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Ask A Farmer/Farm Family

What are farmers doing to protect some of the best farmland in the world?

Answer: We use a variety of soil conservation practices such as strip-till, no-till, reduced-till, cover crops, and grassed waterways to prevent soil loss/erosion and preserve soils. “Essentially, all life depends upon the soil … There can be no life without soil and no soil without life.” Charles E. Kellogg As DeKalb County ...read more

How do farmers deal with spring planting weather changes?

We are at the mercy of weather. We have to wait until field conditions are right to plant. If planting is delayed due to weather we may have to change seed varieties or shift crops. Temperatures are warming, the snow is melting, and everyone is thinking spring! For grain farmers, this ...read more

How are farmers coping with record high production costs?

Answer: Farmers are price takers and we are doing our best to mitigate higher prices and control our costs. “For the farmer is the only man in our economy who has to buy everything he buys at retail, sell everything he sells at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways.” – ...read more

What does December look like on your farm?

Answer: The simple answer is everything we haven’t had time to do in September, October, and November while 90% of our focus was on the harvest. December! Harvest is wrapped up – if combines are still going in December, we are not in a good mood (2019… yikes). On Hartmann Farms, our ...read more

How do you care for your beef calves?

Answer: We constantly do health checks of our calves and make sure they have adequate feed and nutrition. We wean them at six months of age to allow the mother cows time to regain energy for their next calf. Every year we breed our mama cows in the summertime in order ...read more

What happens to all the corn/soybeans you harvest?

Answer: Most of the crops grown locally are used for animal feed. This time of year the combines are rolling and the crops are being harvested. But what do we do with our crops after we harvest them? The answer can be a complicated one depending on what exactly we are ...read more

Why do livestock farms spread manure on wheat fields?

Answer: We grow winter wheat and harvest it in July so we have the summer months to apply hog manure on the wheat ground. We empty our manure pits and the manure provides fertility to our soils. Northern Illinois agriculture is largely dominated by corn and soybeans – green fields everywhere ...read more

Why do farmers spray chemicals on crops?

Answer: Pesticides are safe and effective in controlling weeds/pests and we use the least amount possibleto get the job done. As a farmer there are a few topics that we receive push back on from time to time. Usually it is not a criticism that we face firsthand but rather a ...read more