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Apple orchards are open, school has begun, pre-harvest meetings seem to be happening daily and we have started custom chopping corn silage. It’s September. When did that happen? It sure feels like another year is flying by.

We had nine-tenths to an inch of rain last week. Corn and beans still look good. The 103-day corn around the outside of our silage field was 30%, so we’ll probably open the field up on Monday and see what the 112-day corn is testing. Pods on beans are filling nicely with the rains we’ve had. Still could use some more hot dry weather to move things along.

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Tuesday felt like Monday, and Friday felt like Saturday. Did your Labor Day leave you questioning what day of the week it was? Looking back at this past week, or even further, I was recalling what took place. Well, we really cannot account for too many field activities or crop progress. It’s been somewhat cooler than normal lately, and very little, if any, precipitation has been measurable. I forced myself to take Labor Day off and do some fishing at PotatoCreekState Park. I must have found a popular fishing spot for farmers. I saw a hat on the ground next to me for several hours, so upon leaving I flipped it over and it was a Beck’s hat. I had my Pioneer hat on, but it didn’t matter what hat a person wore because the fish were just not biting.

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Sometimes we all get a little to comfortable in our daily lives. Funny how things come along and can force us out of there in a good way.

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Monday, Sept. 9, 2019: Harvest 2019 begins. The stalk is dry, the ears are hanging down and the decision is made. Today, we begin a harvest that will be a total crapshoot. How bad did the non-ending spring rains and cold temperatures affect this year’s crop? Time will tell. We have only 64 acres of “dry” corn that was planted on April 7. Best guesses are 20% to 24% moisture. Mark says we need to get it out, so we can get all the augurs set and test the dryer before the majority of the corn is ready to harvest. I’m old-school. I say, let it dry in the field. What’s the hurry? We will have a 10- to 14-day break before the next planted corn will be ready to go. Mark always wins this argument.

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SANTA ROSA -- Elated Sonoma County Winegrowers announced a double-header achievement for the environment at a press conference on Thursday at their Santa Rosa headquarters. Not only have the more than 1,800 members reached 99% certified sustainable vineyards, but they will build on their sustainability leadership by becoming the first wine region to participate in California's pilot Climate First Certification program.

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A 2015 rule that expanded the definition of “waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act today was repealed. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army for Civil Works also are recodifying regulatory text that existed prior to the 2015 rule.

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DES MOINES — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig commented earlier this week, on the Iowa Crop Progress and Conditions report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The report is released weekly from April through November.

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‘Roberto’ says he was taken from Georgia, where he worked legally but was exploited, to Wisconsin, where he worked illegally — and in the shadows.

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An invisible enemy is attacking corn. The crop may look fine above ground, but as many as eight species of a common soil fungus may be infecting the roots and compromising yields, according to South Dakota State University plant disease experts.

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Rain can have a variety of impacts on forage quality and yield, ultimately affecting overall feed and market value, North Dakota State University Extension livestock specialists say.

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The agriculture technology-as-a-service market is expected to generate about $932 million in revenue in 2019. The market is expected to increase to about $2.5 billion by 2024, according to market analyst BIS Research.

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Landowners in Wisconsin have until Sept. 30 to be considered for Emergency Watershed Protection Program-Floodplain Easements. Congress has provided the U.S Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service in Wisconsin more than $7 million for the program.

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This year has been an outlier year. Farmers will not have bumper crops to brag about. But farmers aren't unfamiliar with difficult years; people take the good years with the bad.

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MOUNT HOREB, Wis. -- Marie Raboin, conservationist at Wisconsin's Dane County Land Conservation Division, helped the Kittleson family of Mount Horeb with their rotational grazing plan.

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MOUNT HOREB, Wis. – Appreciation for his family’s roots and a trip to Norway inspired Darren Kittleson to purchase his parents’ Mount Horeb-area farm. The family farm will be 150 years old in 2020.

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BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. — Rains that inundated Wisconsin this spring after a wet fall and winter forced farmers to plant their crops historically late. That has led to uneven growth stages.

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We only had two rain showers in the past two weeks -- one was one-half inch and another was four-fifths of an inch. That left plenty of dry days for farmers in the area to accomplish field work. The reduced humidity and sunshine was conducive for haymaking. One farmer I visited with said he put up some nice hay this past week, although not enough of it. Some late-summer-early-fall seeding was done in the area. Soils were dry enough to make a good seedbed.

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Three-dimensional printing is being evaluated for its use in engineering plants with desired traits. “Bioprinting” has been a disruptive technology for tissue engineering in animals. It’s not unforeseeable that a plant also could be 3D-printed with various agronomic traits, according to Ross Sozzani, a plant biologist at North Carolina State University.

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The Farm Aid music and farm festival will air on AXS TV, SiriusXM and FarmAid.org for public viewing. The program will feature the event's music and videos about Wisconsin farmers. 

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The days of a dairy farmer sitting on a homemade three-legged wooden stool and hand-milking his or her way through a dozen cows is long gone. Computers have become commonplace throughout all walks of life – including a dairy operation’s milking parlors, barns and pastures. Producers are fully connected to search engines, data processors, research studies and “clouds.” It all leads to the goal of improving profitability, milk quality, animal welfare and the lifestyle of today’s producers – all with just a few clicks of a mouse.

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