My Ag Education Continues–A Trip to the Grain Elevator

January 5, 2010

I contributed this post for the Monsanto company blog, “Beyond the Rows,” today, so I thought I’d share it on my personal blog as well.

I highly recommend visiting a grain elevator for about an hour. It’s a pretty cool sight. I hope the photos tell the story well enough for you in case you can’t make it though!



#onthefarm with Steve Tucker

December 20, 2009

For the final chat of 2009 (I’m out of the office the next two weeks, lucky me), I talked with Steve Tucker (@Tykerman1) from western Nebraska. He’s a corn, wheat, sunflowers and millet farmer, mixing in some dry edible beans and sugarbeets.

I wanted to get a final take on the 2009 crop year from a farmer and take a look at expectations for 2010. Steve did a great job of giving us a glimpse into how it was a tough year for him. And, as most farmers are, he’s optimistic for 2010. Farmers and sports fans seem to have a phrase in common–“there’s always next year.”

So, take a read through our chat, and get a farmer’s take on the past year and his thoughts on 2010. It’s a good look at how some farmers think and how they plan for the year ahead.

On a side note, thanks to all the readers who have taken time to follow a chat, submit a question, retweet the scheduled chats and visiting the blog. I’ve had a great reception to this interview concept, and I’m hopeful it adds some value to the ag community. Thanks for your support! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! One of my resolutions is to add more content, by the way!

Take it easy, but take it,


n_web: Q1: Thanks for joining me today, Steve. Can you tell me a bit of background on your farm? Take a few tweets.

Tykerman1: I live in extreme western Nebraska, most of the farm is dryland in these areas with some irrigation. I raise mostly winter wheat, corn, sunflowers, and millet. Occasionally some dry edible beans, & some sugar beets in the area. We put the meaning to dry land farming with 13-15 inches of annual precipitation.

n_web: Q2: 13-15 inches of rain. I would guess that means you have quite the range of yields from year to year? Tough to farm like that?

Tykerman1: The rain has been very erratic the past decade. We went from 3 years of extreme drought. Wheat yields were 5-10 bpa, corn wasn’t even harvested, it was worse than the dustbowl years the old timers said. Then we would get a 3 or 5 inch rain. And that would throw our annual rainfalls off. Lately we have had above normal moisture, but this year that came with a price. Our entire county has been struck with hail. It just depended on where you were to how severe you were hit. So yes, the last few years have been quite erratic. But, there is always next year (the farmers motto).

n_web: Q3: So, did you or your neighbors make anything from farming this year? How do you maintain confidence/hope?

Tykerman1: Many have asked, what happens when you are hailed out? We are blessed, especially this year, to have good crop insurance. Where neighbors didn’t get much hail, yields were terrific. Had a neighbor tell me his dry land was much better than his irrigated just because of where the hail hit. If there was little insurance money, or a lack of faith, I would have quit this many years ago.

n_web: Q4: Can you explain the basics of crop insurance to folks who may not know how it works?

Tykerman1: Crop insurance works just like most other insurance. You pay a premium based on past production history and current crop price. Then, if you lose a crop, they will pay you a certain amount. It is a nice backup, cause we are dealing with some big numbers. But, crop insurance isn’t a way to make a living. Similar to life insurance, you are glad you have it, just don’t want to ever use it.

n_web: Q5: So 2009 crop year wasn’t a fun one. It’s the “off-season” for some crops you grow. What are you doing now to prepare for 2010?

Tykerman1: Today, since we have once again broke above freezing, I am putting equipment in the shed. But I have been getting ready for 2010. I already have all my fertilizer purchased for next year, all my seed bought, the wheat is all seeded and up…all thats left..? I need to do some tax prep and book work…. that might sour my good mood. In fact, I have been preparing for 2010 in 2008, because I have been locking in prices for the future. I look like a genius.

n_web: Haha! Are you going to turn into a consultant on us?

Tykerman1: My consultant advice is free and you get exactly what you pay for.

n_web: Q6: Can you walk me through your decisions for the next year? Why do you buys fert and seeds nearly right after harvest?

Tykerman1: Why do you buys fert and seeds nearly right after harvest? Seed companies offer discounts now for early purchase. Fertilizer price was a great deal, so I just locked it in, so far, it looks like a great deal. I haven’t always done that.

Tykerman1: Plus we can use these early purchases to help in tax planning. I just love self-employment…. let me say, forecasting is very difficult, especially about the future.

n_web: Q7: There are a lot of factors at play in making your decisions, right? That’s why you start planning/thinking in 08 for 2010-11?

Tykerman1: Oh yes, there are lots of factors at play in my decisions, watching the global economy is high on my radar. I am trying to out guess when inflation will take off. I think it is a matter of when, not if. Which means great prices for farmers, but everything we buy will go up too.

n_web: Good point re: inflation. Just sat at a prez that suggested 2011. One or two more tough years for farmers ahead.

Tykerman1: My strategy is to reduce debt for higher interest rates, and be ready to lock in prices on market volatility.

n_web: Q8 from @JacksonFarms: Are the mountains what affect your weather, and if so, how close are you to the mountains?

Tykerman1: Mountains and the weather… they say that they do rob this area of moisture holding it there and not letting it come east. What amazes me is that from W Nebraska to E Nebraska, there is a wider range of rainfall than E Neb to the East coast. I am about 150 miles from the front range of Colorado.

n_web: Q9: Farmers have to be pretty astute businessmen and women. What do you read/follow to keep up? Go to a lot of seminars?

Tykerman1: Farmers have to be business men! When my grandfather farmed, it was basically hard work that drove your income… Today, its hard work and a keen sense for business. Those who just implement hard work, can’t figure out why they keep failing. I attend a few seminars locally, read the trade magazines, watch CNBC occasionally, just try and stay informed. One of my favorite people to follow is @arlanff101 He has very valuable farm business news. And Farm Futures has great info.

n_web: Q10: You have a diverse portfolio of crops. Where do your crops go after harvest? Marketing plays a huge role in this, right?

Tykerman1: Where do my crops go? I really try and forward contract my crops. Only thing that goes in the bin is seed. I had a professor tell me at the University of Nebraska, that it is easier to store cash than to store grain. It has been my experience, over the past few years, this strategy has worked well for the most part. I like selling for a profit, than selling grain when I need the money.

n_web: Guess I meant, who buys your millet and beets and corn? Corn to NE feedlots? Beets to sugar cos?

Tykerman1: So, basically, everything goes to the elevator. I let the elevator deal with the logistic headache of where it goes. The sugar beets are contracted with a local sugar coop.

n_web: Q11: So, what’s your outlook for 2010? Are you changning crop mix? Will markts hold or go up? Economy has a lot to do w this, no?

