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What is today’s news? | Friday, March 25, 2022

As we head into the weekend, be sure you’re caught up on the latest news.

From the new McFarlane Ag soil finisher to drought conditions in the Corn Belt, here is a roundup.

Machinery and Technology

Editor Alex Gray writes about the McFarlane Ag soil finisher with new vertical sweep blades.

The Finalizer Soil Finisher from McFarlane Ag is a secondary tillage tool for spring planting that supports improved water filtration and root growth and also helps to manage residue and weed pressure.

“As herbicide-resistant weeds become more challenging, mechanical weed management is still one of the most efficient strategies for growers,” says Stan McFarlane, vice president of McFarlane Ag.

Ryan Pieper answered questions about Topcon’s technology from lawmakers and tourists during the National Ag Day celebration in Washington, D.C.

“Some questions are basic and others are, ‘What does this have to do with the environment and how does it make farmers more efficient?’” Pieper says.

Available for nearly three decades, variable-rate technology began with lime and fertilizer applications as farmers worked to make their operations more sustainable.

“When variable-rate capabilities became embedded into machines and cloud platforms became available, the steps to get from having the technology, creating prescriptions, then getting the prescriptions to the machine were greatly simplified, enabling more growers and those offering the service to take advantage of it,” says John Fulton, Ohio State University Extension.

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Kansas saw a big improvement in drought conditions this week, with 21% more of its acreage reporting no dryer conditions than last week, concentrated in the eastern half of the state.

John Holman, professor of cropping systems and agronomy at Kansas State University, says Kansas is at about 60% to 70% of normal moisture, thanks to widespread precipitation in the month of March. Several months of no precipitation have left the state below normal.

More states’ drought conditions are covered in this report by Editor Madelyn Ostendorf.

Editor Natalina Bausch shares an entry from her “reporter’s notebook” on National Ag Day in Washington, D.C.

She writes, “I was thrilled when I spotted Xaver. I got to see it last fall in Wisconsin, but Ag Day was the robot’s first public appearance. Rawley Hicks shot a few short videos with me to explain the concept. I’m eager to see what our farmer readers think of it. The kids that stopped by as I packed up my gear sure seemed fascinated. I heard a few members of Congress took a turn controlling the technology from a cell phone.”

Global food shortages are a real possibility as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Biden told reporters while meeting with allies in Brussels on Thursday. Western leaders, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, joined Biden in saying they would step up their hunger-relief programs and encourage their farmers to grow more food.

“Yes, we did talk about food shortages. And it’s going to be real,” said Biden during a news conference.

What has happened in agriculture on March 25 over the years?

Editor Natalina Bausch gives a snapshot of several events on this day between 2 and 108 years ago.

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