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Farm Facts

DeKalb County Ag by the Numbers – 100 Years of John Deere Tractors

Although the story of John Deere begins in the 1800s, it wasn’t until 1918 that the company purchased the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company and acquired the Waterloo Boy Tractor. This marked Deere & Company’s entry into the tractor and engine business.   The Waterloo Boy Tractor was exactly what farmers were looking ...read more

Farm & Food Talk – Farm Types and Sizes

What type of farms do we need to feed the world? America needs farms of all shapes and sizes to thrive. We need conventional, organic and all other types of farms to meet consumer needs. Organic farming can continue to develop sustainable practices that can be adopted more widely. At the ...read more

DeKalb County Ag By The Numbers – Planting Top Crops

Farmers are busy planting corn and soybeans, the county’s top crops. 57% of farmland is planted with field corn. 34% will be planted with soybeans. These top crops are grown on 337,000 acres. DeKalb County’s top crops provide us with an abundance of food, fiber and fuel.  

What’s that THING? – Planter Plates

Planter plates or seed plates are an integral part of row crop planters, especially for corn. They are round plates or disks with indentations, slots, or holes evenly spaced around their outer edge. Each row unit of a planter requires a planter plate. The planter plate precisely meters seeds flowing from ...read more

What is THAT? – Fertilizer Applicator

Fertilizer applicators, or spreaders, are used to spread dry, granular nutrients onto fields. Plants “eat” nutrients in the soil. Applying fertilizer replenishes the nutrients lost when crops are harvested. Crop fertilizers are obtained from nature and reformulated or synthesized if needed to make them absorbable by plants. Dry fertilizers are applied either before ...read more

DeKalb County Ag By the Numbers – Seed Corn Bags or Boxes?

Farmers have a choice between purchasing seed corn (and soybeans) in bags or boxes.   Bags Seed corn bags have been around for years, first made out of burlap and then paper. Bags vary in size from 35 to 65 pounds. Farmers open each bag and fill each row unit of their planter. One ...read more

DeKalb County Ag by the Numbers

Chocolate & Wine February Favorites You love chocolate but did you know that chocolate comes from cocoa beans grown on trees? And that glass of wine starts in the vineyard with grapes!   Chocolate Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, the dried and fermented seeds of the cacao tree. These trees are grown ...read more

What’s that THING? – Grease Gun

  Most kinds of machinery with moving parts need grease for lubrication. Machinery needing grease require a special tool to get the grease exactly where it’s supposed to go. Thus, the grease gun. What is grease? Grease consists of oil combined with a substance which makes it thicker, such as lithium. Grease is ...read more

DeKalb County Ag by the Numbers – Exports

Farm Exports Help the Economy In 2016, $133.5 billion worth of agricultural products were exported around the globe. China                        $21.4 billion Canada                    $20.2 billion Mexico                    ...read more

What’s in THERE? – Barns

Old barns are often like giant treasure chests: full of intriguing items and construction details that are hints of times gone by. Here are a few details you might see in old barns found locally. Hayloft or haymow - Many old barns were designed to store hay or straw in an ...read more