Tykerman1: I have to say, I am extremely high on 2010. My inputs are locked in, all I need to do is pull the trigger on corn marketing. My crop mix will be about the same. The economy can go south and if I am locked in, I should be fine. Just need to figure out how to keep the hail away. My grandfather always said if we could eliminate that, this would be EZ.

n_web: Final Q: What didn’t I ask that you’d like to cover? What’s on the top of your mind that you’d like to let people know?

Tykerman1: Farming is different than any other career. We pay retail for everything, and sell everything wholesale. Its risky business, but there are things that we can do to reduce the risk. And I utilize them. And I truly value the social interaction and how small the world becomes through the use of social media. And I greatly value the friends I have here on twitter. Its like they are in the tractor with me. : )

n_web: Thanks, Steve, for taking time to chat. This was fun. Thanks for all you do. Hang in there and best wishes for 2010. Merry Xmas!

Tykerman1: Thank you Nick for doing this and having me on…Merry Xmas to you and everyone.

n_web: I’ll have the transcript on my blog over the weekend. Thanks again to all those who follow the chat. We’ll chat again in 2010!

#onthefarm with Genny Christ

December 14, 2009

 This week’s #onthefarm took me virtually to Pennsylvania for a visit with @PAfarmgirl, Genny Christ. Genny is an agronomy educator for Penn State Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Genny has a great blog that tackles agronomy, conservation and nutrient management. It’s a very good read, and I would recommend it for those wanting to learn more about agriculture. Along with Andy Kleinschmidt of Ohio State, who blogs at, Genny is on the cutting edge of using the Web to share tips for farmers and providing background on projects she is working on.

I learned quite a bit about Pennsylvania ag during the interview, including the state’s connection to mushroom farming (thanks to @farmingmagazine for the excellent link to one of it’s articles during the chat!). Genny was an excellent guest, and she’s a good person to follow online.

Thanks to all those who followed the interview and who visit the blog to read the transcript.


n_web: Hi everyone, about 10 min away from this week’s segment with @PAfarmgirl. Quick bio coming in next couple tweets. Genny is an Agronomy Educator for Penn State Cooperative Extension in Cumberland Co, focusing on field crops and soils. She also focuses on nutrient management and NM plan implementation, and organizes field days and meetings for farmers. You can learn more about her and her writings at her blog: . Reason for me to interview Genny: crazy year for farmers. What did she learn as an agronomist? What are tips for 2010

n_web: OK, enough intro. Once @PAfarmgirl sends a tweet, we’ll get rolling with this week’s segment!

PAfarmgirl: I am ready to go!! Thanks for the

n_web: Q1: I gave a quick 420 character intro :) I’m sure you can tell us a bit more about yourself and what you do.

PAfarmgirl: I grew up on a tiny beef cow/calf operation in western PA. Went to PSU and focused on Animal Science and Agronomy. Now I work in extension educating anyone interested about crops and soils. & when I get a chance I do some animal education also

n_web: Q2: Can you give us a background on what type of ag is practiced where in Pennsylvania?

PAfarmgirl: PA ag is diverse. we have 3 major crop regions: southeast, north and Appalachian plateau, and the rest of the state. SE is warmer & most productive. N & Appalachian Plateau is higher elevations and colder. Major crops in PA based on dollars: grain corn, forages, and mushrooms. But PA is more a livestock state than a crop state. $513 billion Cattle industry, $183 billion hog industry

n_web: Q3: Mushrooms?!?! Never knew that. Can you explain how/why? This is uncharted territory for #onthefarm . . . Definitely want to cover livestock in a moment . . . the mushroom comment intrigued me though . . .

PAfarmgirl: I am not an expert on mushrooms but a few counties seem to be good at growing mushrooms, one farm actually grows them underground.

n_web: Q4: OK, sorry for my aside. What’s the status of the livestock industry in PA? How are farmers doing? Hanging in there?

n_web: via @farmingmagazine: More on mushrooms:

PAfarmgirl: The livestock industry is surviving. The economy is making it hard on everyone. It’s all about economics anymore. if you can stay out of the red or at least not in the red for long, you will survive. One challenge I’ve noticed is livestock mortality. More and more farmers are struggling to find ways to dispose of dead

n_web: Q5: Is the terrain one reason why PA is a livestock state? Or is it soils? Or weather?

PAfarmgirl: I think PA is a livestock state for all of those reasons. We have alot of very productive soils, but also marginal soils. I also think it has to do with the people and the “culture” its what their parents did so.

n_web: Q6: The “culture” comment is interesting. I guess some folks you talk to, their families have been there since Colonial times.

PAfarmgirl: There are alot of farms that have been in the family for generations. In addition there are alot of Plain Sect people. Farming is what the majority of them do. The farm is passed father to son

PAfarmgirl: n_web: Q7: What were some of the research projects you had in 09? What did farmers tell you about successes/challenges this yr

PAfarmgirl: PSU is working alot on cover crops and energy crops. I started my job to late in the season to be directly involved. Challenges in 09: the weather, the economy, proper inoculation of soybeans. We also saw alot of crop diseases this year. This year I will have some herbicide plots out on local farms. PSU also does alot of variety trials. successes I saw in 09: increased use of cover crops and conservation tillage.

n_web: Q8: Good transition: Talk about cover crops. Maybe I miss something, but it appears they are used more in your neck of the woods?

PAfarmgirl: Cover crops are very important!! They are something that is pushed by PSU, NRCS, conservation districts, etc. cover crops are very helpful in reducing erosion and improving soil quality. They are also great for winter manure applications. Here in PA manure is an issue, especially with the Chesapeake Bay, so cover crops provide another crop to receive manure.

n_web: Q9: So more PA farmers are using cover crops? Has it been tough to convince farmers? Or do they get it? And just takes time?

PAfarmgirl: Every year more farmers are definitely using cover crops. It has been a challenge getting some farmers to use them. Providing them with examples, field demonstrations, and facts about the benefits definitely help convince farmers. It also helps when they know someone who has planted cover crops.

n_web: Q10: What are you preparing to educate farmers on for 2010? Any tips you can share here, that help PA and US farmers?

 PAfarmgirl: I am focusing alot on soil conservation, nutrient management and scouting for diseases, insects, weeds. I do have a few tips to share: 1. soil test at least every three years, knowing what nutrients are in your soil is important. 2. scout, scout, scout – wasting $ on useless pesticide applications is bad for your bottom line ($$) and the environment. 3. accurately calibrate your sprayer and spreader for precise applications

n_web: Q11: What’s your goal in having a blog? Do area farmers read it? Is it an outlet for you to post current info you’re researching?

PAfarmgirl: I blog b/c I want to do whatever I can to educate people about agriculture. I enjoy being able to write about things I care about

n_web: Final Q: What’s the outlook for Pennsylvania ag in the next few years? Economy is tough, but what can farmers be excited about?

