today, that Malthusian scenario of widespread famine is frequently quoted. It implies…

A case for retained calf ownership By: 08/19/2013 @ 10:34am

With feeder calf prices and expensive feed at record highs, it doesn’t make sense to retain ownership and finish calves through a custom feedlot, does it? Just sell the calves and take a good profit.Well…

Why rotate pastures? By: 08/19/2013 @ 10:24am

Grass is the cheapest feed out there. Are you and your cattle taking advantage of it?That’s a question posed by Dennis Hancock, Extension forage specialist at the University of Georgia. He’s watched and…

6 forage fertility tricks By: 08/19/2013 @ 9:17am

As you learn to manage pastures and hayfields like your row crops, you’ll find that they respond about the same, too. Corn is a grass; your pastures are mostly grass. Not many farmers treat them the same --…

5 steps to an efficient harvest By: 08/19/2013 @ 9:07am

You check behind your six-row combine and find two corn ears dropped every 30 feet or so. Compound this by counting scattered kernels on the ground that average 4 per square foot.Pretty good, right?That…

Take a stand on corn populations By: 05/08/2013 @ 1:22pm

How many corn seeds should you plant?That question is now more complicated, and the drought of 2012 didn’t help. If you knew it was going to be bone dry this year, you could plant accordingly. Don’t forget…

5 lessons for spider mites By: 05/08/2013 @ 10:57am

There’s a reason spider mites are causing more grief in soybean and cornfields now: We’re helping them thrive.Solve one problem, create another. As we better control weeds, insects, and plant diseases, we…

High notes for the beef business By: 04/05/2013 @ 11:26am

Grinding beef for turning into hamburgers will be hard to come by this year. Over half of the beef consumed in the U.S. is in the form of a fast-food burger, and it takes a lot of cull cows to satisfy that…

Help for getting cows bred quickly By: 03/14/2013 @ 8:48am

Parnell Living Science, an animal health company that originated in Australia, has received regulatory approval in the U.S. for products and a management plan for timed artificial insemination of beef and…

Just a drop of blood By: 02/14/2013 @ 3:29pm

In the past, genetic DNA markers to pinpoint cattle that are good in high yearling weights and other valuable traits have been mostly for purebred producers. The $100-per-head or higher cost to get a DNA…

Soybean rallies eyed By: 02/14/2013 @ 3:13pm

Anne Frick isn't highly bullish long term for soybeans, but she does see potential for a couple good rallies later this year. The senior oilseed analyst for Jefferies Bache in New York says you should…

Reasons for and against preemergence herbicides By: 02/14/2013 @ 2:28pm

Jeff Gunsolus knows you'd rather avoid the move to more preplant and preemergence herbicides. He's the University of Minnesota Extension weed specialist, and he even understands your reasons for not…

Who will take care of you? By: 02/08/2013 @ 8:42am

While that question may sound like the beginning of a joke for your kids, it’s no joking matter to Stuart Varney, the host of a popular business TV show on the Fox Network. Speaking at the Cattle Industry…

Beef producers: MORE tech coming By: 02/07/2013 @ 1:15pm

While the headline on this story is true, don’t be scared by the thought of more technology to keep up with. Some of the technology coming in agriculture is actually low-tech; as in, using farm dogs.Before…

Beef producers: MORE tech coming By: 02/07/2013 @ 1:15pm

While the headline on this story is true, don’t be scared by the thought of more technology to keep up with. Some of the technology coming in agriculture is actually low-tech; as in, using farm dogs.Before…

Want all heifer calves? Done! By: 02/07/2013 @ 11:31am

Ever wish you could get all heifer calves, to expand your bred heifer sales? Or, how about all bull calves, because they’re bigger at weaning and worth more at the sale ring?Well, it can be done. It’s not…

Cattle Convention new products By: 02/07/2013 @ 9:47am

Here are a few highlights of the latest new products on display at this week's Cattle Convention trade show in Tampa, Florida.Slow-release dewormerMerial animal health has a new formulation of a cattle…

'Cattle Heaven' greets cattlemen in Florida By: 02/07/2013 @ 9:16am

Several thousand beef producers are gathering in Tampa, Florida, this week for the annual Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show. While drought and high feed prices are high on their minds, they’re…

