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Top 10 Farms.com topics of 2014

From technology to weather, 2014 had it all

By Diego Flammini, Farms.com

As 2014 winds down and we look to 2015, it’s time to have a look back at what topics were the most popular on Farms.com.

The popularity of the topics is determined by the amount of traffic they generated based on articles related to the topic.

1) Ag Apps
When people say “there’s probably an app for that”, chances are they’re not joking. 2014 saw the development of many agriculture-related apps designed to help with mapping, equipment sales, and weather trends. In order to relate to the next generation of younger farmers, a farming simulator game was even designed.

2) Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED)
Swine farmers in Canada and the United States had to deal with PED and the affects it had on their profits. PED is almost always fatal in piglets and is responsible for infecting more than 2,000 hog farms in 22 states. In Canada, farms in PEI and Ontario had to overcome the outbreaks.

3) Kemptville Campus
Canada’s largest agricultural college, the Ontario Agricultural College is part of the University of Guelph. U of G also has agricultural college campuses in Kemptville, Alfred, and Ridgetown, Ontario. Due to financial complications, Alfred and Kemptville campuses are set to close in 2015, but Ridgetown will remain open and offer agricultural education at the certificate and diploma level.

4) Farm Finances
While some agricultural companies saw growth and expansion, some weren’t so fortunate. South West Ag purchased Palmserston Grain Ltd., acquiring 2.1 million bushels of storage capacity in the process. Great Lakes Specialty in Mitchell, ON, stopped their pork production, and Toronto-based Quality Meat Packers had to file for bankruptcy protection.

5) Weather
Without the rain, sun, and other weather elements, there can be no agriculture. This year, the Farmer’s Almanac suggested that weaning calves by the moon is the best route to minimize the separation anxiety. The almanac also suggested a harsh winter is in store. So far though, we’ve been pretty lucky.

6) Peterson Farm Brothers
The Peterson Farm Brothers out of Kansas have become famous for their parody music videos with an agricultural spin. Greg, Kendal, and Nathan Peterson have some videos with over one million hits on YouTube.

7) Careers in Agriculture
Yahoo! suggested agriculture is a career in crisis. But we know it is not true.

8) Wheat Crop
The wheat crop looked good this year as Moe Agostino, head of the Farms.com Risk Management team visited 12 states to look at their crops. While in Ohio, Agostino spoke with a farmer who was seeing nice yields in the July interview.

9) Legislation
Farming and agriculture is no stranger to having to deal with legislation. In 2014, Missouri’s “Right to Farm” put a spotlight on family farms and potential animal cruelty. In Ontario Canada, the provincial government suggested they would restrict the use of neonics.

10) Farming with a physical disability
2014 introduced us to Chris, a man from California, who despite being born without arms and legs, doesn’t let that stop him from completing everyday farming tasks like forking hay and driving a tractor.

With 2014 in the books, we can only hope 2015 will be as exciting and thought-provoking.


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