PAfarmgirl: I don’t really know if many farmers read my blog. The hardest part to blogging is getting people to realize you are out there. PA ag is very diverse and this will help us to survive and grow stronger. The ag industry in PA is focusing on providing a good quality, safe, product to its consumers. Farmers need to be excited about new technology and what it can offer them: money savings, increased yields, etc. Farmers also need to think about the environment. Many are already stewards for the environment and more are coming on board.

n_web: Thanks for your time today, Genny! This was fun. Know ya gotta run, but if you have a final thought or two, feel free to share.

PAfarmgirl: I appreciate the opportunity you provide me today and would like to thank all those who were following along!!

n_web: Yup, thanks to the followers, Hope you found it enjoyable! I’ll have the transcript on the blog over the weekend.

#onthefarm with Susan Crowell and Gary West

December 9, 2009

For last week’s #onthefarm, I chatted with two members of the ag media, Susan Crowell of Farm and Dairy and Gary West of The Capital Press. I’ve found these two writers and publications to be among the most prominent on Twitter, both in terms of sharing content and in having conversations with their readers and others in ag. So, I thought it’d be interesting to get their takes on big topics they’re covering (especially considering they are based in different regions), what their readers think of their content, how social media is playing a role in their content creation and curation and the discussion in journalism circles of paying for online content.

I thought it was a pretty darn good interview, as we get to hear from reporters who are covering the ag beats every day. Susan, Gary and all ag reporters do a great job of covering ag’s issues and in promoting agriculture, and it was nice to get their perspectives.

So, I’ll stop writing here and let you get straight to reading the Twitter interview. Hope you find it as enjoyable as I did!

Take it easy, but take it,


n_web: We’ve got pubs from the Salems today: Capital Press from Salem, Oregon and Farm and Dairy from Salem, Ohio. Get going in a few! For this segment, I wanted to talk w/ a couple ag media and get their takes on trends in their biz and in ag.Once @capitalpress and @scrowell send a tweet, we’ll roll with this week’s interview.

scrowell: Ready and waiting…

capitalpress: Gary West from Capital Press checking in.

n_web: OK, here we go! Q1: Can each of you take a few tweets to tell us about yourself and your publication?

capitalpress: I’m Gary West, associate editor for the Capital Press, which covers agriculture in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California.

scrowell: I’m editor of @farmanddairy, weekly newspaper (avg. 150pp/week) w 30K circ in 44 states, but primarily OH/Pa/Ny/WV. I was raised on a #farm, and grad. from Kent State Univ; been with paper for 25 years (started when i was 10). @farmanddairy is not just dairy, but is gen. ag publication; major auction following and our classifieds kick butt (as does news). @farmanddairy founded in 1914; owned by local family, same family since 1930s. @smdarling (Scot Darling) is publisher

capitalpress: Capital Press has been around for 82 years. HQ is Salem, Ore. I’ve been here 4 years. Been a journalist for 20 years. And I’m the son of a crop duster, schooled at Oregon State University #gobeavs! We are family owned too, part of a small family-owned group of papers, most are general news papers though.

capitalpress: Shall we compare classifieds Susan?

scrowell: Ooo… Twash talk

n_web: Q2: What are a few of the big topics and trends that you’re covering right now?

capitalpress: Q2: Low prices for everything it seems. Milk, hay, potatoes, wheat… The economy dominates much of our coverage now. Seems everyone talking to farmers and ranchers is telling them to get out in front on issues, get involved, communicate. Animal welfare has been big out West too. Prop. 2 in California, and Issue 2 in Ohio have every state wondering who is next. Oh, and GMO issues. The legal fight over Roundup Ready sugar beets is big in our area where both seed crop and field crop grow. Water, or lack of it, is huge too, especially in California. ESA issues too, like salmon, wolves.

scrowell: Since we’re in OH, #Issue 2 (livestock care standards constitutional amend) on Nov. ballot was HUGE. It passed, if u didn’t know. Livestock care battle will con’t to be battle; we’ve also covered farmland preserv. issues for 15 yrs. right now, #farm finances are obvious issue for all commodities/livestock. Legislative/policy issues that affect #farm, rural residents, i.e. envir. always on our plate. Proud we led nation in coverage of Pigeon King Ponzi scheme (for real. check our archives). Affected r Amish/Menn. readers

n_web: Q3: So how do you stay on top of all these issues? Are you using more content from other sources? There’s a heckuva lot happening.

capitalpress: We have reporters in all 4 of our keys states and we do as much as we can when we can. Also have a lot of freelancers. We also are Associated Press members, so we get some copy from other member papers, but our 9 reporters do most coverage.

scrowell: w ltd. resources, hv to prioritize coverage. This is huge issue and I think future collaboration w others is critical

capitalpress: Susan is right, prioritization is the key. What stories affect the most farmers and ranchers. That’s where we focus.

scrowell: Also use freelancers. In fact, just looked thru my file last nite to find others to tap into. Quality is sometimes issue. We have 2 reporters (no, not a typo). think I’m not stressed?

capitalpress: There are also legal restrictions on how much we can interact with freelancers, which makes it hard to direct specific stories
scrowell: would lk to check out collaboration effort like @Publish2, particularly for online information. Aggregation as well as byline

n_web: Q4: What are your readers telling you about your content? I guess the No. 1 factor is circulation, both print and online. . .but I would imagine you get feedback directly. What are you hearing from them?

capitalpress: Q4: Our readers love us, which after 15-plus years at mainstream papers, that was odd to get so much positive feedback. But we face same circulation challenges other media do. Subscriber numbers sometimes slip. We aggressively work to keep ’em.

scrowell: Circ. is holding its own, unlike most newspapers. 08 circ. down only 1.3%; single copy sales up 3.8%. Our strength is our history/legacy of respect, trust. Readers call us ‘the farmer’s bible’

scrowell: @capitalpress Our circ. mgr just came from daily year ago, and said same thing, ala Sally Fields “You like me, U rlly like me!”

capitalpress: Most of our circulation is by mail. Rack sales are pretty small overall. We are continually working to make our coverage as relevant as possible so we are a valuable tool for farmers & ranchers.

capitalpress: @scrowell we here the “farmers’ bible” term out here too. #onthefarm
04:12pm Dec. 3 2009 EST

n_web: Q5 from @Tyne_Ag: “Do you see multimedia features being a good tool for farmers? Do they even watch or listen to those features?”

scrowell: from 7/09 3rd party readership survey, we basically discovered online readers are not our print readers. IMO, multimedia works, yes, but really hard to gauge how much. Trad. #ag readers not looking to Web right now. Web in general, tho, will be growing part of my newsroom. Is more today, than 12 mos. ago.

capitalpress: Multimedia tools are gaining in importance. Farmers and rural folks have been the slowest to adopt online tools, but growing. Age is a factor in that too. Our readers tend to be older than general news paper, as farmers also tend to be older. To Susan’s point of online vs. print we know the bulk of our online readers aren’t our print subscribers based on hours of use. But we also know that the environmental issues, food safety issues, the ag issues we cover of interest to more than just ag folks

scrowell: ditto RT @capitalpress: Age is a factor too. #ag readers tend to be older than general newspaper, as farmers tend to be older

capitalpress: We have to be ready though, for when the rapid adoption of digital happens. If we aren’t there and useful, they will leave us. Many of the businesses we deal with our taking their business online in some fashion. We can either help them, or wave goodbye.

