Latest from Alan

Please, Just Bruce, Not Kingmaker

We will not be attending the “Iowa Agricultural Summit,” March 7 in Des Moines because, oh dear, this is embarrassing, we were not invited. Yes, many non-farming, political types were invited and will be there. Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, and Jim […]

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Food Guidelines and Average Old You and Me

No one in farming or ranching buys a bag of seed corn or a couple of young bulls hoping for an average corn crop or an average calf crop. Both buy what each believes will best fit their farm and ranch’s unique circumstances to achieve the best results because average is, well, average. Moreover, since […]

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Past Present, Present Future

As winter’s icy hands again strangle most of the country, I toss another log in the stove and grab the stack of old newspapers, aging magazines, and new books that has grown tall during winter travels. The newspapers take little time. No trick to reading a two-weeks-old daily newspaper: headline… headline… recycling bin. The magazines […]

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Who Wrote This Mess?

The low whimpering and muffled whining heard in farm country this month are not the gripes and grunts of corn and soybean growers trudging through 2015’s purgatory of under-$4 corn and less-than-$10 beans. Instead, it’s the rising complaints of cranky farmers as they trudge out of dull meetings where Land Grant experts and Farm Service […]

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Diverse, Concentrated–Big Ag, New Ag?

The Progressive Farmer magazine’s February issue resembles most mid-winter issues of most U.S. farm magazines. It features stories on how to grow more corn, how to whip soybean aphids, and how to “Drain Water in the Hydraulics.” Interspersed between these tried-and-true farm favorites, however, are three stories that mark just how incredibly diverse our farm […]

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