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WASHINGTON — Giving speeches and being interviewed by reporters can be challenging for many farmers, but it’s an important skill to have.

With the holidays approaching, many people are concerned about trying to stay healthy while also enjoying all the delicious foods and traditions associated with the many celebrations that are or will be soon occurring.

As the farm’s leader and CEO, you know there are many business decisions you must make for your operation each day. From big to small, the buck stops here, with you.

Even ignoring the impact of the current trade dispute with China, we are now in the seventh year of generally declining crop prices. In addition, significant trade adjustment payments and general farm program payments are not enough to stanch the flow of red ink across the financial records of most farm operations today.

Each year, one American farmer feeds 155 people. In recognition of their hard work, the Bureau County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and the Young Leader Committee donated enough food to feed 155 people.

As with any appliance that works with high heat, regular maintenance of both the appliance and chimney is necessary for proper operation and to make sure there are no potential fire hazards.

The process of molting laying hens is done in order to extend the productive life of your laying hen flock. Molting is a natural physiological process of all birds and it occurs throughout the life of your flock.

Even though it is getting cold outside and snow may soon be covering our gardens, we can still exercise our little ones’ (and own!) green thumbs. Bring the garden inside this winter with fun activities and experiments! Winter is the perfect time for kids to learn basic plant concepts.

STEVENS POINT, Wis. — The Black Hawk College Soil Judging Team won first place at the American Society of Agronomy 2019 Region 3 Collegiate Soils Contest in Stevens Point. BHC team members competed against students from Eastern Oklahoma State College and Vincennes University.

How often do you think or talk about your local watershed? For most, it is probably not a standard topic of conversation. The reality is, we all live, work and play in watersheds, and our actions can impact water quality locally and downstream.

ELIZABETH, Ill. — Join the Jo Daviess County Master Gardeners on Nov. 18 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Jo Daviess County Extension office, 204 Vine St., Elizabeth, for a program on how to make herb bundles. The cost of this program is $10 per person. All of the materials needed will be provided.

URBANA, Ill. – Each year, the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine opens its doors to the public for an in-depth experience in the world of veterinary medicine. This free event, put on by roughly 400 veterinary students, is perfect for all ages.

DECATUR, Ill. — Horticulture has been a recurring theme in Maria Christian’s life. Christian has always had a love of vegetables and flowers, and this year celebrates her 30th anniversary as a Macon County Master Gardener.

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The late harvest has caused higher moisture corn than normal. Since most farm dryers and some elevator dryers operate on propane gas (LP), the LP distribution backup has caused wet corn to be held, either in storage or in the field.

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JANESVILLE, Wis. – Farming hadn’t been on Rick Scully’s radar until he reached his late 20s. From sixth-grade through high school he lived in the city of Beloit, Wisconsin. His first few jobs involved financing and debt recovery.

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The second set of 2019 Market Facilitation Program payments is now scheduled to be released. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said the payments will begin the week before Thanksgiving. Producers of Market Facilitation Program-eligible commodities will now be eligible to receive 25 percent of the total payment expected, in addition to the 50 percent they have already received. Registration at USDA-Farm Service Agency offices will be open through Dec. 6.

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OPINION  Representatives of the National Pork Producers Council, the National Milk Producers Federation, the National Corn Growers Association and Iowa State University recently called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to move as quickly as possible to establish a foot-and-mouth-disease vaccine bank.

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Automated camera systems have enabled scientists to quickly track traits of thousands of plants. Researchers at the Salk Institute recently have helped accelerate plant-phenotyping speed with machine-learning algorithms. The algorithms teach a computer to analyze three-dimensional shapes of plant branches and leaves. They also may help scientists better quantify how plants respond to climate change, genetic mutations or other factors.

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Like many farmers the University of Wisconsin-Bean Team still has soybeans sitting in the field. Both locations have not been fit to run since maturity. Fond du Lac had 7 inches of snow piled on top of standing water. But once fields freeze and we can go back after the crop, there are a few things to consider.

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The large amount of snow on the ground would normally lead many to transition into a holiday mindset. Farmers are telling a different story this year as harvest continues to weigh heavily on their minds.

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Raven Industries Inc. recently acquired Smart Ag Inc., a technology company that develops autonomous-farming solutions. The acquisition will be integrated into the Raven Autonomy division’s business portfolio to deliver autonomous solutions to equipment manufacturers and agricultural retailers.

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GOODHUE, Minn. – When Jared Luhman looks at his farm, the first thing he thinks is profitability. His number-crunching tells him that what makes sense for his farming operation is different than the status quo.

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The release of the National Oilseed Processors Association soybean-crush estimates this past Friday indicated crush levels increased substantially in October. Driven by a moderate export pace for soybeans and a decent crush margin, soybean crush appears back on track for the 2019-2020 marketing year.

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MADISON, Wis. – Brad Pfaff accepted a new position with the Wisconsin government a week after being fired by the Wisconsin Senate. He was formerly the Agriculture Secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

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Changes to soil processes due to increasing global temperatures could cause rice to contain twice as much arsenic as rice consumed currently. We studied rice because it grows in flooded paddies that loosen arsenic from soil. That makes rice vulnerable to arsenic uptake.

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After reading everyone’s previous field report, I realized I was the only one who didn’t report any snow. Well this time I can join everyone else and report we had about 4 inches Nov. 6. It was not sticky but enough fell that I needed to plow my driveway. It’s quite steep so I need to plow to drive the car up without becoming stuck.

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MADISON, Wis. – Three alumni of the University of Wisconsin-Madison recently earned distinguished-alumni awards from the UW-College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Being recognized for their lifetime achievements are Barbara Barton, Elzie Higginbottom and Steven Ricke.