scrowell: Hiring new copy editor/paginator right now. Must come w Web/SM skills

capitalpress: @scrowell is my SM mentor. She got me on Twitter, kicking and screaming though I was. That was a year ago.

n_web: Q6: Guessing that you’re operating on the inevitable that rural areas will have high-speed internet access in the near-future? And it will pay to have the online and SM presence once they discover it?

scrowell: Q6 You had to bring that up, didn’t you? High-speed access is a big, big issue for #farms.

capitalpress: Rural areas do have online access now, maybe just not in same way cities do. Cell phones, satellite, etc. I think the bigger issue is farmers who don’t have it now, or use it now, don’t know that the cost will be worth it for biz. Some farmers don’t use computers at all. Seems foreign to me. How can you run a business without a computer in 2009-10?

scrowell: Talked to h.s. jr. at @OhioStateFSR; told me he didn’t realize how imp. computers were until he climbed into equip. hello?

scrowell: @capitalpress Same guys who never know their cost of production (re computer use)

capitalpress: We think it will pay, but if we don’t learn from mainstream media that people will leave if we don’t adapt, then 2bad for us.

scrowell: maybe some of #farm media presence on web is for nonfarm audience (as in print). Web is here to say for #ag media. Period.

capitalpress: I think cell phones will be the digital future. And farmers already have and use those in abundance. Know a farmer without one?

n_web: Q7: OK, let’s talk SM. How are your publications using it?

scrowell: No formal protocol. Enc. reporters to use to Tweet quest. and engage world in conversation. We tout our links, but others’ too. @farmanddairy is on FB, but I’m ashamed to admit we haven’t updated in months. Resources to blame (I can only do so much) :) SM has increased @farmanddairy visibility natl’y; my own #farm and journo network incredibly. SM is becoming a news source all its own. Journos have to be in the arena

capitalpress: We post some of our news headlines on Twitter and Facebook. #agchat has been a good networking opportunity w/ ag folks. I use it to monitor news, ag and otherwise, and get a feel for issues people are discussing. @kmarikos our marketing manager is also pretty active on Twitter and Facebook. Connecting with university students & others. As I mentioned earlier, Susan got me onto Twitter. Didn’t want to do it. Was sold when I learned to use FB & Twitter together

scrowell: @capitalpress Good point about cell phones. Was just talking mobile app with our techie. But resources/priorities, once again.

capitalpress: Exactly: News breaks on SM now. RT @scrowell: Q7 SM is becoming a news source all its own. Journos have to be in the arena #onthefarm
04:12pm Dec. 3 2009 EST

scrowell: @farmanddairy reporter Kristy Foster also Tweets @fosterk96

n_web: Yes, I noticed you each have about 2k followers, that’s about 5% of your circ, right @scrowell? Some who didn’t know about u b4.

capitalpress: We did get some criticism for posting too many headlines. On our publication day we had a big batch going out at once. So we now only post a portion of our headlines, and it’s automated, so it may not always be the biggest or best stories, sadly.

scrowell: But SM also makes it diff to define line betw personal/professional time. I have personal FB, but don’t use professionally.

capitalpress: That line between personal and professional has got blurry. Made me very uncomfortable for a long while. Still does. That’s very tough for a journalist, who is taught to keep personal opinions out of reporting. Us old schoolers need a line!

scrowell: My followers also incl a lot of mainstream journos I follo for journalism sake. @farmanddairy followers prob v. few print readers

n_web: Q8: Big discussion in journ. about paying for content online, whether it’s pay per click os subscr. What are your thoughts?

capitalpress: Our company policy is that we are a subscription site. We make some content free, but we need to pay the bills. Online content must be financed somehow, by ads or by subscribers or both, especially if advertisers abandon print for online. Our Classifieds and display ads are available for free, but news content is restricted. By that I mean classifieds are free to view. Someone pays to run them. The free or paid debate is far from settled or over though. It will continue to evolve. Problem is know one knows what “good” number are online for a publication like ours. We aren’t going to get Google or ebay

scrowell: In 08 we went to all nonpd online (prev. classified/auctions were subscriber-only). Monetizing Web is tough, but get enuf eyes there and adv. want to be there, too. Our banner ads work well. Key is creating niche/community/info presence that keeps ppl returning; adv. aren’t dumb. They want to reach those ppl too. @andyvance & @ABNLindsay at @ABNRadio do great marriage of trad/Web/SM #ag news, too (Ohio #farm media rocks!)

n_web: Q9 from @celestelaurent: “What advice do you have for aspiring ag journalists?”

scrowell: Write. Write and write some more. Whether in Web/SM/p.r./news, you will be writing. Period. Learn Web skills, and SM skills. Audio, video, I want it all. Readers want it all. Web visitors want it all. Get off the #farm. Expose yourself to other viewpoints. We’re not always right. Cheerleading doesn’t always help. Amazing number of “ag comm” majors never work for campus newspaper/radio. Why, oh, why isn’t that required???

capitalpress: My advice to all aspiring journalists is don’t do it. If you R stubborn enough to do it anyway, you may just love it. Ditto @scrowell on the writing and other web-photo skills. And be open to critique so you can improve.

n_web: Getting closer to PR rant time, but first: Q10 @animalag: Do u have tips 2 help individuals/orgs be good sources for stories?

scrowell: Return my frickin’ phone calls a.s.a.p. (oops that was a rant). Don’t push product. Offer generic sources for management tips, etc. Suggest names of farmers who use product/system/whatever.

capitalpress: Getting used to talking to media takes practice. I was very nervous about this interview. I’m not used to answering ??? Don’t make stuff up. If you don’t know answer to a question, tell the reporter than but offer to find out the answer.

capitalpress: And return calls quickly. Our deadlines are real RT @scrowell: Q10. Return my frickin phone calls a.s.a.p. (oops that was a rant)

scrowell: Best p.r. came after Hurricane Katrina. p.r. pro called w cell ph # of 2 dairymen affected, and best times to call.

n_web: Final Q, then rant time: So, what’s the future of ag media? Plenty to cover, but resources are limited. Is online the way to go?

scrowell: don’t have crystal ball. who envisioned breadth of Web even 10 yrs ago. It might be smthing else. We have to be ready

capitalpress: Online is a fact of life now. Just part of the media mix. And it’s great for niches, can be very focused and reach wide area. I hope there is still room for “general” ag publications like Susan’s and ours, but they may be even more niche than our niches. #

n_web: OK, what’s your one PR rant . . . (thankfully, I personally have not pitched Susan or Gary, but I am nervous nonetheless . . .)

scrowell: Bring story idea that’s about something breathing. Not a product, but how a farmer uses product. How mom benefits. News is @ ppl

capitalpress: I think Susan has it covered pretty well! I keep my rants against PR behind my closed office door!

n_web: Thanks so much for you time, @scrowell and @capitalpress. Very informative. Thanks for all you do to report on agriculture!

scrowell: this has been only slightly painful (wrong end of interview). Thanks, @n_web, for opportunity

capitalpress: Yes, thanks @n_web and @scrowell, this has been almost fun! And don’t forget, #gobeavs!

n_web: Hope we can discuss these ag media issues in person one day . . . Have a good day!