Why soybeans can trump corn By: 02/05/2013 @ 8:51am

Most farmers who know their numbers say it costs $100 to $250 less per acre to grow a soybean crop, compared to corn.Even then, most Midwestern budgets favor growing corn where possible. That's because…

6 reasons beans are back By: 02/05/2013 @ 8:38am

The evidence is mounting that soybean acres will get a bump in 2013. The reasons may be more agronomic than economic, say farmers and crop specialists.“Corn will always have more value per acre simply…

Why Soybeans Can Trump Corn By: 01/17/2013 @ 2:49pm

Most farmers who know their numbers say it costs $100 to $250 less per acre to grow a soybean crop, compared to corn. Even then, most Midwestern budgets favor growing corn where possible. That’s because…

Respiratory reprieve By: 01/14/2013 @ 9:19am

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) can lead to significant economic losses. To help combat the disease before it affects your bottom line, companies are introducing new products to battle BRD. Here are three…

8 steps to cow herd survival By: 01/14/2013 @ 9:14am

Beef producers get the double whammy in a drought. Not only is herd productivity diminished, but also the cost of the single biggest input – feed – spikes. Feed makes up 60% to 70% of total costs on a…

Combine header pays off By: 01/11/2013 @ 3:50pm

When Bill Bruere got his first draper header for his combine, his days got longer. And that's a good thing in the midst of soybean harvest.“I can start an hour earlier in the morning and keep going an…

The drought that goes on giving By: 12/19/2012 @ 1:44pm

You know that story about a drought having a long tail? Well, this is a part of that story. The drought of 2012 just won't let go.Now it's the low water levels on our river highways that is still…

Coping with sky-high feed By: 12/19/2012 @ 8:59am

The hits just keep coming to the cattle feeding industry, the most recent being last summer’s drought. There are some things you can do to gain a few more cents in…

Nearly 25% of cattle sales are overseas By: 12/05/2012 @ 3:56pm

The beef industry is sailing along on a high tide these days, with record prices for all classes of cattle. It wouldn't be possible without a very healthy meat export trade.Last year, the U.S. exported…

An upgrade for cornstalks By: 12/05/2012 @ 3:51pm

A new process for making cornstalks more palatable and nutritious for cattle is being rolled out by ADM Alliance Nutrition. It arrives just in time to help make up for the hay shortage brought on by the…

Plans for cellulosic ethanol on track By: 12/05/2012 @ 3:07pm

The path toward second-generation ethanol – made from cellulosic sources such as crop residues, wood chips, and municipal waste – has not been smooth, but it is still on track, say experts in the…

4 drought issues lingering into 2013 By: 12/05/2012 @ 11:07am

You might like to delete the dry 2012 crop season from your database of farming knowledge as the worst year of your career.Roger Elmore sees it differently. “It was a good year to learn some things that will…

Six take-home lessons from the 2012 drought By: 12/05/2012 @ 11:01am

Wondering what to do after this year's drought? Here are six factors to consider for 2013.1. Return to rotationThose farmers who veered away from rotating corn with soybeans may return. The reason?…

Perfect storm for more soybeans By: 12/04/2012 @ 12:46pm

If there was a winner among crops grown in the drought of 2012, it was soybeans. So says Steve Johnson, Iowa State University Extension farm management specialist, who sees soybean plantings turning around…

The case for more competitive soybeans By: 12/04/2012 @ 12:43pm

While 2012’s drought stunted season gives you many agronomic reasons to consider more soybeans in 2013 -- yields, pest control, soil health, input risks -- that pesky profit issue may trump them. As has been…

Soybean rallies coming down the road By: 12/04/2012 @ 12:38pm

Anne Frick isn’t highly bullish long-term for soybeans, but she does see potential for a couple good rallies later this year. The senior oilseed analyst for Jefferies Bache in New York says you should watch…

Who gets dibs on corn? By: 11/16/2012 @ 3:20pm

The shortfall in corn production will put intense pressure on all corn end users – exports, ethanol, livestock, and other processors. Scott Irwin, University of Illinois farm economist, holds out hope that…

Ocean temps signal drought By: 11/16/2012 @ 1:51pm

What are the odds of the drought disaster of 2012 repeating itself in 2013? While Art Douglas won't predict that, he does think there are more droughts in store in the next decade.Douglas is professor…

