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Research is often taken for granted but it’s critical to the decisions farmers make, says Katie Roth, who farms with her husband, T.J. Roth, and their business partners John and LuAnn Shea at Banner Ridge Farms near Platteville, Wisconsin. That’s why support of the University of Wisconsin-Dairy Innovation Hub is important.

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U.S. farmer sentiment weakened following the November 2020 elections. The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer decreased 16 points from a month earlier, to a reading of 167. Although this month’s reading was almost equal to the pre-pandemic number set back in February, it was 9 percent less than the sentiment reading taken just two weeks prior to the 2020 elections.

As of Nov. 27 there are a few lingering fields of corn still standing in the area. After a few days of rain before Thanksgiving, it will be a little bit until those fields are dry enough to finish. We have continued to work on the list of projects that accumulated during the course of the year. It’s nice to clear off the workbench of stockpiled parts for various projects. We’ve also been selling some hay in the form of small squares, large squares and round bales.

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OPINION  A bitter election season is ending; the shape of the Biden Administration and Congress is becoming clear. Just as clear is another political reality – Washington next year will be, if anything, more divided than it was before. 

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Federal agencies regulate genetically modified organisms to ensure they’re safe for human, plant and animal health. A majority of scientific organizations have said genetically modified organisms are safe. Other groups such as the Non-GMO Project are skeptical, citing the scarcity of independent long-term-feeding studies. And several countries have restricted or prohibited genetically modified food.

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The grass waterways and berms people see in fields and ditches when driving through farm country have a purpose. Such conservation practices are proving to be valuable in the Kinnickinnic, Rush and Willow river watersheds in western Wisconsin.

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The last of standing cornfields was taken off in the past two weeks. With the harvest being finished the focus has turned to fall tillage, soil sampling and fertilizer spreading.

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November’s new moon brought a mix of drizzle and snow. Parts of Wisconsin’s Lake Superior shore were still abnormally dry so the moisture was welcome. Between grey days sun rained down. Opening day of gun deer season on Nov. 21 was sunny and mild; the deer cooperated for some hunters. Seasonable temperatures had everyone wondering when the first serious snow would come. In 2019 more than 3 feet were recorded in some places from mid-November to Dec. 2.

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Tractors rest in snowy November shadow along Bayfield County Road B near Oulu, Wisconsin.

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Cattle transition from green pasture to hay along Wisconsin Highway 13 near Cornucopia.

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Fish Tug Twin Disc floats in a slip at Bodin Fisheries in Bayfield, Wisconsin. It’s herring season on Lake Superior.

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Solar panels produce electricity from sunlight along Wisconsin Highway 13 north of Washburn. Many privately owned solar panels are producing electricity around Chequamegon Bay. Visit www.cheqbayrenewables.org for more information.

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When Jordan Weden is asked if he’d need to wait for freeze-up to harvest his corn, he says, 'Nope, rolling along.'

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A modern combine is dwarfed by perspective next to an old dairy barn near Merrill, Wisconsin.