Farm Facts

Ag by the Numbers – Plowing

John Deere’s development of the moldboard plow in 1837 changed the prairie landscape. Deere, a blacksmith from Grand Detour, Illinois designed a plow of cast steel with a moldboard that allowed it to cut through the heavy soil without the soil sticking to the plow. When moldboard plows were first invented more

Ag by the Numbers – Chickens

Chicken Clucks Which came first the chicken or the egg? This old riddle has sparked discussions for years. It’s such a tricky question because you need a chicken to lay an egg, but chickens come from eggs. Regardless, chickens are farm animals which provide us with meat and eggs! Here’s some fun facts about chickens: • more

The Year of the Farmer

We Are the 96% 96% of Illinois farms are run by families. That’s one of the distinct messages of a new Illinois Farm Families campaign being launched soon. Illinois agriculture groups have designated 2023 as the “Year of the Farmer” to promote this statistic. The campaign hopes to debunk a consumer survey indicating more

Keeping Livestock Warm – A Winter Challenge

Oh baby, it’s cold outside! While the snow is blowing and the temperatures drop farmers make sure their livestock is protected from the elements during the winter months. In the winter, cattle, sheep and horses grow their own winter coats. As days get shorter, horses and cows grow long, coarse hair more

Ag by the Numbers – Grain Trains

Freight railroads are a critical link in the grain supply chain. Railroads transport grains like corn, soybeans, oats, wheat, rice and barley. • In 2020, U.S. Class 1 Railroads moved nearly 1.5 million carloads of grain. • Grain is shipped by railroads, trucks and barges. Railroads transport 25% of grain, trucks transport more

Powerhouses in Farming

Horses vs. Modern Machines In the early days of farming, horses served as the powerhouse of farm work. Many farms had several horses used to pull their plow or haul a wagon of grain. Steam engines and tractors eventually replaced horses on farms. • When tractors were first introduced, 1 tractor had more

Ag by the Numbers – Grapes to Wine

Some fun facts about grapes and wine • Grapes are the most planted fruit all over the world. • A ton of grapes can be produced into 720 bottles of wine. • There are 10,000 varieties of wine grapes existing worldwide. • “Aroma” is the term for the fragrance of young wine, while “Mellow” more

Fall Harvest

Several crops are being harvested locally in September and October. Farmers are harvesting corn, soybeans and so much more! Field corn and soybeans are the BIG 2 farm crops being harvested here in DeKalb County. But that’s not all. Fall harvest also includes specialty crops like apples, pumpkins, red raspberries, grapes, gourds, more

Country Schools – By the Numbers

When I was your age... I walked to school uphill both ways. This is something that Grandpa may have said to underscore the challenges that the younger generation does not have to endure. There are variations of this saying – I walked for miles to school, in the snow, uphill both more

Crop Update for July

There are all kinds of cool things happening in farm fields around us. July is the month for lots of activity among the growing crops in DeKalb County. As you pass by fields you will probably see some of these same scenes. Farmers typically harvest wheat in mid-July. The wheat is more