Allocating acres By: 11/16/2012 @ 9:50am

You'd think $8 corn and $17 soybeans would make corn and soybean marketing easy. Not so. In fact, marketing after a drought is more difficult than ever, say farmers.Four Midwestern farmers share their…

Where's the beef? By: 11/01/2012 @ 3:10pm

Whenever there is a vacuum, something rushes to fill it. It's true in the cattle business, too.As U.S. cattle numbers have declined over the last decade due to drought and competing demands for land and…

Livestock industry product preview By: 11/01/2012 @ 2:56pm

If you're in the cattle business, you utilize everything from loaders to television programming to additives in order to enhance your operation. Whether you're in the market for a new small-wheel…

Corn stalks get an upgrade By: 10/16/2012 @ 4:42pm

A new process for making corn stalks more palatable and nutritious for cattle is being rolled out by ADM Alliance Nutrition. It’s just in time to help make up for the hay shortage brought on by the drought…

Meter beaters By: 10/01/2012 @ 2:35pm

Nearly guaranteed: You can make a big dent in your monthly farm electricity bill.So says Fred Daniels, program manager for Franklin Energy, an energy efficiency consulting company headquartered in Wisconsin…

10 ways to de-stress corn By: 10/01/2012 @ 1:54pm

Not many corn farmers will miss the past two growing seasons. In 2011, the season was very wet early, very dry late, and extreme wind, hail, and heat in between. This year started out great, with timely…

AI vs. the bull By: 10/01/2012 @ 1:31pm

Owning a bull would seem to be a requirement to be in the cow-calf business, wouldn't it?Maybe not. You do have the option of breeding cows by artificial insemination (AI). It's not perfect, and…

Is this drought just the start? By: 09/14/2012 @ 11:46am

What are the odds of the drought disaster of 2012 repeating itself in 2013? While Art Douglas won't predict that, he does think there are more droughts in store in the next decade.Douglas is professor…

Describing super soybean yields: It's complicated By: 09/05/2012 @ 3:27pm

Fungicides? How about seed treatment? Or foliar nutrients. Inoculants, anyone?While you might think those are the ingredients for higher-yielding soybeans, you'd only be partly correct. Growers need to…

Sulfur gets mixed reviews By: 09/05/2012 @ 3:20pm

Sulfur fertility was a topic on many Midwestern crop meetings last winter. It's a do-all secondary plant nutrient that makes all other nutrients work better, say some. For as little as $10 an acre…

Yield maps made simple By: 09/05/2012 @ 2:13pm

Gregg Carlson has been applying precision technologies to agriculture longer than anyone, perhaps.“It started for me when I was in the Army Rangers in 1972,” says the South Dakota State University…

Young can make money in cattle By: 08/02/2012 @ 9:30am

If young people are going to be brought back into farming and ranching, you'd think it would be now. The opportunity to make money in the cattle business has never been better, especially with mama cows…

New feed products for cattle By: 08/01/2012 @ 4:01pm

From Merck Animal HealthZilmax is a new feed supplement from Merck Animal Health that allows animals to metabolize feed more efficiently. When fed for the last 20 days before slaughter (and allowing for a…

300 days of grazing By: 08/01/2012 @ 3:56pm

Your beef cows graze pastures about seven months a year; the other five months, you're feeding purchased or harvested feed. That statement is most likely true because it's the average, whether…

Give pastures a little help By: 08/01/2012 @ 2:56pm

Last year was a strange one, weather-wise, for all types of crops, including pastures. Flooding was widespread in the Midwest, followed by drought that hit a lot of the central and southern Plains as well as…

Cellulosic ethanol plans on track By: 06/26/2012 @ 1:12pm

The path toward second-generation ethanol -- made from cellulosic sources such as crop residues, wood chips, and municipal waste -- has not been smooth, but it is still on track, say experts in the topic.Claus…

Fly control By: 04/05/2012 @ 4:01pm

Whether it's horn flies or face flies, these pests cost producers in treatment and in lost production thanks to the diseases they cause or transmit. Aim to control these flying fiends before they become a…

Just deal with it, says NCBA president By: 04/05/2012 @ 3:57pm

J.D. Alexander and his son, Josh, farm 2,000 acres and run a 5,000-head cattle feedlot in northeast Nebraska, near Pilger. It's busy there every day of the year – in the feed yards, in the fields, in…

