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Rural Living

How to Dispose of a Real Christmas Tree

January 1, 2021

Adam Janke, assistant professor in natural resources ecology and management and extension wildlife specialist at Iowa State University, offers these special tips for getting rid of your live Christmas tree after the holiday season. Trees can be disposed of in many different ways. One way to dispose of your tree is to drop it off […]

Food Safety Tips for the Holidays

December 23, 2020

Feasting with family is part of many holiday celebrations. Follow these simple tips to help prevent food poisoning, or foodborne illness, during the holidays. Cook food thoroughly. Meat, chicken, turkey, seafood, and eggs can carry germs that cause food poisoning. Use a food thermometer to ensure these foods have been cooked to a safe internal […]

Congress Passes COVID Relief Stimulus Package, with Agricultural and Nutrition Provisions

December 23, 2020

Emily Cochrane reported on the front page of Tuesday’s New York Times that, “Congress on Monday night overwhelmingly approved a $900 billion stimulus package that would send billions of dollars to American households and businesses grappling with the economic and health toll of the pandemic. “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said hundreds of dollars in direct payments could begin reaching individual Americans […]

Prep Harvest Equipment for Winter Storage

December 15, 2020

With harvest mostly finished, producers should make sure their equipment is ready for winter months. Harvest 2020 was different for many Iowa farmers due to the derecho. An unusual harvest caused more wear on equipment due to downed corn and rough ground. This extra wear makes cleaning equipment this winter and identifying needed maintenance all […]

Farmer Sentiment Pulls Back Post-election

December 1, 2020

U.S. farmers sentiment weakened following the November 2020 elections, as the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer fell 16 points from a month earlier to a reading of 167. Although this month’s reading was nearly equal to the pre-pandemic high set back in February, it was 9 percent lower than the sentiment reading taken just two weeks […]

USDA Shares Easy At-Home Advice for Handling Food Safely this Thanksgiving

November 26, 2020

This week, Americans will enjoy a delicious meal on Thanksgiving Day with family and friends – either in person or virtually. Taking the necessary steps toward safe food handling and sanitation will help protect you and your loved ones this year. To make sure your Thanksgiving meal is prepared safely, the U.S. Department of Agriculture […]

Rural Mainstreet Index Climbs to Pre-Pandemic Levels

October 21, 2020

Since falling to a record low in April of this year, the Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) has increased for six straight months. According to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy, the index rose to its highest level since January, prior to […]

Ag Economy Barometer Stable, But Farmers Less Optimistic About Future

August 4, 2020

Farmer sentiment in July was virtually unchanged from a month earlier as the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer rose just one point to a reading of 118. The small change in the barometer left it 30 percent below its February 2020 peak and 23 percent below its level a year ago. Although there was little change […]

COVID-19 Continues to Impact Farmer Sentiment

June 3, 2020

Farmer sentiment improved slightly in May after falling sharply in both March and April. The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer reading in May was 103, up 7 points from the April reading of 96. The barometer’s small improvement left the gauge of farmer sentiment nearly 40 percent below its February peak of 168. This month’s survey […]

Evidence, Data and Farmer Decision Making

March 12, 2020

Throughout much of agriculture’s history, farmers had to make decisions based only upon observation and recollection. Both sources are not precise, but it was the best evidence available. As scientific methods were introduced, farmers could employ research-based recommendations to improve production efficiency. Progress followed, even though the recommendations had to be general in nature (apply […]