Meghan Pedersen to have your photo or video considered for this blog, including your location and a short caption.


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May 2012 Archive for Ag Pictures

RSS By: Meghan Pedersen, Pro Farmer

From time to time we receive interesting pictures from Members that tell the story of their lives, ranging from crop conditions to everyday happenings. We'd like to share those pictures with you: E-mail Meghan Pedersen to have your photo or video considered for this blog, including your location and a short caption.


Rain, Rain Come Our Way!

May 31, 2012

Much-needed rain rolled across the Midwest May 30-31, and some of the northern Corn Belt received rains May 25-26. But while such rains will sustain the corn crop for now, much more is needed to recharge soils and get top- and sub-soil moisture levels back to normal. See this week's  Drought Monitor and Palmer Drought Index for a better idea of what areas are especially dry.

Because photos are much more interesting than text, I asked Pro Farmer Twitter followers (#pfnews) to send me shots of their rain gauges on May 31, and several responded (some with a sense of humor). Check out shots from the Corn Belt and Texas below, and by all means keep the pictures coming! You can tag me to your photos in your tweets (@MeghanPedersen) or e-mail them to me at

Marvell AR Turner 05 31 12

Marvell, AK: "1.3 inches since yesterday."

AmarilloTX Herrington 05 31 12

Amarillo, TX: "Here is my rain gauge!"

AtlanticIA Macha 05 31 12

Atlantic, IA

Washington IA Wells 05 31 12

Washington, IA

 Central Illinois Graff 05 31 12

Middletown, IL


How Far Along Are Your Crops? You Responded...

May 22, 2012

Warm, dry conditions across the Corn Belt the latter half of last week helped planting to near to complete for corn and to near the halfway point for soybeans; both crops remain well ahead of the normal planting pace. Warm temps have also encouraged a rapid development — 56% of the corn crop had emerged as of May 13 according to USDA's Crop Progress Report. I expect next Monday's report to tell much the same story as conditions were warm and dry this week, too.

With this in mind, I thought it would be interesting to put together photos documenting the pace of crop development around the country. With a lot of help from my Twitter followers, I was able to compile some photos illustrating the variances in crop development from Canada to Louisiana.

I'd love to add to this post. E-mail me your snapshots or tag me in a tweet (@MeghanPedersen) with the date it was taken and the field's location (county and state). Feel free to send comments as some of the gentlemen below did. Enjoy!

Shreveport LA 05 22

05/22/12— Caddo Parish, LA: "Doublecrop are emerging and looking solid despite the dry weather. Hope those roots can find some moisture."

Arkansas 05 19 Edited

05/19/12— Arkansas: "Dry in Arkansas... we are watering soybeans up!!"

HamiltonCounty IN 05 19 edited

05/19/12— Hamilton County, IN: "Beans planted first."

PalmyraTwp MI 05 18 12 edited

05/18/12— Palmyra Township, MI: "Seeing more 20-inch rows each year."

 Chandlerville IL 05 16 Edited

05/16/12— Near Chandlerville, IL

 KaneCounty IL 05 16 12 Edited

05/16/12— Kane County, IL (35 miles from downtown Chicago): "Most of my career I was tickled to start planting beans by May 15. Half my crop is up and growing… bumper crop????"

 Ontario 05 14 edited

05/16/12— Central Ontario, Canada: "All corn planted between April 19 and May 2 is finally emerging today. Feels good!

 Tennessee 05 16

05/16/12— Grinder's Switch Winery Garden, Centerville, TN

 Shreveport LA 05 14 12 Edited

05/14/12— Caddo "Parish," LA: "It may be dry but most of the corn is kicking ass."

 Shreveport LA 05 14 12Beans Edited

05/14/12— Caddo "Parish," LA: "Soybeans grew a lot last week. Fourth year of no-till in this field. This was one of the worst fields, but it's looking productive now."


