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For Farmers

CLEAR30 USDA Program Offers 30-Year Signup

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) opened signup this summer for CLEAR30, a new pilot program that offers farmers and landowners an opportunity to enroll in a 30-year Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contract. This pilot is available to farmers and landowners with expiring water-quality practice CRP contracts in ...read more

County Farm Bureau Leaders Elected

Meet the 2020 leadership team. Farm Bureau’s Executive Committee - (From left) Roy Plote, secretary; Mark Tuttle, president; Steve Bemis, vice president; and Steve Drendel, treasurer. Typically, the election of county Farm Bureau officers occurs in late March each year. But this March was atypical with the COVID-19 pandemic. After the reopening ...read more

Ag Not Out of the Woods with CFAP Funding

Crop farmers have stayed afloat because of government programs. The $16 billion in CFAP (Coronavirus Food Assistance Program) funding comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). The USDA estimates for CFAP distribution include cattle receiving the most funding, followed by nonspecialty crops, ...read more

Yes, COVID-19 Impacts Agriculture

Most businesses were doing well before the coronavirus. Agriculture was not. COVID-19 is just the latest in a string of misfortunes that have kept the farm economy down for several years: weather disasters, a trade war and even before that, commodity prices have been below the cost of production. “None of us ...read more

2019 – A Year to Forget

Scott Newport, Farm Business Farm Management Specialist Last year’s crop year was plagued by record precipitation leaving idle corn acres. The 2019 growing season was unprecedented in terms of the number of prevent plant acres and late planted crops. About 50,000 acres in DeKalb County were not planted in 2019. Most of ...read more

Farm Income Outlook Declines with COVID-19

Sales of ag commodities could pick up whenever social distancing measures and business restrictions driven by the threat of the Coronavirus pandemic ease. But it may not be enough to bring farm returns back to pre-COVID-19 expectations for 2020. Rob Johansson, USDA chief economist, discussed the economic impact of the pandemic during ...read more

Dave Altepeter: Stay Out of Grain Bins

“The crop that’s in the bin is a perfect setup for accidents,” says Dave Altepeter. “Last year’s crop was not mature and there were fines in the corn. Because of the fines, there’s a chance the grain can go out of condition,” he said. Dave Altepeter has nearly 40 years of experience ...read more

Rescue Tubes Used in Grain Entrapments

Serving all of DeKalb County, the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) Division 6 Technical Rescue Team is equipped with grain rescue tubes and has used them in rescues and recoveries. Some of the Technical Rescue Team members who have assisted with grain bin rescues are (from left) Captain Todd Stoffa, ...read more

Lockout Tagout Part of Grain Bin Safety

Safeguard against running augers. Lockout Tagout (LOTO) is a safety practice that protects farm employees from moving parts in grain bins. A padlock and a danger tag prevent uncontrolled electricity from machines or equipment. When potentially hazardous equipment is identified for maintenance, it should be placed on LOTO which includes adding a visual lock and tag ...read more

Grain Lacks Quality, Farmers Haul Grain

Last year’s crop continues to plaque farmers with grain storage problems at area farms. Farmers put grain in their storage bins last fall dealing with higher than normal moisture levels, partly because of the late maturing crop and lack of in-field drying. Vickie Hernan-Faivre monitors the grain being stored at JP Faivre ...read more