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Planters rolling; farm income slipping?
The planting weather window finally flew open this week for farmers with a lot of corn to plant, allowing good progress ahead of another system of stalling moisture. This planting progress -- and its implications to this year's crop -- are just a few of the biggest stories in ag this week.
This week's been "the break that farmers have been waiting for," one weather expert said. Soil moisture levels slipped this week and wind conditions allowed for quick drying. As a result, farmers made bigger planting strides despite nerves that more rain delays are ahead.
Despite the weather delays, there was some corn planted in recent weeks that subsequently had to fight off potential damage from cool, wet soils. So, is that corn planted earlier in the year at risk now? See some things to look for to see if your early-planted corn is at risk.
Add weed control to the list of potential issues that could be inflamed this year by the cool, wet spring and resulting late planting. While you're not automatically setting yourself up for worse weed problems than in a "normal" year, there are changes you can make to get a better hold on weeds this year.
Another consequence of this year's wet, cool conditions hits the soil -- and your pocketbook -- directly. Heavy rainfall amounts that cause erosion -- some of which is irreversible -- can add up to considerable cost, putting a premium on soil erosion control measures like terracing. Get a few ideas here.
Another hot topic this week has been farm incomes and the pieces making them up, namely farmland values. And, new information out this week indicates a key bellwether of land values -- rental rates -- are starting to plateau. Is it happening in your area?
Another report this week shows more ag lenders are watching farm debt levels rise because of the land market and other factors. Right now, it's manageable. What happens when income starts to decline? And, how soon will it start to happen?
The latest issue of Successful Farming hits a high-tech topic in agriculture: The use of drones, or unmanned aerial systems, to monitor the land for agronomic and other purposes. Check out all the angles to this complex story.
Everything's perking back to life this spring on farms around the country. It's a time of year when there's a lot of natural beauty to the rural landscape. So, is yours a beautiful farm? Find out by entering our Farm Beautiful contest and be in the running for a major prize to help you make yours even more beautiful!
Father's Day is right around the corner! If you've got a father to shop for and he's not the easiest person in the world in that department, let us help narrow down your search for the perfect gift, whether it's a gadget for fun or a tool to put to work in the shop!
Corn planting kicked into high gear this week. See what else is big in ag.