Saturday, May 23, 2009

The County Agent

Here is what our county agent has to say this morning. County agent is an old term for Extension Agent in Agriculture.

"Ah, just what the doctor ordered, several days of wonderfully dry, sunny, warm weather. A perfect prescription for farmers to get most of the remaining crops planted for 2009 in Clinton County.

Once planting season concludes though there is no rest for the weary. The schedule for farmers is ongoing with many activities. Farmers will need to get busy with hay making, wheat harvest is right behind that, spraying against competitive weeds, and weekly monitoring of fields for insect and disease pressure. Along with that, farmers will watch the daily grain markets trying to decide the right moment to market their grain. Farmers will also be making their final decisions on what part of the Farm Bill they will sign up for such as the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) versus the traditional Direct Counter-Cyclical (DCP) payment.

Some analysts believe the U.S. Government gave farmers a gift by extending the deadline to sign up for DCP and ACRE elections from June 1, 2009 to Aug. 14, 2009. The added time through late July and into early August will provide farmers more information critical to determining which program will be better in 2009."

He has it right, that is about it but that new ACRE program befuddles everyone. They take one look and say Oh that is too complicated! Some farmer somewhere though will figure how to make an extra $5 per acre out of this. All this red tape for little results!

I can see why people want simpler and smaller government. Back when the County Agent was established we had fought WWI and technology was advancing faster than we could get it to the people. The county agent was supposed to connect the Land Grant University and the research arm station to the people with practical information.

For over 50 years he did. Now the beauracracy is so large and information is so widespread you can't find him or if you do you don't really listen to him.

Twenty years ago my clients watched my every word. They would challenge me to the max and I kept delivering. They still comment on my work, we definitely had the best of times then.

I will have to write more on the County Agent. He was the respected farm guru when I was a kid and I just had to be one.



  1. It is fortunate that you still have a county agent.Ours had to resign due to budget restraints.She had been with us for a short 2 1/2 years and is greatly missed.All we have left of extention is the 4-H agent and one secretary and they are only funded through the end of the year.The alfalfa is chopped and we are nearly done planting corn.Got a good 1/2 rain last night.Things are looking good here besides the late planting.

  2. Tough times make tough budgets. This is going to be hard on everyone!