Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Man loses cellphone in grain pit; you'll never guess where it turned up

Kerry Willis TODAY contributor

Here’s a glimmer of hope for anyone who ever lost a cellphone.

Kevin Whitney thought he’d never see his cellphone again when, while working nine months ago, he dropped it into a pit filled with 280,000 pounds of grain.

Imagine the Oklahoma farmer’s surprise when he got a call recently from a guy in Japan who had found the phone.

“He said, ‘Did you lose a cellphone?’” Whitney recalled to TODAY. “I said, ‘Yeah, I lost a cellphone last fall.’”

The device travelled halfway around the globe on a series of ships over the past few months, until it landed in a Japanese grain mill.

Whitney got his phone back, complete with all his photos — including precious pictures of his daughter’s wedding.

“It’s crazy,” Whitney said. “I can’t believe it. What really shocked me about it all, though, when I first got the phone call, was what a small world it is.”

Watch the video here! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Corn conditions still at 15-year high

Angela Bowman, Drovers Cattle Network,Staff Writer
More than 75 percent of the nation’s corn crop is rated in good or better condition according to the USDA’s Crop Progress report, marking the best conditions seen in the 15 years.  As Sterling Smith, a futures specialist at Citigroup, said in a note to clients “the weather continues to be excellent for crop development.”

Corn conditions are 10 percentage points better than last year, and more than double those reported in 2012:

Report Date
Very Poor
Poor
Fair
Good
Excellent
July 14, 2014
1
4
19
51
26
July 15, 2013
3
6
25
49
17
July 16, 2012
16
22
31
27
4
July 18, 2011
4
7
23
50
16
July 12, 2010
2
7
18
52
21
July 13, 2009
2
6
21
52
19
July 14, 2008
3
7
26
49
15
July 16, 2007
4
8
24
46
18
July 17, 2006
4
8
26
46
16
July 18, 2005
6
13
26
42
13
July 12, 2004
2
5
19
51
23
July 13, 2003
2
5
19
52
22
July 15, 2002
5
13
33
40
9
July 16, 2001
2
7
26
50
15
July 17, 2000
2
5
18
50
25
July 12, 1999
1
4
16
54
24

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

8 Things That Have a Different Meaning for Farmers

By

Farming is a way of life with many similarities and differences to those who don’t farm. Check out our 8 things that have a different meaning to Farmers!

1. Holidays- Holidays carry a different meaning for Farmers. Just because it’s Christmas morning, the livestock still needs to be taken care of. Driving home from Easter service? There will be stopping to check on the crops or check on the cattle. The chores don’t stop just because it’s a special day.

2. Weather - Weather is not just sunshine or rain for Farmers; it’s the difference between a great crop, a good one or a total loss. Weather affects and determines so much for Farmers. During the polar weather much of the country experience this past winter, Farmers don’t have the luxury of staying inside where it’s warm  - they have a livelihood to maintain.

3. Weekends – The saying goes “same stuff, different day,” and that’s what it’s like for Farmers. Sure time will be made for Church but not much else changes – chores need to be done, especially if harvest or plant is going on.

4. Meals
- Most meals revolve around a table and occur at the same time. Not for Farmers. Their meals vary daily and their table – well a lot of time its a tailgate of a truck or the cab of a tractor because they’ve got work to do!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Crop Updates from Iowa Corn Leaders – Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Recently drier conditions have allowed farmers to get back in the fields for herbicide applications, replanting drowned out crops, and cutting hay.

According to the USDA weekly report, last week about 26 percent of the corn acreage was silking. Seventy-six percent of the corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition, unchanged from the previous week. Forty-five percent of the soybean acreage was blooming, 11 days ahead of the previous year and slightly ahead of normal. Six percent of the soybean crop was setting pods, 11 days ahead of last year and one day ahead of normal.

Carl Jardon of Randolph says some neighbors are concerned about northern leaf blight coming early. They are making sure they get the fungicide sprayed timely. The corn he planted is resistant to northern leaf blight, so he does not plan to spray. However he will spray his soybeans. All of his crops continue to look good. The corn is tasseling very nicely and the soybeans are beginning to flower.

Roger Zylstra of Lynnville, president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, says his crops are looking good. They didn’t receive any significant rain last week. The soybeans have some yellow spots from being too wet but they’re coming out of that a little.  Right now the corn and soybeans look good but this is the time when disease and insects begin to show up. He will be keeping a close eye out for any problems.

