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Acres of Knowledge

All issues concerning Small Farms, Agriculture, Local Food Systems, and the Natural Resources.
Bag Grain Storage

Tips for Temporary Corn Storage in Grain (Silo) Bags

A lot of this year's harvested corn is going into big grain bags on the ground for temporary storage till more permanent storage is available. Here are some helpful tips from Dr. Klein Ileleji at Purdue University on how to manage grain stored in the field in grain storage bags. Locate the bags on firm, well-drained ground that is smooth and level, that has plenty of roo...

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MFC PaymentRate

Market Facilitation Program: Impacts and Initial Analysis

This is the title of an article authored by agricultural economists from the University of Illinois and the Ohio State University. The Market Facilitation Program (MFP) is an effort by the USDA to provide aid to farmers because of trade disputes with our major foreign grain buyers. It has been estimated that the escalating trade issues in the May to August 2018 period have led to an 11 percent...

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2019 Cash Rent Trends

What about a Flexible Cash Rent Lease

It must be August, because my office phone has been lighting up with calls from farmland owners wanting to know about the direction of cash rent values for lands here in east-central Illinois. This is never easy to answer, because no one can accurately forecast the future. Currently at this moment with the projected above average harvest of field corn and soybean, and the continuing trade dispu...

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Interest Rates and Cropland Land Values

In a recent article in University of Illinois Farmdoc Daily, a group of University of Illinois agricultural economists along with a colleague from the Ohio State University looked into the factors that play a role in explaining price movement in cropland prices. In summarizing the results of their research, the group pointed out that "...

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Soil Organisms-Teaspoon healthy Soil-NRCS
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What is Soil Health?

In agriculture, we heart a the term "soil health", which has been used for about five years, now. Yet what does it mean. the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) defines soil health as "the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem t...

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Operator-Land Returns-Paulson
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Habits of the Most Profitable Central Illinois Farmers

At the recent Illinois Farm Economic Summit (IFES) meetings, Drs. Nick Paulson and Dale Lattz of the farmdoc team shared the results of two studies that highlighted the differences in profitability between the topĀ third and bottomĀ third of farms in Illinois and the typical management practice...

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Harvest Crop Conditions - September 28, 2018

Here in central Illinois, we have had over ten days of open, dry harvest weather. This has been great for farmers wanting to get their crops harvested. However, this is leading to overly dry crops, especially soybeans harvested at moistures less than 10 percent moisture. It is an unfortunate situation leading to yield reduction due to moisture shrink. Another issue popping up is "weak"...

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