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This past month has been a little exhausting, but rewarding and fun. I am finishing the column late tonight after traveling to Springfield and back for the Illinois State Fair Shearing Contest. First, I would like to thank all the volunteers who make the shearing contest a success, as well a…

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Hello from Graze-N-Grow. The lawn mowing vacation is over for a while. We just got over two inches of rain on Sunday morning with more to come and it was enough to cheer the heart of this old farmer. Whether it be row crops or pasture, we’re back in the game. Our cover crops are now able to …

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This year, it appears that planting season will never end. We will just take a few short breaks to fix the equipment. We finally gave up on planting corn and switched to sorghum/sudan on our acres after wheat harvest. We pumped manure on those acres first and then jumped on the seeding to tr…

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No matter how bad the weather has been so far in 2019, we have survived it and now seem to be settled into a typical summer season. The last two weeks have provided tolerable temperatures and drier conditions. We did receive two fast hard rains in July, 1.2 on July 3 and 1.3 on July 17 — I a…

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As the weather woes continue across the Midwest, I feel like we are in pretty fair shape down here in southern Illinois. We logged in around three inches of precipitation for the month of July. That doesn’t sound like much, but we came into the month on the wet side and the timing of the rai…

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MENOMONIE, Wis. — Vets Plus Inc., in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Stout, recently presented the first-ever international conference on the growing use of nutraceuticals to benefit companion and production animal health.

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Zoetis has signed an agreement with Colorado State University to establish a research lab at CSU that will explore the livestock immune system and target new immunotherapies — paving the way for new alternatives to antibiotics in food-producing animals.

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Fuel Up to Play 60, a program created by the dairy checkoff and National Football League to improve health and wellness in schools across the country, celebrated its 10-year anniversary at its annual student ambassador summit in Cleveland.

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These are the summer days I was dreaming of during the polar vortex in February. Interesting how much of a temperature swing there is between this week in July and the negative 30 degrees in February. In northern Illinois, there has been enough rain to keep the pastures and crops from burnin…

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Hello from Graze-N-Grow. First, it’s too wet, and now, it’s too hot and dry. Will I ever stop complaining? I think I suffer more than the animals in this heat and humidity, but maybe I should just follow their lead and rest in the shade in the afternoon. So far, all are doing well. The guard…

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One month of drier weather and I’m already wishing for a rain. We missed a rain Sunday night, and we could really use some moisture. I combined the wheat last week, and it made 80 bushels per acre with just some nitrogen and red clover flown over it in early March. I didn’t fly on any fungic…

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AMES, Iowa — Following the National Pork Producers Council board of director’s decision to cancel World Pork Expo this year, GVL, a leading provider of technology solutions to veterinarians and animal health professionals, announced it would contribute its planned 2019 commitment to NPPC.

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All of the wheat acres we intended to bale for hay have been converted to grain, and the wheat harvest is in full swing. We will use the wheat for seed next fall to over seed all the acres we harvest corn off of. As soon as we get manure pumped on the harvested wheat acres, we will seed sorg…

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I was trying hard to remain optimistic at the end of my last writing on June 7. We did receive a nice 10-day respite from the heavy rains, but that did not last. Rain returned with a vengeance the last half of June and has continued into July. Our total is just over 21 inches for May and Jun…

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June ended with some summertime heat that we have been waiting on all year. We are still in the hit-and-miss showers that have plagued us for sometime now, but we have finally had the opportunity to put up some dry hay. The quality has been terrible, but the quantity has been good. It’s hard…

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MADISON, Wis. — World Dairy Expo now is accepting entries for its 53rd annual Dairy Cattle Show, Oct. 1-5, in Madison.

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BOZEMAN, Mont. — U.S. cattlemen and women have successfully improved beef quality during the last several decades, yet capturing widespread carcass data proves elusive. The most important traits are still among the most difficult to predict.

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DENVER — The American Lamb Checkoff Program has positively contributed to American lamb demand and industry profits, according to the Texas A&M University 2019 report “Return on Investment in the American Lamb Checkoff Program” conducted by agricultural economists Gary Williams and Dan H…

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The calendar says it is June and summer is here. I, for one, am glad to see summertime. I try to be outside as much as possible. With all the rain this spring, our pasture grew really fast and were ready to cut before the first of June. A local farmer usually cuts and bales it for us. He has…

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Hello from Graze-N-Grow. I imagine by now, with our last 2-inch rain and more forecasted, the corn planting is over for the year in our area. Ours finally got in last week and is just now emerging. I don’t think I’ve been stuck more times in the last few decades than this spring, but our row…

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Well, I think everyone around Bloomington has their crops in, finally. The weatherman calls for today and tomorrow to be dry and then four more days of rain. My lambing is pretty well done. The annual forage field is not very dense, but it is feeding the flock.

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Providing that you don’t have flooded creek bottom pastures, this grazing season looks really good so far. We got started baling excess pasture for hay and got our Teff grass seeded on some acres where we had been grazing wheat. We had intended to bale a lot of wheat hay, but during the rain…

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I just reread my writing to you from May 3. Little did we know what we were in for at that time. With rain nearly every day in May and a total of 10.5 inches, it has been a challenge like I have never seen before in my 50 years in the cattle business. I just realized when I started thinking …

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Another month down the tube and it seems like the same old song and dance — more rain and mud. It was Memorial Day weekend before anyone in our neck of the woods had any chance at all to plant a seed of corn. Even that weekend was a short-lived window to get any work done.

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Summer interns in animal sciences arrived at the University of Illinois’ DixonSpringsAgriculturalCenter on May 28 as part of the I-BELIEF internship program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This year, there are two students participating in the 10-week internship at DSAC. Sar…

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FAIR OAKS, Ind. (AP) — Video exposing alleged animal abuse at a famous northwestern Indiana dairy farm is politically motivated, said an Indiana lawmaker who drafted legislation in 2013 that would have barred undercover video filming at the state’s agricultural operations.

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FAIR OAKS, Ind. (AP) — Retailers began pulling Fairlife products from their shelves as police investigated alleged animal abuse after an animal rights group released graphic video showing workers kicking and throwing young calves at an Indiana dairy farm that’s a popular destination for scho…

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Many horse owners are experiencing extreme difficulty during the spring and summer of 2019 finding decent quality forage in most parts of the Midwest due to extremely wet spring weather. Although some Western states have plentiful hay supplies, it is difficult and expensive for horse owners …

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Arkansas-based meat processor Tyson Foods is suing a federal agency for $2.4 million, saying it had to destroy 8,000 carcasses because a federal meat inspector lied about checking hogs at a plant in Iowa.

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