Super bull 2014! By: 04/05/2012 @ 3:36pm

Here's a one-question pop quiz to test your herd health-management strategy: If you could buy a new herd terminal bull that would produce superior offspring in one of the areas shown below, which would…

Better grazing Q & A By: 04/05/2012 @ 3:28pm

University of Arkansas's Shane Gadberry, John Jennings, and Tom Troxel, along with Bill Hopkin from the Utah Grazing Improvement Association, fielded questions from farmers and ranchers at a 2012 Cattle…

Corn rootworm is one tough bugger By: 04/05/2012 @ 1:31pm

Nature always wins. Want proof? Consider the corn rootworm.“This bug eventually has found a way to resist nearly every control technique we throw at it,” says Bruce Hibbard, a USDA-ARS research…

Can wheat compete? By: 03/21/2012 @ 10:58am

Wheat and other small grains, once a staple in the crop rotations on upper Midwest farms, are losing their spot due to market forces and biotechnologies that favor other crops.“Oat acreage is at the lowest…

Will beef survive? By: 03/21/2012 @ 9:56am

When the nation's beef producers gathered in Nashville for the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention (www.beefusa.org), they had plenty of big issues to discuss.It's an election year and a new farm bill…

Pasture tune-up By: 03/20/2012 @ 10:32am

Cattle feed is expensive today and not just corn and other grains. Pasture grasses and legumes are more expensive, too, because that land has to compete with corn. Those acres have to work as hard at growing…

Controlled tile drainage By: 02/16/2012 @ 3:17pm

At the University of Missouri Greenley Memorial Research Center near Novelty in northeast Missouri, they've been testing a tile drainage system that controls the flow of water during the course of a…

Farming after a flood By: 02/16/2012 @ 3:11pm

Gene Stevens stood on the front line to help farmers after the floods of 2011 inundated hundreds of farms and hundreds of thousands of acres of cropland up and down the major Midwest waterways. He's a…

New program brings low-cost DNA marker technology to the masses By: 02/07/2012 @ 5:36pm

Up to now, genetic DNA markers to pinpoint cattle that are good in high yearling weights and other valuable traits have been mostly for purebred producers. The $100 per head or higher cost to get a DNA…

Helping pastures recover from extreme weather By: 02/07/2012 @ 5:28pm

Last year was a strange one, weather-wise, for all types of crops, including pastures. Flooding was widespread in the Midwest, followed by drought that hit a lot of the Central and Southern Plains as well as…

300 days of grazing: How to stretch pastures and feed less hay By: 02/06/2012 @ 11:00pm

Your beef cows graze pastures about seven months a year. The other five, you’re feeding purchased or harvested feed. How do I know that? Well, it’s the average, whether you’re in a northern state or…

New NCBA President talks about farm work, cattle numbers, feed costs By: 02/06/2012 @ 11:00pm

J.D. Alexander and his son, Josh, farm 2,000 acres of crop ground and run a 5,000-head cattle feedlot in northeast Nebraska, near Pilger. It’s busy there every day of the year – in the feed yards, in the…

Let more good times roll In the beef business By: 02/05/2012 @ 11:00pm

What more can be said about this cattle market? It’s in the stratosphere: Market-ready choice steers over $1,600 a head; good lightweight feeder calves $1,000; even cull cows near $1 a pound! Those…

More than cattle By: 02/03/2012 @ 10:31am

Not everything that happens at the Cattle Industry Convention is about cattle. A case in point occurred Thursday at one of the general assemblies.  The speakers were a pair of unlikely bedfellows. Cal…

Feed and flies are buzz at Cattle Trade Show By: 02/02/2012 @ 11:00pm

Nothing creates buzz on the National Cattle Industry Convention Trade Show floor like fly control products, and feed additives that reduce the cost of feeding cattle. Here are some hot products from Nashville…

New cattle products for better health, better growth By: 02/02/2012 @ 11:00pm

More carcass weight Zilmax is a new feed supplement from Merck Animal Health that allows animals to metabolize feed more efficiently. When fed for the last 20 days before slaughter (and allowing for a…

New DNA technology for your beef herd By: 02/02/2012 @ 4:38pm

Up to now, genetic DNA markers to pinpoint cattle that are good in high yearling weights and other valuable traits have been mostly for purebred producers. The $100 per head or higher cost to get a DNA…

