Farm Facts

DeKalb County Ag by the Numbers – Ag in the Classroom

DeKalb County Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom (AITC) program in February is the widest-reaching program impacting elementary students and teachers with agricultural lessons presented by a core group of farm, agribusiness and FFA volunteers. In summary: Nearly 3,300 first through fourth grade students participated in ag lessons. 24 elementary schools more

Farm & Food Talk – Hormones

What will food labels tell me about the hormones used in the meat I buy? Hormones in animals occur naturally, even when raised organically. All animal products contain some hormones. Consumers looking for milk and beef raised without the benefit of supplemental hormones need only to look at their food labels. Conventional more

What’s in There? Greenhouses in the Off-Season

You’ve probably visited a greenhouse in the spring or summer when the weather is warm and the sunny space is full of colorful blooms. Is anything happening in those buildings when it is cold outside? Some greenhouses are in operation year-round, especially those used to produce plants kept indoors, such as more

What’s that Thing? – Ear Tags

Driving past a pasture you see cattle grazing in the distance. You notice that each animal has something colorful hanging from one or both ears. Wait a minute. Do cows wear earrings? Yes—sort of. Cattle and other livestock including goats and sheep commonly wear ear tags. These colorful plastic tags are more

DeKalb County Ag by the Numbers – Plunging Temperatures

There are some records not worth breaking. That’s the case with record low temperatures throughout Illinois this winter. According to the National Weather Service, DeKalb County reached -26° F  in January. This was one degree warmer than the county record of -27° F set in 1985. This winter’s temperatures have made DeKalb County more

BQA: A commitment to food safety

Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) does more than just help beef producers capture more value from their market cattle. BQA reflects a positive public image and instills consumer confidence in the beef industry. When producers implement the best management practices of a BQA program, they assure their market steers, heifers, cows, and more

Challenging Year Expected for Farmers

2019 farm incomes could average negative for many farmers if corn and soybean prices remain stagnant. Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois Extension farm management specialist, urges farmers to save up now as he predicts this year will be a challenging one. “For 2019, incomes could average negative for many farms if corn more

Fitbits for Cows?

Some dairy farms are turning to fitness trackers, similar to Fitbits, to monitor cows’ health and wellness. Instead of counting steps and tracking fitness goals, these precision dairy cattle monitoring systems are able to detect when a cow may become ill. The technology can also evaluate cow comfort by monitoring activity, more

Farm & Food Talk – Food Expiration Dates

Most people think the various dates on food packaging refer to when a food will “go bad” or is “spoiled,” but sometimes the dates are simply an indication of quality and not food safety. Clear definitions and guidelines can help people make more informed choices about when to discard food. Key Terms more

What is That? – Corn Cribs

Some of the structures we see in our rural landscape give glimpses into farm practices of the past. Old barns, either repurposed for new uses or falling into disrepair, are one example. Corn cribs are another. Before the invention of combines, corn was harvested by picking the entire ear. After harvest, the more