Harvest Tweet Wrap, Nov. 26-Nov. 30

November 30, 2009

Well, harvest is winding down in the Midwest. Judging from the tweets, most people in Nebraska and Iowa have finished or are pretty close to finishing. Illinois farmers have really took it on the chin this fall. Many are in the fields when they normally wouldn’t be (i.e., muddy fields). Check out tweets from JacksonFarms, CoryRitter and jilib for how bad things have been. Their photos are somewhat depressing. Or as cornwuff put it, “frightening.”

And more rain and snow is forecasted for central Illinois this week. Ugh.

Farmers’ work doesn’t end when the crop is out. Some are drying. Some are hauling. And some are applying nitrogen for next year’s crop. I’ll try to stay on top of tweets for fieldwork to provide updates. Maybe we can call it “offseason tweet wrap.”

Best wishes to those still in the fields.


OkieAgMan, Oklahoma

“It was a good weekend for sorghum harvest in Oklahoma where dry. Some combines running late into the day around Enid OK today.”

tvfarmer, Illinois

“Actually found a field where I could use grain cart with corn standing. However I have about 120 acres that might take a while. Good week???”

 “I like it when we get so busy on the farm we can’t remember what day of the week it is and don’t even really care. Just happy to be working”

“Good day harvesting. I need about two weeks like today and I think we could get it done this year. Yields holding up very well.”

“Pleased with a good run today harvesting corn. Then I looked at what we have left to do. One day at a time……”

kansfarmer, Kansas

“Looks like open week for fieldwork, dry enough we should be able to run nh3 and also spread “all-natural organic fertilizer””

mariclefarm, Nebraska

“Still in #harvest mode, thankful the drying bin is still working.”

SJO13, South Dakota

“Still working on corn harvest less then 100 acres to go ! Latest South Dakota report is 60% of crop still in the field #hvst09

brokfldpumpkins, Maryland  

“Combined some corn and soybeans this weekend…still going today until the rain comes”

HuskerFarm, Nebraska

“Went from 1 of wettest Octobers on record 2 one of driest Novembers. Don’t like Nebraska weather? Wait a minute, it’ll change #agchat

“Currently shredding stalks and preparing fields for next springs planting season. Lots of compaction to fix from a wet harvest #farm #agchat

“Figuring up farm yields today, marketing corn, chiseling ends of fields, selling Producers Hybrids seed corn, and accounting work. #farm

hayseedmike, Iowa

“The end is near! Of harvest that is. 100 ac. to go.”

cornfedfarmer, Nebraska

“Slow day of harvest. Taking cousins corn to a neighbor’s drying bin. Thank goodness for XM to listen to OU vs OSU and my blackberry”

“So my almost 4 year old has pretty much figured out how to run the combine. Haven’t decided if I will let him run it full time next year:)”

cornwuff, Illinois

“Hmmm. Not what you want to see with as much corn left to harvest as we have. #farm #ag #harvest

“Dad upgraded this year. New tractor and his first ever grain cart. Full crew to run it all today too! #farm

“Feel like a real farmer today. Running the grain cart while dad combines and hired help Jeff trucks. #farm

“Very muddy today. #farm

“10 mile move to the next farm. New field, new mud. #farm

“Corn at the home #farm field averaged 158 bushels per acre. Good for that farm and the weather it had to deal with this year.”

“Too much mud. Almost got stuck. We’ve given up dumping on the move in this #farm field

“Filled up the dryer bin and combining in mud and water in the dark sucks, so we are done for the night. Not a bad day. #farm

jcmerts, Colorado

“A lot of irrigated corn still standing. Harvest in full swing though. Counted 30 muddy combines going in 70 mile drive two days ago.”

at_the_farm, Missouri

“Been shelling corn today. Was able to do the wife/mom thing & go shopping at 4am! #farmfriday

“Here’s to corn harvest…Did ya know: There are about 600 kernels on each ear of corn. #farmfriday

“And another…> Here’s to corn harvest…Did ya know:1 bushel of corn will sweeten more than 400 cans of soda. #farmfriday

CWFarms, Iowa

“Im down to the last 30 acreshope to finish tommorow #hvst09 #farm 

“We are officially done with #Harvest 09 as of 4:30 it feels great on to pullin soil samples and if it drys enough a little tillage work”

JacksonFarms, Illinois

“A first for me too! RT @kevinpaap: first time I have ever heard Christmas songs on the combine radio! This long harvest needs to get over”

#harvest is going along super slooooow. Some of our #corn is ankle tall and no reel on the cornhead makes for a long day. #hvst09 #farm

“Down corn took today. corn. #hvst09 #harvest #farm #ag

“Why I quit #harvest till tomorrow and to see some family before they went back home. #hvst09 #farm #ag

I’m down to 2 1/2 fields left to #harvest. Could take 2 day or 2 weeks. I would bet on 2 weeks not 2 days. #hvst09 #corn #ag #farm

“Not while were still harvesting please. RT @klincos: Still waiting for first snowfall here in Central Illinois.”

“How about a new corn line from Monsanto. Water proof! #hvst09

“This is what harvest is like this year. #hvst09

“Elevator don’t open till 10 today. Hope to get this field done before rain gets here”

“No wake zone! #hvst09

“Why I don’t like down corn. Its dangerous!

 “Arriving at my last corn field to harvest. It sets 3/4 mile off paved road. #hvst09

“I should get corn finished tomorrow. Then a few acres of soybeans left to get.”

kevinpaap, Minnesota

“first time I have ever heard Christmas songs on the combine radio! This long harvest needs to get over”

“has 12 rows of corn left to harvest.”

“finally cold enough outside to be able to do tillage in the cornfield. I love the nightshift!”

CoryRitter, Illinois

“We are going to try picking today, haven’t seen anyone going yet, someone got to be the first, well see how this goes!”

“Little wet, cutting ruts, but time to get this corn out!

#harvest09 is all about seeing how little we can get done in a day, picking 1/4 mile rows and just 6 rows, trying 2 keep combine light.”

“Dumping trucks, adding push water to combine and then the race is on. Hope to have another good day.”

“Never thought I be picken corn at the end of November that was 22.3% maybe it all the mud that is making it that wet #hvst09

“I swear we only have break downs on the combine after everything has closed. Oh well done till morning.”