Nick Leibold of New Hampton says some corn has been tasseling. It’s been dry. The yellow spots in fields which he reported a couple weeks ago during the wet conditions are looking more green. The fields that had some hail damage look better, but the hail still set them back a little. He’s still hopeful because the crops are looking better.

Bob Bowman of DeWitt, president of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB), had some strong winds that affected a little of his corn on Saturday night. A couple of his corn fields had a little green snap. He’s hoping the corn will rebound from that wind damage. They had a little rain with that. Otherwise his crops are still looking good.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

IACAN boosts conservation efforts



By: Matthew Wilde, ISA senior writer

The push is on to sign up an additional 100 farmers to participate in the Iowa Conservation Action Network (IACAN).

Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) Environmental Programs and Services (EPS) team members Heath Ellison and Theo Gunther, along with Producer Services Regional Coordinator Carrie Kelly, introduced farmers to IACAN at the 2014 Western Iowa No-Till Field Day near Shelby on June 17. 

The trio explained and handed out information about the project, and collected contact information for future farm visits.

The network is a private sector initiative to demonstrate technology-based conservation practice planning to accelerate implementation of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. IACAN is a partnership of ISA, Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and the Iowa Land Improvement Contractors Association (LICA).

Since the network’s inception in January, about 50 farmers have utilized the free service to improve existing conservation practices or build new ones, like grass waterways and wetlands.
The field day began the summer push to sign up new participants in five priority watersheds: East and West Nishnabotna, Middle Cedar, Floyd and Turkey. About 150 people attended the field day, and about half stopped by the ISA table, Kelly said.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Crop Updates from Iowa Corn Leaders – Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Strong storms and wet fields continue to stress some crops and create challenges for famers needing to make hay, spray weeds or side-dress fertilizer, according to the weekly crop report from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.  There have been scattered reports of corn silking across Iowa. Seventy-six percent of the corn crop is reported in good to excellent condition. Twenty-one percent of the soybean acreage was blooming. A few farmers reported soybeans setting pods.

After heavy rains and wet fields for the past two weeks, Bob Bowman of DeWitt, president of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB), has been able to do a little field work this week. He had some late-season side-dressing left to do on his corn and was not able to get into the fields. Now, the corn is too big for side-dressing, so he and his son are “dribbling” a little nitrogen on the crops using a high-boy sprayer. They are also trying to apply some second-pass herbicides on their soybeans. He had plenty of rain and some ponding of soybeans. He would actually like a light rain to wash soil off the soybean plants. The corn he planted in April is starting to tassel. However, there is also corn that was planted later and is only waist high. Despite all of these issues, the crops still look very good. 

Nick Leibold of New Hampton says the recent good weather has helped the crops look better in his area. There is a lot of spraying happening in his area.  Some crops in his area had hail damage a week ago. He thinks there will be some yield reductions due to the hail damage, but many of the crops look a lot better and will likely rebound somewhat. Some of the livestock farmers in the area are busy making hay. Leibold says the crops look promising at this point.

Roger Zylstra of Lynnville, president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, says his crops are rebounding from the heavy rain a week ago that also resulted in some field ponding. He missed the heavy rain and storms that fell in parts of the state last night (Monday). The crops are drying out and look very good.  The corn is starting to tassel. He says he’s starting to feel optimistic about the crop.  


Carl Jardon of Randolph received 1.90 inches of rain on Saturday morning, July 5. Heavy rains surrounded his area, but he was fortunate not to receive too much. He had more rain on Monday night. It was hot and humid recently which has been great for corn. Almost all of the corn has tasseled in his area. They have harvested their first batch of sweet corn. The crops continue to look very good. 

Iowa View: Water improvements are occurring in Iowa

When I was a kid, it was fun to take a break from farm chores and go to Lake View, where my brother and I swam in Black Hawk Lake before my family enjoyed a picnic lunch.

It wasn't so much fun, however, as the lake's water quality deteriorated. Notices were issued periodically that Black Hawk Lake was unfit for swimming.

All this is changing, however, as farmers and town residents work together through the Black Hawk Lake Watershed Project.

I'm thrilled to see this, not only as someone who still enjoys picnicking, stand up paddleboarding, riding my bike and walking my dog at Black Hawk Lake, but as a member of a local farm family who takes conservation seriously.

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