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Saturday, February 06, 2016

Peyton Manning vs Cam Newton: Can The Sheriff out-duel Superman? - CNN.com

Peyton Manning vs Cam Newton: Can The Sheriff out-duel Superman? - CNN.com: There's an aging quarterback in a Denver Broncos uniform who potentially could finish his career on top by winning what could be his final game, a Super Bowl.

Yes, Peyton Manning -- who, at age 39, will be the oldest starting quarterback in Super Bowl history when he takes the field for Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, against the Carolina Panthers -- likely is trying to do just that. Manning won't confirm that Sunday will be his last game. But it sure feels that way.

Conserve ag land for future generations | Opinion | missoulian.com

Conserve ag land for future generations | Opinion | missoulian.com: Montana’s heritage is rooted in working farms and ranches. So is our future. Agriculture is woven into the fabric of our culture, economy and landscape. Missoula’s local food movement is vibrant and growing. Most of all, agriculture and fertile soil provide the food we all need to survive.

Farmland values in the Upper Midwest

Farmland values in the Upper Midwest: Despite the significant price drop for agricultural commodities such as corn and soybeans in the past two years, that change is not being strongly reflected in the farmland values in the Upper Midwest states.

That's according to the latest reports and surveys by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Its quarterly updates are based on data collected from about 220 agricultural sector bankers in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana.

For the third quarter of 2015, the value of good quality farmland in those five states was unchanged from its value a year earlier, the Federal Reserve Bank reported. Iowa stood out as an exception, having reported small declines in value for four consecutive quarters, including 3.7 percent for the period from March to September in 2015 and by 11.3 percent since September of 2014.

Average farmland values in Wisconsin and Michigan during that same period were up by 4 and 5 percent respectively, the report indicated. In Illinois, the average value was down by 4 percent.

In mid-2015, the Chicago bank's report put the average farmland values at $8,000 per acre in Iowa, $7,500 in Illinois, $7,150 in Indiana, and $5,750 in Ohio. No number was reported for Wisconsin or Michigan.

The last time that Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported an overall decline in farmland values within its district for two consecutive quarters was in 2009. From 2010 through 2014, a majority of the quarters had average annual increases of least 12 percent.

Study: Rethinking how to use farmland | The Gazette

Study: Rethinking how to use farmland | The Gazette: A new Iowa State University study shows significant portions of Iowa farmland lose money in the current era of low commodity prices and high input costs.

The research may help farmers make more informed decisions about land use and perhaps get them to consider environmentally friendly alternatives to corn and soybeans, said Elke Brandes, a postdoctoral research associate in agronomy and lead author of the study.

Cover Crops, a Farming Revolution With Deep Roots in the Past - The New York Times

Cover Crops, a Farming Revolution With Deep Roots in the Past - The New York Times: When Mark Anson came home with his hair on fire after a seminar on the seemingly soporific topic of soil health, his younger brother, Doug, was skeptical.

What had Mark lit up was cover crops: fields of noncash crops like hairy vetch and cereal rye that act on soil like a nourishing facial after the harvest.

Mark, 60, and his two brothers, together with assorted sons and sons-in-law, run Anson Farms, a big commercial soybean and corn operation in Indiana and Illinois. Concern about the soil quality of the family’s fields had nagged at him for some time. “Our corn was wilting when temperatures hit 103 degrees,” he said, and such heat isn’t so unusual in the summer. “I felt like I had a gorilla on my shoulder.” What he learned about the benefits of cover crops gave him hope.

Dollar's Drop Means Good News for Farmers (AUDIO) | Agweb.com

Dollar's Drop Means Good News for Farmers (AUDIO) | Agweb.com: It’s also a pretty welcome development for farmers worried about U.S. ag exports being too expensive on the world market.

“That’s good news for us,” Gulke said. “We cannot stand a stronger dollar than we had. Now we are theoretically more competitive than we were a week ago in the export market from the U.S. standpoint. Now we just need to keep it down there and begin a trend of a lower and lower dollar.”

Ag community weighs in with Super Bowl picks | Farms.com

Ag community weighs in with Super Bowl picks | Farms.com: Football analysts have been breaking down Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers for weeks.

Whose defence will play better? Which player could make the biggest impact? Could Peyton Manning end his career with another championship?