“Had one of our more productive days didn’t start pickin till 11:30 and will get 90 acres done today. Snow, rain in forcast for Wed.”

jilib, Illinois

“3 generations of Meisenheimer family, attempting (ohmy it’s wet here) to pick corn n few minutes. #food #family #mud :-)”

“My cousin from Ga brought her little boys by-they rode n the combine w Curt.They were so happy about it, I forgot we’re ‘STILL’ n the fld.”

“A gr8 sunshiny day! Perfect day 4 #hrvst09! Nothings that easy- Creek crossing vs us, we are not winning-at the moment.”

“Unloading corn. My new favorite way to spend a Saturday night!

“Curt picking corn,Zacs hauling n.I did chores then watchd a Hallmark movie & researching 4 a golf course n N IL 4 gift cert. Rain coming :(.” – Fun in the mud. (NOT)” – Glad we only took one combine down there. This was yesterday.” – Got Mud? we do”

“It’s raining, #harvest09 the never ending saga continues.”

“Curt’s going to finish the field he is in (Pioneer test wagon there corn is 17.3, 211 bpa) 1.5 mi from bins (poured) he got sprinkles only!!”

“Then we have 2 fields left that we can’t get into either of. So, will go help BIL with his if we can.”

“over tweeting here but Im amazed at how well the corn was standing 2day (tw, moisture, bpa 2) we’ve had some NOT so good but GRATEFUL 4 this”

“Curt grd feed then worked cows, Zac helpd haul 135 ton of rock 2 the crossing 2 b fixed. 2 flds left 4 #hrvst09 -day after 2moro?? Hope!”

Agridome, Ontario

“Hopefully rapping up corn harvest next week……..December!”

“Corn harvest continues near Dresden Ontario… 50 acres left..

“Last few rows of corn on this farm….with Jackson Seed Service in the background near Dresden Ontario..

“Last few rows of corn on this farm….with Jackson Seed Service in the background near Dresden Ontario..

“Beautiful SW Ontario day in last November….loading corn near Dresden Ontario” “

“Raining Again…harvest window closing because snow is coming……”

hogs_r_us, Nebraska – Happy Thanksgiving!! Watch this video of little hams from our #farm this morning #thankafarmer #agchat – This is the right thanksgiving video of little hams from this morning”

“Every body on our family #farm will be working today trying to make up for the short day yesterday and weekend coming up. #blackfriday

foodprovider, Iowa

“Will be doing pig chores, then harvesting corn until supper. Then we will celebrate Thanksgiving”

“Need to make repairs on combine before we can get started today. #hvst09

“Yday morning, 3 generations of Ver Steeg’s working on corn harvest. That’s what modern family farming is all about! #food

“Enjoyed spending the last 3 days harvesting corn with my 13 yr old son. He ran the grain cart for me.” – Great Daddy time in the combine yesterday. #food #farm #family

“No, November has been dry and mild temps. Got a couple tenths of rain Monday night. 130 acres of corn left.”

“FARMING……the original “Green” job. Support family farmers!”


#onthefarm with Debbie and Debbie

November 23, 2009

For this week’s #onthefarm, Debbie Lyons-Blythe, a cattle rancher, and Debbie Borg, a row crop farmer, joined me to discuss some general thoughts on women in agriculture. We talked about women’s roles on the farm, their leadership roles with associations, the opportunities in farming and why they are active in social media.

Debbie and Debbie were fantastic (as all my guests are), considering that I think my questions and moderating duties were sub-par. I think owe them (and followers) another “Women in Ag” panel down the line.

At the end of the chat, I asked for people to submit any thoughts they had on women and farming. I received a handful that were quite personal. Thanks to nycUlla, firefighter89cpiersonkuber and mariclefarm for your comments!

Enough jibber-jabber. Hope you enjoy #onthefarm! As always, I appreciate any feedback to make this chat better.


n_web: OK, thanks for joining me today ladies. Hope we can learn some more about your farms and opps for women in ag today! Q1 in a sec. Q1: Give us some background on your family farm. Take a few tweets for that!

DebbieLB: I grew up near Manhattan, KS with my parents & sister. We all worked to raise Angus cattle. When i married, I moved. To my hubby’s family farm near a very small town in KS. We have five teenagers, 500 cattle, and lots of land in Ks tallgrass. I’m 4th gen. My hubby works in town, so I am day-to-day Labor & Management for our ranch!

iamafarmer2: 5th gen, 4 brothers make up the op. and I’m the only sister-in-law involved seasonly. Raise corn & soybeans, 100% no-till and background cattle. Most important crop on the farm: 2 daughters and 1 son. Also have served as President of the NE Soybean Assn. for the last 2 years

n_web: Q2: Let’s get right into the Women in Ag angle: How have women’s roles changed on the farm since you were a child? Q2 follow-up: have they changed? 

DebbieLB: women have always been involved…I hear stories of my grt-gma helping with hay harvest & then cooking the lunch for crew…the biggest change is that women are recognized more now…and publicly. I have no brothers, my sis & I just didn’t know any different! We drove tractors & farm trucks, fed cows & made hay.

iamafarmer2: I didn’t grow up on a working farm -had acreage and raised sheep for 4-H project–so not sure. mother-in-law tells me what she used to do and it doesn’t sound much different than what I do-except the equip is so much bigger

DebbieLB@iamafarmer2 I agree…technology has made it easier for women–less brute strength needed!

n_web: Q3: So, it sounds like it isn’t too much diff. But I would guess there are some misconceptions you hear? Any you care to share? 

DebbieLB: misconceptions?? I think women in any relationship are more a partner today than in previous generations. True in farming too. At my ranch, decisions R made together with Hubby & me talking about options. We each have our own strengths to share. Maybe another misconception is that a woman is all or none, in terms of involvement.

iamafarmer2: Q3  HMMMMM…YES, does the women rlly play a role YES, not just making lunch but involved in the decisions– marketing has become so important and information available and used in making the decisions. Ditto to @DebbieLB most all decisions r made together but know that’s not true on every farm

n_web: Q4: What’s the toughest thing for women to overcome in agriculture?

DebbieLB: when the phone rings in evening & caller asks for Duane (hubby) then asks about bulls 4 sale…Duane hands phone back to me! that’s not really tough, but sometimes is frustrating that caller assumes that Mr. is the one to talk to. we try to laugh!

iamafarmer2: the courage to stand up, be heard and be involved–at most assn. meetings it’s dominated by the male population

iamafarmer2: Well said RT @DebbieLB: maybe another misconception is that a woman is all or none, in terms of involvement.

iamafarmer2: LOL RT @DebbieLB: when the phn rings in evening & caller asks 4 (hubby) then asks abt bulls 4 sale…Duane hands phn back 2 me.