Farm Moms Taking Advantage of Life's Teachable Moments

May 11, 2012

The recent BSE scare, misconceptions about the safety of genetically modified food and the lean finely textured beef smear campaign that ultimately forced Beef Products Inc. (a major LFTB producer) to permanently close three of its four plants shine a spotlight on the need for commodity producers to take the reins in educating consumers about the safety of their product.

In honor of Mother's Day, I am using this post as a platform for commending women who have worked to dispel myths about the food they grow and to build trust in farm families once again via their personal stories of their life on the farm. This is the goal of CommonGround Kansas, a national movement of farm women who "want to share information about farming and the food we grow."

The group's volunteers emphasize "we don't tell folks what to eat or not to eat. Those decisions are solely yours." Rather, they make themselves readily accessible for answering consumer questions about food, drawing upon their experience as farm women and mothers.

The volunteers offer many avenues for consumers to connect with them and gain a peek into their lives, including channels such as Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, YouTube and personal blogs. Following are the volunteers' bios along with links to learn more about these amazing farm women.

tbrandenburg FinalTeresa Brandenburg -Alton, KS

Teresa grew up in a small town in Iowa where her dad drove a truck hauling farm commodities. Teresa started raising livestock with her family when she was 10. Now, she and her husband, Luke, are the fourth generation on his family's farm in Alton, Kansas. Learn more about Teresa.




lori deyoe FinalLori Deyoe -Ulysses, KS

Farming is Lori's heritage from several generations back on both sides of her family, and her work has always reflected that. She is a farmer's daughter, the wife of a cattleman and mom to two children. Lori does accounting and coordinates logistics for their small beef feed yard. Learn more about Lori.




Karra James FinalKarra James -Clay Center, KS

Karra and her husband, Derek, farm with his parents near Clay Center, Kansas. With a degree in food science and experience working the food safety field, she is passionate about discussing agriculture and teaches agriculture education sessions in area schools. Learn more about Karra.




nicole small finalNicole Small -Fredonia, KS

As sixth-generation farmers and ranchers, Nicole Small and her husband Randy have taken over their families' farming operations in southeast Kansas. They raise corn, soybeans and wheat. They also raise cows and calves on native grass. Learn more about Nicole.




lavell winsor FinalLaVell Winsor -Grantville, KS

LaVell lives and farms in Grantville, Kansas, with her husband, Andy, and their two sons. She helps with merchandising and management of grain sales and farm financial records. She also is employed off-the-farm with a consulting service that provides farmers with business recommendations and risk-management tools. Learn more about LaVell.



Wheat Crop Tour of Poland & Germany

May 07, 2012

At the end of April 2012, Offre & Demande Agricole conducted crop tours of Poland and Germany that in sum found the following for the wheat crop in these regions:

  • Poland: Field damage in the northeastern part of the country. A lack of soil moisture in April and warm temperatures since the beginning of May are worrisome.
  • Germany: Winterkill was concentrated in few regions. Most parts of the country reflected good yield potential.


Following are more details of the tour's findings as well as supplemental photographs. A special thanks to Edouard Tallent for compiling the pictures and providing crop highlight comments.


Offre & Demande Agricole scouted Poland during the fourth week of April. Winterkill was notable in the regions of Wielkopolskie and Kujawsko-Pomorskie, located in the north/western part of Poland. Farmers were worried by the lack of rainfalls. Since then, Poland experienced warm conditions (23°C/73°F to 28°C/82°F) and moderate rainfalls. Soils still lack moisture. According to our latest estimate, 2012 wheat crop could reach only 7.2 million metric tons (MMT). That is low despite the expected increase in spring wheat acreages.

 05 07 12 Img1

Crop tour route across Poland (dashed line).

05 07 12 Img2

Kuyavian-Pomeranian region: Weather condition during the winter resulted in low plant density and leaf losses.

05 07 12 Img3

West-Pomeranian region: Frost sometimes caused severe plant destruction.

