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Farm Facts

What is that? Red Barns

Why are so many barns painted red? Ever wonder why barns are painted red in color? Red is (or, perhaps, was) a popular color for older barns due not to its color shade but for its usefulness. Many years ago, choices for paints, sealers and other building materials did not exist. Farmers ...read more

Today’s Young Farmers

More than 20 percent of all farmers are young or beginning farmers (farming for less than 10 years). Yet the number of young farmers is not keeping pace with the number of farmers aging out of the field. Factors limiting young people in production agriculture are: land prices, availability of farmland, ...read more

5 Thinks You May Not Know About Farming

Cows, chickens and corn, a big red barn, green or red tractors – these are just a few of the images that come to mind when people hear the word “farming.” But for today’s farmers, there is much more to agriculture than meets the eye. Most farms are owned and ...read more

Antlers Vs. Horns

Did you ever catch yourself wondering if you were naming an animal's headgear correctly? Or did you assume that "antler" and "horn" were just different words for the same thing? Antlers and horns are actually different structures, found on different families of animals.

2019 Crop Year: One for the Record Books

It was one of the toughest, most challenging crop years for farmers. Local farmers couldn’t get a break this year. The 2019 year was problematic for getting corn and soybeans planted and harvested in DeKalb County. The wet spring delayed most planting until June. Then in the fall when the later maturing ...read more

DeKalb County Ag by the Numbers – O Christmas Tree!

Locally, some farmers are growing evergreens and selling them as Christmas trees. There are about 5 farms in DeKalb County which grow Christmas trees. These tree growers plant thousands of seedlings each year to replace the trees that are cut each season. The average growing time for a Christmas tree is ...read more

What’s That Thing? Grain Moisture Tester

As the name implies, grain moisture testers are instruments used to measure the moisture content of grain. They are also known as grain moisture meters. Grain moisture is measured in percentages. For example, field corn is best stored at 13%-15% moisture. Why test grain moisture? Grain crops such as corn are tested ...read more

DeKalb County Ag by the Numbers – Colors of Corn

Chlorophyll is a green pigment within plants that helps plants absorb sunlight for energy. It is responsible for the vibrant green fields of corn throughout the summer months. Once the corn plant is completely mature, the chlorophyll subsides causing the fields to change into muted shades of tan. At this time ...read more

Food for Thought – Another Perspective

This commentary takes the form of a letter written in response to a “Perspective” which aired recently on local public radio station, WNIJ. Dear friend, I often hear your “Perspective” essays on WNIJ. I enjoy your insights and your passion. Recently, though, I found myself disappointed by what you said about food ...read more

Farm & Food Talk – Beef Cattle Diets

Are there regulations covering what can be fed to animals raised for food? Yes, there are regulations on animal feed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is in charge of inspecting feed mills to ensure quality ingredients are going into animal feed. There are regulations on what types of feed can be given ...read more