So true @DebbieLB- those are things you LOL and hope that maybe it’ll be different for our daughters

DebbieLB: I agree at mtgs, but I am lucky, the glass ceiling was broken years ago. Women are very prominent at NCBA or KLA mtgs nowadays. I go to the meetings & get involved because I’m the one doing the ranching. Hubby works in town & does my chores I’m gone.

n_web: Q5: Let’s talk about leadership. UR both a part of farm assoc. Have you experienced any problems in being a woman and a leader? “Problems” probably wasn’t the correct word choice there. 

DebbieLB:  I am the 3rd woman president of Ks Angus Association, 1st was my mom, then a good friend. I am in leadership in Ks Lvstk Assoc.. again, my mom was 1st woman pres of KLA. I have no probs @ mtgs feeling comfortable or a vital member. It is when I come home that things r tough. As a woman, I still am expected to be a good housekeeper, feed family, & do the work. My own expectations? I think women are being accepted more and more as advocates, experts & involved managers.

iamafarmer2: LOL Generally no. I would be the first for the NE Soy–but when I have-VERY frustrating. most often I really enjoy my involvement and it is no problem

iamafarmer2@DebbieLB completly agree on all the other stuff–especially the clean house

n_web: Q6: you both mentioned you have daughters. What’s your advice to them about considering staying/leaving the farm? 

DebbieLB: my oldest daughter is in college at KSU…my advice to her has been to do what makes you happy! ranching is hard work…. I encourage all women who want to farm/ranch to go to college…take lots of science, communication & tech classes.

DebbieLB:  I go into mtgs or talk to other ranchers knowing I am a BEEF PRODUCER not a WOMAN beef producer. The attitude is so “yesterday.” Farming is hard work, but if you love it, go for it! It is a wonderful way of life & a great way to connect with family.

iamafarmer2:  I believe there is so much opportunity in AG–people will always need to eat–the rewards are awesome

iamafarmer2:  great point @DebbieLB it is a WAY of life and your business

n_web: Q7: Are those tough conversations? Are those conversations different from when you were making the decision w/your fam?

DebbieLB: which conversations? with my daughters? They are the same I have with my sons. My daughters are oldest 18, 16, sons nxt 15,14,14.

n_web: Q8 from @phildawgkey: what can we do to “help advocate the bright children stay in rural places and ag?” 

DebbieLB: great Q8: we need the best to farm. Bottom line: must make money & provide for family. next, must be happy–preserve this life. I think it is important to provide a means to pass on the farm to next gen. Estate planning discussions important now. Get the younger gen involved in decision making–not just providing labor. My kids & I work together after school a lot! They need to fill important and a vital part of the farm. Making decisions will also show them the realities of farming/ranching.

n_web: Sounds like the true definition of family farming!

DebbieLB:  Q8: reminds me when we came home to hubby’s farm. An old neighbor was really mad at us. He said we were taking income from him. I responded that we were the future and to keep farms vital in KS, people like us HAD to come back & farm.

n_web: Q9: Do you think more young adults are realizing the upside of farming? That they want to stay? Is that a trend worth watching? 

DebbieLB:  I saw a study recently that said adults change jobs/careers today about 8 times in their life. Farming isn’t an easy option. farming requires huge inputs of money & hard work. Young people will come/stay because of the satisfaction. But need support.

iamafarmer2: Q9 at the local community college AG enrollment is up 22%. Of course the trend is worth watching–it’s our future

DebbieLB:  NCBA has created a Young Producers Council, Farm Bureau has a program for young farmers & ranchers…important support! We R doing what we love: it is what we think is best for our family, the land & the animals we own. Hope some of my kids ret

n_web: Q10: You both are involved in Twitter and each have a blog. Why? What’s the benefit? Any “lessons learned” you can share?

DebbieLB:  I tweet to reach out from my little rural life to others in ag & consumers of my product. I blog for the same reasons. This is a global society but if we don’t reach out to tell truth about food production, someone will tell their version. 

iamafarmer2: Q10 Ag must get their story out and SM has allowed me to do that way beyond the coffee shop. 

DebbieLB: I love the #thankafarmer campaign this week. Perfect use of SM for Ag. A wise man once said (@TroyHadrick)… “The work I do online is probably going to have as big an impact on the ability of my kids to {ranch} as my work outside.” 

iamafarmer2: Q10 if farmers and ranchers aren’t the ones talking – then someone else will. The whole reason I started using SM was to protect our current practices so that my kids can farm if they want to 

n_web: Q11: What else is on your mind? What didn’t I ask that you’d like to address here? Particularly about women in ag . . . 

DebbieLB:  Q11: only that women can do anything…Technology & equip has made farming less physical, more scientific! used to be I felt I had to prove myself–bucking hay bales, carrying buckets, etc. Now there are no physical obstacles.

iamafarmer2: Q11 Hope that any female who is interested in ag pursues the path–the greatest industry I have ever been involved with. 

n_web: So SM is an empowerment tool? Do you feel like you’re making a difference?

DebbieLB:  I hope I’m making a difference w/ SM. I get lots of non-ag comments on my blog. That is who I write it for. I gain info too!

iamafarmer2: I don’t know for sure if I’m making a difference–but try to everyday and SM has made it easier to tell our farm story.

n_web: Thanks so much for your time today, Debbie and Debbie. Very insightful. Esp. after my crap-tastic moderating today . . .  Keep up the great work of sharing ag’s stories! 

Post-chat coments:

n_web: OK, if anyone following us today would like to share a story about their grandma/mother/wife/daughter and farming, please do now. 

nycUlla: my mother is the most brave & hard working woman I know. So many great stories. We always worked together as a family.

DebbieLB: THAT’s what it’s all about! RT @nycUlla #onthefarm We always worked together as a family.

firefighter89:  @n_web my daughter is 8 and I can already see the love of ag-she is always helping me & her Dad with chores & she really 

DebbieLB@firefighter89 Thx for sharing abt your daughter! I love having kids help w/ farm chores!! 

cpiersonkuber: Role of ag #women extends beyond the #farm R&D science, marketing, journalism, distribution, education; all #ag areas incl women 

iamafarmer2: Very well said RT @cpiersonkuber: Role of ag #women extends beyond the#farm marketing, journalism, dist. ed all #ag areas –

mariclefarm:  I appreciate the warm welcome I have received with ag association work as a young female ag advocate

Harvest Tweet Wrap, Nov. 12-17

November 17, 2009

Aplogies for taking nearly a week to get up another Harvest Tweet Report. Things are finishing up in most parts of the country, though Missouri and Illinois (and now southern Iowa, I think) are experiencing 48 hours of rain. With more in the forecast. Ugh. The moisture is coming down a smidge, it appears, with some farmers reporting sub-20 percent corn this week. Still not good, but much better than the 25-30 percent we were seeing through late October and early November. Yields seem solid, despite the weather too. Now it’s getting it dried down (if you have on-farm dryers) and to the elevator. And some are even having trouble getting it to the elevators, with several Illinois farmers reporting early closures.

I hope to have at least one more report before Thanksgiving. Let’s hope our farmers can at least take a day off for that . . . unfortunately, our Illinois friends may be in the combine working on Turkey Day and beyond.