 05 07 12 Img4

West-Pomeranian region: Wheat is in good shape in the foreground, but winterkills visible in the background.

 05 07 12 Img5

Kuyavian-Pomeranian region: A reseeded field. Due to the losses during the winter, spring wheat could represent up to 20% to 30% this year. That is unusual in Poland.


Offre & Demande Agricole scouted Germany during the third week of April. The group travelled to Germany with expectations of finding large winterkills due to the lack of snow cover during the cold snap in February. Winter weather conditions mainly translated in plant density reductions. Numbers of shoots were sometimes poor (350 shoots/m²). The Lower Saxony region (northern/eastern Germany), Northern Baden-Württemberg as well as Northern Bavaria, and Southern Hesse regions were most impacted.

Offre & Demande Agricole estimates 10% to 15% of the German acreage of winter wheat was impacted by adverse weather conditions. The general state/shape of wheat plants in Germany is and remains much better than it is in Poland and far-eastern France (the Lorraine region). Most German regions benefited from beneficial rainfalls since then. The German wheat crop could reach 22.5 MMT this year (about a 500,000-metric-ton reduction year-over-year).

05 07 12G Img1

Crop tour route across Germany (dashed line).

 05 07 12G Img2

Lower Saxony: A wheat field with a very low number of shoots/m². Lower Saxony experienced severe damages during the winter.

05 07 12G Img3

Saxony-Anhalt region: Almost no winterkill; wheat plants generally in good shape.

 05 07 12G Img4

Thuringia region: A plot with plants in good general state, quite representative of the wheat fields in central Germany.


Educate Consumers Via a Peek into the 'Real' Farmville

May 04, 2012

It is becoming more and more obvious that the American consumer wants to know where his or her food comes from, but ironically, the average citizen is more disconnected to the realities of agriculture than ever before.

As illustrated by the recent lean finely textured beef fiasco where producers were caught off guard by a smear campaign backed by a wealth of factual inaccuracies that spread like wildfire via the Internet, it is crucial that producers be proactive in educating consumers about how the food on their plate is produced and why certain practices are used. Social media and the world wide web provide them with an access to do so.

Today's post features an example of one woman's efforts to do just that. Val Plagge uses her Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids blog to share where she is from (north-central Iowa) and the fact that she is "proud of where I am from and what my family does to provide food, fiber and fuel for people all across the world."

Val wears many hats, including that of a farmer, a farmer's wife, a stay-at-home mom and an independent leadership and event planning contractor. Her May 4 blog post, supplemented by photos, follows.

Farm Friday

By Val Plagge

This week we have been loading in and out several loads of hogs and trying to get some planting done between rains. Due to the rain, we have only been able to be in the field two days this week.

05 04 12 Hogs

Here is a picture of some of the pigs that arrived this week. We start raising the pigs after they have been weaned from their Moms (sows). At this point they are usually 10 to 14 days old. We get most of our weaner pigs from farrowing (birthing) farms in Canada.

 05 04 12 Corn

Welcome to my backyard! Here is a picture of the corn in the field that surrounds our acreage. This corn was planted on April 17. This stage of development for the corn is called VE (Vegetative Emergence). If you look closely at the photo you can see the start of the first leaf of the corn plant. After the vegetative stages in corn, corn has reproductive stages. I'll continue to document the growth of the corn "in my backyard" each week of the growing season.


 05 04 12 LP  05 04 12 Dog

LP loves being outside, and this week we weren't able to be outside as much as we wanted. So LP moved his step stool over to the window in the living room and used it to look outside. He would stand on it for over a half hour at a time just talking and waving to our dog, the trees, rabbits, birds, etc. As you can see in the photo of our dog, Bailey, LP would have gotten really dirty playing outside most of this week! Now I don't mind and actually encourage LP to get a little dirty, but I draw the line when our dog looks half black, half golden.

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