In corn-growing states, tall crops pose seasonal road hazard


Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The broad leaves and thick stalks can stand up to 12 feet high, forming a wall of foliage that turns rural roads into long, narrow corridors of nothing but corn.

For drivers navigating the gravel roads that crisscross Midwestern farm country, the plants go by in a noiseless blur of green, yellow and brown. But the annual crop brings an often-ignored danger: Some roads are so sheltered by the towering corn that motorists can’t see


Agriculture education programs spreading in Nebraska

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - More than a dozen schools across Nebraska have added agriculture education classes this year, a change that teachers say reflects a growing interest in the state’s largest industry.

State Director of Agriculture Education Matt Kreifels tells the Grand Island Independent ( ) that 13 schools added new programs this fall in the biggest jump since the 1950s.

And Kreifels said three other schools wanted to start a new program but couldn’t because they


Report: 77 percent of Nebraska corn rated good or excellent

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A weekly federal report says 77 percent of Nebraska’s corn crop has been rated good or excellent.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture report says that as of Sunday, the state’s soybean crop was rated at 74 percent good or excellent, and 73 percent of the sorghum crop was rated good or excellent.

The report also said that 97 percent of the state’s oat crop has been harvested, slightly behind the average of 99 percent by the date.


Most Nebraska farmers regularly use computers

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A new survey shows that more Nebraska farmers are using computers and connecting to the Internet.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 78 percent of Nebraska farms had access to computers. The national average was 73 percent.

The survey also showed that 75 percent of Nebraska farms have Internet access. That’s up from the 2013 survey when 72 percent of the state’s farms were connected to the Internet.

Farmers rely on the Internet for information on crop prices


Nebraska farmer picked to lead US Grains Council

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A Nebraska farmer has been chosen to lead the U.S. Grains Council trade group.

Alan Tiemann says he is looking forward to continuing his work with the group to open markets for U.S. grain. Tiemann had been serving as vice chairman for the previous year.

Much of Nebraska’s corn crop is consumed nearby by either livestock or the ethanol industry but strong export demand for the grain helps boost crop prices.

Tiemann farms near Seward and has been working in agriculture for


Nebraska farmland values declined 2 percent this year

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The average value of Nebraska farmland declined 2 percent to $5,070 per acre over the past year.

The decline reflects generally weaker crop prices in recent years as the surge in farmland values finally cools off.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday that the average value of farm real estate in Nebraska - a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms - also decreased 2 percent to $3,050 per acre.

The annual report is based on producer surveys


Health officials: Horses need protection for West Nile virus

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - Health officials in central Nebraska are encouraging people to protect not only themselves from West Nile virus, but their horses, too.

The Central District Health Department in Grand Island said in a recent news release that horses should be properly vaccinated for the mosquito-borne illness, The Grand Island Independent reported ( ) Saturday.

The department reported on July 2 its first human case of West Nile virus this year, and the virus was


USDA: Bird flu vaccine works on chickens; testing on turkeys


Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Scientists have developed a vaccine strain that has tested 100 percent effective in protecting chickens from bird flu and testing is underway to see if it also protects turkeys, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the House Agriculture Committee at a hearing on Wednesday.

If it does, the agency plans to quickly license it for widespread production and is seeking funding from the Office of Management and Budget to stockpile it


Unraveling the secrets of the sawfly in MonDak region


Williston Herald

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - The wheat stem sawfly, much to the farmer’s dismay, lives a mostly secret life inside - as the name would imply - the stem of wheat plants. It is a creature that has managed, by and large, to keep its secrets close and hidden for 100 years or more, but researchers at the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory are working on to unravel those secrets.

Sawflies begin as eggs in the stem of the wheat plant. When the larvae

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