Hang in there, everyone.

Thanks for reading,


zjhunn, Nebraska

“Making some good progress with corn #harvest. Moisture still 20%+ most of the time. Yields good, 220-230 field averages”

gilmerdairy, Alabama

“It’s a beautiful day…the weather is great and I’ve got the grain drill rolling.”

“Time to fire up the ol’ 4255 and drill some rye.”

“Today I started planting our spring forages…learn more in our newest GDF MooTube Minute (# 011)

cornwuff , Illinois

“Tweeting from the tractor cab is hard. I have a neat video to upload later! Putting on NH3 fertilizer today. #farm #ag

“At home in a seat that isn’t bouncing wildly. Here’s my NH3 application video from the tractor cab. #farm #ag”

“Corn plot harvest is complete. Winner is Agrigold 6309VT3 with 227bu/acre at 23% moisture. Pretty good! #farm #ag

jilib, Illinois  

“talkd 2 frnd sm farmers no #hvst09 4 few daze 4 them.Corns 24+, Only option ship direct but dock so much so waiting.I’m grateful 4 storage”

“I’m picking corn, zac’s hauling across the road-testing 19,aprox 200 bpa,curts putting on anhyrous. Hope all having a gr8 day!”

“Rain coming this afternoon (& 4 3 days :-() hoping 4 a good corn picking day up until then.”

“Its raining enuff 2 stop harvest shortly. Now,watching a meeting of the minds-zac/betterway & fil/oldway. I’m the only 1 smiling.”

Lathamcornguy, Iowa  

“A few farmers in southern fayette county will b finishing harvesting this weekend!!”

FredPond, Ohio  

“Putting some equipment away this morning, never thought that would happen this year”

JacksonFarms, Illinois

“The good thing about the elevators closing early is I got over 600 acres of disk ripping done. #hrvst #harvest #ag #farm

“This weather doesn’t look to good for finishing up with #harvest.”

OkieAgMan, Oklahoma  

“Wet again! Harvest stopped on Saturday due to damp conditions. Watching cotton and soybean quality and so far we are good in Oklahoma.”

“Sorghum yields better than expected late harvest in Oklahoma. Many well above 60 bu. in areas that average far less.”

“Headed to south central Texas to check on this years performance of corn, cotton and soybeans. Will report what I see along the way.”

“Central Texas cotton near 80% harvested and wet. Color grades not so good. Farmers looking forward to next year. Acres stable.”

tvfarmer, Illinois

“Hearing of propane shortages for some farmers drying corn.At least another 3 weeks worth of drying corn around Central Ill.? June corn @ 23%”

“Could be a slow week for Harvest. Forecast for 1 to 3″ of rain in Central Ill. Ugghhh. Better get after it, what day is it ?”

“From Decatur to Champaign very few beans left. Half of the corn out +or – 10%. Decent amount of tillage ,however we are usually done by now”

“If we get much rain, fall annhydrous application might be over for this year.”

“2″ of rain at our farm in Cental Ill. Harvest will wait a little longer. About 50% corn harvested here. Farmers can get about 20% a week.”

“Wow, more heavy rain overnight. Don’t even want to look at gauge, wouldn’t make any difference anyway. Central Ill. a mess”

“Record? Over 13″ of rain in our guage in Central Ill. in the last 6 weeks. 3.4″ since Sunday noon.”

CoryRitter, Illinois

“We should finshes beans today, and get back to corn. It has tried a lot! We have not had many break downs this yr, untill the last 2 days!”

“We have finally finshed soybeans! I am picking corn by myself try to fill all the trucks for the drivers to get n line 1st thing in morning”

“Trying to pick corn, all trucks in line at the elevator, sitting here with full grain cart and combine. We will go to bins when they close”

“Long lines at elevator, shut us off at 1. Each truck got 4 loads in last truck was in line at 12:45 won’t get dumped till about 2:30.”

“Well, got dad in combine today. Wife and I in Lamaze class. When we signed up I thought we would be done pickin! Baby due Jan 15 our 1st

farmerbart, Nebraska  

“Finishing up hauling manure! Headed back to picking corn. I hope it has dried some. Corn in the area still running 20 plus! Lots left!”

kansfarmer, Kansas  

“Wow, several inches of snow on the ground and still falling heavily – #thankful havest is mostly over and some needed slow time upcoming”

foodprovider, Iowa

“Found 19% corn y’day. Foggy and misting out today. Not sure if combine will roll. #hvst09

Looks like a great day to be out in the combine. #hvst09

agmatters, Illinois

“A farmer rainy day project at harvest–moving grain. Lots of mud and not enuf dry coats. #ag

Asian lady bugs invaded r weather station. No idea of rainfall, obviously more than the .67 it shows. Looks more like 2 inches +?. #09hrvst

at_the_farm, Missouri

“working on finishing up beans today! Can’t haul to elevator cause they r all full”

HuskerFarm, Nebraska

“Rolling on corn in foggy/misty conditions. 480 acres to go, but elevators and feedyard want dry corn now.”

“320 acrers of corn left to go. Light at the end of the tunnel!!! Yields have been outstanding considering the amount of hail we’ve had. #fb

Tykerman1, Nebraska  

“Had a good day of corn picking. Not too hard when it got hailed on so bad. My cell phone, not working so well.”

“got 160 acres left, but it is still wet and muddy. Corn laying down from all the hail, some 75% damage”

“Woke up to an inch of snow, it melted as fast as it arrived. Was told we had 36″ of snow in October.”

“still have 400 acres of millet in windrows on the ground, that might be there til March or April.”

hogs_r_us, Nebraska

“Working on a big problem 2 finish harvest. Our electric 100hp motor that runs our dryer quit high $$ placement 4 a wk #foodchat #hvst09

mariclefarm, Nebraska

“5000 bu DRY corn delivered, wish we had more drying bin space #harvest

brokfldpumpkins, Maryland

“Brookfield Harvest Update: full season beans are done, 180 acres of corn to go, 12 acres of wheat cover crop to plant..we r getting there”

“Another 100 acres corn done. Ave 20% w/ way more bu than we expected. Let the great grain shuffle begin! #09hvst

“Good weather projected the next few days…harvesting to be done!”

iamafarmer2, Nebraska

“Corn harvest in full swing finally – moisture running 19.5 to 20.5%–not too bad given the year.”

“Combining corn when we started moisture was 19% & it’s moved 2 22%…no choice but 2 combine & put in bin (will have 2 B managed carefully)”

“8 yr old son tells me he’s driving the combine more than his uncle–we start them early on the farm.”

“Just finished another field of corn – ran about 19-20″% moisture–but it filled the bin. WOO HOOO”

CWFarms, Iowa

“Well we finally got over the halfway mark on corn harvest hope the second half goes as well as the first”

FaistFarmsInc , Michigan

“36V53 – 301.724 bushels/acre