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Farm Facts

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

DeKalb County Ag by the Numbers – Veterinarians

According to the USDA there are shortages of veterinarians in 44 states, across 500 counties within the U.S. Most of these underserved areas are rural. There are only about 10 veterinarians that work on livestock within DeKalb County. 61% of all veterinarians are women, reports the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Crop Update

A big cover crop of oats and late corn harvest are on the horizon. Thousands of acres of cover crops are growing in fields where corn typically grows in DeKalb County. When you are used to seeing field after field of corn in the county this year you may have noticed another ...read more

DeKalb County Ag by the Numbers – Back to School!

In Illinois there are 8 universities offering agriculture degrees to over 3,700 students. There are also 27 community colleges that offer degrees and certificates in agriculture to approximately 3,400 students. That’s over 7,000 students studying agriculture in Illinois!   Source: Illinois Agricultural Education Report

What is African Swine Fever?

What is African swine fever (ASF)? Highly contagious virus in pigs (wild and domestic) Does NOT affect public health or food safety – meat is safe for people to eat. Causes fever, skin discoloration, diarrhea, and death. Other signs may include piling, tiredness, and going off feed. Sudden deaths or ...read more

What is that? – Waterhemp

Why control weeds? “Plants out of place” is a phrase often used to describe weeds. In farm fields, weeds steal nutrients, water, and sunlight from crops. This leads to poor crop yields, or less grain harvested per acre. Uncontrolled weeds may cause other problems, too: Machinery damage during harvest Contamination of ...read more

DeKalb County Ag by the Numbers – NOT Knee High

DeKalb County corn typically well exceeds the old saying that corn is “Knee-High by the 4th of July.” However, due to unprecedented rains and this year’s planting crisis, many corn fields are barren or behind in growth. On average, DeKalb County corn is about 5 feet tall by the 4th of ...read more