New products for cattle By: 02/02/2012 @ 11:40am

Loader Tractor CAT makes a new splash into the farm power market with introduction of their K series of small wheel loaders. They will be used in the cattle industry for moving and loading feed ingredients…

Selecting cattle for disease resistance By: 02/02/2012 @ 11:36am

Pop quiz: If you could buy a new herd bull that would “fix” your cow herd in one of these areas, which would you most desire? A. Marbling score B. Feedlot average daily gain C. Feed intake D…

High-priced bulls & artificial insemination By: 02/02/2012 @ 11:32am

Owning a bull would seem to be a requirement to be in the business of cows and calves, wouldn’t it? Maybe not. You do have the option of breeding cows by artificial insemination. It’s not perfect, and…

Why is beef losing ground to chicken? By: 02/02/2012 @ 11:29am

Attend enough beef cattle meetings, and you know these numbers by heart:  1:1 2:1 3.5:1 7:1 Those are the average feed efficiencies, in order, of fish, chickens, pigs, and beef cattle. Yes…

‘Stupid high’ prices don’t stop cattlemen's worries By: 02/01/2012 @ 11:00pm

Cattle prices have gone through the stratosphere in recent weeks, to over $1.20  a pound liveweight for market steers.  Never fear, farmers and ranchers will find things to worry about. But at least…

Q&A on better grazing By: 02/01/2012 @ 11:00pm

Four grazing specialists fielded questions from a packed room of farmers and ranchers at a Cattle Convention luncheon this week. The four experts were Tom Troxel, John Jennings, and Shane Gadberry from the…

Will beef survive in new agriculture? By: 02/01/2012 @ 10:35am

When the nations beef producers gather this week in Nashville for the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention (www.beefusa.org), they’ll have plenty of big issues to talk about. It’s an election year, and a new…

Guatemala: No place like home By: 01/12/2012 @ 3:11pm

For the past two years, I’ve gone to Guatemala in the spring, tagging along with my nephew’s church to build simple homes for poor people in remote villages. It’s eye…

Rethinking cattle By: 01/11/2012 @ 2:58pm

The stars may be aligned for you to make a fundamental change in your cow-herd management.That's the message Rob Kallenbach, University of Missouri forage specialist, has for cow/calf beef producers. His…

Corn rootworm: One tough bugger By: 01/06/2012 @ 3:07pm

Nature always wins. Want proof? Consider the corn rootworm. "This bug eventually has found a way to resist nearly every control technique we throw at it," says Bruce Hibbard, a USDA-ARS research entomologist…

Start & end early for good weed control By: 01/06/2012 @ 2:53pm

Jeff Gunsolus speaks with fervor -- and worry -- in his voice. He has watched the advent of total post-emergence weed control programs in corn and soybeans over the last decade, and some of his worst fears are…

Mission: Grow more soybeans! By: 01/06/2012 @ 2:50pm

Here’s a mission: Grow more soybean bushels per acre at the least cost. This is all part of a research project that researchers including Seth Naeve, University of Minnesota Extension agronomist are…

Are you wasting soybean seed? By: 01/06/2012 @ 2:48pm

Farmers have historically overseeded soybean seed, primarily because it was cheap insurance. Twenty years ago, seeding costs with bin-run seed cost about $15 per acre, says Seth Naeve, a University of…

10 tips for better crop spraying By: 01/06/2012 @ 2:44pm

Spraying pesticides on your fields is one of those jobs where the margin for error is pretty narrow, both in terms of accomplishing the mission and protecting neighboring fields. Mark Hanna, Iowa State…

Be flexible with 2012 cash rents By: 11/03/2011 @ 8:40am

With the run up in commodity prices and farmland prices -- some surveys show 30% increases in just the last year -- many cash rent rates have not kept up. So how much should they go up in 2012?"That depends…

Marketing calves By: 11/01/2011 @ 2:52pm

Calve in the spring; sell calves in the fall. It's the standard formula, and 80% of the cow/calf business works this way.It's not exactly a great formula for getting top dollar for calves, though…

Livestock scales By: 11/01/2011 @ 2:48pm

Got an on-farm scale on your wish list? You're not alone. Successful Farming magazine research says one quarter of all beef producers are also considering scales for on-farm weighing.No wonder. With the…

