Farm Facts

What is That? – Planter Row Markers

Since the advent of mechanized crop production, farmers have needed a way to plant straight, even rows. Crooked rows are more difficult to spray and harvest. Uneven rows that overlap or skip are an inefficient use of seed. And frankly, crooked or uneven rows are obvious from the roadside and more

Seed Treatments: Protection in the Seed

Farmers plant treated corn and soybean seeds to protect the seeds against early season pests and diseases. Insect pests can harm crops in the early stages of emergence, by damaging young plants and by acting as vectors of viruses. Seed treatments can provide protection from these above-and below-ground insects. Fungal diseases can more

DeKalb County Ag by the Numbers – Timely Planting

It’s planting season! DeKalb County farmers are busy planting field corn and soybeans using modern technology. The first mechanical planters became popular in the 1940s but could only plant two rows at a time. Today’s modern planters are more efficient and typically plant 16 or 24 rows at a time. 1943: 2-row planter plants more

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