Features

  • Farmers Come Together to Bring in Friend’s Crops

    October 20, 2014

    One spring night about 10 o’clock, a fellow farmer called Todd Mason to ask about a planter that wasn’t working right. Todd had the same planter, but it’s tough to see a mechanical problem over the phone, so he headed out to help. That’s the kind of guy he is. If he can help another farmer plant his field, increase his yield or get his crop in on time, that’s what he’ll do.

  • Agvocates Send EPA a ‘Ditch the Rule’ Memento

    October 17, 2014

    Lots of people leave the Sunbelt Ag Expo with a souvenir – a bag of Georgia grown peanuts, some Florida lemonade, a handful of soybeans from Alabama. Federal environmental officials will get their own souvenir this year after ag advocates collected hundreds of signatures on a banner opposing a proposed rule that would add more waterways to the list of those that are covered by Clean Water Act regulations.

  • Falling Gasoline Prices: There are Lots of Reasons Why

    October 16, 2014

    Plummeting gasoline prices are the result of lagging economic growth in many parts of the world, the end of the summer driving season, less expensive winter gasoline and well-functioning Midwest refineries, Purdue University energy economist Wally Tyner says. There's both good news and potentially bad news in all of that.

  • State Matches Up Hunters, Farmers to Rid Feral Hogs

    October 15, 2014

    Hunters won’t solve the problem of feral hogs tearing up crops, but they might help. The two state departments in charge of agriculture and natural resources in Georgia are teaming up to help farmers plagued by feral hogs find hunters who can cull some of the pests.

  • Pomegranate Offers Fruit-Growers a New Option

    October 14, 2014

    Pomegranates aren’t new in the Southeast. They’ve been growing in backyards for 100 years. But now that the blueberry has blazed trail for new fruits and a citrus disease is ravaging orange groves, farmers are looking at the common pomegranate a bit different.

  • Looking for Winter Crop? Try Jet Fuel

    October 13, 2014

    Farmers looking for another crop to fill out the year might consider growing jet fuel. A group of researchers from the University of Florida is recruiting farmers this fall in South Georgia, South Alabama and North Florida to grow 4,000 acres of carinata, a plant similar to canola with seeds that can be pressed into a biofuel.

  • Step Back in Time to Peanut Stacking Days

    October 10, 2014

    In 1940, a man and mule would toil away for 75 hours to produce one acre of peanuts. Today, a man and his tractor can get the same job done in about three hours. “You do away with the old method when you find a better way, but you shouldn’t forget the old way,” said Frank McGill, a retired University of Georgia peanut specialist who grew up planting, harvesting and drying before mechanization revolutionized peanut production.

  • Reinke Expands Breast Cancer Efforts at Sunbelt

    October 09, 2014

    Around 100,000 people will visit the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Ga. next week. Most of them share a love of rural life, nature’s beauty and the technology that makes up modern agriculture. All of them share something else in common: Each person who walks through the expo gate Oct. 14-16 has a mother. Many of them have daughters, sisters, aunts or a wife, too. And about half of those visitors are women themselves.

  • Field Scouting with Google Glass? Group Will Study the Potential

    October 08, 2014

    Imagine if you could simply look at a pest in the field to take a photograph of it? What if in the same glance you could draw on the knowledge of agronomists and entomologists around the globe to identify the pest and learn how to fight it? Those scenarios may not be as far out as they sound.

  • Forgotten Crop: Cottonseed More than Just an Afterthought

    October 07, 2014

    As the first bales of cotton begin to arrive at gins across the Southeast, few of the people who wear denim jeans, have a favorite cotton T-shirt or dry their hands on a cotton dish towel will think about the other part of all that cotton: The seed. Cotton seed makes up about 15 percent of a farmer’s profit; nationwide the value of cottonseed from the 2013 totaled $1.1 billion.

  • Different Types of Farmers Trying Olives

    October 06, 2014

    When dozens of Southeastern olive growers get together for the day, they have a lot of questions. … And they find even more answers. More than 100 Southeastern growers gathered in Lakeland, Ga. (near the Florida border) recently to share their successes and failures, their questions and answers, at the Georgia Olive Growers Association annual conference.

  • Purdue Ag Economist: Pork Supplies to Increase Faster than Expected

    October 03, 2014

    A new federal report suggests that pork producers will be able to get more pork to consumers – and more quickly – than had been expected, Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt says.

  • Sunbelt Ag Expo Reaching Out to Backyard Gardeners with New Section

    October 02, 2014

    The Sunbelt Ag Expo always will showcase giant cotton-pickers, state-of-the-art tractors and the latest in crop research. But this year, the people who put on the 37-year-old event are hoping to attract producers that grow crops on a much smaller scale.

  • USDA Accepting Base-Acre Numbers, Farmers Still May Have Questions

    October 01, 2014

    Blame it on the rain. Producers in many parts of the country couldn’t get out into the field on Monday, the first day that the U.S. Department of Agriculture would accept base-acre and yield updates required for crop-loss programs under the 2014 Farm Bill. So, they rushed to the computer to figure out how to complete the process, only to find more questions.

  • UAVs May Be a Year Away from Scouting Fields

    September 30, 2014

    By this time next year, farmers might be scouting fields from the sky looking for signs that the crop is ready to harvest or needs another week. Then again, they might not. The Federal Aviation Administration has set September 2015 as the earliest date that commercial users like farmers or crop consultants might be allowed to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in their business.

  • Farmer Profile: Dairy Producer, Professor, Consultant, Mold Does It All

    September 29, 2014

    The Minnesota State Fair is more than just family fun and fried food to Doris Mold. It’s a chance to show 1.7 million people where their food comes from. During the fair – which typically runs for two weeks at the end of August and into September – a slow day for Mold will be 14 hours. She used to pull the occasional 24-hour shift, but this year, the longest day was just 20 hours.

  • USDA Unveils Key New Programs to Help Farmers Manage Risk

    September 26, 2014

    On Thursday, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled highly anticipated new programs to help farmers better manage risk, ushering in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades.

  • Southern Pecans Squeak By Early Season Wet Weather

    September 25, 2014

    Pecan groves are starting to produce the first nuts of 2014, and the harvest will be in full-swing soon. Pecan growers have planted a lot of new trees over the past five years to feed a growing Asian appetite for the nut. But it’s anybody’s guess how much bigger that appetite will grow.

  • China May Cut Cotton Imports, Implement Price Supports

    September 24, 2014

    China will import the minimum amount of cotton in 2015 as the country draws down on a stockpile it’s been amassing over the past few years. At the same time, the Asian country – the world’s No. 1 consumer of cotton – is poised to implement price supports that might make the country’s textile industry more independent of imports.

  • Fruit and Vegetable Growers Win Some in FSMA Update

    September 23, 2014

    Fruit and vegetable growers seem optimistic that the Food and Drug Administration listened to their cries to tweak proposed food-safety rules that will update the Food Safety Modernization Act. But industry groups still are studying the changes, which were announced Friday, and soon will give producers a better idea whether serious concerns remain unaddressed.

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