Acreage battle about more than prices By: 10/27/2011 @ 9:19am

The battle for acres in 2012 between corn and soybeans won't be entirely shaped by the economics of input costs and market outlook, says Brian Roach of Roach Ag Marketing."We're hearing more than…

West Nile know-how By: 09/30/2011 @ 11:48am

It was a routine day for Larry Morrison. The Lingle, Wyoming, rancher was mowing in a hayfield near the North Platte River. Little did he know on that day in 2003 his life was about to change.That night, he…

Red ink for pork By: 08/31/2011 @ 3:21pm

Hogs are not known for their swimming ability. But they will have to learn quickly how to tread water in 2011. Next year, they'll be lucky to keep their snouts dry.That's the message Steve Meyer of…

Add 20 pounds to weaning weights By: 07/27/2011 @ 11:05am

Would you spend a buck to make $20? Of course. Then why don't you implant your young calves with a growth promotant?That's a question two implant manufacturers were asking producers recently. Both…

Coming soon: record calf prices By: 07/27/2011 @ 10:52am

In the last few weeks, fed steers have been at $1.10 a pound, stocker cattle at $1.25 a pound, and perhaps most notable are the 550-pound calves at or over $1.50 a pound. From some standpoints, it's the…

Roundup ready alfalfa gets approval By: 07/27/2011 @ 10:21am

It was first introduced five years ago, only to be pulled from the market by a court injunction that required an environmental impact statement to be completed. It is done, and Roundup Ready (RR) alfalfa is…

Technology can feed the world By: 06/10/2011 @ 9:53am

If you're in agriculture, your business is feeding people. Take it seriously. That's the message being delivered by the animal health company, Elanco, to audiences around the world…

Pork producers brace for flood of red ink By: 06/10/2011 @ 8:43am

Hogs are not known for their swimming ability. But they will have to learn quickly how to tread water in 2011. Next year, they'll be lucky to keep their snouts dry. That's the message that…

In the pink By: 05/23/2011 @ 12:16pm

Tractors have, at one time or another, been manufactured in practically every color of the rainbow. Except, maybe, for pink.But even that is changing. Now there's a pink tractor that's becoming well…

Global bull market By: 04/05/2011 @ 3:28pm

Structural change in China's pig farming will drive exponential growth in feed grain demand in the next few years..It's not just ethanol fueling the grain market bull. Global demand keeps growing…

Time to expand By: 04/05/2011 @ 2:21pm

As I stand by the registration desk at the 2011 Cattle Industry Convention in Denver, Colorado, I watch a trickle of farmers and ranchers register. Normally, 6,000 or more cattle producers attend, but not this…

Stretching by-product feed to the max By: 04/05/2011 @ 2:14pm

That question is high on the minds of cattle producers, especially since corn prices have seen a rapid run-up in the last year. Lots of people try to give producers an answer at the 2011 Cattle Industry Annual…

Retain ownership: Gold? By: 04/05/2011 @ 9:56am

For years, you've been preached at about retaining ownership of your calf crop through the feedlot-finishing phase because it will garner more profit as you cut out the middleman. It also lets you take…

Wanted: more cows, more cowboys, more cowgirls By: 03/16/2011 @ 2:10pm

It's easy to say, at any particular time, an industry is at a critical point in determining its future. Sometimes, whether true or not, it's a good way to get a person's attention.I think…

Waste less hay By: 03/16/2011 @ 1:33pm

You wouldn't grow a corn crop and leave half of it on the ground or let it rot in storage. Yet, lots of growers do that on forage ground, particularly when it comes to making, storing, and feeding…

Does cow size really matter? By: 03/16/2011 @ 9:49am

Want to get a good argument going? Ask a group of cattle producers about the ideal size for a mature beef cow.For several reasons, cattle have been getting bigger over the last generation. Cheap feed for most…

A Heart For Best Friends By: 02/18/2011 @ 10:36am

We sit in a circle -- me and more than a dozen new friends I've just met. Linda Glawe, my sister, and I begin the conversation by talking about when we were kids on the farm. I tease her that she…

Web a lifeline for networking By: 02/14/2011 @ 1:57pm

Karl Falster says it frankly: He wouldn’t have his breeding stock business if not for the online networking he has embraced. Falster sells breeding stock and semen from his miniature Hereford and…

