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Monday, November 16, 2015

The changing agriculture scene - Star Beacon: Neighborhoods

The changing agriculture scene - Star Beacon: Neighborhoods: The face of local agriculture is changing. Sometimes subtly and other times dramatically. For example in the last couple of years two relatively large dairy herds have gone out of business, one of those just recently. Those herds will probably not be replaced. This further illustrates the decline of dairy farming in the county.
What will happen to those farms now that there aren't any cows and young animals to eat the crops that were produced? The land will probably still be growing grain. Instead of marketing that grain through the milk sold from those farms, it will be sold on the grain market.
A part of the changing face of farming has been the growth of grain farms in the area. More and larger farms going into the business of growing cash grain crops for the market. We have seen an increase of farms being sold to other farmers. With modern machinery and technology, farmers have been able to handle more acres with less labor.
This has brought about a change in marketing for these crops. Much of it is sold through local elevators such as Western Reserve Farm Cooperative, Colebrook Elevator or Deerfield Farms. Recently, we have seen an increase in the number of farmer owned storage bins. This gives them more control of their crop and how and when it is finally marketed.
Larger and more expensive equipment is more commonly seen in local fields. This allows faster harvest when conditions are right.