Easy way to make calves worth an extra $20 By: 02/08/2011 @ 12:44pm

Would you spend a buck to make 20 bucks? Of course. Then why don’t you implant your young calves with a growth promotant?That’s a question that two implant manufacturers were asking at the National Cattle…

Know thy pastures, then fix them By: 02/08/2011 @ 12:41pm

Not only are farmers and ranchers looking for ways to stretch corn and grain feeds for cattle, they want to stretch pastures, too. Craig Alford, a Dupont pasture management specialist, was at the…

S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G feed to the max By: 02/07/2011 @ 11:00pm

What can I do to feed less corn, or cheapen a feedlot ration? That question is high on the mind of cattlemen, and lots of people were trying to give them an answer at the National Cattle…

Coming Soon, to a Salebarn Near You: Record calf prices By: 02/06/2011 @ 2:49pm

Get ready for the best cattle markets . . . EVER! They are already happening in a neighborhood near you. Fed steers are at $1.10 a pound, stocker cattle at $1.25, and most notable and significant…

Rabo expert paints the world ag view By: 02/04/2011 @ 8:45am

The days of living in our own little world are over. That's the message delivered to beef producers this week by Bill Cordingley, head of the agribusiness research department for…

AI for beef cows: Will its time ever come? By: 02/03/2011 @ 11:11am

One of the “hot” topics at the Cattlemen’s College this week is the issue of artificially breeding beef cows to high-indexing stud bulls. People involved in that business tend to think that we lag…

How to sell calves on highest market By: 02/03/2011 @ 10:25am

CattleFax’s Troy Applehans, addressed a beef industry crowd at the Cattle Convention from the perspective of cow/calf producers. He said they need to take a harder look at seasonal trends in this…

Go ahead, expand, but know the risks By: 02/03/2011 @ 10:18am

Staff members of CattleFax, a market outlook and research firm (www.cattlefax.com/)  spoke to beef producers at the annual Cattlemen’s College of the Cattle Industry Convention this week. Their…

Rocky Mountain Round-Up, or Worst of Times? By: 02/02/2011 @ 12:27pm

The biggest cattle show of the year will be held this week, February 1-5, 2011, in Denver. It’s the Cattle Industry Convention, the annual gathering of the National Cattlemen’s Beef…

Care for Alzheimer's patients By: 01/26/2011 @ 10:34am

One of the hardest things you'll be asked to go through in life is coping with the deteriorating health of a loved one. Alzheimer’s disease is a classic example. Brain deterioration robs victims…

Automatic feed mill By: 01/25/2011 @ 9:19am

When Matt Olmstead became shorthanded a couple years ago, he needed a way to save time in his 6,000-head farrow-to-finish family hog operation. Grinding 80 tons of feed a week with a pull-behind…

Digging deep for memories By: 01/25/2011 @ 9:10am

We sit in a circle – me and more than a dozen new friends I’ve just met. Linda Glawe, my sister, and I begin the conversation by talking about when we were kids on the farm. I tease her that…

Lessons at linneus By: 01/25/2011 @ 8:44am

Perhaps no place in the country deserves more credit for advances in grazing management than the University of Missouri’s Forage Systems Research Center in northern Missouri near Linneus. For over 40…

Guardian Angel By: 11/09/2010 @ 11:43am

A year ago, Successful Farming magazine asked if I would write about my wife's breast cancer and the lessons learned from her struggle. Jan died in January 2009, and the emotions of those final agonizing…

Divine Help Just In Time By: 11/09/2010 @ 11:31am

Louise Perry's daughters, Jana and Jill, can hardly look at their mom without choking with emotion. A year ago, they feared that they had lost her.The Buffalo, West Virginia, farmwife began experiencing…

Stretch hay supplies, add cows, beware predictions By: 11/08/2010 @ 2:49pm

The easy thing to do is put a round bale in the place where you want the cows to eat and come back tomorrow and do it again. They’ll eat all they want and look fat and happy. But the reality is the more…

What It Will Take For Better Beef Market By: 07/11/2010 @ 11:00pm

As goes the general economy, so goes the beef economy.That point was brought home forcefully at the 2010 Cattle Industry Convention by economists from CattleFax, an industry market analysis firm. CEO Randy…

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